Getting it Together.

Excuse my use of crude language in this post, but sometimes I feel it's necessary when I'm trying to motivate myself.

You see, I've slacked off. I've been stressed out with trying to make ends meet since I only bring in about $400 a month in income. My husband makes considerably more, but due to the high cost of living in this area, it's still not enough. So every waking minute for us is spent fretting over money, deciding what bills we can pay and what can wait, and thinking up new ways we can make money. It takes a toll.

The first thing to go when you're stressed out is usually diet and exercise. We've been eating not so great. Not terribly, but not as well as we have in the past. I'm back up to a size 14. Last summer I was a 12. My size 12 pants still fit my legs, but I've gained a bunch of weight back in my stomach. So this year, instead of beating myself up about it, I'm just going to make some changes.

Here's my list of changes I'm making starting today.

This morning I started yoga. It's really hard. But I took a yoga class for a semester in college for PE credit and I really liked it. It's difficult (which is a good thing). The breathing techniques help me manage my anxiety and it helps with my flexibility. I like it.

Bullet Points.
I'm a list-maker. Crossing things off helps me recount my daily accomplishments and is incredibly satisfying. Recently I've been forgetting to make lists and frantically trying to remember what I have to do. Today I've got my 3"x5" cards and calendar ready to go.

End Game.
In the same way that short to-do lists help me with my day-to-day tasks, making a list of goals and setting milestones really help me move toward my bigger accomplishments. For example, Daniel and I want to move to a more creatively driven city, like LA. It's going to be a few months before we can get everything in order for the move, but we're slowly working toward it. We keep each other in check on the tasks that concern us both.

Cooking is something I only sometimes enjoy. The biggest reason my eating has been less-than-great is because I simply am exhausted when it comes time to make food. I feel like I'm always working. However, I eat best when I set a meal plan for myself and, like everything else, goals to hit. I'm going to try to eat two salads a day to help curb my bad eating habit of snacking on the things Daniel buys like crackers and chips. Since it's basically summer here again, we're also going to be grilling more vegetables with our dinner protein.

Sparkle and Shine.
You can tell how stressed out I am by how messy my desk is. When I have things filed and put away neatly, that's when I work fast. Cleaning is also a huge issue. It's especially important in the summer because we tend to get lots of bugs in the house if we don't keep this place sparkling. Plus, with Game of Thrones back on, we're going to have watching parties quite frequently and the embarrassment of a messy home makes me more inclined to clean.

The majority of my work is done sitting at my computer. Answering emails, networking, blogging, organizing events, editing images, submitting editorials... all this is done from my desktop computer at home. I don't get out much. There are weeks where I don't leave the house for days at a time. However, I have made a promise to myself to get outside at least once a day. I don't care if it's just to check the mail or walk around the block. I need to get outside and get some fresh air. It can only do some good.

Be Nice.
Surprisingly, this might be the most difficult one to stick to. I'm my own worst critic. But I have to stop being negative and believe I can accomplish my goals. Yes, things get bad for a while, but you know what? You move on. Because that's all you can do. Keep progressing. Move forward. Improve. Do great things. I can do it. And so can you.