The Big Why Behind the Habits I Want to Create

One trick to building new habits is to have a strong reason for doing them. Most people will tell you that in order to make a habit stick you have to be super motivated for them to work. You have to have a “why” behind them.

When I talk about the habits I want to make, I mention why I want to make them, but here I want to state in a simple, straightforward and brutally honest way,

Here are the habits I was working on in 2018 and continue in 2019:

IMG_8301.jpg

Stretch everyday - I’ve never been a stretchy person and I don’t want to be old and feeble, or unable to bend and tie my shoes, etc…
Dish free sink - The sink get gross and I would rather it be free and clear. This helps make doing many tasks easier.
Read everyday - Reading makes you smarter and reminds you that the current digital age is not the only way to live.
Morning pages - I want to be able to clear my mind and think about my issues.
Daily Face Massage - I’m not getting any younger, but I don’t want to look old
Clutter-free couch - Why have a couch if it’s too messy to sit on?

IMG_8308.jpg

What are some of the Whys behind your habits?

6 Things To Do This Year to Become More Zero Waste

In 2017 I started my zero waste journey. Zero Waste is the goal, mindful practice is the action. When I use the term Zero Waste, that is my ultimate goal, but Less Waste would be a more accurate description of my evolving lifestyle.

One of my 2019 goals is to be come better at being Zero Waste and Plastic Free. I made huge strides in this effort in 2018. If this is your goal too, here are 6 ideas, one for each month in 2019 until Plastic Free July, of things to do to generate less waste.

IMG_8236.jpg

January - Trash Audit
Since we are mid way thru the month, this is a perfect time to take the next few weeks and observe what trash you are generating. This is a very easy way to see areas where you might reduce your waste. Use paper grocery bags to separate your trash into at least 4 categories: plastic trash, other trash, plastic recycling, other recycling. At the end of January, share your thoughts and results here in the comments!

February - Declutter Everything
The beginning of the year is always a good time to clean and declutter your space. Feb is the perfect month for this bc it’s short! Use whatever method you most like and works for you. Go crazy Marie Kondo style, or just your usual cleaning and declutter routine. When the month is over, give yourself a break, whether you’ve finished or not! Make sure you let us know any insights or tips you might have at the end of this month! What was wasted, what was essential?

March - Switch to Paper
An easy beginner switch to make is to ask for paper bags at the grocery or for your take-out lunch. Asking for paper is a good start to prime you to bringing your own reusable bags. Paper bags can be reused and recycled or composted. These paper bags are great to use as your trash bags. Now you’re choosing to use paper over plastic for trash bags, too! (See how many paper grocery bags you reuse and fill for the month. Was it less or more than your January trash audit?)

April - Compost
I know this one is scary for a lot of people, but composting is super easy. You can compost anywhere and there are more resources than ever before. All you really need to start is a bucket or a bowl and a place to take your compost. This can be your back yard, your balcony, your local dump, your local farmers market, a community garden, or one of many more options. How much food waste do you collect in a day, week, month, year? In April, we’ll talk about what we can do with the compost we are creating.

May - Meatless Monday
The meat, fish and dairy industries are notoriously wasteful. A great way to make an impact is to lessen your participation with them. A lot of people transitioning to a meat free diet will start with one set day a week where they avoid meat. Variations on this could be going dairy free or vegan one day a week, going raw one day, or raw before four, or eating only local, etc… The beginning of Summer (in the US) is a great time to work on this bc there are so many fresh food options. Share what you might give up or some recipes below!

June - No Bottled Water
The month before Plastic Free July can be all about giving something up. If you are still buying bottled water it’s time to give it up!! If you’ve already given up bottled water, try giving up disposable coffee cups, say no to plastic straws, stop using plastic utensils or plastic food wrap. There’s a ton of things that can be given up this month and it will prep you for a month of plastic free living. What will you stop using this month?


I hope these simple zero waste tips help you in the months to come. I will post more about each of these ideas in the month they take place. Would people be interested in a link up for each month?

Remember, going zero waste, low impact isn’t easy. We can only start where we are and do what we can. Every little bit helps.

Bullet Journal Check In: January 2019

I started my current journal half way thru November of 2018. I’m not one to start a new journal for the start of the year. I don’t make a grand show each year switching over with lots of fancy new spreads, etc… I really only do a few over view spreads, like an index and a future log. All of my other spreads I make new each month.

For Jan I have been watching a lot of new journal set ups on you tube and there are some spreads I might try to incorporate this month and in months ahead. But mainly I just use what I know works for me and continue to tweak how my bullet journal helps me be more organized and productive.

IMG_8193.JPG

I’ve talked about my current journal and how I thrifted it in another post. It’s a very different size than I’m used to and it took me about two month to figure out how it works best for me, but now I’m loving it!

IMG_8195.jpg

You’ll see that my Bullet Journal is very minimal and utilitarian and I really don’t mind if I make mistakes or try things that do not end up working out.

IMG_8197.jpg
IMG_8200.jpg
IMG_8201.jpg

I like that this journal is so large that I can put my monthly calendar and tasks on the same page. I follow this same practice for my habit tracker and my goals. My tasks are appointments and and items that I try to get done each month. My goals are more aspirations that I want to fulfill each month. Intentions and inspirations.

All of these are different than the monthly goals I’ve been setting in this blog.

IMG_8202.jpg

For January, I had room to put a content calendar for this month and the next. I’m still trying to get the hang of using this, but I have found it more helpful than not, so I keep at it. I also have a general idea of the content I want to post each day on the bottom of the calendars.

The next spreads are my sleep tracker and blog tracker. I like the content calendar for theoretical content, but I always track what I do actually post. I use the space under these spreads for various things, different each month.

IMG_8205.jpg

New to this month, I’m tracking the clothes that I wear each day. I want to couple this with outfit of the day photos, but I haven’t gotten that far yet. I’ve tried to track my clothes before, but this is really working for me this month. This month, I’ve been adding the clothes as I wear them, but in the future, I would like to write them all down more neatly.

The next page is an example of my daily spreads. In this journal I find this layout the easiest and most effective. I have been trying to journal a little bit about each day with all the space provided.

Below, after another page of dailies, in which you can see a shopping list, and some ideas for a reset day, is a completely failed cleaning spread. I hope to figure out a way to use this or something like it in coming months, but for now, I just gave it up.

IMG_8206.jpg

What do you do with unused spreads?
How do you plan your months? What does your January spreads look like?

Last Bus to Woodstock

One of my goals in 2019 is to read more. See other books I've read or listened to here.

Last Bus to Woodstock, An Inspector Morse Novel by Colin Dexter. Read by Kevin Whately.

IMG_8191.JPG

I finally caved and started buying digital audio books. I really held out for a long time, listened to every free audiobook that audible had (that interested me) before I bought new books. I waited for such a long time partly bc I knew that I would want to buy so many books!! And I was right. I still take umbrage at the prices, but there are a lot of books on Audible that are quite reasonable. I was delighted to find a whole trove of Inspector Morse novels for under $10.

Inspector Morse eyes a possible new partner as he is called to the scene of a grisly murder. As the two investigate and are constantly confronted with lies along the way, Sargent Lewis gains insights in to the odd but effective methods of the cantankerous Morse. Lewis soon learns there’s a softer side hidden there, too.

Now, I’ve long loved PBS’s Mystery series and Inspector Morse is a great one! I also particularly like the spinoff, Inspector Lewis. I’d been looking to read the original books but never managed to pick one up. In this, the first book in the morse series, we are introduced to Morse, not everyone’s favorite police inspector. He’s off beat, weird, love opera and whiskey, is prone to angery explosions. He doesn’t work or think like other officers but he gets things done. He takes a shine to Sargent Lewis, who thinks more traditionally, more by the books. Together their skills combine to solve the convoluted murder of a young woman. It might have been by destiny that they become partners, or it might have all been by Morse’s design. I really enjoy Morses grumpy style and the subtly of the back story of the characters. Last Bus feels like a first attempt, but it was very enjoyable. I can’t wait to listen to more of this series. One of the things I loved most about this Audio book was that it was read by the actor that played Lewis in both series!! I highly recommend this book for those who like police novels, British novels, and murder mysteries.

Do you have a favorite Inspector?

Monthly Goals - January 2019

All the goal setting in the beginning of the year has me itching to get things done. I posted my overall goals for the year, but I want to make some smaller goals for each month, as well. Some of these align with the larger goals. Some are just things I need to get done.

IMG_8082.jpg

For January | 2019

Inbox to 0
I’ve already started working on this in the last few weeks and have gone from over 8000 messages still in my inbox to just over 4000. I want to have it completed by the end of the month so I can move on for the rest of the year.

Find 2 Japanese resources
I’ve already downloaded a lesson book. I would like to find some writing and reading resources to work with as well.

Blog at least 4 days every week
I did pretty well on this in Dec, so I hope to continue in Jan.

Photograph 6 items per day for mad cat market
Weather permitting. I feel like if I set this lofty goal, I’ll at least do more than I have been currently.

Add 12 listings per week to mad cat market
This is pretty much the same as above.

Add tags to 100 blog posts
Right now, I only use categories but I think tags will be easier to find and cross reference.

When making these goals, I didn’t realize that they are almost all about technology. I like that without trying, I made a theme for this month.

These seem like actionable and achievable goals for this month. What are some of your goals for January?

IMG_8078.JPG

December Plant Update

December tends to be a tough month for plant observations, and this one was the same. It’s cold, Winter has set in, it’s a busy month, and this year we were sick for a big chunk of the month. There were still some good plants this month. December was a month of critters! Perhaps this we should be calling these posts Plant and Animal Observations?

On a warm day, Tom checks out if there’s any catnip left.

On a warm day, Tom checks out if there’s any catnip left.

Our garden, waiting for spring.

Our garden, waiting for spring.

The pines are happy in the yard.

The pines are happy in the yard.

The vines are happy in the kitchen.

The vines are happy in the kitchen.

December was cold, but there were enough warm days to go to the beach.

December was cold, but there were enough warm days to go to the beach.

Can you spot the cardinal and blue jay?

Can you spot the cardinal and blue jay?

Some stray kitties getting special attention.

Some stray kitties getting special attention.

A night visitor.

A night visitor.

A happy sidewalk.

A happy sidewalk.

Very festive front yard.

Very festive front yard.

Also festive.

Also festive.

We don’t get an xmas tree anymore, which overall we are happy about. But there is something nice about having an ever green in the house during the darkest days and winter months. I’m always happy to visit family who continue this tradition.

It’s been a great year of plant observations. I love to go back thru and see what was happening in each month. In the coming year, I hope there are many garden posts, many houseplants observations, and lots of getting outside into nature!

What were your favorite plant moments of 2018?