Compact Living: Quarter One

For any goal to be accomplished there needs to be regular check ins to make sure you are able to accomplish them, right? When I set my 2018 goal to live COMPACTLY I knew it was going to take some really intentional work. I figured I’d try to do my quarterly check ins here on the blog in an effort to encourage you to do the same thing in your own lives with your 2018 goals (even if you’ve already broken every single resolution… get back on the band wagon!).

Compact: Free Time

Living compactly with my free time means being focused and intentional about how I spend it. I want to have the space to do things like go places with each child individually so that they get one on one time. Last weekend I took Elle to a Georgia O’Keefe exhibit after she’d learned about her paintings in pre-school. (You can see my Facebook post about how “successful” our trip was HERE.) I’ve been trying to get out and just go on walks with the four kids after school too… the babies are calm in the stroller and Drew and Elle really open up and don’t fight as we walk. Plus, Drew gets loads of steps on his kid version of a FitBit, which he’s obsessed with, so I see it as a win-win.

Coat  (almost 50% off! and one of my favorite things I own… got it in Paris!!) | Skinny Dark Jeans: Gap  | Heels (I have the non-patent leather version)

Being compact in my free time also means saying yes to things that I’m really excited about doing… like picking out our bathroom tile and grouting it (after AJ laid it). And it means saying no to things that are fantastic (like a book club my good friends are doing) because it’s smack dab in the middle of the twins’ nap on my day when the other two are in school… I knew I needed free time around the house so living compactly means saying no to even really good things.

Major sneak peek of the new tile! I’m obsessed with how it looks with the vanity!

Tile | Vanity

One of the best ways I’ve found to be smart about my free time, or any time for that matter, is to write out everything for the day in my planner and always have the page open throughout the day. I write down five things max to get done and sometimes I’ll schedule specific errands or jobs around the house into my planner instead of just putting them in the to-do column so I know I can fit them into the day. Writing events or tasks into the hourly time block really helps me think through the day and how I’m going to get done what I need to and fit in important things like naps.

Compact: Finances

The other day I parked myself in our office and paid a bunch of bills. I really took time to figure out what I could be doing better on. It’s amazing how easy it is to just pick up a few things here and there and then eventually those few little things really add up. I’m really trying to be more intentional about that this month.

(Side note: if you have ever thought about purchasing these chairs and the cost was always prohibitive they are on the best sale I’ve EVER seen them at right now… at least a $100 less per chair than I paid for ours!)

Compact: Health

Being compact with help means actually having a compact body… a body without loads of extra fat or weight… and also a mind that’s compact, it thinks about what is good and pure and not obsessing over my body.

About five months ago I purchased Kayla Itsines Bikini Body Guide book. I kept reading testimony after testimony on her Instagram account of real women with real results from her program. At 28 minutes a day it seemed too good to be true… and I just became scared that my results wouldn’t be that good, that I couldn’t do the exercises or that it would be too hard. For five months I made excuses.

And then I was sick of feeling ashamed about the way I was treating my body so I decided to take it slow. The day after Valentine’s I decided to severely restrict my sugar intake, without completely nixing sugar (I did that on Whole 30 and hated it). I love to bake but I always find I eat, to a fault, what I bake. I am terrible at eating in moderation with sugar; I’m so much better at basically an all or nothing approach. So I grabbed some all natural dark hot chocolate and a super dark chocolate bar, broken up into one or two tiny pieces a day, and let those be my sugars at home.

Then after doing that for a couple of weeks I started the program from Kayla Itsines book on March 4. I decided to just go for it even though I was scared of failing. t’s safe to say that three weeks in I’m obsessed with it. There is something more empowering about this program than any other exercise I’ve ever done. I was pretty bad at it the first day and put on my tightest gym shorts so I could get a good “before” shot. I was totally mortified looking at myself in the mirror and feeling like I let myself my bad choices for too long… and I was also really proud of myself at the same time for actually doing something about it. Last Sunday I took my second week progress picture and already notice a small difference. Then tomorrow morning I’ll do the same in the same outfit. It’s not  dramatic but doing something challenging like this has completely shifted how I’m looking at myself. I kept reading in the testimonials that the mind shift was the biggest thing and IT’S SO TRUE!!!

I just purchased the book, which includes the workout guide and descriptions, some pink 5 pound weights from Marshalls and a pink yoga mat. I didn’t want to spend extra money and purchase the app or the e-book when this book seemed to cover all the bases. So far I’ve been more than happy with it! I generally wear these lightweight Nikes to do the workout and then my running shoes (I’ve worn Asics since high school) for my cardio days.

So that’s how my goal is going thus far… I’ve definitely not been perfect at it (did you read about the five month procrastination on the work out program?) but it helps to know that I told people what my goal was, that I chose something manageable and that I know that what I chose is something that will really benefit me and my fam.

Hope you have a great weekend, Friends. Check in with yourself on YOUR 2018 goals!

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Compact Living: Quarter One published first on

Author: EthanClaxton

What better way to think of home improvement than following advice from an experienced professional. We covers our experiences working as a professional Home improvement and home appliance professional advisor, with almost a decade’s worth of experience. Through our blog, we invites you in to benefit from her expertise and experience, sharing the best ideas and projects we have worked with.

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