Pare Down: November Update

I’m late!!

This update is coming at an awful time with my work schedule, so I apologize for being so late getting this up. I’ve done so well with these all year, and of course the last update before my 2017 recap is the one I miss…

Anyway, if you haven’t been following along, my goal for 2017 is to pare down my space, time, and mind. This means that I’m letting go of what’s cluttering my life to make room for what makes me happy. I make a post at the end of each month to reflect on how I’ve stepped toward and away from that goal. If you’d like to read more about this goal and read past monthly posts, start here.

November was a good month overall. It ended with a trip to visit family for Thanksgiving and then I had my sights set on my work deadlines (which are this week!). Even with all the stress, I was able to keep up with most of the goals I set for myself last month.

I prioritized my days

My challenge to myself this month was to spend a few minutes each morning setting 2-3 priorities for the day. This was a tip from my therapist to help me focus my energy and avoid getting overwhelmed. I’ve already seen a huge improvement in my daily stress levels, and I’ve saved tons of time by setting priorities instead of writing out lengthy to-do lists that I can never follow through on. This is a habit I’ve carried into December!

I spent a lot of time with family

The holiday season means lots of time spent with family. I enjoyed taking a break from my day-to-day routine and spending time with the important people in my life.  Even though work was waiting for me while I was away, I was able to put it aside and enjoy a nice break.

I cleaned and organized the apartment

Before we left for our Thanksgiving trip, we took some time to clean the apartment. It’s still not where I’d like it to be, but taking some time to deep-clean piece by piece has been incredibly satisfying.

With the stress of traveling, there are a couple habits I lost and am trying to get back.

I lost track of exercise

Planning to travel alongside my impending work deadlines made me anxious to the point of feeling unable to make time for the gym. I know this was a time I actually needed to exercise most, but I struggled to convince myself to cut into my sleep and work time.

Writing was on and off

I spent a few great afternoons and evenings during the month writing, but most of the time I got too carried away in working, cooking, packing, and cleaning. I’d hoped to spend time on the trip to write, but of course in the moment I wanted to put my devices away and be present. I’m glad I made that choice, but I am a bit sad that I wasn’t able to work on my projects.

I’m having trouble thinking back to anything else during the month, but that covers just about everything. I’m so excited to make the most of December and end the year strong! Here’s what I’m hoping to do:

  • Keep up with the daily habit of prioritizing with an extra daily task of self-care: Do one thing that’s hard to do but is good for me in the long run (like go to the gym), and do one thing that’s good for my soul. The first half of December is stressful as I get through my work deadlines, and the second half involves running around and seeing my family for the holidays, so I need to make sure I’m still taking care of myself.
  • Tackle another big declutter. I want to end my year of paring down strong by taking another look at what I own and keeping only what I really use and love.
  • Plan my projects for 2018. There’s nothing specific to announce here yet, but I want to get myself organized so I can start the new year with a plan. I love having lots to do outside my job, but it gets hard to keep up with myself sometimes. 
  • Set my 2018 goal: This year’s goal was to pare down. What will next year’s be?

Thanks so much for spending time with me. Do you like these pare down updates? Let me know in the comments!

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