Contentment Challenge : What I learned in January

1 month down, 2 to go!

January is always a fun month for me because I see it (as many do) like a fresh start! I always return to work after Christmas break refreshed, refocused, and excited to tackle projects. I learned a lot this month about my capacity and productivity habits as I eased back into work. Oh boy, did I miss working.

I was really worried about starting the Contentment Challenge in January. Starting a 3 month shopping freeze was intimidating and I assumed the first month would be the hardest, but it actually wasn’t. I really enjoyed it! I am excited to venture into the next 2 months!


Here’s a little recap of what I learned!

One element of the challenge is to read a few books that focus on contentment while going through the Challenge. I am currently reading Grace Not Perfection (with Kat and the Facebook group), and re-reading Celebration of Discipline (one of the books I read last year). It already has been so helpful to fill my thoughts with encouraging books like these that push you in the right direction! I would highly recommend both of these books. Nancy also has some more recommendations that you should check out.

 

As I mentioned in my original “Contentment” blog post, Nancy’s eBook guides you through the whole process in a really beautiful way. I have truly loved reading it each week. She outlines specific action steps along the way. In the first month she has you clean out and purge your closet. This was very helpful for me because I now know exactly what’s in my closet.  In addition to making more organized, this makes it easier to get my day started. This gave me much more of an “abundance” mindset rather than looking in my closet each day and claiming I have nothing to wear. In the time since cleaning it out I have actually worn way more of more clothes, rather than repeating the same set of pieces each week Opening my closet and seeing it clutter free and organized allows me to get more creative with my outfits.

 

One thing Nancy talked about in the EBook was recognizing the difference between liking and enjoying something and needing to own it. I LOVE this point. What I’ve truly found that I can enjoy things and find inspiration in them without buying them to own. Seems like a “duh” moment, but I’ve found a lot of peace in it. This has actually made shopping and reading blogs more enjoyable! I’ve left stores or my favorite fashion blogs feeling inspired to see what I can do with my own closet, rather than feeling the need to buy, buy, buy.

 

At the start, the hardest guideline to follow was the “no social media past 10 pm” guideline. My Mom has always had the rule “no hard questions after 10 pm”. She believes (and is right in believing) that emotions are wrung out at the day and that everything seems worse in the evening. Well folks, SHE’S RIGHT.

I have noticed in the last few months that during the day I look at fellow business owners/bloggers on Instagram and think:

“look at her go!”

“ I’m so proud of her!”

“ I love her style!”

“She’s doing so great!”

And in the evening I think:

“why isn’t my business as cool as hers?”

“How does she have time for all that and I can’t even remember to do my laundry?” And

“I need to travel there NOW”.

 

It only takes one Facebook article for me to stay up all night worrying. Not to mention the distraction of my phone keeps me from going to sleep as early as I should. This guideline has turned out to be so good for me! I set an alarm on my phone that goes off every day at 10:00 pm and says “no more social media”. It reminds me every night so I have no reason to forget. I have been less stressed in the evenings, gotten to bed earlier, and been able to spend more time with my family without being distracted. I love this guideline so much that I have actually decided to bump it to 9:00 pm for February.

 

There definitely have been times where I’ve thought of or seen something I wanted and been tempted to buy it, but the challenge has given me just enough distance that after a little bit of time passes I am actually able to decide that I don’t need it.
I’m sure the challenge will get harder the longer it goes, but for now I’m really enjoying it. I’m looking forward to more lessons to be learned in the coming months!

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