What Worked for Me in 2015

I’ve seen quite a few bloggers suggest making a list at the end of every year to evaluate practices that worked and didn’t so as to make the next year better.  It seems like a good idea, and I’ve never done it before so this will be a first.  2015 was a little out of the ordinary for me because of the the house project, but then again, previous years included pregnancy or childbirth or Big Man’s military deployments, so maybe “ordinary” for us is always just a little crazy. Anyway, without further ado, here are the things that worked for me (and didn’t) in 2015.

What Worked:

  • Online shopping. I’m an introvert and a homebody, so going shopping at a store, especially with the kids in tow, drains me. I love being able to order everything from toothpaste and paper products to cleaning supplies from Amazon and ePantry.  I also do the majority of my grocery shopping online, stocking pantry and freezer staples with my monthly Azure Standard order, and getting my fresh produce every week from Door to Door Organics.
  • Borrowing ebooks from my local library. I talked about this in my post about my Kindle, but basically I love being able to get library books for me without having to actually go to the library.
  • A personal uniform. Packing up and getting ready for the eventual move to the house made me do some serious purging of stuff. I gave away a lot of clothing that I wasn’t regularly wearing (mostly business dress from my former job). I also found myself looking at a lot of my “nice” T shirts and wishing I could wear them more, and I decided to make my wardrobe work for this season of my life. While I still have a few nice outfits for church and date nights, my daily “uniform” is yoga pants and a T shirt/tank top (usually a geeky one from redbubble.com). It so easy to shop for myself now, when all I need to decide on is a new T shirt rather than trying to create matching outfits. And those few nice outfits I have? Those are from Stitch Fix, which I love so much since it’s online shopping , my stylist has chosen some really great pieces for me than I would never have found on my own.
  • Roasting vegetables. I’ve been trying for the last couple years to add more veggies into my diet, but I’m picky about which ones I like. While I still can’t bring myself to eat any type of summer squash, I’ve found that I love almost anything else (even Brussels sprouts!) when it’s seasoned well and roasted until it’s nice and caramelized.
  • Yoga. I’ve finally found a fitness genre I love! For various reasons, high-impact things like running don’t work for me. But yoga has been so beneficial for me and it’s something I really enjoy, which is a huge plus for me to actually keep a daily fitness habit. My favorite online instructors are Erin Motz and Leslie Fightmaster.

What Didn’t Work:

  • Audiobooks. When I realized my local library has tons of audiobooks available, I pictured a life of awesome productivity as I listed to books while driving or washing dishes.  Yeah, no. Audiobooks are not my thing. I can’t concentrate, I get easily distracted, and I retain almost nothing from what I’ve heard. (I’ve learned I have to take notes during church sermons for the same reasons.)
  • Online budgeting software. Having a budget and sticking to it is important to us, and I love the idea of budgeting software. But it just doesn’t work for me.  It’s too hard to change the default categories, or it’s filled with financial “suggestions” or it’s just too much work to enter my transactions. This year I’m going to try keeping track of things in a non-electronic notebook. We’ll see how it goes.
  • Once Upon a Time. Yes, this one is frivolous. But with Big Man’s rotating shift work schedule, some weeks I’m by myself in the evenings. I enjoy having a show I can binge-watch on Netflix and I usually try to pick something Big Man wouldn’t be interested in, because most shows we like watching together. I tried with Once Upon a Time. I stuck through about 2 seasons and I just couldn’t take it anymore. I really wanted to like it; it was such a fun idea but it was squandered on selfish characters and their self-created drama (the same reasons I couldn’t get into Mad Men).

I think that’s it! Knowing I’ll make another list like this at the end of this year is helping me take more notice of things. What about you? Do you take note of the things that work, or don’t, in your life?

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