Guys, life does not slow down. I keep waiting to catch my breath (and for some reason adding more stuff to my plate), but it doesn’t let up. So even though I’m still in the throws of it all, I recently decided to make quite a few life changes of these past few months of 2018. I’m not quite sure why I haven’t implemented most of these a long, long time ago, but there’s no time like the present, right? Here are a few things I’ve changed for the better:
Setting up a workspace
From my parents’ house, to my first apartment, to about a year in at my current home, my “workspace” has been me sitting in bed with a laptop. While it is pretty darn comfortable to curl up under blankets, it does not make working that efficient. In fact, I cannot even begin to count the amount of times I’ve literally fallen asleep mid essay while working in bed. I recently finally decided to get a desktop computer, set up a workspace, give myself a fighting chance at not napping all day, and honestly it has been life changing. Giving myself my own nook to focus and spread out on has done wonders on my procrastination, habits, and sleep schedule. While I’ll still grab my work laptop to do a few odd jobs during really stressful nights (possibly guilty right now), I cannot recommend setting yourself up for success with a space that gets you motivated.
Not procrastinating as much
This might actually go hand-in-hand with creating a work space (it definitely is, but I don’t work to ramble more about my miracle desk), but I am definitely not procrastinating as much as I used to, even compared to last year. Maybe it was the harsh reality I had to bite during last semester when my procrastinating cost me grade or two for the first time, but I have made sure to make it a priority to chip away at something every weekend. I cannot remember another semester where I even started a project early. Once I had finished one, I felt so relieved and motivated, I have kept up with my studies all year. Instead of watching that show or two, I would outline one project, I would grade five papers, and before I knew it, it didn’t feel so hard to keep going.
Eating breakfast at home/waking up earlier
This was a personal goal for me. For almost three years I grabbed a pop tart and redbull as I ran out the door. That would be my breakfast every morning and I would eat it at my work desk. I think I gave myself exactly 20 minutes to put on my clothes and face, and walk my dog each morning. It was a disgusting habit and I would always feel rushed in the morning, not to mention starving by the time I got to work. I wasn’t focused and even the I got to work an hour early, I barely got anything done. As this new year rolled around, I decided to eat a little better, wake up a little earlier, and give myself more time in the morning. I now wake up an hour before I have to leave for work, giving myself more than enough time to make some oatmeal and watch a few youtube videos. Now I start my day relaxed and ready to hit the ground running.
Starting a savings account
Wait, Brey, you’re 22 and just started a savings account for the first time? Yea, I know. At the start of this current semester, I decided I did not want to take out any more student loans. Every other week I now deposit a small chunk towards my classes that should cover about 80% of the rest of my tuition over the summer and fall. I had saved enough that I actually just paid my whole summer tuition in full this week! I am still horrible when it comes to budgeting, but putting some away for my important financial goals while keeping my overall spending in check after, has been an awesome step towards being smarter with my money. Maybe when I’m done paying for my last semester, I’ll keep depositing money but make it towards a fun goal, like travel! Either way, for now I am proud of myself for being able to put away money for my upcoming goals, rather than blowing through our main account for whatever I feel like.
Not forcing myself to make/break habits
There are a lot of goals I have and I’ve tried making a lot of new habits that I know in the long run will make my life better. But I’ve come to realize that sometimes I’m not mentally prepared to make them. A few of these habits include cooking at home more and growing out my nails. Honestly though, in the throws of a very stressful graduate semester and technically finishing up my first year teaching, there is no way I’m going to make huge life altering changes. Not meeting those goals would often make me feel even more stressed out though. I’ve realized something extremely important this past few months, and that’s learning to go easy on myself. One day I will save money and be healthier by cooking at home, but right now, this moment, it’s not the time. I have time to make those changes and I am looking forward to when I have a chance to really make those new habits work in my life. That’s not to say I haven’t made changes, this whole post shows that. But the changes I’ve made are ones that I can happily implement on my current day-to-day life, and actually change, not just try and burn out from.
It’s taken me a quite a while to make simple changes that have given me huge results. I hope these ideas will help you as much as they have helped me!