Personal Improvement Support Pod – Nepenthe

This is the support pod for those with personal improvement revolution goals! This is the most flexible pod, as it can encompass everything from getting organized, learning a new skill, getting smart about finances, or any other way you’re interested in improving your life! Use this space to share your projects and updates, offer tips and support, and (respectfully) hold each other accountable!

If you have any ideas for outside causes and charities to support or sponsor alongside your Nepenthe plans, please share them below as well!


This year is going to be full of major changes for me, and I’m still not quite sure where it will lead after May. But in the meantime, here are some of my general goals:

~Procrastinate less (hello Capstone deadlines)
~Create a better budget and stick to it, especially with student loan payments starting
~Start on my next tattoo(s?)
~Get back into tarot more consistently
~Work on forming/building some new relationships


I’m trying to make my screen time more useful. I’ve installed dulingo and I have a couple of friends who are learning Welsh on it. I’m hoping that the competitive side of it will hook me in and make for a more productive use of my screen time.

Also attempting 52 books in a year, detailed on the 2020 Reading Challenge thread.


One thing I would like to keep up with is journaling. I started back in the autumn, and I’ve kept it up Monday through Friday since. I’ve found it really helpful to sort through my feelings, things that overwhelm me or stress me out, and keep me focused on the positive via a daily gratitude list. I’ve found it’s given me more patience with my kids, and feeling better equipped to manage multiple roles in my professional life.

I feel like it would be such an easy thing to skip here or there, a day or two, then let it slowly slip away (e.g. “oh man, I ‘forgot’ again today - ah well, there’s always tomorrow”) but it’s been such a positive for me, I’m including it here to help be held accountable to keep it up!


So, it’s kinda terrifying to consider and not exactly a resolution, more of a goal/plan, but I’m going to be applying for grad school this year.

I know where I want to go, so it’s a matter of gathering up the application material, writing the letter essay thing, and sending it in.

Oh, and for charities, I have to promote Extra Life always, so :woman_shrugging:. I already mentioned them over in the Creative Pod, but someone else suggested Team Rubicon there, so maybe here would want Extra Life if that pod takes Team Rubicon.


I want to go to church every Sunday. I know that’s not everyone’s idea of self improvement, but it’s important for me. I haven’t gone regularly in a few years due to mental health struggles and I’m finally feeling well enough to get back into it, but building the habit back up again is still going to be an uphill battle.
I do have a sense of responsibility to keep me motivated though. This year I’ve been appointed as Nursery Leader, meaning I take care of the babies while their parents go to thier various church meetings. As long as I remember “The kids need me” before I turn off my alarm and go back to sleep I should be fine? I hope? Idk I’m working on it.


I LOVE Extra Life. My wife and I have always been big supporters of No Kid Hungry, and we plan on continuing to support their cause in 2020.


I’ve finally had a sit down and gone through my priorities for the year and here are the self-improvement-related ones:

  • Work on my big-picture time management like making a monthly cleaning routine so I’m not doing as much “emergency” cleaning when something gets out of hand or I have guests coming
  • Journal before bed.
  • Work on budgeting and savings. I’ve paid myself back for some big unplanned expenses from a couple years ago, but I have some big savings goals coming up that I want to be strategic about
  • Structure more language-learning into my days - both upkeep on my Chinese as well as more learning French
  • Stick to my newly-developed productivity system. I’ve been trying the procrastination journal + time blocking system…but I’ve been having unusual work days due to some personal life things, so while it seems pretty do-able, I haven’t had many full days to really give it a try.

Update: I haven’t quite settled on a cleaning routine BUT I’m almost done with an extreme declutter and clean of the biggest problem room. I got some cheap shelves so I could get stuff off the floor and I literally just finished clearing out a mess of cardboard boxes and other moving materials that just…never got dealt with when we moved to this house. There’s a tiny bit more to do in this room - some school papers that need to be properly stored, some fabric items that need to be wash…but it’s so so so much better than it’s ever been and I’m so pleased!! Next on my list is to tackle my bedroom - there’s not a ton of space and it’s actually in pretty good shape, I just have a lot of clothes that I want to get rid of and some cosmetics that are old and should be tossed.

I haven’t gotten back into the swing of journaling…I had a solid week of it before some external stress amped up some insomnia. But I’ve let go of the notion that I had to take detailed notes so I could “catch up” once I had time again. I’m hoping to start again soon, but I’m not going to go bonkers trying to fake entries from the days I missed (which is something I definitely used to do and it made journaling incredibly stressful).


Not to congratulate myself too soon, but I just wrote my first journal entry since the middle of January! And I didn’t even make myself feel bad for all of the missed days! I’m adjusting to my new routine, and it just felt like I needed to write today. I’m feeling optimistic about tomorrow too, but we’ll see.

As part of my new routine, I’m definitely planning for time for some regular language practice…but also potentially re-evaluating my productivity system, at least for the time being. No real updates to speak of on the other points though.


Great work! Proud of you, @Tinker!


Several months ago, I heard about SuperBetter on a podcast. SuperBetter is an app & website that uses game science to help people improve their lives, particularly around mental and physical well-being (that’s a VERY simple description). I signed up then, but haven’t done anything with it. Well, yesterday I started. This is in addition to starting back up with therapy.

It’s a start.


So looking at my goals, I’d say a lot of them have gotten knocked around by current events. On the one hand, everything that’s going on has been motivating me to journal more, and I’m averaging a few days a week. I’d like to get to every day, but I’m happy with how I’m doing so far. On the other hand, shifting to work-from-home only has totally messed up my day and I’ve been absolutely neglecting the system I’d been starting when I was going to my office. This week I think I’m going to try adapting it to my new routine, but we’ll see.