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September 2017 archive

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