2020: Year of Healthy Wrap-Up
Every year, towards the end of August, I start to stir a bit. It feels like I need to wrap things up. I always assumed that this is because, at one point, so much of my life was wrapped up around school starting in September. And for the past few years, it is also when I get my new Word of the Year, which I have. Because of that, I decided to wrap up my 2020 Word of the Year before I share what God has given me for 2021. My goal was to write about my Word of the Year monthly, and while I failed at that, let’s see how I did on the healthy habits I did write about.
I mentioned in my Goodbye October post that this month didn’t go the way I had planned, and I gave an update on how each goal went by the end of the month. But let’s talk about how those goals are going now.
Wake up at 4:30 AM 5 days a week
I was able to do this in the season that it was needed. Now, I definitely went back to sleep most days, but when my husband’s schedule called for him to be up early, I was able to get up first. His schedule changed a bit, and for a while, we were getting up together, and I cooked his breakfast. Then, we would get up, and I didn’t need to cook him breakfast since he would eat at work. After October, I gave myself more grace with this. If I needed to hit snooze and roll over, that was okay. But one of the best things that helped me wake up each morning was knowing that my husband prays over me in the morning.
Finish reading the Old Testament this month
I finished reading the WHOLE Bible! I mentioned at the end of the month that I would have had to do 16 chapters a day to accomplish this. And I didn’t do it. But by February, I finished the whole Bible and started a slower schedule. Currently, I read one chapter a day from Psalm, and I am doing a deep dive chronological study of the Bible, starting with Judges. I will be sharing an update soon about my Bible time. Also, in the goodbye post, I gave some updates on my spiritual life. I am still an active member of the church I joined. While I didn’t serve immediately as I anticipated, I am now on the social media team and a co-lead of a small group. Being a co-lead of this group fell in my lap. I am one of five, so it isn’t the pressure that it was before. I didn’t stick with BSF because I realized I like doing my own thing with studying the Bible.
Write at least three times a week
You know, I don’t know if I do this or not. When I get the urge to write, I write. I mean, I could write like ten blog posts at once. Then go a week without writing. I journal sporadically. When I have something to say, I journal. I do tend to write some prayers. I would love to get in the habit of writing every day. And honestly, I probably write something (blog, journal, or prayers) five days a week.
Hit each timeline on my water bottle on time
HAHAHAHAHA. The amount of water I drink is embarrassing. There are some days where I am like, wait, when is the last time I had some water. What I learned is, I naturally drink more water when I use individual water bottles. But that is horrible for the planet. The gallon was a great idea, but I think it’s unrealistic to drink the whole thing. Literally, I would have to go to the bathroom before I even left the bathroom. Right now, I am just using individual water bottles and recycling (sorry, planet Earth). I would love to switch to using the water from my fridge and just fill up one of the many bottles I have. One day.
Walk for 30 minutes three times a week
Did I not know myself when I wrote this post? Exercise stopped altogether. I don’t even know what reason I used. But I’ll say COVID. Just ignore the months from October through February. And it’s August. In Florida. So let’s just forget this one for now.
Read at least 30 minutes a day
Surprisingly I haven’t been doing this one. I’m better then I was in October, but I am still not reading anywhere near what I was when I started this blog. Granted, I’ve read about 120 books so far this year, but considering that I read over 350 books last year, I am slacking. But I feel like this may be changing soon. Stay tuned.
Downtime from 9 PM to 9 AM
I’m literally coming off a 21 day fast from social media, and I can tell you that I am still very much addicted to social media. It’s sad. And honestly, I forgot all about this goal. I WANT to have downtime. So starting tonight, I am doing this.
November was all about nighttime routines! I realized after failing in October that the key to a good morning routine is having a nighttime routine. Let’s talk about how that went.
Quick Clean Up
To be fair, I clean up after myself, so this one is pretty easy. But when I leave a room, I do a quick clean up. And for days that I stay in my bedroom (cause let’s be honest), I clean it before I go to bed.
I moved the yoga mat into the bedroom. I did actually try a routine once. See above for my excuse.
Relaxing Baths and Showers
I can count on one hand the number of relaxing baths I’ve taken since I wrote this. Does anyone else have a fantastic bathtub but never uses it? I will say that I am doing better about having relaxing showers instead of just showers, but that is honestly because I rarely use the bathtub.
Does coffee count? Seriously, I am lucky enough if I am drinking water right before bed, and that’s usually after I realized I hadn’t had any that day. I did try that golden milk drink, and it sucked.
Skin Care Routine, Moisturize My Body, and Oral Hygiene
I made my own body cream and loved it. But I haven’t made it since. I’ve been using this one that I bought from Trader Joe’s a while back. I want to try making my own again, though. I found a skincare routine that works for me. I just can’t remember to do it twice a day. And I also found the Hello whiting toothpaste that has become my go-to.
Gratitude, Journal, and Plan The Next Day
I talked a bit about the journalling piece above. And while I may not write it out, I do practice gratitude throughout the day and at night. I don’t plan for the next day, though. But if I have something to do, I will plan the day of. It works for now.
Again, see above for both of these. I really need to work on this.
Ahhhh, my favorite topic. Budgeting. Well, one of my favorite topics. You know, January was a pretty good month for me. Let’s get into those goals.
Creating a Budget
Not only am I still using this updated spreadsheet, but I also tweak it each month to meet our needs. Planning for and seeing where our money is going has been excellent. We’ve set new goals, I’ve added more trackers, and I’ve been playing with different paths we can take when it comes to our money. One of the best things I’ve done this year.
Initial Conversation About Goals
Having this initial conversation with Chris was eye-opening for sure. But we quickly got on the same page when it came to our goals, and each compromised for the greater good. This initial conversation let us know what was important to each of us and how we could make our money work for us.
Regular Conversations About the Budget
While I am still the one who does the physical budget each month (after all, I am the CFO of our home), each week I give Chris a rundown. And honestly, we talk about money probably once a day, even if it is just letting each other know what was sent out or coming in. These conversations helped us streamline some goals for us as well. For one, I stopped looking for a job. My value was in our home. I started looking into becoming an entrepreneur again. The biggest thing this month did for me is, remind me of my love for all things budgeting. It was a passion that I neglected for far too long. Eventually, it led me to decide to become an accredited financial counselor, which I am currently working on.
Turning Plans Into Actions
Chris and I compromised on our initial decision on what to do next money wise. We decided to saved a small emergency fund and then work on paying off all of our debt. But then COVID hit, and at that time, I was still actively pursuing full-time employment. The job hunt came to a screeching halt. The economy took a tumble. And toilet tissue flew off the shelves. Thankfully, because we had been having consistent conversations about our finances, we quickly decided to stop paying off our debt (not including minimum payments) and start saving all we could. We didn’t know what the economy would look like (still don’t…dear second stimulus check), and it didn’t look like we would get a second full-time income any time soon. We reevaluated our expenses, cut what wasn’t necessary, and adjusted. Thanks to God, we haven’t been without during this season, and He has used it to align us with His path and purpose.
February was all about food, and I had a blast! I decided to try the vegan/plant-based lifestyle for a month. I didn’t make it the whole month, but it was nice trying different recipes and getting more veggies into our diet. The biggest surprise was how much Chris enjoyed these meals! After February, we didn’t keep the lifestyle going. We would every now and again eat some of the Morning Star items we still had in the freezer so we wouldn’t waste food. I do have something cooking up food-wise, so stay tuned for an update on that!
March was more personal to me as I talked about my relationship with God and our marriage. I had just finished reading the whole Bible the month before and needed to figure out where God wanted to lead me in my quiet time with Him. Like I mentioned above, my daily reading is one Psalm a day and a more in-depth study of Judges for my study time. I have a post coming up with more details. Also, in February, my husband and I had a pretty intense argument where it seems we both had enough. But it led to us sitting down and really hashing out some things that were needed. It led to us bringing God back into not only the center of our marriage but really leading it. I talked about what it was really like being in the middle of a hard marriage and what we were doing to get on the other side of it. I can tell you now that 2020 has been our best year, and each day we are getting better and stronger. Do we still have challenges? Of course, we do. But after almost eight and a half years married and ten years together, we finally learned how to tackle those challenges together instead of against each other.
Appropriately enough, the next month was all about home. And this was the last official topic that I wrote about on the blog. While that wasn’t really intentional, it was fitting. April was the first full month of Stay at Home orders for our state, and while the virus was going crazy, I didn’t want to step foot outside. I focused on making our home even more of a cozy sanctuary. And I’ve really been doing that room by room for the past few months. I literally just finished the kitchen this weekend!
Year of Healthy Wrap Up
I walked into this year, thinking that getting healthy meant getting my physical body together. I had hopes of building habits and routines and becoming the best me. What I learned was other areas can become healthy. My marriage is stronger than ever. I rebuilt my community and am learning to let people in. I’m building habits around our finances and changing our relationship with food. I’m taking care of our home in a way I’ve never done before. So while I look at how I started my year of healthy journey, it may not look like I was successful, I know that isn’t the case. I’m healthy in the most significant areas of my life and am consistently happy for the first time in a long time.