July Habit: Sell 1 Thing A Day

+ Yay! It’s a new month (or was :/ ) which means a new monthly habit and a recap of last month’s. These monthly experiments help me build healthy habits, break unhealthy ones or just learn more about myself so I can figure out what’s really essential!

Hi, happy summer! I'm popping in because we are adding a new daily habit for July in addition to Duolingo Junio!

Not surprisingly, our home is pretty uncluttered and ready for most renters but now that we're going to be gone for 3 months, Greg wants to have the downstairs (a very large garage) completely empty. It currently houses a bunch of renovation materials, some beekeeping supplies and a pile of stuff we've been wanting to sell or giveaway.

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As I mentioned in our October Habit: 5 Things A Day... Again, we still have to make an effort to keep our home lean. In addition to saying "no", this means regular pruning of toys and clothes and occasional trips to Goodwill and other donation sites.

We keep a "get it out of here" basket for donations and returns in our entry closet.

But when we would like to sell something or need to put extra effort into getting rid of it, we put it in a pile in the garage. It's time to deal with it. ;)

To follow my 5 Steps to a Successful Habit Shift, for the month of July, we're going to:
1. Be specific. Every day, we're going to do one of three things to help sell or dispose of an item: Photograph it for a listing, Post it to Craigslist or a Buy Nothing group, or Research the agency to help us with disposal (this is mostly for some "hazardous" renovation materials.)
2. Start small. We're taking just one action for one item at a time, even if it only takes 2 minutes.
3. Find a trigger. We're going to do this as soon as we finish our last bite of dinner.
4. Time box. If we can't get the whole task done in 15 minutes, we'll stop and continue the next day.
5. Have a simple system. We have the items listed and are tracking their status in our to-do list (Asana) so we'll know exactly the next step to take.

Sell-1-Thing-A-Day July should help us finally clear out the last of the stuff down there and give us a little more peace of mind during the sabbatical! 

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How about you? Do you have any tips for selling unwanted items? Or have you used any of those new apps? What do the kids use these days?

+ Today, I just dropped off an old pair of glasses to an eyewear donation program! ☑︎

June Habit: Duolingo (Learn Spanish) and a May Habit Recap

+ Yay! It’s a new month which means a new monthly habit and a recap of last month’s. These monthly experiments help me build healthy habits, break unhealthy ones or just learn more about myself so I can figure out what’s really essential!

We're moving to Spain in September!! Well, for 3 months, for a sabbatical, but we're moving to Spain! We'll be spending most of our time on the island of Mallorca.

( via )

(via)

And I know zero Spanish or just a handful of words which is probably fewer than my 1-year-old :/ I feel like I can probably read menus but I'd like to be able to converse a little bit and it will be great to learn a new language. (I learned French through high school).

Duolingo Junio!
For the month of June (and most likely the rest of the summer), my goal is to learn Spanish! Or start to learn Spanish. Greg's already fluent and Peanut barely talks so I'm alone in this one. (Although, Greg, maybe you'll try to advance your skills a bit?)

I'm really excited about this app: Duolingo (not getting paid… just a fan ;). It's free and you spend a few minutes a day learning a new language. The set-up is so easy and the simple system is already in place. There are a number of languages to choose from with a few different options for commitment. My daily goal is "Casual" or 5 minutes per day and maybe I'll move up to "Serious" or 15 minutes per day at some point. I'm starting small and timeboxing to 5 minutes! ;)

My trigger will be right when I put Peanut down for his first nap. It'll be so quick that I'll probably be finished before he even falls asleep! On the two days a week I'm gone for naptime, I'll do the work right after leaving the house but before I get on my way.

(The Duolingo app on my phone and the beginning of my first lesson!)

(The Duolingo app on my phone and the beginning of my first lesson!)

Our habit experiments usually support one of our bigger goals, and this month, we’re supporting a project we’ve been working on for years and dreaming about for a decade!

Reflections on our May Habit: Oops, an 8-Hour Do-Over ;):
For the month of May, we were going to refocus on getting 8 hours of sleep a night. During 8-Hour April, I was missing my sleep windows and we were traveling or sick most of the month. As we had hoped, trying again in May really helped. We’re getting better at prioritizing sleep most of the time. And that’s what it has to be these days: a priority… over entertainment, socializing, lounging, chores, work, etc. I need it for my illness and also just to be a better person.

To help us meet the goal we were going to work on:
+ No screens 30 minutes before bed! We’re better at this but not great every night. Playoffs! The more tired I am, the more likely I am to stay up. What?!
+ Tracking our time asleep. We’ve been tracking our sleep using Sense (a device on your pillow and an app). It’s not perfect but it’s simple hands-off tracking. My average nightly sleep in May was 7.7hrs vs. 7.2 in April!
+ Getting to bed a little earlier (by 10?). I’m still working on this one. Maybe when I stop pumping before bed... Greg only makes it to bed earlier on Sabbath but thank goodness we have that one day (and two evenings) with very little to do!
+ Stay in loungewear and nap if we didn’t get 8 hours. This didn’t happen on the usual 7-hour-nights but the few times we were up in the middle of the night with a sick babe, we did manage to nap in the mornings to compensate. Unfortunately, Sense doesn’t track naps (my biggest complaint).

So 8-Hour May was pretty successful and we’re going to continue working on it. There are a few things we noted this month: sleeping in is no longer an option so we have to go to bed earlier; screens before bed hurt both in bedtime and in sleep quality; Sense and the Apple Health app need a lot of work around sleep tracking but I’m glad they exist; and honestly, I'm pretty lucky to even have these issues.

Alright! Let’s get some sleep this summer!