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Day 2 Reflection:

Fiscal: Yesterday was a complete success financially. I visited Long Leaf Cafe for an interview and as much as I wanted to spend money on a hot cup of coffee, I knew I didn't have the funds. So, I ordered water. WATER! It's the first time I've ever ordered water in a coffee shop. I brought my lunch to work, so I didn't feel the urge to buy food mid-day. After work, I had special plans with co-workers that had been set for a while, so I knew the threat of spending my $10.50 budget was a real concern. But thankfully someone very generous in our group ended up paying the check (little blessing) so I spent exactly $0.00 yesterday. Woohoo!

Physical: I woke up early and remembered to drink my cranberry juice. I avoided all sodas yesterday, but at the dinner I broke my alcohol rule and had a margarita instead of wine. I also ate a little Mexican food that was arguably unhealthy. But the salad I took to work for lunch was the only meal I ate all day (wasn't feeling well early morning), so by the time I got off work and met up with my co-workers, I was famished. I'm noticing a pattern about late night hunger. I'm always so hungry after work. The most disappointing part of yesterday was that I broke my smoking rule. After receiving some bothersome news, I dealt with the stress by smoking. But I'm starting fresh today. My body doesn't physically crave them anyway, it's more of a stress habit. Either way, I need to rid myself of the habit and learn to deal with stress differently.

Spiritual: I had a wonderful day in prayer and scripture reading yesterday, and it felt good to charge my day with a jolt of God before the day even started. While going through my Bible, I was led to a certain passage that was specifically dealing with my thoughts from the day before. So, I'll share it with you.

James 5:13 - 18 13 Is anyone among you in trouble? Let them pray. Is anyone happy? Let them sing songs of praise. 14 Is anyone among you sick? Let them call the elders of the church to pray over them and anoint them with oil in the name of the Lord. 15 And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise them up. If they have sinned, they will be forgiven. 16 Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective. 17 Elijah was a human being, even as we are. He prayed earnestly that it would not rain, and it did not rain on the land for three and a half years. 18 Again he prayed, and the heavens gave rain, and the earth produced its crops.

So like yesterday, I experienced a few positives and a few negatives. In general I was pleased with how the day turned out, minus a few setbacks. Continued progress is all I'm aiming for here for the next 28 days. I'm working on me, one day at a time.

**Beginning today, I will be out of range until Sunday morning, so I'll be journaling privately until then. I'll return Sunday and share my progress. 21 days to form a habit...

Summary of Life Cleanse: A few weeks ago, my friend and co-worker, Education Reporter Kayla Bell and I were sitting on her back patio chattering on about boys, relationships, work and eventually life goals. And then somehow we started making them; life goals.

But they weren't the kind of goals one sets to accomplish years in the future. They were life-improving goals, ones that would rid the body of bad habits, grow a spiritual connectedness in the mind, and force us to be responsible with our money. So we agreed, for 30 days, we'd do a Life Cleanse.

We set some basic guidelines, three principles really, for the 30-day life cleanse, and promised to yield to them. For 30 days, the three principles Kayla and me will adhere to are Physical, Fiscal and Spiritual. Each person can set their own goals under the three principles, but once they're set -- that's your plan. The great thing about the cleanse is that it's a "will-do this" plan, rather than a "can't do this" plan. And if we fail one day, we have to keep going, starting fresh same day, or if relevant, the following day.

Here are the principles: Principle 1. Fiscal Responsibility

I will abstain from frivolous spending, only a personal budget of $20 per week will be allowed. This includes eating out, personal purchases (not bills, groceries, gas, regular expenses). Money allowance can roll over to next, but cannot be borrowed from second, third or fourth week's budget. * Remember, you spent about $600 last month on frivolous, nothing "me purchases." You will put at least half of that money aside this month into savings.

Principle 2. Physical Responsibility I will exercise 3x per week. Friday, Saturday at 2 p.m. and Sunday at 8 a.m. More days are acceptable. I will drink water and water-based drinks for 30 days, no soda. I will drink 8 oz. organic, sugar-free cranberry juice every morning. 2 glasses of wine (no substitutes) each week is acceptable (if necessary for pre-planned social gatherings in June) No smoking, no exceptions.

Principle 3. Spiritual Responsibility I will pray every day for 30 days. Prayers are not timed, but must be said in the morning. I will write in my book Friday/Saturdays at 1 p.m. for at least 20 min. I will blog progress of 30-Day Life Cleanse every day.