120 changes in 2018 – January: results

With January coming to an end, it’s time to look back on the first ten changes of 2018 and see whether they were worth the hassle and whether sticking to them is a good idea.

 

No news in the morning.

Why didn’t I do this before? This simple change freed heaps of time in the morning and allowed me to start my day with my own thoughts and not someone else’s news. I used to think that TV didn’t waste any of my time because it was only in the background, but this month proved that even small distractions easily totalled to 15-20 minutes. That’s 15-20 extra minutes of sleep or a short run or a meditation session instead of getting stressed over the state of the world.

Verdict: keep and continue.

 

Drink water with lemon in the morning.

I couldn’t stick with it for longer than a week because I just didn’t like the taste and the astringent sensation and so I saw no point in torturing myself with sour stuff in the morning. So I replaced lemon juice with a simple and tasteless supplement pill of cod liver oil, and my water ritual became much more pleasant.

Verdict: not for me.

 

No new clothes.

This was easy for the first three weeks or so. And then cravings began. I didn’t need any new clothes, but I wanted it so badly that I almost broke but I am glad I kept it strong because I have two learnings to share.

First of all, it’s mind blowing how much money a ‘no clothes month’ saves by stopping all impulse purchases. When my cravings were truly bad, I went to online Asos and Zara stores and saved the items I would have loved to buy right away. I didn’t need any of them, I just wanted them. They would have cost me about £200 – that’s a lot of money to spend on impulse wants.

Secondly, it’s amazing how selective you become when you can’t spend the moment you want to. Throughout the month, my clothes shopping was all virtual: I’d save something, then sigh that I can’t have it tomorrow, then go back to check it a week later and realise that I’ve forgotten about that dress that I thought I had wanted so much. There is just one item that I grew to think I really needed – a pair of black flats, which I will purchase in February.

As hard as this change felt at times, I cannot recommend it enough if you’re trying to save money and/or change your consumption habits.

Verdict: keep and continue.

 

Dry-ish January.

I gave up on it after a week or so. Call me a latent alcoholic, but I enjoy that light-headed sensation that sharing a bottle of wine with my husband gives me at the weekend. Water just doesn’t do the relaxing job after a stressful week. As a moderate drinker, I believe I should be fine with an occasional glass of wine.

Verdict: not for me.

 

Finish things before buying anything new or replace them.

Yes, please. Then again, I wonder if it’s not been a properly challenging change for me to begin with? I’ve been decluttering my space and life for months now, so I find it easy to refuse to have two things with the same purpose. In any case, it has been a good change – similarly to the ‘no clothes’ challenge, this one saves money and helps keep your space and mind clear.

Verdict: keep and continue

 

Get a mentor at work.

I haven’t got a mentor, but I am still in the process of getting one – turns out it’s more complicated in a multinational company than I thought.

Verdict: continue.

 

Lose 1 kg.

Fail. To be honest, I don’t even understand why despite working out 3 times a week and eating healthier my weight is still the same, so next month I’ll be tweaking my lifestyle even more to get that kilogram off me.

Verdict: continue.

 

Make lists before shopping.

Good habit. Shopping for what you know you need has two benefits: you don’t don’t overspend, and you reduce waste. Naturally, one has got to be reasonable about lists: if you’re in a supermarket and remember you need milk that’s not on your list you should just get the milk without beating yourself for forgetting it. I also have no trouble with getting an occasional and unplanned small treat. The lists shouldn’t be restrictive, they should just limit your purchases of what you have no plans of using in the nearest future.

Verdict: keep and continue.

 

Finish muesli box.

Done it! I enjoyed it more than I thought, but has it turned me into a breakfast person? No. Will I continue then? I don’t know. Maybe occasionally.

Verdict: not for me.

 

Improve skincare regime.

Yes, yes, yes! My skincare regime not complicated – I’ll probably make a post about it sometime soon. Sticking to it has worked miracles on my dull face after December lack of TLC for my myself. It wasn’t so much about what I used but much more about how often I cleansed, moisturised and used occasional special treatments. These days, I love the reflection in the mirror so much more than after Christmas.

Verdict: keep and continue.

 

Summary.

I’m definitely going to continue to:

  • not watch TV news in the morning;
  • be mindful of my clothing wants and needs;
  • finish things before replacing them with something new;
  • look for a mentor at work;
  • improve my lifestyle to lose some weight and keep fit;
  • have shopping lists;
  • take good care of my skin.

I have no shame in saying that I’ll be ditching:

  • drinking water with lemon juice – I just don’t like it;
  • not drinking for a month – I am a moderate drinker not willing to give up on small pleasures like good wine;
  • eating breakfast every day – whatever anyone says about breakfast being the most important meal of the day, it just doesn’t work for me so I take it as a sign that my body knows best whether to have breakfast or not.

So that’s a pretty good start of the year that makes me feel good about myself. But you know the best change of all? It’s the freedom that I’ve given myself to give up on the changes that don’t make me feel better or happier. Seriously, it’s the most important learning of January:

if something doesn’t make you happy or happier, move on – there are people and things out there that will so give yourself the freedom to go and find them.

3 Comments

  1. Julia
    February 8, 2018 / 12:21 am

    I really enjoyed this post – very few people actually report back on the “resolutions”. As for that one annoying kilo, have you tried tracking your measurements? the three workouts you are doing might be resulting in heavier muscles but sizewise you are smaller.

    • elenahj
      Author
      February 20, 2018 / 2:24 pm

      Thank you!

      The idea of tracking measurements did cross my mind but I thought I’d first see I notice the changes myself. And I have to admit that that kilo is still there not because of better muscles but because I’m not active enough and because I’ve not changed my diet that much. Recently, I’ve created a new board on Pinterest with healthy and low-calories recipes, so I’ll be trying to improve my eating habits. At the end of the day, weight loss is a sign that my lifestyle is wrong, and it most probably needs more time to change than a month..

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