Improving Myself Daily

“I mean never to be later in rising than six, and from that time till dinner I shall divide every moment between music and reading.” – Jane Austen, Sense and Sensibility

I didn’t get the FSU job, but I’m okay with it. The interview was nerve-racking because there were four people interviewing me, so I didn’t interview as strongly as I could have. They kept asking me how compassionate I was for the population I was going to work for. It surprised me because if I didn’t honestly care about minority students, why would I sign up to work with them? It’s not the pay, that’s for sure. Anyway, I’m not doing well following through on my decision to get a better job. I need new directions…or at least new connections to motivate me.

I’m making some progress on my goal to manage my money better. I’m trying to be hyper aware of my spending habits and where my money is going, but I have been overspending a bit. I’m taking a big step in the right direction soon though. I’m closing my joint account I share with my Mom. I’ve had this account since high school and while it does come in handy when I need money, I am really bad at discerning between times when I NEED money and times when I WANT money to get luxuries or food. I’m trying to plan more where my money goes to help me resist temptation to spend money unnecessarily. Cutting myself off from my Mother’s account will help me get rid of the safety net mindset I’ve had for so long. I really do enjoy shopping though. Darn you consumer society!

While hanging around on Pinterest, I found a blog about weight loss and found a link to a website for a program called Whole30. At first, I thought it was just trying to sell me something, but it’s actually a food detox for your body that helps you get rid of cravings for unhealthy food, regulate your appetite, and generally increase your health. They don’t sell you meals or shakes and it’s not a weight loss program; it’s a reboot for your body to relearn how to eat healthy food. The best part is all the information you need is available free online. They guarantee that it will change your life.

After talking with my sister, she and I have decided to start our Whole30 program on February 7th, the day after her birthday. I won’t say I’m not scared to swear off sugar, grains, legumes, alcohol, and dairy for 30 days; but they said planning is essential. The first two weeks are going to be brutal, filled with headaches, diarrhea, and emotional breakdowns; but then you experience a lasting energy boost, better sleep, and a healthier relationship with food. I told you self-discipline was an area of improvement for me. This is going to be crazy hard, but I’m excited. I’m reading the book that outlines their program in the meantime and starting to plan out meals. I’ll be conducting a self-experiment and documenting it all here starting February.

As far as my last goal is concerned, I am reading How to Read a Book. I won’t say much about it now, but I will post a response to it when I’m finished in a week or so. I’m thinking of adding a book or two to my reading list; The High Price of Materialism by Tim Kasser and It Starts with Food (the Whole30 book). I’m also going to find time to read my sister’s new comedy book Sidekick!

Beck

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Happy New Year!

happy_new_2015

It’s 2015! It’s been one year since I’ve started this blog! Although I haven’t posted every week, I think it’s been a good record of 2014. I’m excited to see what 2015 brings me and my family. I’m looking forward to seeing my sister Rachel again and Sarah and Andrew’s wedding in June! In the spirit of new beginnings, I, like most people, have some resolutions goals that I want to accomplish this year:

  1. Get a better job.

I may have just gotten a raise (a whole 50 cents), but that doesn’t change the fact that I’m working at a job that doesn’t pertain to my future career. The transferable skills I’m learning are minimal at best. I need a job that will help me develop my administrative and training skills. I’m hoping to find something in Raleigh, but the FSU interview is still to come.

  1. Be smarter with my money.

I’m terrible with what little income I have. I saved close to zero dollars last year and spend WAY too much eating out, which isn’t healthy either. I need to save for graduate school and for Sarah’s wedding, not to mention my car needs some work done. I think a mechanic said something about my breaks two years ago…oops. Not only will being wiser with my money help me in the future, when I have actual bills, but help me learn self-discipline, which is arguably my greatest life struggle.

  1. Work towards a healthier lifestyle.

This goal includes me getting health insurance, losing weight and eating healthier. I’ve been without health coverage for about four years. The Affordable Care Act didn’t really make health care affordable for me either. But, it would be really nice if I could develop a relationship with a doctor that can help me take preventative measures so I don’t get diabetes or hypothyroidism (which runs in my family). Maintaining a healthy lifestyle is part of this, which is why I didn’t wait until January to join a gym.

  1. Continue my education.

You all know that I’ve applied to graduate school. Things are looking good in that direction and I hope to enter a program in the fall. What you probably don’t know is that I hardly ever read anything other than novels, unless I’m doing research. Many of my friends read literature that is more informative or analytic and written for the masses. “The World is Flat” and “Freakonomics” are two popular examples of this genre. I want to read more of this kind of literature because it will help me continue my informal education and allow me to explore some of my interests separate from novels. I won’t say it won’t be difficult, but I am excited to check off some of these books I’ve wanted to read for years.

Those are my big four and I’ve already started working towards all of them, except maybe the money thing. #retailtherapy. I do have some other smaller goals like joining a church, writing more fiction and taking violin lessons but that’s mostly creative.

Want to see my book list for this year? :)

JAN        How to Read a Book by Mortimer J Adler

FEB        Meet the Real Jesus by John Blanchard

The Reason for God by Timothy Keller

MAR       Mere Christianity by CS Lewis

APR       Radical Womanhood by Carolyn McCulley

When Bad Christians Happen to Good People by Dave Burchett

MAY      Toxic Charity by Robert D Lupton

That the World May Know by James Dawes

JUNE     35 Dumb Things Well-Intentioned People Say by Maura Cullen

Whistling Vivaldi by Claude M Steele

JULY     Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria? by Beverly Tatum

AUG      Lean In for Graduates by Sheryl Sandberg

The Happiness Advantage by Shawn Achor

SEP      The Medici Effect by Frans Johansson

OCT      The Book Nobody Read by Owen Gingerich

NOV      How to Read Lit by Thomas Foster

DEC      Catch up month! You know I’m going to need one.

What are your goals for 2015? Whatever they are, good luck! :)

Cheers,
Beck