Category Archives: 12MonthlyHabits

12MonthlyHabits – January Update #TrueLove

My wife told me to update the blog so I am because that’s what you do when your wife tells you to do something.  #TrueLove

As you know, our focus this month has been no screens while we are in bed.  Just to recap, my wife loves to watch TV in bed and because I want to support her in all that she does, I would also watch TV in bed.  It’s how marriage works…google it.  This month we decided to cut out all screen time once our heads hit the pillow.  We had two options:

  1. Go to sleep – easier said than done when your mind has been running all day. #WeAreEducators and #ToddlerParents
  2. Read a book – both of us have taken to this more often than not.

The biggest issue at first was finding the correct wattage bulb for our lamps.  We never really used our lamps previously because our 35 inch HD TV was plenty bright, but on January 1, we quickly realized that my 1,000 watt, flourescent bulb was too much and Caroline’s didn’t even work.  I bought a three-way bulb for my lamp and the light is perfect at 30 watts.  I bought Caroline the same bulb and of course it didn’t fit.  Naturally, I could only find a 5 watt bulb to fit Caroline’s lamp so we hooked that bad boy up, and God said, “let there be very minimal light that makes it very difficult to read.”  So like true millennial Americans, we just don’t use Caroline’s lamp.

Now for the successes —

I just recently finished a book entitled, The Simple Path to Wealth by J.L. Collins.  I highly recommend this book for anyone wondering what to do with their money.  It’s fantastic and very well-written.  With its easy-to-read style, Collins is able to explain a lot of complex money issues in lamens terms.  If you are trying to determine what to do with a little bit of money you have saved, then look no further than J.L. Collins’ book.  Here’s the gist: contribute as much as you can to a total stock market index fund (not individual stocks), do not hire a financial advisor, and stay the course because the stock market is a roller coaster ride. I would even recommend following his blog:

While we are talking about money, I also recommend you check out YNAB and Mr. Money Mustache.  I highly recommend both for teachers especially but also for anyone looking to find peace with their finances.

Back to January’s Monthly Habit…

After finishing my first book, I’ve started Into Thin Air by Jon Krakauer.  I highly recommend the movie as well, but as always, the book is better.  For me, it’s been years since I’ve read books that I’ve wanted to read – mostly due to my graduate work – and I love it.  I find that after about 20 minutes of reading my mind is relaxed, and I fall asleep much quicker than I did before.

Ok so we are educators so what about the data? Well thankfully, I wear a Fitbit Blaze that tracks my sleeping.  Since January 1 (the first night of no screens), the number of times my Fitbit considers me restless during my sleeping time is down by 18%.  In fact, on January 7 and January 9, Fitbit did not register me waking up even once during the night.  I’d say I’m definitely sleeping better according to the data, and anecdotally, I feel more rested when I wake up.

More to come as the month progresses.  Maybe I can ever get Caroline to write an update!  Sleep well because I know we are!

A change of pace for this space

Sometimes I miss writing on my blog, but a 2-year-old is one of the best time sucks I could ask for. This month my wife got me motivated to write again when she challenged our family to complete 12 new habits for the upcoming year.  We have created a list of 12 new things we are going to do each month (one per month) for 2017.  The list is subject to change at any point if we get better ideas along the way, and we still have 1 month open at this point so feel free to offer up ideas.

So here’s the list…

  1. January – No screens before bed and we must read a book (the paperbound kind, not of the kindle variety) each night.
  2. February – Make our bed every day.  We don’t do this at all unless people are coming over (as if we think everyone who comes over wants to see our bedroom).  I think our parents made us do it so much as kids that Caroline and I agreed (telepathically, never out loud) to never make our bed for the last 6 years of our marriage.
  3. March – We will cook 2 new recipes each week. #LetsBeHonest, if it can be cooked in Pampered Chef’s microwave cooker (seriously…check it out) or the crockpot then it doesn’t usually get cooked in our house.  Obviously, this one will be a challenge.
  4. April – 25 push ups every day. Pretty explanatory. #swole
  5. May – Take a walk every day.
  6. June – No fried foods. This will truly be difficult because we love french fries, but lately we’ve been diggin’ sweet potato fries so losing those will be devastating as well.
  7. July – We will complete one house improvement each week.  These improvements can be decorative, enhancements, or anything the wifey deems need to be done.
  8. August – Looking for recommendations
  9. September – Caroline has been pushing this one on me for years, but I’m a red-blooded, meat-loving American. However, because my wife is persistently loving, we will eat two vegetarian meals each week.
  10. October – Our goal is to run FOUR 5Ks in a month.  This may be moved to another month depending on 5k availability.
  11. November – During this month, Caroline and I will sit down for 20 minutes at the end of every day and talk to each other. No screens, no distractions, no baby, just talk.
  12. December – Complete an advent devotion every day as a family.

There you have it.  Our 2017 Monthly Habits list.  Remember we are still taking recommendations so please leave a few in the comments.