2011 Challenges: great hair and fast eating

Back in January I wrote about wanting to change a few things in my life. Writing, friendships, slowing down and better hair were on the list. I know it’s March and most of us have either given up or forgotten about our hoped and planned for new habits. But I’m not going to let myself off that easy. I set a reminder to revisit these challenges in March so here is the good and bad of how I’m doing.

Personal Grooming Challenge: A

as I type this...

Strategically starting my review with my best performing area. With the exception of one week, I’ve had pretty good (for me) hair in 2011. Sure, some days it’s been a bit fuzzy or wavy from a run or Crossfit class. And I make liberal use of a hair clip to keep it tucked away. But I’ve been good about carving out the time to blow dry and straighten my hair twice a week. Occasionally the blow dry and the straighten have been a day apart.

Make-up and clothing have been weaker areas. Something to work on.

Friendships: B

Essentially I wanted to cut some friends loose and stop feeling guilty that we never got together. Leaving Facebook made that a done deal. I’ve also been pretty good about keeping up email correspondence with friends and getting on Skype more. The circles of friends that are on Facebook have kept me in the loop for events and such. I could be making more effort Monday-Wednesday on meeting up with people outside of the activities I go to with Henry.

A lesson from this: good friendships don’t feel that hard to maintain.

Slowing Down: C+

Can I give myself points for awareness? Chris and I eat breakfast togther most mornings. The other day I ate my eggs before he had one bite. I’m noticing when I eat fast but I’m struggling with doing something about it. More conversation? A timer? The thing that slows me down the most is helping Henry eat. But I think I need a better slowing down tool than a food throwing, mess making toddler.

Writing: C

Fail. I had great momentum with pitching articles in January and then it fizzled out in February. March has been particularly unproductive (pretty big reason why that I will disclose in a few weeks).

Need a fresh start. I’m going to revisit my list of articles that I have pitched, polish them and start pitching again.

Anyone else make some goals or resolutions for 2011? Wins and losses? Have you revamped your goals or met them already?

***Family-Sized Minimalism + Red Cross Donation***

Many thanks to those of you that purchased Family-Sized Minimalism last week. Hope you are enjoying the book and all the extras that Faith put into it (worksheets and videos). Five books were purchased and I just donated $25 to the Red Cross from sale proceeds – thanks again! *Sorry for the fuzzy screen shot. Still working on my technical skills!


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  • I was just listening to a Les Brown, motivational speaker, video on friendship. Cutting out the toxic ones and connecting more with the nourishing ones. Your comments on friends reminded me that this past year of my life has been what I call a “closet cleaning” of friends….some people are just not good for us and others propel us forward.

    I think we grow accustomed to feeling like we “have to” and not realizing that friends are something we choose. Connecting on a regular basis with those who are important to us is so beneficial!

    • So true, it shouldn’t feel like a “have to”, it should feel like a “want to”.
      I also feel like slowing down has helped me not feel like certain social engagements are a burden. When you’re not super rushed and thinking about the long list of things you have to do, you can enjoy your time with friends and family more.

  • I’ve implemented a fix my hair every other day strategy. Then I can wear messy hair without washing one day and still feel hygienic. It certainly helps keep me upbeat and refreshed living in the RV.

    Slowing down when eating: Try to only take a bite after the person you are eating with takes a bite. I’m uber-guilty of finishing my meal before people even sit down!

    • The fast eating is not helped by having a toddler at the table. I feel like me meal is either cold because I am helping him, or I have indigestion from eating so fast because he is cranky and wants meal time to be over.

  • ‘good friendships don’t feel that hard to maintain’
    So true.
    I am enjoying your hair challenge since now that I have longer hair we can’t use the ‘shorter hair, shorter name’ descriptor. But if you ever want to let the curl out on it you know where to find me and my diffuser.

  • I love your comment that good friendships don’t feel that hard to maintain. Amen and a half on that one. It’s hard to let friendships go when the other person doesn’t want to. It’s painful. But when you know it is not a good one, it still needs to be done.

    Thanks for the validation.

    • Thanks for the validation back that I am not alone on this. Sure, you should put effort in but the dread and guilt I felt about friends that I hadn’t met up with in over a year was getting to me. And it’s a two-way street – they probably felt bad too.

        • Above comment – Wrong place! oops! Wanted to say that I am with you on the relationship thing. I find that the relationships that are the time consuming ones (you know who I am talking about – high maintenance people who you are constantly humouring! watching every word so they don’t take offence with their over inflated ego’s!) need to be ended.
          “Those who matter don’t mind, those who mind don’t matter!”
          Can you tell I have been away? Back with a clear perspective on a few things which was the aim – ready to reduce and recoup even further. The decluttering needs to be taken that extra step me thinks… Is there a recycling point for humans? Aren’t I awful? Haha! :-)

  • I am currently at a “D” on the exercise/weight loss goal I have. Not only have I stopped moving forward I am actually in full retreat. Even worse I realise I am in retreat and cannot seem to stop it. I know every day is the start of a new journey but I can’t seem to get moving again. Where is all that magical momentum I had?

    • So you’re not coming back lean and mean?
      I’m in the “it’s cyclical” camp on fitness exercise. You do what you have time for and is working in your life. Some times that is less and sometimes that is more. As long as you are feeling okay and healthy it’s probably enough.

  • My resolution for the year was “do fewer things, better.” I think – SO FAR – I’ve held to it. Professionally I’ve been focusing on my blog, my book, and letting other things go (like the mad pace of pitching magazines!) But, you know, there’s always room for improvement. I still find myself spinning my wheels due to the many possibilities (and yes-products) available.

    • You had some great post-Blissdom pieces on do fewer things, better. I love that concept. I’m doing that around the home and with my hobbies.

  • Great post. I relate to every bit – the friends, the hair, the writing. oy oy oy. Just sent out my new years newsletter in mid-march. but progress is worth noting, not waiting for perfection. had one suggestion for you. slow family living. a movement, a website, a coalition, started by an amazing, incredibly inspiring mom, who happens to have a buzzcut. :) enjoy.


    • Thanks for the link and comment, Paige. Checked out SlowFamilyLiving.com – looks right up my alley. Many thanks, Rachel.

  • Looking Good Rachel! Wanted to let you know you have lost me – or I have lost you! This is how dense I can be, I didn’t click that notifications of new posts weren’t reaching me. It coincides with the new design (I think – but not 100% sure) I’ve been away so didn’t really think much of it, then suddenly realised that I am not getting e-mails. Jo

    • Lost my email list when I moved to self-hosting =( I sent out a mass email to subscribers to resubscribe through feedburner but I am sure it was sent to most spam boxes.
      Hope vacation was great and looking forward to hearing about it!!

  • My goal for 2011 was to create more space in my life. It’s pretty nebulous, but I’m still working on it. I actually gave up video games for Lent to further it. I’m not sure it’s paying off yet, but I continue to strive. I’m hoping not so much to see progress now, but that when I look back at the end of the year I will see that my lifestyle has changed somehow.

  • I loved how you said, “good friendships don’t feel that hard to maintain.”

    You are right, those good friendships we have in life don’t feel hard to keep. I left Facebook and social networking several months ago. Although it was strange to get used to at first, I actually love not being so connected because my relationships with the people important to me are stronger than ever. I may not talk to certain people every day, but the interaction I do have with friends is meaningful. There is more letter writing or emails and more phone calls. I used to feel distance in my relationships with people because social networking made my relationships feel as though we were hiding behind our online profiles. I do not have the guilt feeling anymore of being “friends” with someone online, but actually never keeping in contact with them except for a birthday post.
    I enjoy reading your thoughts.

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