I've decided to add a few challenges to the year's goals each month. In January, along with getting the whole plan started, I cleaned out my closet and got rid of a bunch of stuff. I also opted out of junk mail, including email and credit card offers!
Coming up in February, here are my special add-on bonuses:
Don't buy lunch at work.
This was also a goal for January, which I have so far met successfully. I have to remember to bring my lunchbox! (And I have to remind my lovely provider/homemaker person to pack it.) If I forget, there are lots of office snacks, but I shouldn't head out to the deli or the coffee shop across the street. Keeping some non-perishables in my desk drawer, too. Prior planning prevents penniless paupers! (It tends to help, anyway.)
No ice cream for Lent. (starting Feb. 22nd)
No, I'm not Catholic. I have, though, adopted the practice of making the 40 days of Lent a time of contemplation, and I usually find one thing to give up for that time as both a notable sacrifice and a test of will. Ice cream is a big one for me... I may have to banish it from the house entirely.
Attend Taize and Q-Sangha.
While this addition to a crowded work/school schedule will mean I lose out on some sleep and some social time, I think it's important to participate in my community. The weekly Taize-inspired service at my church is an excellent opportunity for reflection; I went to every service during Lent last year and focused on a theme of envisioning myself as a "beloved child of the Universe". This year, I'll be attending the Buddhist sangha (meeting) for the first time; it's really been growing after re-emerging last year. I'm not very good at quiet-mind meditation... so we'll see if this teaches me new things!
Take a break.
Because I worked the week after Christmas, instead of going on vacation like most of my coworkers (someone had to cover necessary functions, and I still got the 23rd, 26th, and 2nd off), I get to take my 4 days in the first week of February! I plan to visit the SJSU campus, hang out with my local friends, and get some rest before the semester really gets going.