Out with the old, In with the new!

Happy New Year! Here’s to lucky number 13!

We rang in the new year in a pretty low key manner. Just the 4 of us at home, playing games, eating and being silly.

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We did our official toast to the new year at 9 pm so that Isabella could participate. We mixed orange juice and Squirt and drank out of wine glasses (champagne flutes are still in storage…) to make it fancy. Then we took some more silly pictures and called it a night!

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Now, let’s talk resolutions…

I started out 2012 with a long list of resolutions (30 of them! Eek!). I acknowledged at the time that it was ambitious and tried to break it down in to manageable chunks. I actually stuck with it for a good 6 months too and can say I crossed off about 50% of the items (I say “about” because some of the goals were in multiple parts or I did a resolution for the first half of the year but not the last, etc.).

I could site many excuses for not doing more (laziness, being pregnant, changing priorities, etc.) but the fact of the matter is that I’m human and can only do so much. I’m not perfect (are you shocked?) and so I think getting through half of my list is pretty darn good.

That being said, this year I’m going to come at it a bit differently. I have 2 goals (you know, other than the Big One of having a baby) and they pretty much go hand in hand:

1. Get our finances in order and pay down our debts

2. Establish and maintain organization in the household

The first one is a carry over from last year. I learned a valuable lesson in the last couple of months – no matter how much money you make, it’s all about how you manage it. To that end, you have to have a budget and a plan, neither of which we really had. I really struggled in December with our money situation and how I let us get here (I’m the CFO of the house). But “shoulds” will not solve anything and all we can do is fix it going forward.

So I took some time over the last couple weeks to come up with a budget, formulate a plan for how we’ll pay down the debt and save money and put it in to action. It’s a work in progress and I’m sure we’ll have to adjust as we go but it feels good to at least do something. Admittedly, we are not nearly as bad off as many others in America and I am truly grateful for what we do have. But it could be better and I’m determined to make it so.

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In my mind, #2 will help us with #1. The more organized we are around the house, the more money we’ll save. Case in point: the other week I bought new toothpaste for Isabella because she ran out, only to discover a couple days later when rifling through the closet that we already had some for her. Also, the more diligent we are about cleaning, maintenance and upkeep of the house, the fewer ‘emergencies’ we’ll have down the line with things breaking or wearing out due to improper upkeep.

Don’t get me wrong. It’s not like we’re slobs or don’t take care of things, it’s just that with the daily hustle and bustle, things tend to get dropped by the wayside, forgotten or overlooked and the next thing you know, you’re taking your car to the mechanic for a $200 job that could have been avoided had you remembered to change the oil 3 months ago (not that I’m speaking from personal experience or anything…).

So I’ve put together a Household Management Binder that will hopefully keep us on the straight and narrow. In it there are sheets for:

1. Weekly meal planning (this will save us money on groceries and help avoid eating out plus take away the daily stress of “what’s for dinner?”)

2. Weekly Cleaning Checklist – I’m using #2 (breaks up cleaning tasks out by day of the week so that we have a few small things to do each day rather than a huge list on the weekend)

3. Monthly Cleaning Zones (lists out items that need to be done on a monthly basis so they aren’t overlooked)

4. Budget (visible reminder of our budget that will help us see how we’re doing and stay on track)

5. 52 Weeks of Organization (a weekly guide to organizing so that by year end, the whole house will be organized and de-cluttered)

6. Play date Calendar (monthly look at all the play groups, story times and open gym times around town for CJ and Isabella to use)

7. Emergency Contact Information (list of emergency numbers for easy reference for us or baby-sitters)

8. Household projects (list of all the big projects / to do’s that need to be done around the house so that CJ and I can sync up and track them together)

We’ve been using it since Sunday and so far, so good. Crossing items off the weekly cleaning list feels good because it means we’ve accomplished something and that we’re doing good things for our house! And the meal planner has made the week so much easier when it comes to lunches and dinners.

We also got one item checked off the household projects list – putting the storage cabinet together and organizing it!

In our old house, we had this cabinet in Samson’s Room and used it for storing gift wrapping supplies, games, scrapbooking stuff, and miscellaneous small décor items (like candles). We had to take it apart when we moved and it never got reassembled – until this weekend!

The basement went from this:

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To this!

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Pretty awesome, huh? I was able to unpack and toss about 7 big boxes, freeing up so much more space.

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Here’s what the inside looks like:

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On the left is the gift wrapping station (ribbons and accessories on top, bags and tissue on the hangers, and wrapping paper and boxes on the bottom). On the right we have games, memory boxes, extra baskets/art supplies and candles (in the top drawer). Bottom drawer is empty which means there’s room for more!

Feels so good to have that done and I smile every time I go in the basement and see that area!

Cheers to a good year!

February Update

It’s the time again ladies and germs. Time to check in and see how I did on my resolutions for the year.

The shortest month of the year has felt very long indeed. To be honest, I really didn’t spend much time thinking about resolutions. We were so super busy that I pretty much just did what I had to do and called it good enough. However, much of these have sort of been ingrained in my head already so I was able to check a few off without too much hassle.

Love it when that happens!

Here are the items that we had success in.

1. Do at least one “special” family outing (i.e. the grocery store doesn’t count)

We went to a Super Bowl party and Isabella had lots of fun there. She was also a big hit during the halftime show.

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We had friends over to celebrate Valentine’s day, which was also super fun.

We went to the Polar Plunge, which was quite the experience for all of us!

We were also invited to a neighbor’s birthday party, which was great. The more we can expose Isabella to other kids, the better. She’s getting better at playing WITH other children rather than just playing NEAR them.

2. Find window treatments for all windows

Got some valances hung up in the playroom, which was a huge win. Next room on the list: the master bedroom. At this rate, doing one room a month, we’ll be done by the end of summer!

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3. Organize and decorate the front room

Big win! I participated in a blogging challenge that spurred me on to getting this room in tip-top shape! I’m super pleased with the results!

4. Add Built in shelves to the living room

We’ve started talking about what we want and I’ve been scouring Pinterest for ideas. Does that count?

5. Move Isabella to a toddler bed

We haven’t made the transition but she seems to be more and more ready. She’s taken to climbing up on our bed and laying under the covers, pretending to sleep. She always climbed up before but mostly to jump around and be silly, never to actually rest. I was *this close* to letting her take a nap in our bed one day but it didn’t end up happening.

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6. Research pre-schools

As a matter of fact, yes! I have to give CJ all the credit on this one. He wrote down all the pre-schools and Montessori’s in our area and called them one afternoon. We still need to schedule visits and what not but this was a great start. Go Ceige!

7. Attend one professional event a month

Done! I attended an event all about the planning of the Omaha Marathon and it was really interesting. I work in technology so any time I can hear about projects in other industries it’s fascinating to me. All the details that have to be ironed out are mind-boggling.

8. Save 5% of paycheck and apply 5% to credit card debt

Not so great. I did initially set money aside in savings but then due to an accounting error on my part (I wrote in the ledger that we had deposited money but I forgot to actually do it), needed to grab it back to offset overdraft charges. I was so mad at myself for that. I did pay off a chunk of the credit card so I guess that’s the silver lining.

9. Daily prayers

I’ve been about 50/50 with this one when it comes to formally sitting down and talking with the Big Man. I do however have random talks with him throughout the day so I should give myself more credit.

10. One healthy habit a month – February’s was to read a daily meditation

Thanks to an app on my phone, it was pretty easy to do this one. I made myself stop and read every morning when I got back from the gym. It only takes a minute and helps start my day off right!

Oh and I’ve continued my January goal of eating one fruit/veggie at every meal. It’s truly become a habit now!

11. Attend 4 cultural events a year

I have 3 words for you – Barry freakin’ Manilow!

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(my cube wall has become the Barry shrine)

12. Attend social events with friends

Super bowl party, girl’s night out with some gal pals from work to watch “The Help”, and Barry!

And these are the resolutions that we didn’t do anything on.

1. Create sitting area within master bedroom

2. Unpack boxes in basement (we actually ADDED boxes…)

3. Potty training

4. Find a church

5. Date night once a month – we had 2 date nights planned but one we canceled due to crappy weather and one turned out to be a girl’s thing (not couples like I originally thought). However, we have one on the calendar for March that will go on no matter what!

In addition to the above, there were a couple bonuses this month. For one, I found a new doctor (my previous GP had moved on to bigger and better things) and went in for a physical (I’m healthy as a horse)! I had been putting off getting a physical for years (though I do go to my OB yearly). After that I decided it was time to get back to taking a daily multi-vitamin and added fish oil supplements to the routine (given my family history of heart disease). Re-adopting these healthy habits feels great!

I also cleaned out our kitchen cabinet with mixed up dishes in it and added in a new set of china.

AND we overcame Isabella’s bedtime nonsense of fighting us when it came time to go to sleep. The Sleep Fairy + tough love = success!

How are you doing on your New Year’s Resolutions?

If you liked this, you might also like:

January Update

2012 Resolutions

January Check-In

It’s the end of the month and that means it’s time to check in on how I’m doing with my resolutions for the year. Let’s just say I’m totally kicking butt so far. January has been very productive and while there were a few setbacks and frustrations, overall, I’m really proud of my progress.

Now let’s get specific.

Family and Home:

1.  Do at least one family outing a month. We slam dunked this one. We went to Sesame Street live…

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a movie, a neighborhood pot luck, a trip to the playground and the zoo.

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We really had a fun month as a family and I’m stoked to see what things we can come up with to do in February!

2.  Tackle the following home projects this year:

  • Buy and hang curtains on all the windows. We got a good start on this one. We started with Isabella’s room because we wanted ones that would block out the night, particularly during the day.

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We also put up some in the front room, on the window between the dining room and play room.

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Pretend the play area is totally neat and organized….still working on a better solution for that. I do think the panel curtains really help separate the 2 rooms more visually. Also adds some much needed color.

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It’s amazing how much curtains can add to a room. Such an easy way to add punch and visual interest.

We also got some pictures and a mirror hung on the back wall of the dining room which was a big accomplishment for me. That blank wall has been sticking in my craw for months so it feels great to have it filled. Took a while to find stuff we liked. We knew we wanted a mirror but aside from that, we weren’t sure. I was going on feel and 2 criteria: it had to be blue and bold. As soon as I saw those 2 flower prints at the store I knew they were perfect!

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Samson likes them too.

  • Unpack the remaining boxes in the basement. Did nothing on this one. The problem is that most of the stuff left in boxes is awaiting another project to be done. For example, the built ins. Once those are done, we can empty a whole slew of them!
  • Do something with the front room. I’m getting close on this one. I haven’t purchased anything yet but have more ideas and may even act on one of them tomorrow! Squee!
  • Create a sitting room within the master bedroom. Nothing yet. This probably won’t happen until later in the year.
  • Add built in shelves to the living room by the end of the year. Again, this is a project that most likely won’t be started until summer.

3.  Break Isabella of the “oobie” habit once and for all. Done! Though she still asks for one on occasion and often dreams of them, for the most part I would call this a success. It wasn’t without a lot of crying, hand wringing and alcohol prayer, but we did it. She can sleep without them so long as she has her blankets and stuffed animals. I imagine the reliance on those will go away too in time so this one can officially be crossed off! Boo-yah!

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4.  Move Isabella to a toddler bed. Not yet. Wanted to wait for her to get through the “oobie” withdrawal. And I’m in no hurry so it’ll happen sometime this year, just not right away.

5.  Have Isabella potty trained by her 3rd birthday (September 30). We bought her a potty book and talk about it but no formal transition plan yet. Not sure she’s totally ready for that. She seems to view pooping as an ailment. Whenever she poops, and believe me, we can tell when that is, I’ll ask her about it and she says, “No I’m not pooping, I’m fine” through gritted teeth. She’s gonna be quite a catch for some lucky young man!

6.  Research pre-schools and enroll Isabella in one to start in the fall of 2012. No. Nada. Zero. Zilch.

Financial and career:

7.  Attend one career professional event a month. I attended one event in January and already have one on my calendar for February and March. Look at me being such an overachiever!

8.  Spend less money – save 5% of each paycheck in a nest egg AND apply 5% of each paycheck toward paying off our credit card balance. This one didn’t go as neatly as planned. With the first paycheck there wasn’t enough left to put money in savings and pay towards the credit card so I chose to forgo the saving. But with the second paycheck, I was able to do both. Money in general stresses me out because it seems that no matter how careful we are, we always end up counting down to the next payday. I’m working on figuring out better ways or not letting it get to me. It’s a process. Fortunately I get paid a bonus every quarter so that fills in some of the gaps.

9.  Save money for Isabella. This part has been easy. I just drop my loose change in a jar every day when I get home. I don’t even miss it!

Spiritual and ethical:

10. Find a church that we all like and attend regularly (at least twice a month). I was all gung ho to get going on this the first week of the month but our weekends tend to be really busy and we haven’t had time to look in to any churches, much less attend a service. Maybe next month.

11. Get back to daily prayers/talks with my Higher Power. I can’t say I did this on a daily basis but I was more regular about it. Maybe once or twice a week. I’ll keep at it.

Physical and health:

12. Adopt one new healthy habit each month. January – Add a fruit and/or vegetable (preferably both!) to each meal. I’ve actually done really well at this one. There were times if I was in a hurry I would be tempted to skip the veggies but most of the time I made myself do it.

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I think I only had 2 meals all month that didn’t have at least one fruit or veggie. Most of them had both. I found that overall, this helped me eat better throughout the day and I’ve noticed a difference in my skin and nails.

Social and cultural:

13. Attend at least 4 cultural events this year (e.g. Broadway shows, concerts, museum exhibitions).This month CJ and I went to see Blue Man Group with a bunch of friends and had a blast! I forgot how much I miss going to shows.

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Particularly ones with big balls.

14. Regularly participate in events put on by the social clubs I belong to (speaker’s events, parties, happy hours, etc). We did this too! Not only did we go to a neighborhood function but we also attended a Chinese New Year celebration put on by one of the members of our volleyball club.

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Both events exposed us to new friends and helped get reacquainted with old ones. Smashing success!

15.  Go on a date night with CJ once a month. Blue Man Group and the Chinese New Year outings were both date nights so we did 2 this month! We already have a couple scheduled for February too. Go us!

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Overall, I’m really happy with what I’ve been able to do this month – both for myself and with the family. February is already getting booked with play dates, social events, date nights and cultural experiences so there should be plenty of great stuff to share – and cross off the list!

How are you doing on your resolutions?

If you liked this, you might also like:

2012 Resolutions

2012 Resolutions

We’re 6 days in to the new year and I have yet to publicly declare my resolutions.

GASP!

That must make me, like, the worst blogger EVER!

(Wonder how many more words I can put in all caps? LET’S SEE!)

Actually, for once, this blog tardiness is not a result of me being lazy or too busy or tired or a myriad of other excuses. I actually did this on purpose! This year, I decided to tweak my approach to resolutions (the dreaded “R” word). Instead of announcing to the world on January 1 that I was going to bring about world peace, solve the poverty epidemic and find a cure for cancer, I decided to wait a little bit and live with my potential resolutions for a bit.

Turns out those 3 seemed a bit unrealistic so I came up with a new list.

Living with my list for 6+ days was really beneficial. It helped me see which ones didn’t make sense in my life and which things I wanted to add that I hadn’t thought of before.

The result? A masterpiece of a goals list that can out duel any other goals list!

(Remember in grade school when we used to say things like, “My dad is stronger than your dad!” and then reply with, “Oh yeah, well my dad is taller than your dad!” and it’d go on and on and on? I usually won that game by throwing out the still to this day unbeaten superlative of, “Oh yeah well my dad speaks more Spanish than your dad!” IN YOUR FACE GRADE SCHOOL KIDS!)

(Ok so that worked back then because the schools weren’t as well integrated. Probably wouldn’t work as great now. But still, I stand undefeated.)

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Anywho…now where was I?

Oh yes, the greatest resolutions list of all time…I read through several articles (here and here and here) that helped me craft my list. The end result was sort of a combination of goals and to-do items. Some of them are one and done, others are longer term commitments.

So without further ado – here is my list for 2012!

Family and Home:

1.  Do at least one family outing a month. Making a run to the grocery store does not count. Neither does going to my parent’s house for dinner. Don’t get me wrong, those are all great things and family time of any sort is good. But the intent of this item is to challenge us to do new and different things. Not only does this make life more fun but it exposes Isabella to a broader range of experiences.

2.  Tackle the following home projects this year:

  • Buy and hang curtains on all the windows. Some of the rooms need them for esthetic purposes, others for more functional reasons (like blocking out the light in Munchkin’s room so she sleeps later!).
  • Unpack the remaining boxes in the basement. The ones that actually have stuff in them that we use. There really aren’t that many left – maybe a dozen or so. AND THEY’RE DRIVING ME CRAZY!
  • Do something with the front room. Is that not specific enough? Ok fine. What I really want to do is find a way to visually divide Isabella’s playroom from the dining room but still keep the big open space feel and have the 2 rooms be cohesive yet separate and distinct and let’s see how long I keep this sentence going because it’s got to be nearly the longest sentence in the history of sentences and someone quickly call those Guinness people (not the beer ones, the world record ones but ok fine call the beer ones too).

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  • Create a sitting room within the master bedroom. I’ve always wanted a space in the house that was a devoted reading / meditation space. Someplace cozy and inviting, yet private. Well our bedroom is big enough to carve out a space for that on one side! Yippee! BRING IT!
  • Add built in shelves to the living room by the end of the year. CJ, this one’s for you buddy! I know exactly how I want it to look but have no freakin’ clue where one would start in building this. Yeah sure we can buy bookshelves but where’s the challenge in that? Besides, I know CJ is looking for one more thing to do (because being a stay-at-home dad, running a city wide volleyball organization, being on the board of directors for another org, actually playing volleyball and being at my beck and call are not enough for him). Overachiever.

3.  Break Isabella of the “oobie” habit once and for all – DONE! Well almost. See, I’m already kicking ass and taking names!

4.  Move Isabella to a toddler bed. Though I know this needs to be done and is a right of passage for kids, I’m sort of dragging my feet on it. We already have a toddler bed for her but once we transition her to that it means she’ll be free to get out whenever she feels like it and THAT IS NOT OK RIGHT NOW! I kind of like having her caged up. She enjoys sharing a kennel with Samson. KIDDING! The point is I think she’s good in her crib for now but sometime this year we’ll have to make the transition.

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5.  Have Isabella potty trained by her 3rd birthday (September 30). That is only 9 months away. Help.

6.  Research pre-schools and enroll Isabella in one to start in the fall of 2012. Course this depends on the previous one. Most pre-schools require the kids to be out of diapers. I guess that’s incentive. Or mean. One or the other.

Financial and career:

7.  Attend one career professional event a month. I can’t divulge any information about my day job or the company I work for but let’s just say it involves projects and management. That’s all you’re gonna get outta me so don’t even ask for more!

8.  Spend less money. Specifically, save 5% of each paycheck in a nest egg AND apply 5% of each paycheck toward paying off our credit card balance. Doesn’t sound like much but given our bills and everyday expenses, that’s the number I feel comfortable with for right now. If I find we have extra money floating around after a couple months, I’ll increase it. What I don’t want to do is over commit at the beginning and then fail right outta the gate. Ya feel me?

9.  Save money for Isabella. I’m going to do this by setting aside all loose change at the end of each day into a jar, with the money to be applied toward my shopping habit Isabella’s savings/college fund when it’s full or at the end of the year.

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Great. She’s already trying to steal money out of the jar. Or maybe she thinks her oobies are hidden in there….

Spiritual and ethical:

10. Find a church that we all like and attend regularly (at least twice a month). Neither CJ or I are religious people but we are spiritual. Meaning, we don’t believe that any one religion is right or wrong nor is there one that we are particularly affiliated with. We do believe in a Higher Power, faith, etc.  We know that a church atmosphere, vibe and teachings are good things for a kid and we want Munchkin exposed to that. Plus they give you free wine.

11. Get back to daily prayers/talks with my Higher Power. Speaking of faith, I’ve gotten out of the habit of having talks with the big guy upstairs. I used to be religious (pun intended) about saying prayers every night. Somewhere along the line that fell by the wayside. But I find that I do feel more centered when I take time to unload and turn things over. Amen.

Physical and health:

12. Adopt one new healthy habit each month:

  • January – Add a fruit and/or vegetable (preferably both!) to each meal
  • February – Read daily meditations/affirmations
  • March – Do some type of physical activity IN ADDITION to regular workouts
  • April – Drink at least 64 oz. each day (includes water, tea, or juice. Does NOT include pop or alcohol) – honestly, this will be one of the hardest for me
  • May – Make a daily gratitude list
  • June – Try to walk 10,000 steps every day
  • July – limit sweets to once a day
  • August – Meditate for 5 min. every day
  • September – Train and sign up for a charitable walk/run
  • October – Try new foods at least 3 times a week
  • November – Find time every day to do something special for myself
  • December – Work out 5 days a week (this one might be cheating a little since I already do this. HOWEVER, my theory is that December is so crazy that I want something fairly easy I can stick to)

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WARNING! The above picture is what I look like at 5:00 a.m., pre-workout (i.e. still half asleep). You’re lucky I was able to crack a smile.

Social and cultural:

13. Attend at least 4 cultural events this year (e.g. Broadway shows, concerts, museum exhibitions). Back in the day, I was the queen of cultured. I was practically a pearl! However, when Isabella was born and funds got tighter, these types of things were some of the first to go. But I miss them. I LOVE to do fun cultural stuff. It makes me a more well rounded person  and shit.

14. Regularly participate in events put on by the social clubs I belong to (speakers events, parties, happy hours, etc). I belong to a lot of social type organizations (6 that I can think of off the top of my head) and they all have events. It got to the point that there were too many to choose from so we didn’t go to any at all. Well that just left us feeling alone and like big giant hermit crabs. Not that I’m saying we’re huge people, or that we have crabs. Cuz we aren’t. AND WE DON’T! So we need to get back out there. Hang with friends. Get to know people better. Eat and drink a lot. Stuff like that.

15.  Go on a date night with CJ once a month. This is harder than it sounds. Any parent out there will agree with me – you have to pick and choose baby-sitter moments. Do you get a sitter for date night or so that you can run a bunch of errands uninterrupted? And if you have several events in one month, it gets expensive (cuz you start to feel guilty for pawning the kids off on mom and dad or your close friends all the time). All that to say date night tends to get tossed out the window in favor of other things. Like sleep. And Grey’s Anatomy.

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Phew! That’s quite a list! Seems daunting and at first glance you might think there’s no way I can get do all that.  But if you break it down and really look at it, some of the items can be combined (like attending a cultural event with CJ would kill 2 birds with one stone). 

I’ll try and post at the end of every month how I’m doing. Some may get done and crossed off. Some may change. Some may have progress but not yet be completed. And some new ones may get added!

HERE’S TO SUCCESS IN 2012!

Pony Up

It’s time to step up and look back at the resolutions I set at the beginning of the year, to see what I accomplished and how much progress I made.

I only had 3 resolutions last year but they were pretty lofty. Looking back, though I tried to define how I was going to achieve each one but I wasn’t nearly specific enough – and some weren’t even realistic.

Let’s take a look.

1. Project Tone and Tighten: Goal – lose 3 lbs. of holiday weight gain and then maintain while also toning up all over. Verdict: Fail.

To be honest, I don’t think this one was a very good goal. First of all, lose 3 lbs. Really? That’s like the difference from one day to the next just in retaining water! 3 lbs. is laughable! While saying you want to maintain your current weight is good in theory, there are no parameters around that. No one can be the exact same weight every single day. Our bodies are too dynamic. So something like “stay within the 135-140 pound range while continuing to exercise daily and eat a healthy diet” would have been better.

Also, I never took measurements or before/after pics in January so there was no way to measure the “tone all over” part, other than what I can see in the mirror, which is definitely deceiving. That being said, I did try various workout programs (like the 30 day Shred, P90X and Kosama) to add variety to my workouts. I ultimately weigh the same today that I did when I made this resolution so I didn’t lose the 3 lbs but I did tone up a bit.

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2. Operation Dream Home Goal – sell our current house and buy our forever home. Verdict: Success!

We put a lot of time, money and effort in to getting our old house market ready and were able to sell it in 3 months, which is really good considering the market we were dealing with. There were some frustrations during that 3 months as I wanted things to move faster, but ultimately we got there.

We also found our dream home! At the time of making my resolution, I didn’t spell out any specifics of what that dream home should have but we later did when we were ready to shop. After searching for what seemed like months and looking at hundreds of houses, the very last one we looked at turned out to be “the one”. We’ve been living in it now for 3 months (OMG!) and couldn’t be happier with our home!

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3. Mission Debt Diet – Goal – pay off all credit card debt and pay down loans while also creating a nest egg. Verdict: Fail.

This one was definitely not specific or actionable enough. It was also too lofty and not doable, particularly considering Operation Dream Home. I should have come up with specific dollar amounts to put aside each week/month for paying off the credit card and also determined a specific amount for savings. Instead I just threw whatever extra money we had at the credit card. Some months it was only $100 and others it was $600. However, one valuable lesson I learned was that you can’t be so focused on putting all your money toward one thing and forgetting another. I was so hell bent on getting the credit card balance paid off that I would put TOO much money toward it, leaving us with not enough to live on. So I would have to pull money from savings or start charging things, which just defeats the whole purpose. Slow and steady wins the race.

I paid off a good chunk of it for the first part of the year but then as we started working on the house, we added a bunch back on to it. Today, we’re sitting with a little less on the card then we had in January but still have a ways to go. I’m going to carry this goal over to next year only come up with a specific and achievable plan.

There you have it. Overall, I didn’t do all that great. However, I learned lessons that I can apply toward my goals for next year and hopefully be more successful! Stay tuned for my list of goals for 2012!

Oh! One item that I committed to in January which wasn’t really an “official” resolution was to write daily in my Perpetual Journal.

journal

I can happily report that I have done just that! The fun part will be starting back at the beginning come January 1, 2012 and comparing each day of the New Year to the same day the year before. I imagine some days will be eerily similar (“long day at work, I’m tired”) while others will be drastically different (like on the days when we lost a loved one or something of significance happened). Should be interesting!