Jana Says

Living life from cover to cover

Challenges are challenging

Back at the beginning of September, I joined the Choose Your Own Adventure challenge. I love the concept of this because a) there’s basically no rules except to stick with the theme and b) who doesn’t enjoy a little goal setting?

Life According to Steph

September’s theme was fitness which was great because I had just purchased Focus T-25 and was totally committed to making it through the first 5 weeks. And I started off really well, too. Didn’t miss a day. And then. New Orleans happened.

It is amazing how just being away for 5 or so days can really disrupt your exercise routine. I have been exercising regularly for the last 2 years, mostly as a way of managing my depression, and since I’ve gotten back, my motivation to exercise (or do anything, really) has been non-existent. I’m losing weight, which is good, but I need to get back into working out before another episode happens and things get ugly again. Depression Jana is a mess, and she’s ugly. Like, UGLY. I actually look worse than this:

No one needs that. Which means I should probably find some sort of motivation and get my fat ass moving again. 

But I digress, and as far as the challenge goes, I think I did okay. I mean, half a month of success is better than zero month of success, right? RIGHT??

Moving on.

For October, the theme is food. In the fall, I usually spend my Sundays cooking and baking, and not only does it keep me distracted while the husband is watching all the football games I don’t care about, it means we save money since there’s ready to eat meals in the house so no spontaneous going out to eat (we’ll get back to this in a minute). I don’t have any time in October to cook on Sundays because each and every Sunday means a cheer competition and of course they’re far away and we have to be there at the ass crack of dawn, and by the time we get home, all I want to do is nap. There’s no time for cooking. So, instead of committing to finding new or interesting or creative recipes to try for this challenge, I’m deciding not to drink any diet soda (and Nadine is joining me. Peer pressure, Nadine. PEER PRESSURE). It’s probably the only thing I can choose that wouldn’t be setting myself up to fail. 

Now that we’ve covered the Choose Your Own Adventure challenge, let’s address Steph’s Wallet Watch. She did this back in April and it was a resounding success for me so I’m going to try it again this month. 

 

Like the other challenge, this is a make your own rules deal. So here are my rules:

  1. No unplanned going out to eat. My husband’s birthday is this month, and I know we’ll go out for that, but it’s planned so it doesn’t count. But we have gotten so lazy on the weekends, and it’s costing us a fortune. So that needs to stop.
  2. Stop abusing my Starbucks gift cards. I have a few. I have a raging affinity for their green tea. Since I’m not actually paying, I’ve been going almost every day, which isn’t leaving much in my gift card reserves. I think it might be better if I just bought the tea bags and made the stuff at home.
  3. Stay away from nail polish and other makeup. I did a huge refresh on my makeup and nail polish stash in August and September and anything I do now is just unnecessary. I don’t need to spend the money and I’m slowly running out of storage space.
  4. Find as much free stuff to do as possible. Cheer competitions are expensive, and we have so many this month that they’re taking up all of our fun money. If we want to afford things like food and electricity, we need to cut back somewhere. Fortunately, I love my library books and my Netflix and Amazon Prime and Redbox (with coupon codes, of course) so sticking to this rule should be easy. One exception: I am taking myself to see Gone Girl. I’ve been waiting for this movie for a long time. I don’t give a shit that a matinee ticket cost $9. I have a big purse so snacks and drinks will be coming in with me. #savingmoney

I’ll let you know how both of these go in November. I’m going in confident. We’ll see how I end up.

Are you guys participating in any of these challenges? Do you do monthly challenges on your own?

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24 Comments

  1. Ellesees.blogspot.com

    hey–kudos for 1/2! those makeup purchases get me too, but since i’m a beauty blogger i justify it that way, hehe. but i’m not a starbucks blogger, unforch.
    Ellesees.blogspot.com recently posted…This or That: Olay Microderm Abrasion Peel Vs. Boots No7 Peel KitsMy Profile

    Reply
    1. Jana (Post author)

      How great would it be to be a Starbucks blogger? I don’t drink coffee but I’d drink all the other stuff. And eat the food. I think there’s something to this…

      Reply
  2. SMD @ Life According to Steph

    I am 100% going to see Gone Girl even though it’s not in my budget. I don’t care.

    Giving up diet soda is an awesome and tough one. You got this!

    I think half of the month is really awesome. Vacation always derails me. And hell, pick up the other half this month!
    SMD @ Life According to Steph recently posted…Choose Your Own Adventure Challenge September Results – Fitness and October Goals – FoodMy Profile

    Reply
    1. Jana (Post author)

      I think as long as I carry no cash, avoiding diet soda shouldn’t be a problem because I refused to put $1.79 on a debit card.

      I’m taking myself to the movies tomorrow afternoon, while Erica is in school. I cannot wait!

      Reply
  3. Bri @ My Life As

    50 is definitely better than 0! Good luck on the wallet watch & October goals!
    Bri @ My Life As recently posted…Sh*t My Students Say Vol. 2My Profile

    Reply
    1. Jana (Post author)

      I keep telling myself that half is better than nothing!

      Thanks!

      Reply
  4. Sarah @ Beauty School Dropout

    Oh man… giving up diet soda is SO HARD but you’ll be so glad you did it. I know exactly what you mean about falling off the exercise bandwagon. I’m pretty sure if I let 3 days go by without exercising, I won’t do it for a month! It’s bad.
    Sarah @ Beauty School Dropout recently posted…October Goals, and September Goals in ReviewMy Profile

    Reply
    1. Jana (Post author)

      It really does need to get out of my life. Immediately.

      Reply
  5. Kelli

    I say you did great on your fitness goals and I also say once you get up and get moving again you’ll wonder why you didn’t do it soon. Happens to me a LOT.

    I didn’t make any finance goals but I should do that next time, I hate rules though. Even one’s I set for myself.
    Kelli recently posted…Bird Island, NC Day Trippin’My Profile

    Reply
    1. Jana (Post author)

      I definitely need to start moving again. I feel like crap. And I agree, I’ll kick myself for not starting again sooner.

      Reply
  6. Linda Sheridan

    We have had soccer for 20+ years. Expensive, but worth it, both of our boys received tremendous college scholarships. We and they put in the time and we funded it, so I hear you on the Cheer time, travel, and money.
    Goddess speed for your exercise and congrats for the fitness you have achieved. I am 58 and know the extreme mind, body, soul benefits of physical activity,but something in me resists. If I am on a mission to do something, I am like speed racer, but resist dedicated exercise. I just do not get myself, sometimes!!!
    I love my diet pepsi. I would have 3 a day for years and I am 58! I gave it up cold turkey 2 years ago. I have regressed a bit, indulging about 4 a month sometimes, but will never get back into my daily habit. So good for you
    and good luck on all of your goals.

    Love, SMD’s Momma

    Reply
    1. Jana (Post author)

      Thank you!

      I’m hoping the cheer turns into something helpful for college but if not, at least she’s getting activity, learning discipline, and branching out her social circle. So that’s all good stuff.

      Reply
  7. Nadine

    I say that working out for half the month is a passing score! I sucked at my goals last month…I totally need to step it up! I forgot to include the no diet sodas in my goals for this month…but I am totally doing it! Darn those delicious cancer causing drinks! We totally got this!!
    Nadine recently posted…Goal Results/Fall GoalsMy Profile

    Reply
    1. Jana (Post author)

      WE DO!!! We can get through it!

      Reply
  8. Jenn @ Business, Life & Design

    Anything is better than nothing! There’s so many goal link ups going around – I think I’d be overwhelmed if I tried to do all of them. I’m going to stick with my own quarterly/seasonal goals. I do have weekly and monthly “priorities” but I like keeping those flexible.

    Eating out less, and making more meals at home are things I need to work on. It usually ends up being both healthier and cheaper.
    Jenn @ Business, Life & Design recently posted…When Words Aren’t Sufficient – Atheists and LossMy Profile

    Reply
    1. Jana (Post author)

      There are definitely tons of linkups going around but I like this one because it is flexible. I can set my own rules and that’s good.

      I have monthly and weekly priorities, too, but I try to make sure they’re in line with my overall goals. Helps keep me focused, which is something I desperately need.

      Reply
  9. lisacng @ expandng.com

    You gotta get back on that workout routine if it helps you in so many ways. Do not go back to ugly crying lady! As for me, I haven’t worked out in months, so it’s like I should be talking to you about it. But hey, can’t be perfect right ;). And awesome goals on keeping spending down. I feel like we’re bleeding money right now and with holidays around the corner, it aint getting any better. I like not eating out unless it’s planned. So much waste in that dept for us too, especially on weekends.
    lisacng @ expandng.com recently posted…Tweetviews – book reviews in 140 charactersMy Profile

    Reply
    1. Jana (Post author)

      I’m really trying! I did work out once last week and I promised myself I’d start getting up early again to get it out of the way. I hate feeling like this.

      I feel like we’re bleeding money, too. I WANT IT TO STOP!!!

      Reply
  10. Kerry

    Half a month totally counts, it’s hard when traveling. Great goals for the wallet watch. I tossed a bunch of nail polish since my stash was ridiculous and promised not to restock until I emptied at least one polish.

    Reply
    1. Jana (Post author)

      It feels oddly liberating to get rid of old nail polish, doesn’t it? I think that’s a good rule you have. I might have to steal it.

      Reply
  11. Kristen

    hmmm you gave me a great idea to start meal planning and cooking while the husband is watching the football. and travelling sucks the life out of any good intentions for eating and exercise, lol
    Kristen recently posted…Choose Your Own Adventure September ResultsMy Profile

    Reply
    1. Jana (Post author)

      The cooking during the football makes the football so much more tolerable. And you’ll feel so productive and then you can rub it in his face like “hey, look what I did while you just sat there”. It’s very satisfying.

      Reply
  12. Amber

    Oo I want to see Gone Girl! I hope to go at some point.
    Amber recently posted…Things That Annoy Me Thursday: Cooking. Still.My Profile

    Reply
    1. Jana (Post author)

      I didn’t get to go yesterday so it’s on tap for next week. I’m so excited!

      Reply

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