Urban Adaptation

Sustainable urban living, rural dreams, and daily change for a homemade life.

The Anyway Project – November goals

with 3 comments

Since it seems I can’t redesign my entire life in the span of a weekend (or even a month, I imagine, or longer), I’m plotting out some goals for this month for The Anyway Project.  The categories have changed a bit, but the ideas are still the same.  Given that things are still busy and that I still have a lot of writing, grading, and other sundry things to take care of, I think one or two things at most in each category will be a darn good start.

Domestic Infrastructure:

Get the kitchen cleared out, both in terms of food and other things that are kicking around in there that aren’t really needed (I have an awful lot of pots and cookbooks that aren’t really used).  I am, of course, still working to declutter the apartment as well.  This is also the time to winterproof as much as possible, so we’ll be fixing up the shrink plastic as much as possible and looking for ways to better insulate what’s left around here.

Household Economy:

I’m aiming to not only stay on track with my existing budget, but to cut down expenses and spending by another 10 percent in order to increase my savings this month.  I’ve also added a new category into my budget for putting towards purchases that help with sustainability and that hopefully will cut costs as well, so I’m planning on doing some research about the best investments to make.

Resource Consumption:

I’m going to start tracking my resource consumption here as well as I can (some resources are arranged through the landlords, though, and I can’t get a completely accurate read on them).  That said, I can do a better job of tracking my electricity usage and using less of it, as well as setting a timer for shorter showers, and taking them less frequently.  With respect to getting around, my mileage is all on public transit, which isn’t horrible, but I’m also setting a goal of walking or biking at least once a week when I normally would have taken the bus.  I’m considering starting in on the Riot for Austerity again, but it’s still under consideration.

Cottage Industry and Subsistence:

This one, I’ll admit, has me a bit stumped.  Although I see the value, I’m not sure I’m in a position right now to take on extra work in a cottage industry sense.  Nor do I know what to do at this point, so this one needs some thought.  I think I might instead focus on finishing the dissertation so that it’s done and over with and I can focus my energies in other directions (and stop paying tuition).  For subsistence, though, I’m looking into my options for some indoor growing.  This may be a bust, but then again it may not, and I’d like to get set up for that a bit more this month (this might be a good use for that new budget category).

Family and Community:

There are a number of organizations focused on sustainability and related concerns in town that I haven’t yet had much to do with.  So, this month I’m going to make an effort to get out to at least a few of their events and maybe even meet some people.  I’d also like to continue focusing on spending money – when I do spend money, that is – on local people and businesses.

Outside Work:

With October over, some of my outside work commitments have dissipated.  I’d like to keep it this way, and for now only focus on the dissertation and anything that’s important to either my future academic life or my future farm life (this has been working well thus far).   This is especially true, I think, in terms of sticking to those commitments that  mesh with my values.  To that end, I’ve got my eye on some projects that go somewhat beyond my usual work and start to engage with topics like food security and urban planning.  Now that the crazy period is over, I’d like to transition my research into some new work that matches my values and ideals a bit more.

Time and Happiness:

More exercise, better eating habits, more time on the couch knitting and reading.  That’s really about it.

That seems like a long list in some ways, but it also feels rather manageable, and some of these goals are things I’m already working my way through.  Some, of course, will take longer than a month, but it’s nice to know that there are specific goals to be met both right now and a ways down the road as well.


Written by Jenn

November 9, 2010 at 1:09 pm

3 Responses

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  1. HI Jenn,

    Do you mind if I ask what your 25 projects were that you mentioned in your Anyway project under November goals? I am taking in little bits here and there about what you are doing and I get excited…..and then feel overwhelmed! Perhaps I should just make one goal in one of those categories to start me out? How long have you been on this path?


    November 20, 2010 at 5:26 am

    • Hi Steph – I’m not sure about the 25 projects specifically (I hope I’m not doing 25, since that sounds like a lot), but in terms of being overwhelmed, that I totally get. Honestly, I tend to get really excited and take on more than I can chew. In some schools of thought, that’s bad. But here’s my general attitude: if I accomplish even half of what I set out to do, that’s still way better than what I was doing before, so there’s a net gain. I mean, sure, I’d love to accomplish everything right now and totally change my life around, but stuff gets in the way pretty consistently. There are certainly situations when this doesn’t work – getting half a dissertation done isn’t really an option for me – but in terms of all these goals and working through changing my life around a bit, I love to think big and have a lot going on. Sometimes I flop a bit (I’m behind on the decluttering and have taken far more baths than I should have in terms of water consumption this month, for instance), but this month in particular I’ve gotten together a lot of stuff to get rid of, used less electricity, and spent even less money than I normally do, just to mention three, and I think that’s great all the same.


      November 20, 2010 at 10:30 am

      • Thanks for that Jenn!

        I think you’re right. If you set the bar a bit higher it motivates you to get moving quickly!! Once you’ve set your gears in motion you’re bound to accomplish more than what you thought was possible which in turn will help to motivate you to keep going, right? So, that being said I am going to research how I can make some small adjustments that will be do-able to start. Thanks for the inspiration!!!


        November 20, 2010 at 4:01 pm

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