Saturday, January 2, 2016

What worked and didn't work in 2015, plus highlights

Again trying to squeeze 2 posts into one on a short break!

What worked for me in 2015
  • My group exercise workouts. I do the HIIT 30 minutes 3 X a week and also added a bodypump class once a week (which is long and boring but effective)
  • Shopping ban. 11 months of not buying myself any clothes/shoes/accessories, and then a few weeks of filling gaps in my closet. I'm doing it again this year, but maybe I'll make my exception around my birthday this year, so I can balance this years fall/winter upgrade with a spring/summer upgrade. 
  • YNAB. Love tracking the spending. I've got 3 weeks to enter & reconcile this month, though, which I'm not looking forward to. We seem to always fall off the wagon on vacation, and it falls to me to go through our credit cards (and my memory) to fill in the gaps.
  • therapy. I thought about quitting this summer, but realized I am still getting something out of it, if nothing else, a reminder that I still have work to do, and anxiety can resurface anytime.
  • My new shorter haircut. I chopped about a foot off my hair this fall and I LOVE IT. will be going back to keep it this length every 4 months. I liked my long hair, but I had no time/inclination to do anything but pull it into a low ponytail every single day. Now that its too short for a ponytail, I take the few minutes to straighten it and it frames my face much better.
  • Reading. I read over 50 books this year. I'm planning a post with my favorites from this year. Almost all were from the library, read on my Kindle, and recorded on GoodReads (because my friends/sister are on it)
  • Paper planning. Love my Uncalendar, especially the copious free space to write thoughts and track goals, to-dos, blog post ideas, etc... 
  • Gratitude Journal. I have a 5 year journal with a few lines for each day. This fall I started writing 3 good things from each day. I did take a break over the holidays but will get back into it next week.
What didn't work 
  • Fitbit/My Fitness Pal. I walk a lot, tracking steps didn't really change my habits. And counting calories is really not something I want in my life long term. Not saying I will never do a month or so again, just to make sure I haven't crept up  my intake but I'm really hoping for more sustainable and intuitive changes to my eating.
  • Meditation. Well, it worked very well, actually...when I DID it. Still haven't found a way to make it a near-daily habit, but will try again.
  • Frugality. This is a post (or two) in itself. Lets just say that counting and pinching my pennies was making me very cranky. Allowing for a little extravagance to save family harmony is well worth it. I've been much calmer the past couple of months when I stopped stressing about every $5/$10 that didn't need to be spent.
  • Limiting internet/phone time. Still a goal, but not one I've found a way to achieve. Work in progress.
  • any kind of reward system to encourage behavior in my kids. Several things were tried and worked initially, and then failed when the novelty wore off. 
 And, for posterity (and my own faulty memory), highlights from the past year
  • Mother-son dates with B to post-karate dim sum in Chinatown.
  • Our family trip to San Diego, the beach & Legoland (probably my favorite memory of the whole decade, it was perfect)
  • Beach trip with my family, including a wonderful birthday at the beach and getting hilarious cards from my kids/niece/nephew
  •  Kid-free 3 days, when my parents took the boys to my sister's house
  • Serving a week of jury duty on a murder trial. It was really eye-opening.
  • A few days as a family of 3, when B stayed with MIL. It was so relaxing & refreshing to be able to focus on L and not give all my energy to the "difficult" child.
  • Late summer
  • Road trip to visit friends while we were at my parents house.
  • 2 of said friends coming to visit us in December---my kids LOVED their "new aunts" both of whom LOVE kids and got along great with mine. Very fun.
  • Halloween. Dressing up for the first time in 15 years, trick-or-treating, sitting on our porch drinking wine & eating candy, and then running around the 'hood with B who couldn't get to sleep after all said candy.
  • L's birthday and his superhero park party.
  • The unseasonably warm fall we had, including Thanksgiving weekend. Lots of park time, an ice cream outing in December because it was 80 degrees. 
  • Decorating our home for the holidays, outings to see friends, our late & limited gift giving to the kids...i.e. the parts of Christmas I controlled and executed.
  • G and I seemingly getting our relationship back on track the past few weeks. Its been really good between us, and I feel really hopeful. 
I'm sure there are more, I may edit if I remember them, so I can come back 12 months (and 24, 36, etc...) to see how our lives have changed. No low-lights for this year, sure there were plenty but I'll dwell on the light side!


  1. It sounds like a very good year! Our lists are similar, though as you know, frugality suits me very well!

    I've been kind of scared of HIIT-type workouts. It sounds like torture!

    Best wishes for lots more good stuff in 2016, Ana!

  2. Wow, you accomplished a lot! (Especially 50 books ... impressive!) I miss my HIIT group workouts. :) Happy 2016 ... may it be full of just as many gems!

  3. I too am blown away that you managed to read basically a book per week -- kudos!

  4. Very impressed with the 50 books, working towards a goal of around 50 as well--this year I read 38. Also, I'd love to read a post about your HIIT workouts.