Also, this prompt is making me realize that I really do have the academic calendar burned into my psyche so deeply that I don't think of January 1 as the transition to a new year but instead think of the summer that way. Last summer, I did make some subtle but profound changes in my life. And thinking back, those things tend to happen in the summer. So, there are things I have cut out of my life and want to keep out of my life next year. Oh, let's be honest. Many of these things I do not want to cut out but reduce.
- Carbonated Beverages: Now, I have not cut these out of my life completely. I get a Coke (not a Diet Coke and not a Coke Zero) every Friday night at the movies. But that is pretty much it. Every few weeks, I'll have one during the week, but usually only when my schedule is tight and lunch is nothing more than some granola bar of some sort, and I want more calories in me before I go to three hours classes. But I have not bought a carbonated beverage and brought it into this house since July. I've had to tighten the belt, too. And since I pretty much only drink water at home, that means I have pretty much cut caffeine out of my life, too, though I always bought Caffeine Free Coke for home, so that's not a huge change.
- Daily Chai at Starbucks: This is one thing I do need to reduce. I love my chai, but it is full of sugar. There have been times I've had two in one day. I need to reduce that. Maybe four per week?
- Late Nights: Last July, I finally met with a sleep specialist because I was sick of nothing working. My primary care physician gives me Ambien, and it does nothing for me. I do all the tricks I read about, and nothing happens. I met with a specialist who had me figured out in ten minutes, able to explain why certain things would not work for me and able to provide solutions. That night, I slept better than I ever have in my life. There was a week after that when I slept for twelve solid hours a night. My husband says I snored like he'd never heard if I fall asleep in the wrong position. I still need to cut out the late nights, though. I can get caught up in something on the computer or on TV and not get to bed until two in the morning. That needs to improve.
- Lunches Out: This past semester, I did a fantastic job of not buying lunch on campus or going out for fast food. Even I was a bit stunned by that. Most of the time, I made a sandwich at home. I'm really hoping to keep that up in the coming year.
- Online Time: Again, last summer, I thought about the number of sites I visit in a day, and I trimmed it back. I'm actually pretty happy with the amount of time I spend online. I rarely feel like I have wasted a ton of time surfing sites unless it was a time I planned to do it.
- Scales: When the batteries in our scale ran out, I threw the scale away. I don't care what I weigh anymore. I did buy a blood pressure monitor because I think that number is a better way to judge my health than my weight. Along with getting rid of the scale, I started buying more clothes I liked, no longer waiting until I was back to a certain number or anything. What I weigh is now irrelevant to me.