Pare Down: July Update

It’s so cliche to start each post with surprise at how quickly the month went by. I try to avoid it every month. And yet… I am continually caught off guard when I sit down to write another pare down update. I think this month was the quickest by far. I have some upcoming deadlines at work, and I’ve been in and out of my routine so much that the weeks keep speeding by.

July was a great month. It started with a promotion at work and ended with my niece on her way into the world (she was born today!). The weather in San Francisco is the worst in July, but we’ve managed to find some sunny weekend afternoons to share with our sunshine-loving chihuahua. Before I thought about what to include in this post, I was thinking this month didn’t go so well when it comes to my 2017 goal to pare down my life, but I think I’ve changed my mind now…

I tested out a new system for posting to my blog and social media

Ever since I moved my web hosting off WordPress, I’ve been playing around with some plugins and other tools to help me stay ahead of my blog posts. I’ve managed to post two blog posts per week, and that doesn’t include posts with videos from my YouTube channel. Considering I was averaging a couple posts per month, this is a huge improvement for me. I started to lose my organization and fall into my old habits by the end of the month, and I’m really feeling it now. Let me know if you’d like me to write a post about my blogging organization. It’s not perfect, but it might help some of you!

I made an extra effort to move more

I’m lazy. I started strength training in January and I love it, but I wanted to make the effort to encourage myself to stay active outside my three sessions a week. I took more walks in addition to my walk to and from work each day, I went on a couple hikes, and I kept up with training for the most part. The downside to this was I was sore a lot this month, which kept me from being as active as I’d hoped.

I kept up with my social progress

I’ve been doing well when it comes to pushing myself to be more social. I’ve kept going to happy hours with coworkers and spending time with family and friends. I’m surprised at how easy it’s become. I’m not always up for socializing, but I’ve found a good balance of pushing myself here and there but hiding away when I really need to.

I purchased some investment items and moved the rest

I’ve posted about my skincare addiction, and as I’m honing in on my routine, I’ve taken the opportunity to pull aside all the other products I’m not using anymore. I’m still going to use up most of it, just not in their intended ways, like using a night cream on my neck instead of my face. I also purchased some clothes secondhand (a video haul is coming up in a couple weeks), and am continuing to pull out clothes I don’t wear often. Some items are in “last chance limbo” on my garment rack because I want to make sure I’m certain about their fate. Others have been sold or donated.

I also upgraded my old 16GB iPad mini for a 256GB iPad Pro. I was resistant, but it was necessary. I’m much happier with the larger screen for drafting blog posts and being able to read books without the incessant “storage full” notifications. How does one truly live with only 16GB nowadays? My boyfriend and I also went in together on a new desktop early this month, which has been fantastic for my video editing. It’s so fast and has enough storage for my footage, so I don’t need to rely on an external drive and a laptop for all my video and blog work. The next investment will be a fan, because our cheap one broke, and we don’t have air conditioning…

I organized my makeup catalogue and monthly budget

I’ve recommitted to my makeup catalogue, but in a spreadsheet with more details. I’ve also come up with a monthly budget spreadsheet that I’ll be testing during August. I want to take stock of what I have, both with my makeup and my finances, so I can make good decisions moving forward.

That’s a lot of good progress! A couple things haven’t been going too well.

My space is getting cluttered

It’s coming time to do another major declutter and organization day. I have clothes piling up in the bedroom, and there’s a corner in our apartment we just haven’t really dealt with. Our kitchen could also use a little love (and disinfectant!).

Some tasks won’t move off my to-do list

I’ve had some of the same tasks on my pare down wishlist that move month to month but never seem to get done. I want to organize the dog’s treats and supplies, reorganize my night stand and drawers, and get more bins for the pantry. I need to break these down further so I can finally start to tackle them.

If those are my only complaints this month, it seems like I’ve done pretty well after all.

Next month, I’m hoping to:

  • Spend more time writing and reading outside of work and blogging
  • Keep up with my training – I got behind in my program so I still have two months left
  • Keep up with my new organization for my blog and videos
  • Get my makeup catalogue up-to-date
  • Polish my blog and Pinterest page
  • Test my budget spreadsheet
  • Practice meal planning, for lunches at work and dinners at home

Thanks for reading! I hope your yearly goals are going well. And if not, you can always pick yourself up and keep trudging along.

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