spa time

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I always try to set a New Years resolution. In past years, my goals have been things like finding a new job, or getting more done on the house, or even as simple as quitting soda at work (I drink coffee or tea most of the time now). These resolutions have been successful for the most part, but this year I’ve decided to divide my goals into two parts:  one list for personal, one list for the house.My house, as inanimate of an object as it may be, is a perfect representative for showing me just how much a little effort can really make an impact. But what hasn’t gotten much effort lately? Well, ME. I’m a disheveled mess ALL of the time it seems, and I feel like a shadow of the former me who used to have perfectly done hair each morning, full makeup on, and working out every night.

Okay… that last one’s a total lie. But I guess what I’m trying to say is that I feel like in the course of the last two years (wow, it’s weird to type that!) of the house getting it’s makeover, I’ve left my own on a waiting list that has been taking a lot longer than I ever wanted.

I used to be a product junkie and have always prided myself on taking good care of my skin. But now that my attire has turned into paint-splattered loungewear, caulk-covered tees, and cruddy flip flops, my pores are showing just as much damage. Sawdust is actually a comforting fragrance for me now, but I stopped wearing perfume. My hair is frizzy because I don’t go to the salon like I used to, and have instead spent the money on new tools. And as you know from my tag line, I almost always have paint on me, or chipped/unkempt nails, and in general, just look a little… worn.

One more thing that I’ve never gotten right is eating properly. I’m a picky eater, so I tend to eat the same meals day after day; I make small improvements here and there (like nixing my soda habit or switching from pizza rolls to yogurt with walnuts for lunch), but it never seems to be enough. I have a diet monkey on my back (and around my waistline), and its name is Carboholic. I eat the way an seven-year-old wants to:  usually I either eat leftover pizza, something from the freezer (processed food), or skip it altogether while I distract myself with a home project. And it only makes matters worse when it comes to my energy level and you know, the whole worn thing. Part of this is because I hate my kitchen; I’m scarred for life at the thought of preparing food on counters that were so dirty they required oven cleaner to move in.

So, I’ve decided that it’s time. I need motivation to renovate me too!  Working on my house as been a wonderful experience, and the blog has made it even better. I’m finally happy with the site’s design and can see that I even put more effort into it than into me.

spa time

You might be thinking that this resolution has to do with self-esteem, and you’d be right. But maybe it’s not for the reason you might think. I’m not doing this for any other person, or to cheer myself up, but to reflect who I feel like I am already. I’m not doing this for a change; instead, I’m doing this because of one.

The thing is, for the first time in a long while, I am really happy again. Not the “I just bought myself new shoes” happy (even though I don’t deny that high because they are made of awesome), but the true, “I’m content with my life, where it’s headed, back to singing and dancing in my car” type of happy. I don’t want this happiness to only be seen when I’m saying the words, but rather just known outwardly on its own.

I think a lot of this change is because of this house (and having this adorable face to come home to doesn’t hurt either). Even when it causes me to stress out, or when things fall apart (literally), I’m still very happy I’m doing it. I get sore muscles, bumps and bruises (lots of ’em!), but I still hum a tune and start another project. It makes me feel like I’m really accomplishing something, and it means a lot to me when I get to share these transformations with all of you. And not only that; the overwhelming amount of encouragement I receive from your emails, Facebook messages, and tweets never ceases to make me smile.

So, instead of setting myself one big fat goal, I’m taking a totally different route for 2012. I’ve decided to try to set seven small goals that will hopefully amount to the same thing. You won’t find anything like “run my first marathon” on this list, but you will find motivation:

  1. Continue to take every other stair, even after they are finished.
  2. Re-establish my old “home spa & wine night” (paint my toes – fingernails are obviously out because of the projects going on – and possibly put on a mask while I’m painting or working on a project – hey, my pores can shrink while I’m painting the stairs, why not?).
  3. New hair cut (nothing drastic, just something fresh – a mix between this and this would be just fine with me!).
  4. Try out a few new looks.
  5. Spend one week per month without a single lunch from a nearby restaurant. This already doesn’t include fast food as I already don’t eat at them (other than the once-every-three-months McDonald’s breakfast biscuit), but now I need to kick the whole non-brown bag lunch habit altogether, and this is where I’ll start. I’ve started this at the end of 2011, but I just need to make sure I keep it up now that school is starting and the temptation to just go for the easy pre-made lunch will be more intense.
  6. Start with two cooked meals (as in, no frozen or delivery) at home per week and gradually increase that number to every night. Again, this is already begun, but it’s all about keeping it up.
  7. Set the alarm every Monday for an hour earlier to get myself established with a small workout before work. This is the hardest one – I’m such a night owl and I hate waking up early!

And speaking of resolutions, these aren’t the only ones I have in store for 2012. It’s going to be a BIG year for the house as well, so be sure to come back later today for the UDH goal list!

(Also, in case you’re in need of your own pick-me-up, I found this article to be an extremely good read. I’m not one for self-help books, but these little reminders are always worth thinking about.)

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  1. Love this post Sarah, because I'm totally with you on this. We love our houses (and working on them) but it can totally consume your life until you're a walking paint-splattered, sawdust-covered zombie. Which is fun for scaring small children, but bad for self-esteem.

    I've actually been working on creating a separate section of DIYdiva specifically around using our DIY mentality on other aspects of our lives… hoping to launch it the first of the year! I think you've got a great list here, and I love the idea of incorporating some beauty time into project work… who says you can't sand and do a facial at the same time?

  2. Love these Sarah! I too, have a once-every-three-months McDonald's breakfast biscuit!

    I tried getting up to exercise before work and I just failed over and over and over. I do a lot better when I focus on getting to work on time, getting out on time, and doing a workout right when I get home. Different strokes for different folks, I guess.

    Good luck with all of this… and share some of your “masks” if you find a good homemade one! You aren't the only one whose pores could use some shrinking!