Intentional Living

Unboxing

When a package gets delivered to my door, I always get a sense of excitement. It doesn’t matter that I was the one who ordered it, and I know exactly what’s inside the box or bag.

HN box

It doesn’t matter that’s it’s just an order of bath and body essentials to restock what we’ve already used up around here.

HN goodies

There’s still excitement with every unboxing.

Do you like Unboxing too?

I am a Human Nature advocate and I personally choose their products and encourage friends and family to do the same. If you’re interest in their products, you may sign up online to be an advocate and get a discount for every purchase. Remember to input Vera Ocampo as the person who introduced you to Human Nature. As an advocate you can also earn from selling these amazing products from your friends and family. 

Project Update – Sleep and Work/Life Balance

Two weeks have passed since I resolved to create new habits. I wish I had better news, but I have to be honest. I have more Xs than checks on my trackers.

So I haven’t been getting enough sleep. But that brings me back to the question of how much sleep is enough sleep? I know, I set a goal of 7 hours because I’ve read more than once that it’s the optimum number of hours of sleep an adult needs daily. But I’ve not been much successful. I have done it a few times, but mostly, 6 hours seems to be the longest on a workday. Most of the time, I automatically wake up after just four hours of sleep. Seriously, I’ve stopped setting an alarm because I wake up without one anyway. And it sucks because then I try hard to sleep again which only happens after about two hours when it’s time to actually get up and get ready for work.

This intense summer heat also isn’t helping. Funny thing is, when the husband and I try to sleep in the same bed, sometimes we end up chatting each other up! Haha.

But there’s progress, and I’ll take that any day.

Progress NOT Perfection

Progress NOT Perfection

 

What I’ve noticed is that when it comes to Habit 1 – Work/Life balance, it helps to have someone pressure me to go home at the appointed time. My friend and colleague lives nearby and hitches a ride with me. If she leaves before I do, chances are I wouldn’t make goal. It also helps to take my lunches along with others. So I’ve taken breaks, but still mostly at my desk. I’ve also loved coming home early. It gives me and the hubby a bit more time to talk. I’ve also been able to help a bit more with some chores, just a bit. Hope to do more.

So I’ll keep at it. Rome wasn’t built in a day. How are you coming along with your own projects?

Building New Habits

tracking

Relevant to my post about success and daily habits, I have resolved to build or strengthen these three (3) areas:

  • Work-Life Balance – Spend only 9.5 hours at most in the office
    • This means going in and out of the office on time
    • Maximise productivity within the official working hours

Honestly, I over stay at work because I like working when everyone else has left. My mind is more focused and creative juices flow. I suppose I can also do that by coming in earlier for my shift, reverse the hours, if you will. I haven’t really tried that.

Another reason for staying too long is that I tend to lose steam towards the end of my shift. I literally drowse and fall asleep without even trying. Sometimes, I struggle to keep awake even while speaking with someone. And it doesn’t matter how much sleep I get the previous night. The doctor I consulted awhile back mentioned that the sleep apnea is probably keeping me tired even while sleeping, translating to not having enough rest. A sleep study would really help me, but I figured I’d try to lose some weight before I go back for medical help (for both the sleeping problem, and the PCOS). So that’s why I’m also going to work on the second habit..

  • Sleep 7 hours daily
    • Promotes general well-being
    • Should give me energy to power through 8 hours of work without drowsing in the middle of the day.

Habits 1 and 2 complement each other. If I am to get 7 hours of sleep daily, and still have a life, I have to stick to a 9.5-hour work-day. Otherwise, all I would do at home is sleep – no chores, no hobbies, no writing. NOTHING. So those are the two that I have already started tracking with my small Kislap. Incidentally, around this time last year, I also tried to sleep better but failed. Here’s how last year’s tracker looked like – Mostly X’s:

2015 sleep tracker

Let’s push harder this time around.

  • Budget and use CASH
    • Revisit current budget categories
    • Utilize jar or envelope system for variable expenses

It is really sad that I wasn’t able to sustain the good habits I worked on for so long. Seems that manually tracking expenses is way better for me than the excel sheet on my phone or referring to my credit card bill to examine where everything went at the end of the month. But there is always hope.

Are you working on building any habits? How are you doing it?  Do you have tips for sleeping better? Any tips to help me become successful in these three areas?

Your Habits Determine Your Future

We recently changed our Cable TV subscription from having over 100 channels thru the old-school Platinum pack with the Discovery and lifestyle channels to the cheaper Dual Def 549 package. As a result, we now have the Simply Money channel where the show ‘Til Debt Do Us Part airs. A few years back, that show inspired me to build better spending and saving habits. Coupled with other concepts I’ve learned here and there, I managed to cut back on consumer credit card debt and felt so happy about it.

Unfortunately, I’ve not always maintained those good habits. Now, my credit card use is getting a little bit out of hand.

After our wedding, my husband and I agreed on a budget and we’ve pretty much stuck to it. We prioritised paying off debt, but by this time, we should already be building our emergency fund back up. Sad to say, we aren’t. We are thru paying off one loan, and will soon finish payment on another. Instead of getting rid of all but one credit card, we still have three. The third one was supposed to be the only remaining card and would be used for auto payments on bills, for gas and groceries too. It is the card we always pay off in full monthly. So far, we’ve managed to do that. But in order to keep cash flowing, I’ve made the mistake of swiping the plastic to pay for meals in restaurants, and also for other purchases. In order for my plan to work, we should stick to cash on all other expenses.

So anyway, tuning into Simply Money even for just a few days has helped knocked some sense back into my thick skull.

But no sound advise will ever be enough. John Maxwell has it when he said in his book Make Today Count that –

Your Success is Determined by Your Daily Agenda

John Maxwell IMG source: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/459226493231678766/

 

Our habits do define us. And I’ve got some pretty bad habits, and so does the husband.

Change your habits

Source: http://www.mairovergara.com/aprenda-ingles-com-citacoes-10-you-will-never-change-your-life-john-c-maxwell/

We will not get our finances in order without making real changes to our daily habits. Same goes about losing weight. It is not going to happen without us changing the way we spend our days. We have taken a bold step – we have been on a calorie-controlled meal plan in the past month and I lost a little over 5 pounds already. But because we’re using a meal delivery service, we’re getting tired of the food. So we have to learn to make it on our own. This week is the start of trying portion control by ourselves on our home cooked meals. Wish us luck.

I examined how I spend my days and realise that spending over 12 hours at work was not going to help me achieve my life goals. Besides, my team’s success doesn’t rely on how long I stay in the office. I need at least 7 hours of sleep, at least that’s what Arianna Huffington says. I already know that no matter how much sleep I get, I still fall asleep at work or on the wheel. There’s a whole different health issue there and I’m going to need a sleep study, but before then I’m willing to give it another shot. I’ll start trying to sleep better. But if I were to sleep that much without changing anything else on my schedule, I wouldn’t be spending any quality time with the husband daily, and there’d be no more time for reading or crochet. I like watching TV, and going on the computer at home, how am I going to squeeze in those activities and add exercise too?

I’ve got to make changes on my daily schedule, and build new habits. Ready or not, here I come.

 

2016: My Blogging Year

2016: Getting Ready was all about the goals we set as a couple. Today, I’d like to start talking about my personal goals.

For a few minutes on the 1st of January, I stopped to think about anything I actually got done in 2015. With the exception of the Mystery CAL Afghan, none of my other projects were completed. Isn’t that embarrassing to say out loud? But I dare say it, so I can own it and move on.

I can hide behind work and use it as an excuse for not doing much else, but that wouldn’t be fair. There are, after all, 24 hours in a day and I always have a choice in how to spend each one. I just chose poorly, perhaps. Or I don’t choose at all. Maybe my priorities shifted. Hmmm. It seems like it’s the creative pursuits that had taken off the ground. My knit afghan is almost finished. The only reason it isn’t done yet is that I found other projects to start before I even completed it. Maybe part of me doesn’t want to complete it just yet! That’s a theory. A major resolution for 2015 was to do better as a memory keeper. In fairness, I have completed more Project Life pages in 2015 than I have ever before in the many years of attempting it. I intend to do better in 2016.

Now, 2016 will be My Year. And in My Year, I do the things that my heart yearns for. Here’s one of them:

2016 will be a Blogging Year

I have written sporadically in 2015. There are so many factors that I don’t care to explain now. But one thing is for sure: I let blog envy, and other people’s rules get in the way of my voice and my story. I kept thinking so hard of defining what my blog was going to be about, and the categories I would keep writing around, that I ended up not publishing anything at all.

I know. Finding a niche is key if you want a successful blog. Clear categories make it easier for readers to navigate and engage. I get it, really. But maybe I am not ready for that. I am not ready to think about readers who are not yet here. I don’t have a community of readers! No one follows my feeds! What readers are you talking about? Pardon me, I know someone out there reads this and I don’t mean this to be an insult. Someday I will write again thinking about my audience. For now though, I need to blog for myself. And hopefully, an honest voice will gain some following.

It was twelve years ago when I started to blog. I fell in love with it. Loved the blogs I read, and the ‘friends’ I got to find. I’ve been in many different platforms, and I’ve been thru many different phases. For a time, my blog earned a decent amount of money. Not decent enough for me to live off it, but enough to support hosting, and some online shopping. So I thought that was something I should pursue. But things changed and maybe I wasn’t so willing to change along with the times. Or maybe I just lost sight of what it was that mattered most to me.

Did traffic matter? Sponsors? Or was it the conversations? One thing’s for sure: I’ll never be a popular blogger, and that’s fine by me.

So this year will  be my blogging year. I will try not to think of categories, Pinnable posts, etc. I will just write, edit, and Publish. Some posts may take days to finish, others just 10 minutes. I will write, edit, publish. Repeat.

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