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Monique’s October Challenge: HELL YES Nation

For my October challenge, I thought about what I wanted. Then, I went for it.

My rule was to only do things that made me say HELL YES

Everything else was a Noooope.

 

The goal was to get fired up about all the things in October. If I couldn’t get fired up and say HELL YES then the decision was a clear no.

…Or was it?

I don’t know about you but every time I decide to take on a new challenge, I immediately face an obstacle, inner resistance, or simply feeling as though the universe has conspired to make my goal seem insurmountable.

I got some fascinating results.

Following the Fun!

There were a few instances where HELL YES just seemed so obvious:

  • I got free tickets to a comedy show (and I love stand up!)
  • The hubz and I got free tickets to an NHL game
  • A wonderful friend invited me to coffee
  • I volunteered at an amazing conference that brings together and recognizes both entrepreneurship and government
  • The chance to go to my first Diwali celebrations at one of Ottawa’s Hindu temples

Of all these HELL YES moments, there were still some obstacles that made them difficult to achieve, and in one instance, some obstacles beat me to my moment (next year’s Diwali celebrations are totally gonna make up for missing this year’s!).

There were other obstacles that I overcame to make some HELL YES moments a reality, like the tedious act of coordinating schedules, making bookings, and doing advance prep work.

Why HELL YES can be Wrapped in a HELL NO

My obvious HELL YES moments were easy to pursue because they’re fun, exciting, engaging, and new. Yet there were other HELL YES moments that were quieter and less fun but no less important:

  • Pulling two (almost) all-nighters after taking on rush projects during an already packed week
  • Hitting the gym after a long day when all I felt capable of was crawling into bed
  • Taking on extra shifts at my bridge job because a coworker needed help
  • Braving the dentist for a root canal that’s going to be completed over the course of three. separate. appointments. #MakeTheDrillingStop
  • Going vegetarian – and alcohol free – for the month

So why say HELL YES to things that initially felt like a half-hearted, “Sure, I guess”?

Because I knew I was making decisions that were ultimately in my best interest.

Unwrapping a HELL YES

Saying HELL YES to something isn’t always driven by unbridled enthusiasm. Sometimes they’re driven by curiosity, other times by logic. Indulge me:

  • Those almost-all-nighters? They reinvigorated a relationship with a sometimes-dormant client. I’m now getting more and more work from them and reminded them how reliable I am, especially when they’re in a crunch.
  • Those near-exhaustion gym sessions? I’m feeling fitter, stronger, more energetic, and have been getting more definition in my typing muscles. Pretty sweet reasons to keep going with this good habit.
  • Taking those extra shifts? They help pay me pay off my student loan and build a savings account. Plus, they get me out of my house to chat with cool people while sipping on custom lattes and listening to great music.
  • A root canal? Let’s be honest. I’ve clearly been putting this off for a while. The motivation was there, ever so fleetingly, so I decided to commit before I wimped out. There’s no going back now.
  • A vegetarian diet? But what about bacon?? Truthfully, I started off nowhere close to wanting to go vegetarian for a full month. With a few mindful slipups, I did it! Honestly, I knew the lifestyle shift would be more difficult than changing my actual diet, and that proved true. Though the unexpected upsides include slimming down, a clearer mind, and a newfound curiosity to go veg at least three times per week.

So What Does This Even Mean?

I wondered if I was going to go all “Yes Man” a la Jim Carrey at the beginning of the month but that wasn’t quite the case, despite my best efforts to end up like this:

https://giphy.com/gifs/jim-carrey-jxdnxO9IJmpnG

It didn’t happen, which is totally fine, but I did discover that a HELL YES decision doesn’t have to be wrapped up in fireworks and enthusiasm to be the right choice. At first glance, this sounds super depressing but it actually makes me really happy. This challenge helped me to better understand why I do what I do, and what’s most important to me.

Turns out it’s not bacon, after all.

So what’s next?

My November challenge will be saying HELL NO to all complaining.

I don’t think I’m a major whiner (LOL) but we’ll soon see if that’s the case.

My goal is to keep track of my complaints and uncover some trends about what bothers me most. Then I’ll come up with an action plan to make improvements in those areas.

Hell Yes, I am a genius.

What’s on your radar this November? Want to join the #Sisterpack in our monthly challenges? Let’s keep the convo going on our Insta! Follow us at and let’s chat!

High fives and good vibes,

Monique 🙂

 

Gwen’s #SoberOctober Challenge

“When you quit drinking you stop waiting.”

Caroline Knapp, Drinking: A Love Story

My October challenge was to take on #SoberOctober. My goal was to cease and desist drinking alcohol for the entire month.

So did I do it?

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HECK YEAH I DID!! WOOHOO!! 🎉🎉🎉🎉🎉

I’ve actually been sober for 1 month and 11 days at this point. I’ve been using the I Am Sober app to track my progress. It also shares that I’ve saved about $164. This is based on guessing that I’d spend $4/day on alcohol (this would equal a bottle of wine/beers during the week).

As you can see I’ve been sober for longer than one month. I kickstarted this challenge mid-September and decided to join the #soberoctober bandwagon to keep it going.

The Backstory:

I’ve taken on alcohol-free living before. In fact, in 2016 I went alcohol-free for nine months. I started drinking again when I went on a trip to Italy and REALLY wanted to drink wine. This past September, I got the itch to quit again. I made a half-hearted attempt to pause drinking in July after having a TERRIBLY CHALLENGING green belt test in the martial art I practice called Krav Maga.

Despite working out consistently, I felt miserably out of shape during the test. I knew if I wanted to have better tests, I’d have to take my training more seriously, which involves eating better and drinking less alcohol. Despite good intentions, I only made a half-hearted attempt in the summer and I didn’t actually quit drinking. I’d drink a beer here and there, and wine or champagne on Fridays at work (yes, I work at a really awesome place ;).

The Moment of Truth:

The catalyst to deciding to get back into sobriety was free samples. I was gifted a bunch of free samples of Malibu from a party I volunteered at. I found myself drinking these little bottles here and there in a very ‘numb out’ way. The ultimate moment I found was when I decided to drink one in the bathtub after a particularly hard martial arts class to try to ease my physical pain. I don’t think it’s a problem to drink in the bathtub to unwind, my problem was that I wanted to hide the fact that I was drinking it and that made me uncomfortable.

Time for Progress:

When taking on the sobriety challenge again, I knew I wanted to be able to see my progress. So I Googled and found the I Am Sober app and was thrilled to see how easy it was to track. And it’s a major bonus to find out that I can track how much money I’m saving too!

The Benefits:

The reason we take on monthly challenges here at Mo’ Money, Mo’ Progress is because we are looking to ultimately feel better (by making more progress and more money!)

So I’d love to share some of the benefits I’ve noticed in the last six weeks:

  • I’m becoming an early bird! For some reason over the last week I’ve been interested in waking up and getting up at the crack of dawn.
  • Not hungover. Ever. Full stop.
  • No split energy wondering if I should have a drink when it’s offered.
  • Better focus at work.
  • I know when a party sucks and when to leave.
  • “Mask off, f*cking mask off…” – Future. Really though, when you stop drinking a mask comes off.
  • Losing weight! For the first time in my life abs may become a thing!
  • A more intentional focus on paying off debt!
  • I don’t skip out on Krav Maga classes because I had been drinking. This happened a couple of times.

So to get right down to it, it’s challenging to make a lifestyle change, though Perrier and ‘mock’ beer is not that bad. In fact, it’s actually quite enjoyable!

Also, one final tip is that if you do want to go off the sauce, I recommend following people who are thriving whilst being off the sauce and learn from them. I discovered and followed @thesoberglow who has been an incredibly inspiring person to learn from.

So as of right now, I am still very interested to continue living sans alcohol. This challenge is becoming a new way of life.

My November Challenge?

So what shall I do to make my life more joyful in November? Oh, I don’t know… HOW ABOUT GIVE UP THE ELIXIR OF LIFE AKA COFFEE? That’s right, I’m going to do

#NoCoffeeNovember.

Why? I’d like to say goodbye to waaaves of anxiety. The upper lip jitters when I smile at people. The feeling of my brain leaving my body and coming back two hours later. The migraines. The 24/7 dehydration. The experience of feeling strung out when I get home.

This is a challenge I’m willing and excited to take on at this point in my life. Note that I will still be consuming caffeine (from tea/matcha) though I’m on the hunt for other coffee alternatives.

Thank you for reading and please feel free to join me in #NoCoffeeNovember if you dare!

<3 Gwen

Monique’s September Challenge: 4x the Fun

I took a different approach to my September challenge: I attempted to complete four unrelated challenges in four weeks.

Every seven days, I started a new challenge… each with varying degrees of success.

Let’s start with the successes, shall we? 😉

September Challenge #1:

The challenge I absolutely crushed was checking my bank balance online every day. To be honest, I’ve questioned the value in doing this on and off throughout the last few years as the Sisterpack and I embarked upon our Mo’ Money journey.

I couldn’t have picked a better time to check my accounts every day. I actually managed my money waaayy better. I made sure all bills were covered before they were due (not all my payments are automatic so I actually have to know these things)  and I had more productive conversations about money throughout the week!

The verdict?

Definitely keep doing this. If not every day, every other day. It can be so tempting to ignore the numbers and shout IGNORANCE IS BLISS while wearing Kanye glasses as I munch on a burrito with guac but these are the numbers that keep you alive, happy, fed, and fabulous. Why would you ignore anything so awesome? And if the numbers don’t look that great right now, no worries! Just keep working at them. Building mo’ money and mo’ progress is a journey.

September Challenge #2:

Meditate.

It seems simple: switch off your brain for a couple minutes every day. Press the reset button. Take a chill pill.

Seems I forgot that this mindset takes patience, discipline, and control. I haven’t used those dusty, atrophied muscles for meditation since I taught at Samurai school when I was 15 years old. (That’s right. I was essentially a child ninja. No, I will not take your lunch money. Sit down and… is that a Snapple?)

So you see what I’m dealing with?

Anyway, I had a decent amount of success with this challenge. I downloaded the Calm app and meditated for at least 1-5 minutes every day. I played around with the app and even did a few 10-minute meditations. I made sure to do a few extra because, at first, I thought I could meditate while walking to my bridge job. Oh man, big mistake. It was super loud with the traffic and I have a broken ear bud on my headphones so I couldn’t block out all the noise. While I didn’t keep a blank mind the whole time, the soothing nature sounds and calming music definitely kept my blood pressure down while I hustled in and out of traffic.

The verdict?

Make the time to meditate. Don’t try to squeeze it in just before you fall asleep (I just fell asleep instead) or while you’re performing another task. It’s just not the point and felt a bit futile. Otherwise, I definitely recommend setting aside time to actively chill.

September Challenge #3:

As a self-employed-night-owl freelancer who also has a part-time bridge job, it’s always a herculean challenge to be up and at ‘em bright and early. My sisters have been experimenting lately with going to bed at a decent hour and waking up super early.

My attempt? Be awake, coherent, and ready to rock at my desk by 9 a.m. the entire week.

…Did I mention that I’m a straight up night owl?

I leave my bridge job after 10 p.m. every night, and sometimes I’m up until 2 a.m. pounding out content for my clients and sending them emails using Boomerang for Gmail so it looks like I actually sent that note at 7:18 a.m. (night owls, take notes!).

I love it but it’s not always sustainable when I have an early morning commitment like a business call, coffee meeting, or just when I want to be awake to see the first half of the day.

I don’t often have a routine start or end time. When the coffee’s ready, that just means it’s GO TIME.

So this was pretty daunting.

This challenge was more difficult for me until I started scheduling morning commitments, trying to circumvent my own ingrained habits.

The verdict?

Lots of sleepy eyes, much less of an effort to look good at my desk (which is insane because my desk is located in my work nook. In my house. And I’m alone!), sweatpants until noon, and mucho cups of coffee… at first.

It would definitely require a lifestyle overhaul. The jury is out. Don’t hold your breath on this one.

September Challenge #4:

No eating out. For seven days straight. During a workweek.

Ummm, yeah. I totally failed.

I mayyybeee did three days, not even close.

The verdict?

I need to reevaluate my lifestyle. Even if it’s just a small purchase like a coffee or bagel. Will a meal prep challenge be in my future? Most likely. (Ugh.)

Overall, this was a cool experiment. Not only did I get a chance to make up for a couple monthly challenges I’d missed out on in the past, but I really got to see what type of challenges get me pumped and where I need to shell out a little extra effort.

I wanted to experience more excitement, confidence, and conviction in my decisions, so for the month of October, my challenge theme is HELL YES. I am going to be living, riding, and dying by these two, short words all month.

When making any decision, it’s either a HELL YES or it’s a no.

I’m not sure where this will take me but I’m damn sure that I’ll be excited no matter what direction I go.

– Monique

Gabby’s September Challenge: She failed how many challenges?

We all know about the charcoal teeth whitening craze. You can’t scroll through your Instagram feed without seeing someone’s black-paste-covered smile. Once they rinse it off, their pearly whites look unreal. And that’s just the thing… is it unreal?

It looks like they all just got back from the dentist and got their teeth whitened. So I wanted to test this charcoal stuff out to see if it actually works on a real person. I ordered some online in August (through a promoted Instagram post, stupidly enough) just in time for my September challenge, where I was going to do a review. It’s October now. My order never came in. Their customer service also never answered any of my emails about how my order never came in. I still plan to harass them until I get what I paid for.

So that challenge fell through. I had to pick something else.

Meanwhile, I tried out for this industry boxing competition and made the cut. (More to come on this in my October challenge.) I’m going to be trained by Olympians and get a strict meal plan that I have to follow which basically guarantees me abs. So, I wanted to see, how much does it really cost to get abs? I was going to break down the cost of everything I have to buy to succeed in this competition, but I didn’t end up getting my meal plan until the last week of September, so I wouldn’t have had enough information to write an accurate blog about it.

Another challenge that fell through.

I had to think of something fast. Something I could do in a week. So I decided to try and go to bed before 11 p.m. every night.

THAT ALSO FELL THROUGH. STOP JUDGING ME, OKAY?!

This new exercise regimen had my schedule all messed up. I was still working through a rhythm between commuting, meal prepping, sleeping, showering, and, of course, working. Not easy. I ended up going to bed around 12-1 a.m. every night.

There you have it. Somehow, I managed to fail three challenges in one month. I’m pretty sure that’s a new record.

Stay tuned in October where you’ll find out how much I’m spending in one month on this meal plan and any other supplies I might need to win the fight!!

Wish me luck!
Gabby

Karyn’s September Challenge: Failing Forward

I failed.

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What did I fail at, you may ask? I failed at even attempting to challenge myself this month.

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With everything that is going on in my life at the mo’ I’ve found that I’ve stopped almost everything that I used to call routine. I know that sometimes deviating from the usual can actually be a good thing, but in my case following a routine keeps me moving forward.

via GIPHY

For September I originally wanted to try to step outside of my comfort zone, but instead I stayed within it. All I did was either work or go to Krav (which is not a bad thing, but my life lacked variety). I kinda wanted to do some new and spontaneous stuff, but instead I sat around binging Netflix and just hanging out.

via GIPHY

I realized that after dropping my routine completely for an entire month (actually to be honest, quite a bit longer), I needed the stability of it.

I am NOT spontaneous. I like planning things, and mapping stuff out. Writing lists is my drug of choice. I like to be prepared. So after hopping on the wagon (of a “list-less” lifestyle) for waaaaaay too long, I now know that I need that stable foundation in my janky life.

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So yes, I failed September with my procrastination, laziness, and need to escape. I see this failure as a win though. I succeeded in realizing that I find purpose in plans. Now I’m going to take this knowledge and apply it to my October Challenge!

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For October my goal is to get back in the swing of things. I plan on going to the gym twice a day, five days a week. I want to up my social media output for Mo’ Money, Mo’ Progress, I want to read more and Netflix less and I want to get back to making my food instead of eating out.

via GIPHY

I want to get back to being me. Without failing in September I never would have know that this is how I want my life to be; full of lists, everything planned and going according to schedule.

Sounds like a dream come true!
Karyn

Gwen’s September Challenge: Put Down the iPhone

In this sometimes (very) scary and hyper-connected world, it can feel easier to numb out and crawl under the covers (physically and mentally) than engage.

I’m all for taking a mini vacay from life every once in awhile, but when it starts to become a go-to habit, it’s valuable to take a closer look at why.

The answer is always fear. This manifests for me in feeling behind, not good enough, not successful enough, blah… blah… blah.

The feeling of ‘not enough’ sucks. So I find I do whatever I can to avoid it. Over the years I’ve had different numb-out tools. From binge eating (mostly sugary things) to drankin’, apathy to isolation – I’ve had my fair share of unhealthy habits.

Though this year I’ve experienced a shift that’s helped me be committed to live my most aligned life (the full story will come out when it’s ready).

I am now a sober (13 days and counting) vegan, minimalist-type gal who has finally embraced using my emotions as a compass. My numb-out tools are slowly being kicked to the curb.

So when thinking of what my September challenge should be, it was very clear to me that I have been developing a technology addiction that I’d like to let go of.

The Problem(s):

  • I mindlessly scroll through Instagram and Facebook and watch YouTube videos daily. It always starts out fun, but I soon find myself falling down rabbit holes and wonder how I got there.
  • I stare at a screen 70% of the day at work, so staring at it while I’m at home doesn’t feel good.
  • I don’t like that when I’m with friends, family or my boyfriend, when they leave the room or there’s a lull in a conversation, I’m tempted to pick up my phone to ‘kill time’ or kill the awkward moment.  
  • I feel like being addicted to technology is stealing my time! I want to be reading books, go for walks, build my side hustle!
  • This steals my presence and after coming out of a content binge I feel almost disoriented and not as connected to people.

My September challenge was to take a break from tech by putting my phone on airplane mode from 9 p.m. onwards. For me, nothing productive happens on the internet after 9 p.m. right now.

My Experience:

For the first two weeks I was on point. I was putting my phone on airplane mode like a gahdamn boss. I was thrilled to replace my nightly Instagram habit with a newfound routine of reading ‘10% Happier’ – a book by Dan Harris. It’s such a fun read. My sister also gave me one of Mindy Kaling’s books to read and I loved it! It felt so relaxing to curl up with a book and fall asleep without a video or podcast playing in the background (I’d tell myself this is okay because it was ‘inspirational’).

Then I started to slip up. It started slow with not setting my phone to airplane mode, due to having a text chat with my bf or sisters. Then it spiraled to not doing it at all.

There are two reasons why:

#1) I was gearing up for a belt test in Krav Maga and started to get stressed. The stress actually kicked up my desire to drink a beer here and there, and I found that when I drink beer, I give no effs and do whatever I want to do.

#2) I was moving. I was getting really stressed out about moving to a new place and found that watching dumb videos helped me feel a bit better. In reflection on the month, I can see that while I benefited from that behaviour at the time, I am not interested in living like that going forward.

In Conclusion,

This was a SUPER rewarding 30 day experiment.

This challenge helped me realize that I really do want to get this habit on track, so right now I’m looking for ways to keep it going (perhaps finding an app to monitor my time on each app). It helped me realize that this is something I really care about and want to get better at doing. And, in a weird way, it also helped me get clear on how alcohol has been playing a role in my life and how I’m ready to let it go (again).

So my October challenge is: #SoberOctober (aka no alcohol for the month). I started the challenge a little bit earlier than October 1st, and I’m tracking my progress on an app. I’m excited to see how taking out alcohol will contribute to my life this month!

Thank you for reading and I am now accepting all positive vibes.
-Gwen

Gabbby’s August Challenge: Become A Morning Person

It is one of my greatest missions in life to become a morning person. Every time I try, I get a little closer to understanding why it isn’t working out for me.

Last month, my goal was to wake up at 5 a.m. at least once a week, or more, if possible. But just ONCE was the bare minimum goal.

And I succeeded exactly: once. The first day.

The whole month, I woke up to a 5 a.m. alarm. And for the whole month, I kept hitting snooze.

So what happened?

  1. I’d let it become Future Gabby’s problem. I’d tell myself, “If I miss today, there’s always tomorrow.” I would push it off and off until, next thing I knew, it was Sunday, and a new week was starting. No more chances. That’s not to say I was sleeping in until 8 a.m. all those days I hit snooze. I would wake up at 5:15, or 5:40, or 6:30, which weren’t my goal, but were still great times to be awake.
  2. I didn’t have a plan. Part of the reason I wasn’t waking up was because I knew I was going to be bored that early in the morning. Whether it’s reading a book, or working out, or going for a walk, I never had an activity to keep me busy for three hours until I left for work.
  3. I wasn’t going to bed early enough. Let’s get one thing straight: you can’t expect to be Super Woman by going to bed at 12 every night and waking up at 5 a.m. That’s a recipe for disaster and a great way to crash midday. I needed to go to bed earlier. Like 10 p.m.
  4. I wasn’t unplugging from tech. I’d be scrolling through Instagram or binging Netflix until the moment I went to bed, which really took a toll on my circadian rhythm.

This was an overall great learning experience for me! I look forward to the day when I take my own advice, haha 😉

-Gabby

Karyn’s August Challenge: Saving that Moolah by Couch Cruisin’

Well hot dang my life has taken some serious sharp turns. I had to leave my lovely apartment due to problems with the building and throw all of my stuff into storage. It was super sudden, so for the time being I’m sleeping on couches. UGH

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Now when I put it that way it sounds awful, but the plus side is that now I live rent free, don’t have to pay for parking or utilities AND I get free unlimited Internet (dat high-speed life).

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So I decided to take this seriously frustrating moment and turn it into an opportunity. How much can I save in a month while not having to pay for rent?

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To find this out I had to breakdown my expenses.

MONTHLY EXPENSES

Storage Facility: $400

Food: $200

Gym: $20

Misc. $150

Total: $770

In comparison to what I had to pay before my life flipped, turned upside down, I had to pay $1,300 just for rent. So as of right now I am saving $530 out of the gate! This is majestic!

via GIPHY

The main plan is to use the money I save to pay off my student debt. I know I have a long way to go, but it’s going to be suuuuuuuper worth it.

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Now I know I put $100 as miscellaneous, but for the end of August I had some last minute expenses pop up. Specifically Fan Expo.

This is my fifth year attending the con, but instead of going as a serious fangirl, I’m going to promote my workplace. That means flyers and chatting up oodles of folks. But it doesn’t mean I don’t get downtime, so I have been spending my hard-earned loot on food and geekiness.

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Surprisingly I haven’t gone over the budget of $150, but I still have a few days left at the con and you never know what might pop up and strangle my wallet.

via GIPHY

It’s hard not to look at a situation that I’m currently experiencing and see all of the negatives it brings. Luckily I have a great support system that has helped me see it for what a G-time this can be (plus it will be a great story later)!

My fingers are crossed for all of this to work out for the best!

Wish me luck.

-Karyn

Monique’s August Challenge: Hydration Nation

It’s September! The days are getting cooler, the air is getting fresher, and the days are starting to get shorter.

But it was only a short time ago that the air in Ottawa was muggy, the heat was intense, and I was constantly dehydrated. That’s why for my August challenge, I set out to drink three litres of water every day. To put it in perspective, that’s about an extra litre compared to the recommended eight cups per day. That’s a lot of water.

To build this habit, I broke it down:

I was to drink at least six 500 mL bottles of water per day. I have massive mugs at home, so any tea or coffee would be considered as a bottle of water. (I didn’t want to get bored with only drinking water.) This way, it was much easier to keep track, I could stash my full bottles anywhere I needed them to be – like my bedside, in my backpack or in the fridge – and I could see visible progress every day. A growing pile of empty water bottles strewn across my desk and in my bag became a common sight throughout the month.

I kept track of how many I drank throughout the day in my notebook, checking off each bottle as I downed it. At first, it was tough. I didn’t feel like drinking so much because, truth be told, I wasn’t sure I even needed so much. People are always advised to consult a doctor or health professional before making a radical dietary change… but I didn’t do that. Oops.

I dropped the habit of tracking each bottle by mid-month. I was travelling and busy and lost the discipline to keep it going. Instead, I did mental calculations to keep myself on track, which is why I’m very confident that I achieved my goal. I only wish I had kept track at the end to know for sure.

Drinking extra water is meant to boost mental clarity and alertness, flush out toxins, and clear up your skin, among other benefits. By the end of August, I was feeling bright, alert, and less hungry, despite the fact that I felt a bit bloated when I started the challenge.

I’ve been keeping up the habit of drinking more water in September. I want this to be a healthy habit I integrate into a healthier lifestyle!

Here’s to September – where healthy living is really getting a boost.

High fives and good vibes,
Monique 🙂

 

Gwen’s August Challenge: The Envelope Method for Spending

Welcome back!

My August mo’ money, mo’ progress challenge was to use ‘the envelope method’ for spending. That meant my challenge was to pay only in cash, and to budget all the money I was going to use in envelopes for the month.

Why was I doing this? There were two main reasons:

  1. It’s more painful to part with cash than to swipe a card. I’m in savage mode to pay off my debts, and I’d heard this is a great tactic to use.
  2. Curiousity. Could I actually use this simple method of spending?

As a card-carrying swiper (for all the things) I thought it would be interesting to see what it would be like to actually take out a wad of cash, put it in envelopes according to my budget and stick to it. So at the start of the month, I headed to the bank, took out the money, and sorted the dollas the best I could into envelopes.

THE RESULTS:

It worked… for about half the month.

I had about 10 envelopes and was really vigilant at the beginning with carrying almost all of the envelopes I’d need (groceries, coffee, restaurant, miscellaneous) wherever I went. I’m a very ‘go with the flow’ kinda gal, so I never knew what envelopes I’d need for the day.

I will be honest, it’s a little unnerving to carry around a couple hundred bucks wherever you go. It kind of made me want to spend it, so I wouldn’t lose it.

I also found that once I couldn’t keep up with the change (or it fell out of envelopes and all over the place), I started to resent this system.

THE BOTTOM LINE:

Overall, I’m happy I took on this challenge. It is a very eye-opening exercise to actually decide how much money you’re going to spend for the month… and see it. I actually do love the idea of paying in cash for a few things, so I’m going to extend the envelope method for September for my coffee and groceries budgets! I highly recommend trying this if you’re curious.

MY SEPTEMBER CHALLENGE:

I noticed in August that I started to become addicted to technology. It was quite a busy month at work, and I’m going to be moving again soon (and was dealing with that stress), so I found that at the end of the day all I wanted to do was curl up under the covers and watch YouTube videos. There’s nothing wrong with that, though I found I also went to sleep listening to podcasts, and overall had too much technology swirling around my head before grabbing some zzz’s. So my September challenge is going to be airplane mode and laptop free at 9 p.m. This is my effort to disconnect from technology before going to sleep and get some time back to read, meditate, and reconnect with a better sense of well-being.

Thank you for reading!! <3
Gwen

 

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