This is a really quick snapshot of the gladiola in an arrangement at the funeral.
My grandmother used to grow gladiola in her garden.
Deaths tend to occur in threes and that actually came true in February. Plus, a couple of my friends continue to experience difficulties in life. And then having a difficult No Spend Month challenge was the cherry on top.
I'm so glad it's a new month. In March, I have been trying to get back into my usual routine. I realize that this is not my normal Sunday post, but I wanted to share about a couple of new lifestyle challenges before they start. Author of the book on habits entitled "Better than Before," Gretchen Rubin would call me an Upholder since I meet both inner and outer expectations. Even though I am committed on my own, I want to share these personal challenges with my readers so that I have an audience to be accountable to.
Since Daylight Savings Time begins and it is light out later today, I thought that I would start a new lifestyle challenge that enhances my evenings. From tonight, Sunday, March 12th through Saturday, March 18th, I will not go to bed without leaving my kitchen clean. My energy tends to crash at about 7:30 PM each day and even though I have some energy before bedtime, I don't have a serious come back. Since I am aware that I have more energy in the morning, I tend to procrastinate, leaving the kitchen at least a bit dirty at night, leaving it until the next morning. I want to drop this bad habit. This week, I want all the dishes cleaned, dried and put away, not even left clean in the dishwasher. I want my counters to be wiped down. I don't want coffee splatter left on my stovetop from making daily morning espresso in my moka pot. If there is anything messy on the refrigerator, dishwasher, microwave, sink, cabinets, floors, or trash cans, I would like to clean that up as well. I plan to record this accomplishment by taking a picture of my clean kitchen and then posting the photo on Instagram with the hashtag #cleankitchenatnight. You can follow me @theitaliagal. Lauren @an_organized_life often uses this particular hashtag on her Instagram account. If you wish to join me, feel free to tag me. I would love to see your pictures! I will at least write about it here on the blog after the challenge is over, but I may post about it another time during the week.
Immediately following that, on Sunday, March 19th, I plan to keep up the momentum and start another daily challenge. I always meant to make working on my blog a daily habit, but never have. I want to commit to a formal challenge. I want to work on my blog seven days a week for three weeks through Saturday, April 8th. I plan to publish a post every Sunday, Tuesday, and Friday during that time period. I will strive to publish good content. As a lifestyle blogger, I truly believe in quality over quantity. To achieve better posts, I am deciding against publishing everyday. Still, I may just post a picture and a sentence. Or write a paragraph on what I did that day. Just to post something. To establish the routine. To focus on my personal growth. What I truly need to focus on in this challenge is frequency. I need to develop this habit. They say that it takes 21 days! What is truly making me procrastinate on regularly working and posting is my perfectionism. Jennifer of The Daily Connoisseur talked about not looking perfect and mentioned having "one of those days" recently. Those conversations including the fact that a woman I admire tries no matter what comforted me. It's okay not to be perfect, but it's not so great not to show up. I no longer want everything having to be perfect to hold me back in life. My readers tell me that they appreciate that I am so real. I adore that comment as I truly value authenticity. I should be even more open and furthermore, engage in my beloved hobby that is a part of me that more on a daily basis rather than a weekly one.
I have a long list of subjects that I would love to write about! I do plan on writing about my No Spend February and my strict grocery budget for the month once more, including at least a couple of tips and what I learned. I haven't forgotten that I wanted to post an updated home tour in pictures. I would also love to share what I did on my upcoming daytrip to Philadelphia. I haven't visited in a year and I am so excited! I will kinda take you guys with me by posting pictures on Instagram, so, again, be sure to follow me @theitaliagal.
I hope that you will forgive me for not posting lately. As you can see, I am working on improving. And now, if you will excuse me... It is getting late and I have a kitchen to clean! See you later on Instagram!