Putting Effort Into Pursuing Change

The steps I’m taking to transform myself.
illustration of a table decorated for New Year's Eve with champagne and glasses
Change is my word. What’s yours? | Image made by author with Canva AI.

I picked “change” as my word for 2024, and I’m doing everything I can to make it happen.

I’m using my 30-Day Life Tune Up Challenge as my guide, but I’m using it a little differently than I originally planned.

Rather than pick one area and focus on it for 30 days straight, I’m giving myself permission to take breaks.

While I still do each day’s activity in order, I’ll put it off for a day if I don’t feel up to it.

The streak freeze

For the past few years, I’ve been using Duolingo to learn Spanish. One thing I love about Duolingo is you can have a streak freeze.

If you need to take a day, or even a few days, off from learning, you don’t lose the streak you’ve earned up to that point. It’s how I’m at a 792 day learning streak without feeling overwhelmed.

I’m applying the streak-freeze idea to the Tune-Up Challenge.

My focus right now is on 3 areas: weight loss, journaling, and reading.

For weight loss, I’m using a combination of tracking what I eat with intermittent fasting.

One of the few gifts of the busy tax season is I have less time to snack, so I’m finding easier to stick to my eating goals. So far, I’ve lost 5 pounds and an inch around my midsection.


My second focus area is journaling.

I’m using habit stacking to put journaling back into my daily routine. Right after I eat dinner, I pick up my journal and write about two things:

  • 1 reason to be grateful
  • 1 lesson I learned that day

Between those two prompts, I usually fill a whole page.

I may also write about how I’m doing mentally or physically or what interesting things happened during the day. Then, of course, I always explore how I feel about it all.

I love returning to my journaling habit and know how helpful it is to my stability.

Reading for fun

The third area I’m focusing on is reading.

I love to read, but I often skip it when I’m too tired or too busy.

Continuing with the idea of habit stacking, I now read for 15 minutes after I write my journal.

As I mentioned last week, I’ve been reading You Are a Badass (ad) by Jen Sincero. I’m also reading a mystery and a book about how to be a better writer.

I pick a book each night based on my mood. When I have a few to choose from, usually one will entice me to read.

Too often with bipolar disorder, we think we can’t do anything to improve our lives. We get stuck in the negativity in our heads and then cannot move forward.

Making a choice

This year I’m making a conscious choice to grow.

I’m taking baby steps and tackling each problem in bite-sized pieces, but I’m making progress. I’m determined to make 2024 a transformative year.

You can do the same. Hopefully, you grabbed a copy of the Life Tune-Up Challenge in December, or you can buy one now from my Etsy store.

Change is inevitable. You will change whether you want to or not, so you might as well choose how you’re going to change.

Change is my goal for this year. I’ll keep you posted on my progress in the weeks and months to come.

Thank you for joining me on my journey.

Until next time, keep fighting.

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