Pare Down: October Update

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.

The weather is finally cooling down here in San Francisco, and I’m ready to dive into all things Fall! I’m hoping to do some fun vegan recipes on my non-beauty channel in the next few weeks, and maybe a tutorial or seasonal favorites video on my beauty channel. I don’t want to promise too much because my work deadlines are coming up again, but I think filming and editing could be a nice way to relax.

This month started off fine and ended up great. I’m still working on getting ahead of my blog posts and videos, but I’ve made progress on everything else I set out to do this month.

I put my mental health first

I was putting a lot of pressure on myself and struggling to organize everything I want to accomplish, and I finally decided to address some of the issues I’ve been having with my anxiety and depression. I started using one of those therapy apps, and so far my therapist has helped me manage my stress and provided a place to vent. It’s easy to underestimate the power of a neutral third-party, but it’s been so helpful having someone to talk to who isn’t involved in my day-to-day life.

I revamped my organization system

I can’t tell you how many notebooks I have laying around my apartment. I enjoy handwriting to-do lists and generally brain-dumping before prioritizing what I want and have to do, but I didn’t have a good way to do that.

I realized my planner’s way of separating morning, afternoon, and evening wasn’t working for me. I work a desk job, so I already have structure in my schedule. What I really needed was to prioritize everything I want to do at home in addition to keeping track of my appointments and events. Now I use those three boxes for my daily priorities, food and exercise, and appointments/places I need to be. It’s been fantastic!

After I fixed my planner situation, I turned to an app to manage my writing projects, blogging, videos, chores, random to-dos, reminders, etc. It’s as complicated as it sounds. But I’ve been able to break my “I wish I could” list into actionable tasks, so I can actually make steps towards my goals. It also helped me actually plan out some of the larger projects I want to start but am still working through. I’m still figuring out the right system for me, but this taken a load off my mind so far.

I’m considering doing a video about organization, particularly when juggling a full-time job with passion projects. Thoughts?

I made time for writing and reading

This was a big one on my list. I have a few writing projects, and I wanted to make progress but I was overwhelmed. I took a step back this month to focus on reading most nights before bed and writing little bits when I can. I’ve made a surprising amount of progress, and I’m excited to keep it going.

I started exercising semi-regularly again

I was frustrated by my moving schedule last month, and I’m happy to say I was able to get to the gym once or twice a week this month. I wish I was back to my three mornings a week, but this is certainly better than nothing!

I’m having trouble thinking of things I didn’t do as well as I wanted to. I can only think of three:

I didn’t publish posts and videos as much as I wanted to

I was hoping to get ahead of my content and get back to a regular posting schedule. But with everything else going on, I’m just happy that I was able to maintain something.

I didn’t stretch daily

One of my goals this month was to stretch and move around a bit every day. I don’t know what happened, but it managed to slip my mind most days.

Overall, this month was better than expected. I feel like things are picking up again, so as long as I can make it through my work deadlines, I’ll be in a good place as the year wraps up.

The apartment is getting messy

I haven’t been taking control of my space lately, and it’s getting unruly. I want to make sure I spend a couple afternoons next month straightening things up. I think we want to have friends over soon, which is great motivation.

During November, I want to:

  • Spend a few minutes each morning to set my top priorities
  • Make progress on my writing projects
  • Keep reading most nights before bed
  • Blog and film videos around my work schedule and Thanksgiving travel
  • Do some cleaning and tidying

Happy Halloween!

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