Monday, March 31, 2008

Almost "new year's"

A month and a half ago, I was so motivated to start this project, and to write this blog regularly. Well, as you can tell I haven't been here in awhile. However, April 7 is just around the corner. I keep thinking about the changes I would like to make, and how to go about making them, but have not put the words on this digital paper.

I've been trying to milk the last little bit of enjoyment out of my time, and truth be told, it's lost the joy. Going out for drinks just makes me tired and irritable the next day. Eating foods that are indulgent are making me gain weight. Spending money is making me feel guilty. Having set the date for my new leaf to turn over without doing the work in advance to make it truly effective has just made me feel bad that I didn't pick some earlier, arbitrary date.

That date is coming fast and furious, and while I do not have a full plan, I am still very motivated. Looking back at my list of what I want to change, I have decided to set some rules for myself to try to make those changes. The alphabetical list was:

1. Attitude
2. Drink
3. Exercise
4. Food
5. Money Management
6. Personal Presentation
7. Project Completion

I can sometimes have a bad attitude. I generally try to maintain a positive outlook and be a good person, but the way I present myself is sometimes sarcastic, cynical, or selfish. I know that people sometimes see me as arrogant. I like to get in the last word. I can be snippy and churlish. I was never a saint, but I think when I was younger I was generally a nicer, more respectful person.I used to be the kind of person who gave gifts, brought treats to my friends, and was quick to help someone out.
Rule #1: No eye-rolling, backtalk, condescention or sarcasm. Put others first.

Alcohol has, over the years, become more than just a social lubricant for me. I come from a family where alcoholism is a real problem, and always told myself I would not fall into that trap. I try to convince myself that I am responsible and can handle my liquor. I am fooling myself. I know that if we go out drinking on a Friday night, chances are I will not be motivated to do anything on Saturday. I know that most of the arguments with my husband occur while we have been drinking. I know that the money I spend on alcohol is a waste. I know all of these things, yet I continue doing it. But I shouldn't.
Rule #2: No booze

The last time I belonged to a gym was while I was working at the engineering firm in 2003/2004. While I was waitressing, I was at least on my feet for 8 hours a day. Now, I am a cubicle dwelling couch potato. My body hurts constantly because my muscles are too weak to support me
Rule #3: Workout at least 3 times a week for 30 minutes

I became a vegetarian in 1996. It had nothing to do with health, or animal rights, though I do see those benefits to it now. It came to be beacause I had an epiphany about what meat actually was, and it really grossed me out. However, in eliminating meat from my diet, I eliminated most proteins. When I eat a meal now, I am often left feeling unsatisfied. I try to fill up by eating meals of cheese or fried food. Cook at home, and use portion control. Eating at restaurants is not only expensive, but unhealthy.
Rule #4: No eating cheese or fried food. Go Vegan.

Money Management
To be frank, my finances are a mess. I attribute it to job hopping, eating & drinking out, cost of living in New York. I am fooling myself, as I know I am just really spending outside of my means. I buy things I don't need and spend too much money on travelling. I will have to examine my options to help get my credit card balances in order.
Rule #5: Reduce credit card debt by controlling spending.

Personal Presentation
When it comes to my appearance I have gotten very lazy. Some of my clothes are out of style, in poor condition or no longer fit. I take the easy way out and wear jeans. Instead of heels, I will opt for flip-flops. I don't wake up early enough to do my hair or put on makeup. My jewelry generally just sits in my jewelry box. The result is a generally unkempt, unprofessional look. My grey hair is starting to show, and my skin care regimen is so lax that I somehow have both wrinkles and pimples. When I open my mouth, my speech is lazy and riddled with "likes" and "ums".
Rule #6: No wearing jeans, pony-tails or flip-flops to work. Think before speaking.

Project Completion
I have so many unfinished projects around the house (and in my life), from changing my name on my drivers license to finishing a quilt i started years ago. We still are not completely unpacked from our move 4 months ago. Having this never-ending to-do list weighs on the back of my mind. I should not start new projects before the old ones are completed, and I should complete the ones that are already started.
Rule #7: A project started must be finished.

So there they are, my new 7 rules. I think creating these hard and fast rules will help me make the changes. When there are things I know I SHOULD do, I sometimes choose not to do them. However, since I have established these rules to myself (and to the world, by putting them up here), I hopefully will feel much more guilty breaking them. Come April 8, I will be living my life under new rules.