The idea of resolutions has always been lost on me. I am not a goal-setter by nature and am very much a cross-the-bridge-when-we-get-there and go-with-the-flow kind of person, and having goals that you have to work toward doesn’t exactly say “go with the flow.” I do, however, love the idea of a fresh start. So the day before the new year, I spent my time cleaning house and taking down the Christmas decorations. Out with the old and all that.
The following days, I continued purging, organizing, and cleaning. I’ve never been good at keeping my home clean. I’m the youngest of three girls in my family of origin, so I didn’t get in trouble for it much, but my room was very rarely clean. My dorm and college apartments were always a mess as well, until such a time that I got tired of tripping over everything and cleaned the hell out of the place, only to leave dirty clothes laying around and dishes overflowing within a week.
But I wanted this time to be different. People always talk about putting things away when you’re done with them as a way to keep a space clean, but that never caught on with me. Then I read, multiple times, on Reddit the rule of Only Touch It Once. Basically, the same idea of putting something away as soon as you’re done with it, but with more explicit instructions. If you take off your shoes, that’s touching them once; if you leave them in the doorway and have to come back later to put them in the closet, that’s touching them twice. Instead, put your shoes in the closet immediately when you take them off. When you change into comfy clothes when you get home, go ahead and refold those jeans and that camisole and put them away and put the shirt in the hamper directly. While I don’t usually make goals, or resolutions, I have always wanted to be the kind of person whose home is presentable enough at all times for someone to say “Hey, I’m in the neighborhood. Thought I’d stop by!” and be able to say “Please do!” without being worried about how dirty the house is or running around like a chicken with its head cut off trying to clean up. So non-resolution number 1: Only Touch It Once.
I think I’ve done pretty good so far. My shoes are all where they belong, which is much better than getting frustrated when I can’t find the right ones, my jackets are all hanging in the closet, my jeans aren’t covered in cat hair from being on the floor and getting slept on for days before getting reworn. I hope I keep it up! I did struggle this morning when I changed my mind about the outfit I’d picked out last night and didn’t want to put it away immediately, but I convinced myself to do it, even hung the jacket back up instead of leaving it on the hook on the closet door. Go me!
Also during my winter break, I realized how tired I am a lot of the time and how much sleep my body actually requires. Toward the end of my last week off, I was staying up till 3:30 and waking up between 11:30 and noon. While this left me feeling like I’d wasted the day, I was actually very productive between 11pm and 3am those few nights and, like I said, it showed me that naturally, my body wants 8-9 hours of sleep, just like most recommendations say. Who would’ve thought! I also realized, not for the first time, that a lot of the reason I stay up so late is because I give myself stupid rules about the apps on my phone: I’ll read reddit posts until I get to the end of this page; I have to play this game until I run out of energy; just one more Buzzfeed quiz/article and then I can put my phone down. And sometimes I actually just yell at myself (in my head), “LAUREN, put down the phone!” If I’m ready to go to sleep, I should just put it down and go to sleep! Idk if this is addictive behavior or obsessive/compulsive behavior or what, but I want to do better.
I got a new Kindle Paperwhite in mid-December, so I’m trying to read more instead of using my phone, especially before bedtime. Last night, I took a sleep aid at 9pm (since I never did get back on schedule from those 3am nights), set my alarm on my phone then placed it on the charger for the night, and read until about 9:55. I made a conscious choice to turn off the Kindle and try to fall asleep by 10pm so I could get in 8 hours of sleep before my 6am alarm. It was still hard to get out bed this morning, and I’m currently drinking my 2nd caffeinated beverage of the day, but I think if I stick with it, non-resolution number two: get enough sleep will be very beneficial.
I read somewhere recently that it’s better for your teeth to drink coffee, tea, soda, etc. in one sitting than sipping on it all day. If you keep introducing the acid in these drinks over a period of time, your enamel hasn’t had time to recover between sips and it can cause more damage. I also am aware that I am not a well-hydrated person. Part of that is that I truly just don’t feel thirsty most of the time, but it’s also because I have the sweet tooth of a hummingbird and just want sugary drinks most of the time. I do want a healthy smile, though, and don’t want to have lots of cavities or have teeth pulled and replaced by dental work too early in life, so I’m trying to switch to sipping on water throughout the day. I’m not giving myself a specific “drink x number of ounces of water a day” type of thing, but I will say this: non-resolution number three: drink more water.
I’m hoping that writing about these lifestyle changes here will help hold me accountable to them. I don’t want to come back before the end of January and write about how I gave up for some BS reason like the enabler I am; I want to come back at the end of the year and be able to say that I did it - I drank more water, I got enough sleep, and I kept my house mostly clean. Maybe if I follow through, I’ll understand this whole resolution thing.
Do you have any resolutions for 2019 (I still can’t believe that’s the current year)? What do you do in your daily life to set goals and be your best self?