One Month at a Time: January Wraps Up & Kicking Off February
Wednesday February 1, 2017

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The first month of the year has wrapped up which means it is time to check in to see how the singular small change each of us made went as the Year of Welcoming in Quality and Reducing the Quantity began: Reduce or eliminate entirely one food or food type that does not serve you well.

As was shared at the mid-way point, the progress on my quest to reduce or eliminate refined sugar began well, but it wasn’t perfect. With a few slips and nibbles of items that had refined sugar in them, I continued with a similar track record the rest of the month, albeit without enjoying as many crackers which I will count as progress.

What I learned by limiting/reducing refined sugars:

  • Simply by not buying refined sugars and bringing them into my home, I rarely eat them.
  • However, items with refined sugar tend to be the food of choice at work for gatherings, meetings, etc., which means I have to plan my lunches and snacks wisely.
  • Bloating and feeling insatiable is the effect of eating refined sugars as a snack or meal.
  • My reduction approach has helped me become more hyper-aware of highly refined sugar items.
  • I can enjoy a croissant without jam.
  • Currently in the middle of reading The Case Against Sugar which is eye-opening.

Moving forward, my approach of reducing refined sugars will continue. While I won’t be able to abstain completely, my mood, my figure, my palette and my mind were balanced, natural and something I became very comfortable with. The simple awareness of paying attention to the additive that we either know or don’t know is in some of the foods we eat heightened my curiosity to learn more which reaffirmed that yes indeed, refined sugar deserved to be limited.

Now to February . . .


~Letting go or limiting use of a social media app that isn’t serving you as you strive to build relationships

At some points during my day, I find myself holding my cell phone and absent-mindedly checking my social media apps for the second or third time in a matter of minutes. It isn’t until I stop, am brought back to the present and step out of my unconscious habituation of tapping, swiping and “liking” that I realize I’ve wasted time, missed an opportunity to have a conversation with someone or been far more productive on a task I had wanted to complete.

Now don’t get me wrong, I appreciate immensely the tools that are my social media. After all, it is how I communicate with many of TSLL readers, but what if I refrained from using one social media app that is perhaps causing more stress than it is improving the quality of my life?

So which one would it be? Twitter has crossed my mind only because it is how I learn more about current news events, which can lead me to more news stories and more stress and more angst and then, well, lately, it hasn’t been a positive addition. I can absolutely say I will be keeping Instagram. It is probably one of my favorite apps for inspiration, beauty, and being taken virtually to Paris each and every day. What about Facebook? Hmmmm.

Okay, as a blogger, I need to be able to stay in contact, but this is the change I want and need to make. No checking of Twitter upon waking up in the morning and going to bed at night. No scrolling and no seeing what has occurred while I was asleep. Nope. I am just going to start and end the day without the world’s alarm until I am ready and out of my bedroom.

How about you? What social media app would you like to reduce or let go of for a month? Feel free to share in the comments below. I will be checking in on February 15th and sharing my progress. As well, I am beginning to read Irresistible: the Rise of Addictive Technology and the Business of Keeping Us Hooked by Adam Alter which is released next month and I look forward to sharing with you want I discover. May February offer an opportunity to reconnect with people face-to-face and cultivate deeper, more quality based relationships at work and at home.

What’s ahead in the year of Welcoming the Quality and Reducing the Quantity:


~Letting go of busy mentality


~Reducing mindless eating


~Mastering the use of credit


~Understanding and reducing self-doubt


~Curtailing the negative commentary (internal and external)


~How to approach staying informed but not overwhelmed by the news of the world


~Designated no work zones


~Smart shopping for clothing


~Recognizing, understanding and eradicating self-imposed limitations


~TBA | The Simply Luxurious Life

17 thoughts on “One Month at a Time: January Wraps Up & Kicking Off February

  1. I’ve decided to let go of Twitter & Instagram during the week & only check it on Sunday. I’ve gone 5 days so far & am very proud of myself!

  2. Good for you!
    I haven’t had sugar since Christmas (I work from home and cook everything from scratch, so I have complete control of ingredients). It has made a huge difference. I just am not hungry the way I used to be–and I long have avoided sugar until at least afternoon.
    It might also be the days getting longer and the unseasonably warm weather that makes me less prone to seeking comfort food.
    Your point about social media is interesting. I do check blogs, but they are mostly of the happy variety. I am not on Facebook or Twitter, but I am a news junkie and check the NYT, Quartz, Bloomberg and the WSJ multiple times during the day. A sure way to not sleep at night is to read the news before bed. I have to stop that.

  3. I will be very curious to read your ideas for the August theme. At the moment, the news is all very “in your face”. Your plan to reduce time spent on social media would certainly help remedy that. I don’t want to stick my head in the sand when it comes to current events, but tackling even some of the information available would seem a full time occupation. Enjoy your blog as always.

  4. I really like how you set a different goal each month! I think more people should do this than set a big resolution in January. Good luck with cutting down on social media. I found that if I put my phone in another room as soon as I get home, I can go hours without looking at it. But if it’s in my sight, I do way more mindless scrolling.

  5. I think getting off FB for a while is something I should definitely do. I always make the excuse that I live far from home and friends so it is how I keep in touch with them, but it is definitely a point of stress for me. Maybe I’ll only check it on the weekends like Gigi suggested, I like that idea!

    1. Thank you for sharing. You provoked. Few thoughts for me certainly. As someone who moderates comments, the only stressful thing about FB are comments that are unconstructive and hurtful. Otherwise, I love engaging with readers that stop by and say hello or share what they like and appreciate. As far as my feed, it’s all things French and inspiring posts about life and food. I try to not follow news on FB and keep it a pleasure destination. Perhaps I should do that on Twitter as well and just keep my news in the newspapers I read and the newshour I watch each night on PBS.

  6. I gave up alcohol and nightshade foods (mostly) in January. I was so worried I wouldn’t be able to stay away from wine (my drink of choice), but I’m feeling so good and haven’t missed it all, so I’ve decided to stay off alcohol until I reach my goal weight (or fit into my thin clothes which is really the goal). Avoiding nightshade foods (to which I’m super sensitive) has made such a difference I’m pretty sure my doctor is going to have to reduce the dosage of my thyroid meds when I see her later this month. I’m down 5 pounds and I feel fantastic without feeling like I’m deprived at all. The only downside is now I’m having symptoms of being over-medicated. I have to think about what I want to do this month. I give up Facebook every year for Lent, which starts March 1, so maybe I’ll switch February and March around and see if I can focus more on creating meaningful downtime this month. I love trying one new thing each month – it’s so much easier and I think creates more lasting results than trying to transform everything at once.

  7. Never having been on Facebook or Twitter I can’t comment on these, but personally I am fiercely protective of my privacy and can’t understand why people have to share every aspect of their own lives and feel free to make unpleasant comments about others, often people they have never even met. Our home is a social media free zone and our family understands that nothing concerning us is to be included. In true TSLL style, create a bit of mystery!

    1. Hi, I don’t have those accounts either. I had a Facebook account for a month then canceled it. I never posted anything and felt uneasy reading other people’s post so I deleted it.

  8. Hi Shannon!

    I am defintely looking forward to your month of July. Just yesterday evening I wrote down some thoughts and questions, concerning negative comments and criticism.

    For February I have one simple task which I procrastinated l in January: weight lifting in my living room. I own a pair small weights and could even make them double, triple, depending on my strength and motivation. I just have to DO IT. 😀 Wish me luck, please!

  9. I’ve been thinking a lot about my social media habits recently. I just finished a book called Deep Work by Cal Newport, which I would highly recommend. It’s all about training yourself away from shallow work and concentrating in a world that makes it difficult. There is a whole chapter about how to choose which social media sites actually serve your life and relationships and which don’t.

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