I can’t believe it’s been a month since I started the 2014 Directive! Nothing makes time seem to go faster than recording your life as a blogger. I’ve been a little short on posts of late — it’s not that I have nothing to post about, I’m just really quite busy catching up on everything I missed during my surgery recovery! Hoping to slow down a bit and get back into a good routine here soon.
This month I’m co-hosting the April Directive with Jessica from Kate and Trudy! I’m so excited to be joining along with her this month. We haven’t known each other long, but she’s become a quick favorite of mine. She has some really great stuff on her blog and in her little shop, including a blog planning bundle and a home budgeting series. And dogs! Such cute dogs! Check her out if you haven’t already.
What is the 2014 Directive?
The 2014 Directive is a New Year’s resolution Instagram and blog link up structured in a way to maximize success of your goals by setting them on a monthly basis instead of a big year-long resolution that’s nearly impossible to keep. The monthly goals must be SMART: specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and timely.
How Do I Join Along?
If you’d like to participate, visit the 2014 Directive details page at Kate and Trudy for all the information you need to get started on the right foot. You can participate by linking up your blog post below and/or sharing your goals on Instagram (using the hashtag #the2014directive) with a smattering of photos throughout the month. Need some ideas for monthly goals? Jessica has 50 great ideas here!
My April Directive
I had thought last month about making April a month of taking care of myself, but I realized I’m going to be traveling here and there during the month, so having goals that are best accomplished at home will be sort of difficult (and thus not attainable). So instead, I’m going to focus on a digital detox.
Being a blogger and a savvy social media girl, I’ve found that technology tends to take over my life. I get antsy when I don’t know where my phone is, and the little pinging of my phone is pretty much like electronic crack. While I was watching my nephew this last weekend, I realized how hard it was just to sit down and focus on being with him without wanting to check my phone every five seconds. Not okay, yo.
So this month I’m going to complete some goals that will help me be more efficient with my technology and purge some of the unnecessary. I’m hoping it will help me break the tech addiction, just a bit. Of course I don’t want to get rid of it entirely (it’s half of my livelihood, after all), I just need to cut back in some areas.
This month I plan to:
- Keep my phone in my bag. If there are other people and I am supposed to be engaging in conversation, my phone doesn’t make an appearance.
- No phone in the car. I rarely do anything on my phone while moving in my car (directions, mostly), but I am not above checking my notifications at stop lights or while sitting in bumper-to-bumper traffic. So now the phone goes in my purse in the back seat. I am really good with directions — I should be able to look at the directions before I leave and get there without needing my phone. If I get lost, I can stop where it’s safe and figure out where I’m going from there.
- Unsubscribe from all unnecessary emails. I don’t need to know every time West Elm is having a sale. (Which, let’s be real, is every day.)
- Disable notifications on my iPhone. I find I check it more when it’s constantly pinging. The same number of people are going to like my Instagram photo of my dog whether I’m checking it every three seconds or not.
- Participate in a “digitally incompatible” activity every day. Basically, this is activity that makes it impossible to be on my phone. Ideally this would be running, biking, hiking, or kayaking, but since I’m still in surgery recovery mode it’ll be a daily walk where I leave my phone at home. I’m also considering trying yoga in the studio around the corner, but that depends on price and how new-agey they expect me to be.
- Take a weekly “Technology Shabbat.” Ryan and I have discussed having a Sabbath for our family but haven’t done a great job implementing it so far. But for one month, I’m going to try no cell phone or computer from sundown on Friday until sundown on Saturday. The one exception with be phone calls and text messages (which are really not the problem and are usually just for planning purposes).
- Charge my phone somewhere other than next to my bed. I’m a compulsive phone-checker — it’s the first thing I do every morning. Instead, I’m going to charge my phone away from our bedroom and not check anything until I’m up and ready to go in the morning. I will use (gasp!) an actual alarm clock instead.
- Go device-free at meals. I’m not too bad at this when there are others around, but I spend a lot of time eating lunch with my phone or computer right in front of me. In theory I should be able to sit there without needing anything but my thoughts, but I’ll allow myself a book for this one, at least to start out.
- Clean up my computer files. My desktop is a disaster. Files everywhere. No organization. I spend far too much time looking for things so I need to get this part of my life in order to spend less time on it.
- Brainstorm on paper. I’ve been taking time each month (sometimes weekly) to brainstorm ideas for my brain and my blog. But I find that I think of one thing, look something up on Google, and then rabbit-trail half my morning away on things other than brainstorming. So I’m going to grab a pen and paper (remember those?) and brainstorm like everyone did in the olden days. Of the 90s.
Past Directive Progress Reports
March 2014 “Get back on my feet”: My goal to get back on my feet was successful in most of the ways I set out, but not all of them. I was good at doing my foot exercises and icing my foot and it showed — my doctor said I have great range of motion in my toe joint and the swelling was less than expected. Since my appointment, I’ve gained even more movement and I have very little swelling now.
I also only wore sweatpants out of the house once, which is quite the achievement considering for most of the month I only had one pair of boot cut jeans that worked with my surgical boot and running shoes. Thankfully I was able to go to a thrift shop and grab some more jeans — I have a reasonable number of pants now. I also had a goal to wear proper footwear all the time — running shoes whenever I’m on my feet. This one happens about 60% of the time — I’m a lifelong sandals girl (you can’t take the California out of the girl!) and it’s been in the 80s around here. So I wear my running shoes when I know I’ll be on my feet, but allow myself to wear my uber-comfortable and supportive old-lady Clarks sandals when I’m going to be, for example, sitting in a Starbucks for half the day.
Exercise gets a big fat wah-waaaah. With our house completely under construction and so much on my to-do list, exercise has taken a back seat. I have burned some serious calories assembling cabinets and peeling linoleum, and I have gotten in a walk here and there, but not like I would have hoped. One of my goals for April is to get out and away from technology once a day, so hopefully I can manage to get moving a bit more in April.
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