Ingraining Habits – once a week fix?

This month of moderation of mine has me thinking on habits, good and bad.  For some time now I’ve thought that if I could just do something one day a week, regularly, it would help ingrain it as a solid habit.  I’m still not there but believe this could be key.

Take something you know you should do but continue to put off or find excuses to get around.  Maybe it’s something as mundane as flossing your teeth regularly or maybe it’s a deeper thing like wanting to go meatless in your diet more often.  Surely we can slot one day each week to do these things that we think we should do, and/or want to do, but somehow end up skipping over again and again.

A lifestyle overhaul is daunting and most of us prefer to stay in our comfort zones over the effort it takes to make over your lifestyle.  But, one little thing a week?  How hard is that?  I already run pretty much every week, except for when weather or schedules don’t allow it.  Surely I could add yoga class to that.  If we choose just one thing for each day it becomes a minor investment in time.  And maybe, just maybe, we’ll do it more than once a week.  Flossing Friday might become every other day.  Weight lifting Wednesday might lead me to picking them up on another night during TV commercials, too.

Also, NOT doing something once a week can be a good start.  Want to spend less time online – see if you can’t spend one day unplugged.  Go for a walk outside instead, or pick up a book you’ve been meaning to read.  For me, not wanting to drink wine so often means a day off with no wine at dinner once a week is step one.  Maybe eating out or convenience foods is a bad habit of yours (it is for me!).  Making yourself a meal at least once a week is certainly doable even for us non cooks.

I think I’m ready to try.  Between limiting my wine intake for this month, and the resulting lessons and better utilization of my time, and no clothes shopping for Lent I now find I have the space in my life for these things.  All that is left is to implement these good habits.  One week at a time.

Have you tried a similar approach?  How did it go?  What habits do you really want to instill but never seem to get to ‘stick’ for long?

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Little Mo Big Wall

Just for fun.  And since you all haven’t ‘seen’ me in a while.  I took a pic on the way out to work this Friday night.  Yes, it’s a uniform but it’s my least uniformy uniform lol.  A t shirt from the promotional alcohol served that night for live music at the golf course.  The jeans are my most recent ones bought to fill the wardrobe gap of dark skinnies this winter.  They ended up being my pizza parlor uniform almost immediately. The shoes are Dansko Vedas bought especially for waitress work and worn only for that purpose.  Come to find they are now discontinued, which makes me very sad, as they are great for standing on your feet all day, but these ones are starting to sprout holes where the canvas meets the rubber soles.  Not sure how much more life they have in them 😦

I also forgot to mention I got my hair done recently.  Yes, it’s mid winter but I don’t really care if highlights are supposed to be in spring or whatever.  I wanted a pick me up.  And it worked!  I asked for subtle ombre in addition to some face framing highlights and brought in this pic as a guide.  I love it.

I might have mentioned how I recently stopped taking outfit pics and the resulting freedom I felt from it.  I may begin taking pics again.  But just when I feel I really hit the right note with a look or want to see what a new ensemble looks like all together, proportions, colors, etc.  And maybe for fun to share once a month here or something. Seems a fashion blog should have an outfit pic at least once in a while, ha!

I could show you the other uniforms, but it would be as unfashionable as you’d ever see.  A green checker’s apron (too long) over a weirdly not red but not purple polo (too big) and black pants.  Or the black 3/4 sleeve button front over black pants with 80’s era gold brocade vest (also again way too big).  Y A W N.  So, for now let’s just call this the requisite uniform shot.

More to the point, would you like to see more actual outfits from me or is sticking with maintenance talk just fine?   I’m never going to put up a pic every day.  Just NOT happening.  But sharing once in a while could be fun and not feel like work that daily shots would.  You let me know.

Lent – no clothes shopping

So, right up front I should say I am not Catholic.  But I know I need to put the brakes on buying for the season anyway, and it’s that time of year, so why not?   Easter is April 5, right about the time I should be allowing myself a late season pick me up purchase to refresh the cold weather capsule.  Therefore, I’m declaring shopping off the table for the 40 days of Lent.

Normally I’m not a shopping ban fan.  I’ve done them, and some more successfully than others.  Often, I rebound shop when I’m done.  But this year I am more in tune with what I actually need and want to thoughtfully add to my wardrobe.  I’m perfectly okay with nothing new for this period of time.  Heck, I still haven’t worn everything I’ve purchased this winter.  Add to that, my uniform situation for work and truly I do not have enough opportunities to wear all that I have already!

Also worth noting, I got many of the basics and needs that aren’t as fun to buy out of the way.  Nude bra, check.  Black socks for work, check.  2 pair uniform pants, check.  Even new running capris and a running top last week to replace the 4+ year old short sleeve workout tops that are yellowing and need to go.

I do not NEED anything in any category.  The basics, undies, uniforms, workout wear, sleep wear and both cold and warm weather items have all been refreshed within the last 6 months.  Time to put my money where my mouth is and see if a seasonal approach really is possible for me or if I still crave that slow trickle of new items every week or two.  Stay tuned!

Progress Report

Being mid-February, it is essentially the halfway point in my winter shopping season.  I am all but done.  I might allow for one more ‘pick me up’ buy in late March and/or April, as I’d originally planned for, but next season’s shop isn’t until May.  Here’s where I stand.

winter shop I

winter shop II

I managed to stick to my list and avoided impulse buys.  Last week I had a couple of close calls, with summery items I didn’t need yet, but backed down.  I’m very happy about this. My one allowance out of season was a designer leather skirt that I thought I’d acquire in fall.  But when a $700 item comes along at $150 I am more than happy to shop out of season.  Also, I am at 10 items, which is a lot, true, but not over my 30 a year limit if I buy this much again my next two shop ‘seasons’.  Truth be told, spring/summer should be lighter since most of last year’s FL purchases fill this category.

Okay, there are 13 items up there, but 2 are uniform pants and one is a uniform shoe. Believe me when I say these are not going to be in my regular closet rotation, and that they were very necessary.  Even more so now that I have been offered the grocery job I’d applied to a few weeks back.  The pizza place allowed jeans or black pants, the grocery and golf course are black pants only.  2 pair are a bare minimum really.

So, basically it’s now all over but for the waiting, or the wearing I should say, ha!  It remains to be seen how well I do with stopping now that I’ve filled my season’s needs.  I have had some moments now that I’m peeling away the distractions in life (shopping being one of them) where I feel very restless and anxious.  And sure, trying to change careers and reintegrating into your life after moving away for over a year are stressful.  But life always has something to throw your way.

Along with careful acquisition, I also got a bit more ruthless with getting the closet pared down.  I am now at extrapolated project 333 numbers, or 132 items.  I took in some items to be altered this week, too.  Things I have still worn as is, but that I always knew would be better with a strap shortened, or a pant leg hemmed an inch.  These alterations might cost me upward of $50 but will be worth it.

Lastly, I’m doing very well on the body maintenance and keeping at a stable size.  I run once a week and getting back to regular work has me moving a lot more overall.  I should hit weights more regularly and/or get into a weekly yoga class.  I will, in good time.  All things considered, I’m right where I want to be with my wardrobe and my shopping plan.  Pretty amazing really.  Here’s to keeping on track for the whole of 2015!!

How is your shopping going?  Did you move to a more seasonal approach?  Is it working?  Do you feel the drive to shop just to fill time or is it falling into its proper place in life priorities?

Struggling with moderation

This month of February is a short one.  I thought what better time to try and implement some routines and habits that I’m trying to instill.  See if I can do it for the month.  I’m seeking moderation in my life overall.  In work, in exercise, eating and drinking, shopping, socializing.  All of it.  A balanced life.

It is proving difficult.  But enlightening.  I’m still a bit underemployed.  Yes, I have another job now in addition to the sporadic banquet schedule for the winter at the golf course.  I work 5 days a week, but only 4 1/2 to 5 1/2 hours most nights.  Oh, and there’s the night thing.  I’m finding it hard to make good use of my days knowing I have to drop everything and get ready for work by late afternoon. Not to mention, it leaves less time with my BF in the evenings.  So I have a lot of time to myself in the daytime.

Ideally, I’d spend some of this time each day with a workout to start the day on the right foot.  I seem to be struggling with this.  I don’t know if it’s the grey skies of winter or what.  I did go run with a friend this Wednesday and it was great.  But that was one of my days off.  I get this weird feeling of being caught unprepared if I have to work that night.  Irrational, but true.  So most times I just stay home until I start my shift at 4 or 5.  Not very productive.  I mean, the laundry is done, lol, but I’m not fully experiencing life by sitting at home.

Another thing I’m working on is decreasing my wine intake.  It’s just better for my health and well being.  Interestingly, having a glass or two was more of a distraction than anything else, I realize.  Something to do with my down time.  I also found that not having the wine led me to window shopping online.  Again, a distraction.  Obviously, these are behaviors I’m using to fill the void.  I’m so much better now at only buying clothing that is on my list, but I still fall prey to looking, looking, looking when I’m bored.

The next step is of course to figure out what I want to do with my days.  They are going to pass, regardless, so I may as well make good use of them!  I think this will be a big part of what my February will show me.  How do I want to fill my time?  What activities will help me grow and fulfill me?

When in FL I did not work, and spent much of my time running and training for races.  Then, when we would move back home I historically worked 2 jobs and had no time.  Now I am trying for that middle ground.  I have applied for a position that is 30 to 32 hours a week, benefits, many shifts earlier than my current job.  Perfect.  But the waiting to hear back is killing me!!  Argh.  Okay, a little off tangent there he he.  I’m hoping I get it, and that it helps move me ever closer to that balanced life, with a normal schedule that I fill with equal amounts quality time with my BF, social time with my friends, and workout time to improve my overall well being.

In the meanwhile I’m sitting on my hands to avoid clicking the BUY button on the computer or grabbing the corkscrew to open up a bottle of wine or slipping yet another cookie out of the bag.  Perhaps when those urges strike I should quite literally fill my hands – with a pair of dumbbells!

How do you balance your time?  Do you feel you lead a balanced life?  What would you change if you could?

Stalemate

You may have noticed it’s been over a week since my last post. I’m in a holding pattern.  I have a new job where I’m wearing jeans and a logo tee as my uniform.  Also awaiting word on a different job that would require black pants and company shirt.  This leaves me a) not wearing my ‘out in the world’ clothes much and b) needing to focus any shopping on work wear.  Which equates to not a very exciting time for a clothing blog.  Sorry!

I am finding out more about my other categories of clothing besides the most focused on ones that I wear out of the house.  Lounge, work out, work uniforms, and underpinnings are decidedly unexciting, but very necessary.  In fact, this last week, that is ALL I’ve been wearing.  And I’m so happy that I have new socks and bra for work.  No one sees them, true, but not having to adjust and fiddle is awesome.

Going forward, this illuminates my even smaller need for new items to wear outside of work or home.  I’m doing better with bringing in less so far, and I’m gaining some steam on culling the stuff that continues to hang there, season after season.  If I can get both in alignment, I anticipate a much tighter wardrobe that I love all that much more.

And that leaves me with upgrading my ‘other’ categories.
Work uniform:  Since I’m wearing them 5 days a week, why should I settle in any way?  I have black pants on order, and awaiting a sale on some others I have my eye on.  I could use another good pair of shoes, too.  Maybe professional clogs.  The cost per wear would be minuscule by year’s end even if they are $200 shoes.
Workout wear:  I need to replace many of my running tops and need some workout stuff that is street stylish, too, for times when I run with a friend and then go to lunch.  This is a new development for me, as I always ran alone and then headed home to hit the shower.  Happy to have to shop for this capsule!

See, I told you it wasn’t very exciting.  But having what you need, and the best version of that that you can afford, instead of demoted leftovers, is awesome!