Making a(nother) Plan

I want to be integrous, to have (more) integrity. Integrity in doing what I tell myself I will do. I am really good at getting done what is expected of me, or what I think is expected of me, by others, or things that are FOR someone else. Working late into the night to finish a thing for a deadline. Getting out I want to be able to believe the things I say I will do for myself. Even telling people I am going to do a thing doesn’t motivate me to actually do it. Having spent money on a thing doesn’t make me do it either. I have wasted a lot of money on gyms without caring about the lost funds. Or getting out of bed to go to the store to get something for a friend in need. Expectations and wanting to do well make me excel at work but I have not figured out how to get this extrinsic motivation to apply to things that are for and affect me. I care a lot if people find me reliable… but that whole thing that you can’t pour from an empty cup and if you fill your cup and it will run over… to those people. That’s what I want to work on. Filling my cup first, in order to better help other people.

Back in August (2018), I started using You Need A Budget (YNAB) and it’s really be helping me take control of my finances. Someone shared a book they were reading about someone who did a whole year spending fast, only purchasing required consumables (food, toilet paper, etc.). I like this idea, I tend to buy more stuff than I need, more food than I can eat, more books than I can read at a time, more art or sewing supplies than I need for my current or next project. Tracking my spending and keeping things in budget has been going pretty well, though I still move money around a lot instead of checking the budget to see if I can afford something.

But, I have learned a thing about myself and about how I work. If I tell myself “I’m going to abstain from this thing” means I will binge on it. So if I told myself I was not going to buy anything for the year I would BUY ALL THE THINGS RIGHT NOW BEFORE THE END OF THE YEAR. Which is not what I want! Like when I took my trip to the East Coast I was planning on an elimination diet after I got back based on some hair analysis so on my trip? you better believe I ate *all the things*. ALL OF THEM!

I want to spend 2019 working on becoming intrinsically motivated. Focused on the discipline that will turn me into the person I want to be. Sure i have accomplished a lot of things already but I still have a lot more to accomplish:

  • Get fit

  • Travel

  • Make stuff

  • Save money for emergency and retirement

  • Pay for house projects (without going into debt!)

I know, from the many articles and books I read, that this will come from focusing on systems over goals (1, 2, 3) . It’s one thing to know, but it’s another to act. Actions speak louder than words, as they say. I’m really good at words, but actions are what will increase my integrity.

So I will continue to work on collecting underpants and making a plan, while also starting with small systems.

Current systems:

  • Take a 1 mile walk at lunch

  • Bring lunch (and snacks!) to work*

* My boyfriend got me a mini fridge for my office so I will be able to keep it stocked with healthy foods on hand!

I did just share that I started a new job, one that requires commuting. So after 8 days on the job and filling my gas tank twice in my 2000 Subaru Outback, I calculated I was getting 24 mpg and that made it clear that a hybrid with good gas mileage was the number one priority for a new car. I had test driven a couple cars in my staycation between jobs and on Black Friday I test drove a 2018 Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid which I ended up purchasing. It’s financed for 72 months at 1.9%. I could have gotten 0% at 60 months but that would have been a little higher than I was comfortable with. My gas budget is going from $300/mo down to $150, which gave me some extra wiggle room in the budget for the new car. Soon I’ll get the old car fixed up and put it on the market. The commute takes about 50 minutes each way. Not gonna lie, it’s rough. Especially after 7 years of living within 1.5 miles of work, or nearly 10 years of public transportation to get to work which took about as long as my current drive but riding the subway is so much less stressful than driving. My driving has increased 40 times with this job so a new car, with improved safety features… and fuel economy!

So getting back to my plan… yet another new plan. This one shinier than the rest. I have been learning a lot about myself with this commuting and new job. I also have been reading James Clear’s Atomic Habits, about how atomic small habits can lead to atomic big changes.

  • I was getting cravings for chocolate but not thinking about the fact that I just hadn’t eaten in a while, so I have been hungry and eating snacks/sweets when I should have been eating real food.

  • .Taking a walk at lunch has been a great break in the day, even in the cold and rain. If I don’t get the walk in the 12pm hour then I start to get antsy and need the walk! it helps me return to my desk fresh to keep working.

  • If I don’t meal prep foods, and keep lots of food on hand, I will get fast food and in my state of hanger, make terrible choices.

  • Telling myself I will give something up makes me binge on that thing. Be it sweets, shopping, going out to eat. etc.

  • I’ve been listening to a book “Health at Every Size” and it talks about how not getting enough fiber can be a cause for mood fluctuations… and I’m pretty sure that explains some of my emotional sensitivity

  • Every time I have tried to implement something big I have failed. I need to make small changes, sustainable changes. Changes, habits, that can last a lifetime.

So I’m going to read up on systems I can implement, slowly, and how to become intrinsically motivated. That’s what I need!

I’m open to suggestions for becoming intrinsically motivated! Send suggestions, or books or articles!

Picking up where I left off

A Big Change