Tuesday, May 22

The 100 Day Challenge- Day 0

I haven’t updated this blog in over a year.

Tomorrow I’m going to start a personal challenge- 100 days to a better life. I told my boyfriend about this and he kind of laughed, and later he asked me exactly what this was and where I got the idea. I don’t really know. I’ve been in a rut for a few years, and when I moved from the Philly area to the Cincinnati area less than a year ago to be with my boyfriend while he attends graduate school, I figured I would be able to focus on all the things I want to do. I would finally get healthy, make some art, figure out what I’m doing with a career, save some money. I’m in a state where I know very few people and my glamorous job waiting tables means I have time during the day that I could be using to paint or draw. Instead, I usually find myself catching up on TV, putting off exercise, taking naps that are way too long, or going into a trance-like state while looking at humor websites. 

Speaking of wasting time, a few weeks ago I found myself playing around with my favorite new distraction, my iPhone, and looking up how many days old I am. I found out I was less than 100 days from being 10,000 days old, and I guess that’s why that number stuck in my head. (Today, May 22nd, 2012, I am 9930 days old.) I like the idea of 100 days because it seems like so many and so few days at the same time. I wondered what I could accomplish if I really focused on making my life better for this length of time. 

Time to find out.

I have some ideas of what I want to change and some ideas of how to go about it, but I think part of this experiment will be figuring out what I need to change. 

Here are some things that I know I want to change:

  •   My eating: I’ve done better with eating fresh produce since I’ve been living here, but I’ve been supplementing the healthy stuff with plenty of junk. As I inch closer to my 30’s, I start noticing that I feel worse when I eat food that can be politely described as “total shit”.
  •  Exercise: I go to the gym, sometimes. And I like the gym when I go! But I need to be more committed. I’ve also recently been using a pedometer, which is helpful in seeing the difference between days working (on my feet all day) and days off (where I’m much more likely to be lying around). I would like to be aiming for 12-15,000 steps/day. I have also always been interested in running but I’ve done very little to make it a reality.
  •  Spending habits: My income is variable and makes me nervous. We had a slow start earning money when we moved here and of course there are plenty of expenses incurred in moving. I’ve curbed the credit card spending and stopped pulling from savings during the past few months but I could probably be more thrifty and start actually going in the right direction, paying off debt and building savings.
  •   Art/Career: I got my degree in fine arts, printmaking specifically, and though I know that art is almost impossible to make into a career, some of my fellow students have done a little better than I have. There’s nothing like a facebook stalking session to depress me, especially upon seeing anyone with work being displayed or realizing that people are finishing up grad school and I haven’t taken any steps toward going, even though I want to. I think this is one of my more difficult challenges. First of all, I’m not making much art, but secondly, I have no idea how to promote myself or how to go about getting into or paying for grad school. And thirdly, I don’t really know how to seek out sales opportunities. There’s at least somewhat of an art community in this town but I feel like I never know about craft shows or other events until it’s too late to get involved.
  •    TIME MANAGEMENT: I think this bleeds into almost all my other problems. I am a professional time waster, to say the least. Give me free time, and I’ll squander it. I remember a few times in college when I would spend hours working on school stuff, go to work, then come home and work on school stuff for several more hours. It was hard, but what I always remember is the distinct feeling of getting into bed exhausted and thinking “I was productive today.” I never slept better.

100 days, starting tomorrow.

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