This weekend was a cleaning weekend - helping out a friend get her house to a semi-reasonable state and then doing some things at my house that needed to be done - I hates the mopping! Hates it! Just so ya know.
While I was at my friend's house, we got to talking (like we do) about habits, about home organization/cleaning, about weight, about money, etc... all the things that we grapple with on a day to day basis but they can seem soooo overwhelming if we lose that tenuous grip we have on them, but if we are able to just maintain, sometimes it means we're ahead of the game.
While I was doing things around my house, semi-beating myself up for giving in to the french fry craving [although the tummy issues it caused did a good job of beating me up instead] I had an idea to get past the overwhelming, but just work on maintaining: Nothing new!
When you read any book on managing your money and getting out of debt, one of the first rules is generally: No new debt. In order to get ahead, don't dig yourself in deeper by incurring more debt. Yes, you may have a HUGE amount of debt, but that's really intimidating to think of ever being able to pay it off. It's a lot easier to deal with not spending /more/ money.
So thought to myself: self, why not apply that thinking and practice to other areas?
No New Debt: Money's been tight since the wedding and we've also been changing banks around so what money we have is in flux between this account and that one. This weekend it was really, really tempting to use my credit card to buy gas (Veruca so kindly pointed out: Cash back rewards, baby!) But I decided that I didn't need to drive to the store that's 5 miles away, when there's the same store 2 miles away. Yes I should have ridden my bike but hello... it's August! In Tucson! And I was doing a big grocery trip. One deposit finally cleared today and I now am the proud owner of a full tank of gas, without resorting to the credit trap.
Along the same lines:
No Less Savings: I have an Emergency Fund that I'm working to rebuild after using a lot of it for not-so-emergent situations... yes it helped us do the wedding 80% debt free [paying off the honeymoon, see above], but it also depleted a huge chunk of the savings. Little by little I'm rebuilding it and it needs to stay in the account unless there's a true emergency.
For my weight/health:
No New Fat: While it's better to lose than gain, it's also better to maintain then gain. I realized that in the last month since I've been tracking my body fat, I've gotten rid of 1.4% body fat! That totally kicks butt! My weight /can/ go up, but not because of adding body fat. My lean body mass can increase, that's fine. The body fat can stay as is, or go away. That means I do my part maintaining my exercise and nutrition levels to help my body follow this rule by not going stoopid crazy with eating, allowing myself the occasional indulgence, but overall, remember my goal of getting to 160 by my birthday (although, admittedly, I'd be good with being down 5% body fat!). I have 9 weeks, and a little less than 2# a week of body fat to get there.
For the house:
No New Messes: While I'm still working with the cats to get on board with this one, I need to not create any new messes in the house by cleaning up after myself. There may be dishes in the sink, but as long as I regularly clean them out, it'll be fine. There may be a pile of mail, but if I take care of the new stuff that comes in, it won't make that pile any bigger.
I may not make progress very quickly this way, but I won't be adding anything new. And by building up the habits of maintaining, I can eventually add on habits and steps to make actual progress.