Practicing Minimalism and conscious consumerism in Japan

Resolution Check Up: April

Sorry ya’ll I’m a bit late this month.  Golden Week came and went and it was a much needed vacation for both my boyfriend and I. My usual Resolution Check Up post was a bit delayed but I’ve finally caught a free moment this week to catch up so here we go!

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MY 2017 NEW YEARS RESOLUTIONS

 

Lose 15 Pounds —-> (-5 pounds so far) lose another 2.5 or 3 by June

Do a Running Event

Pass JLPT N3 

Start Studying for N2 –> Actually study at some point during the day

Blog at least 7 times a month  —> In the month of April I blogged 14 times!

Vlog at Least Once a Month —-> I still haven’t gotten around to this yet, but I’ve had a few interesting vlog ideas lately so there’s something!

Make at least 2 new plushies a month with at least one new pattern  –> Unable to make much of anything in April.

Use All Old Beauty Supplies Before Buying New Ones

Goals I’m Removing From List:

Re-Pick up journaling daily

30 Days of Yoga with Adriene

Thoughts

First off, you may have noticed I’m getting rid of two of my resolutions from the list: journaling and yoga.  I kept trying to alter them so I could accomplish them each month but I realize I’m not just in that type of mindset right now to journal or do yoga. Although the media often says journaling and yoga are the ideal ways for self care, my version of this is watching Star Trek Voyager and playing Sims soo…I’ve decided to not force myself to do anything I know I’m not in the mood for.  Journalling is something I’ve done since I was like 10 years old (ever since I started watching the show As Told By Ginger) and although I don’t do it daily, I reach for my journal when I need it and I’m okay with having fewer entries as long as they help me deal with stress and reflect in some sort of way.

Let’s breakdown the other resolutions a bit shall we?

Weight Loss

I’m not even sure if I should be talking about this because I know as soon as I publicize my weight loss journey & lifestyle change it may be even more difficult to live up to expectations from the people around me, myself, and social media. Also, as soon as someone hears you’re watching what you’re eating, everyone suddenly has advice and most of it is unwanted.  It might just be better to not say anything at all, but at this moment I do want to talk about a few recent victories.  Who knows, maybe this moment will pass but for now I want to share.

I decided around the end of April (also around the end of the Spring 10×10 Challenge) that I was sick of how I was feeling about my body (also my clothes were barely fitting) and decided to join Weight Watchers via their mobile app.  I’ve done Weight Watchers before and I was very successful on it, so I’m confident I can reach my goals this way. The only reason I stopped doing Weight Watchers was because I thought it would be difficult to do it in Japan, but it’s been going really well!  I’ve also decided to track calories (on My Fitness Pal) alongside Weight Watchers just so I can see how much the point system has me eating daily.  It’s been an interesting experiment these past 3 weeks and I’ve lost about 5 pounds since the last week of April.  I’m really happy with my dedication and I think things are finally going my way in terms of this really important resolution of mine.

I’ve decided I wanted to set some short term goals for myself so I thought I could add them here.  I want to be down at least 2.5/3 pounds by the beginning of June, and at my first goal weight by the end of July (official goal weight to be determined later).  I’ll keep my weight to myself but I can already fit better into my tighter clothes and I’m seeing positive changes in my body!  I also feel much better mentally and I’ve had a slight self confidence boost so that’s fantastic!

Exercise

Ahh exercise.  So going along with my weight loss goals, at the beginning of April I re-joined the gym.  I think I mentioned this in my last check up but it’s worth mentioning again given that I’ve had a lot of victories in this category too.  For example, yesterday I swam over 1,000 meters which to my past self seems crazy tiny, but these days I’m slow and any sort of distance is amazing.  I also started going to uncharted territory at the gym: the dreaded weight machines.  I always used to lift weights when I was a gym rat back in college so I’m glad to have ventured back to the machines and little by little I’m trying new machines every trip to the gym and adding them to my routine.  I can already see a huge muscle increase in my thighs and calves so it’s really exciting that weight lifting is working for me.   Jogging outside and in the mornings has been lacking this month but I’m okay with it since I’ve been dedicating more time to the gym.  I’m hoping that after my next 10k (this weekend) I can get back to running outside.  I’m mostly not running this week on concrete because I’m worried I’ll injure myself before this race.  Overall, exercise has been really good!

Japanese Study

As time goes on, I’ve become more and more distant with studying Japanese.  This doesn’t mean I’ve given up learning, I’ve just strayed away from the books.  Lately I’ve been talking a lot more to my boyfriend in Japanese as well as having students and co-workers teach me new phrases and vocabulary.  I know though that I need to crack open the kanji books if I ever want to pass N2 so I’m going to try to at least study something related to kanji / writing / reading each day.  Wish me luck.  And if you have any advice on how to jump start motivation it would be appreciated!

Blogging

I feel like my goals to actually make money from blogging  and boost views are not going well at all.  I think most of this is because work has finally picked up and I actually haven’t had a moment to blog since the end of April.  What makes this even more annoying is that my old blog “MicheleAnninJapan” is actually getting more traffic than this one.  The reason is probably because of all the new & aspiring JETS are trying to find as much information about moving to Japan as possible and my last blog had a lot of resources.  I’m planning on adding a ton of travel posts soon, as well as some Japan resource posts, so hopefully that’ll boost traffic.

As for vlogging, I’ve had a ton of ideas but no motivation to put anything into action.  I really should put together my Onomichi Bike Trip vlog at some point this next month.

Plushie Making

Since I’ve put so much effort into weight loss and exercise I’ve found that I’m too tired to do any sewing after I get home from the gym.  I also ran into a bit of a road block because one of the new patterns I wanted to use called for a special measuring and I don’t have the measuring tools to finish the pattern.  I’m hoping this month I’ll be able to find my gym routine and be less tired so I can get a few plushies made!

Finish All The Beauty Supplies

I’ve used a ton of stuff lately, and I’ve also gotten rid of a ton of expired products as well.  I feel like this goal is more or so going to take me all year and then continue forever but I really enjoy finally finishing something that I’ve had for years.  I think this past month I finished 3/4 products and found a bunch of expired things I needed to throw away.


So in the month of April I made some big changes with my health but I’ve been feeling so busy and overworked from the gym and my job that I’ve barely had any time to dip into my creative side.  I’m hoping things will balance out this next month and I can start creating things again (blogs, plushies, vlogs, drawing and so on).  Thanks for reading my monthly check up!

How are your resolutions going?

🙂