January: a month of challenges, growth and other stuff

I know we still have two days left in January. But because Sunday was the last day of my Whole 30, I feel like the month is over. For me, January wasn’t just about changing my eating habits, so I thought I would give an update on what happened this month.
This first month of my year of being “intentional” was definitely one I will look back on. It included some challenges, a few wins, stepping out and some disappointment. I’ve been trying to figure out how this whole idea of being intentional would play out in 2017, and I feel like I learned a few things from dear ol’ January.

Just as I took control of my love for food and started exercising regularly in January, I want to find one thing to give up and one thing to add in future months. The thing I give up would be something that has become a negative factor in my life. The thing I add is something that is its opposite. So, get rid of the negative, add the positive.
Here’s how things went in January:

  1. I finished the Whole 30! I gave up many of my favorite foods by eliminating all grains, sugar, dairy and legumes. I feel such an amazing sense of accomplishment that I DID IT! I will admit that around Day Nine I was thinking of every reason in the book that this was a bad idea, and I should quit. I’m so glad I didn’t give up. I feel so much more in control of my food choices. My body is feeling well fueled. And I did end up losing three pounds. (I’ve been really sick the past five days, so I can’t really say if I have more energy.)
  2. I started exercising more regularly. I’ve been working on my couch to 5K progress and doing a couple of strength training workouts via the Internets.
  3. I decided to face my fear of falling and go for something that I wanted to do that was just for me. I’m typically very cautious of committing to anything beyond my wife/mom/work/church duties. But this seemed like something that would help me grow in an area that is a passion of mine. Guess what?!? I got REJECTED! Guys, I actually got a rejection letter! (It was an e-mail, really.) I was really bummed for a few days. I think it’s just hard to think about doing something fun that is just for you, getting excited about it and then hearing that rejection. In the end, I know it wasn’t meant to be. The rejection actually was a confirmation about what I need to do in February, so I’m trying to be thankful for falling.
  4. I also completed a big personal project for the month. I uploaded all of our photos from 2016 to Shutterfly and organized them into photo albums. It took two albums, with the maximum number of pages! I start this process almost every year, but this is the first time I actually completed it since 2011. I am really, truly going to try to work on my photo book at the end of each month in 2017. I barely took any photos this month, so it shouldn’t be too difficult.

Well, I’m excited about February. I have a big challenge for myself. I know what I’m going to eliminate. I know what I’m going to add. And I know what project I want to complete. This is going to be a tough one for me, so I’m glad the month has only 28 days! 🙂
How about you? How did your January go? Do you have anything you are trying to accomplish in February? I would love to hear about it in the comments!


    1. Sues, OK… So, I just checked out your approach to printing your photo albums. I’ve never thought about printing them as they fill up. Duh! So life changing! I have it in my head that each photo book should represent one year. I have to give this some serious thought. 🙂 Thanks for reading!

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