Names have been changed to protect the innocent...and my husband...and me...but not the dog. His name is Dexter.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

I'm A Resolutionary

Today I am going to post my New Years Resolutions for ALL to see. Some of you may be asking yourself why I'm posting so late in the year. For those who have been reading for a while or know me in real life, you're probably thinking "Yay, Lady, you posted your resolutions before June!". But I actually do have a good reason for being late on this one. Don't I always?! On the one hand, I'm probably one of the only people posting about New Years Resolutions today. Also, I put a lot of thought into my resolutions and anything that requires a lot of thought takes me a long time.

I must confess, I'm one of those people. You know....those annoying, goal oriented, New Years Resolutions promoting people. I just have to have goals in life or I'm kind of lost. Sometimes they're big goals like graduating from college, 300 crunches or finishing a large project. And sometimes they're small goals like doing the dishes or brushing my teeth before noon. The point is, I have something that I'm working toward that I will actually be able to see/feel the result. Yes, I do realize that this can be irritating to those around me so I try to keep it mostly to myself. When CG and I were first married I use to bore him with all the details of my goals and New Years Resolutions. He would usually fall asleep. So I stopped. Now, ironically, he's been making goals.

I usually like to categorize my goals each year like physical, emotional, spiritual or something else along those lines. This year the categories are Small, Large and Ridiculous.

Small Goals
Make One New Recipe Each Month-My sister did this a couple of years ago and had a lot of fun with it. I think I probably already make a new recipe every month, but now I'm going to put a little more thought into it. I actually tried 3 new recipes in January. It was fun. And I'll eventually share them with you.

Continue My Attempts at Healthier Living- I was recently reading an magazine article that was talking about how small, maintainable changes are better for long term results than big, dramatic changes that are hard to stick with. Last year my goal was to exercise 3 times a week and make healthier food choices like watching portion sizes and not having seconds. The exercising was much harder to maintain (you know my kids, right?!) but the eating half of the goal has been easier. I haven't lost a lot of weight (about 10 pounds last year) but enough that it lowered my BMI into the "Normal" zone. It's nice to be normal somewhere. And I've made changes that I can actually maintain long term. So, here's to saying goodbye to another 10 pounds in 2010.

Grocery Budget-I started this last fall, but then got off track with all the swine flu and holidays going around. Our grocery budget is $50 a week. That includes what we're having for meals that week and also continue adding to our food storage. After reading something online, I have found that for me it's easiest to accomplish this budget goal by only using cash for grocery shopping. It's a little inconvenient to get the cash before shopping, but overall it's helpful. I must admit that I am struggling with it a little bit and I'm thinking of increasing it to $60 a week. But not yet. I'll keep you posted. Probably.

Updating Our 72 Hour Kits-It's my current obsession. I'll do a post all about it if you want to hear all the details. Anyone? No one? Okay then......

Large Goals
A Year of Savings-This is actually a goal that CG and I set last summer and are continuing with this year. We decided that we would work towards getting a years worth of expenses into our savings account in a year. We figured out what our monthly expenses are (minus the frills) and multiplied that by 12, obviously. Have you ever figured out how much that is? Go ahead, I'll wait. Now divide that amount by 12 (duh) to figure out what you'll have to save each month.

Has your heart started beating again yet? Yeah, I freaked out a little when I realized how much we would need to have in savings to cover us for a year and how much we would need to save each month. It's daunting, to say the least. We are currently renting out our basement so that is what makes this goal even remotely attainable. Even with that, though, life still happens. Cars break down, house repairs need to be made and Old Navy has clearance sales. This year we'll have to replace CG's car (final verdict was failing transmission) and that means our savings will take a pretty big hit. But! We just keep trying. Besides, even if we end up having to spend half of what we save on cars and houses repairs, we're still better off than if we hadn't saved anything at all.

We've been going with the plan of "spending as little as possible while saving as much as possible". Although it has worked okay, we think we can do better. So, we're thinking of extending our cash only policy from the grocery budget to all expenses. Obviously this doesn't include mortgage and utility payments because we are fans of Online Bill Pay. And I don't want to be walking around with that much cash and going to each place individually to make our payments. That's something that wouldn't happen more than once. But for everything else, a cash only budget. Doesn't that sound exciting?! Yesterday I was figuring out about how much we would need in each category, etc. It was enlightening. But I think attainable. The only question that lingers in my little brain is if for the larger things (like Christmas and Birthdays) would it be better to put it in savings to accrue interest and run the risk of going over budget or just get the cash each month and be done with it. At this point, I'm undecided.

Organize Our Home-Now, I know this is a totally original goal. No one ever says that this is going to be the year I finally get organized. This is also something I've been working on for the past few years. We live in an average sized home. Well, compared to the newer homes being built, it's slightly smaller than average. But totally enough space for our family of 4. As long as that space is being used wisely. Now, as I said before, we rent out our basement so we're actually living in half the house. Roughly a little over 1,000 square feet. Small by some standards, but just fine for us right now. And with the age of our children (2 & 5), they want to be attached to my legs for most of the day so we don't really need that much space. Our problem? Storage. And also, having kid space and parent space. This has been a bit of a challenge, but we are slowly finding solutions that work for us.

First of all, when out shopping or daydreaming of shopping, the object of my desire has to meet two requirements: #1-Is this something that will be useful or totally adored? #2-Will this have a place to live once it gets taken home? Many of you have probably heard the advice that if something in your home isn't useful or beautiful, you should get rid of it. Easy to say, hard to follow. But I have found that if it doesn't pass the initial qualifications, then I don't have to get rid of it later. Nice.

We've already started on the organization goals. We've rearranged our front room(pictures and future post to come eventually) and I've organized my shoes. I love organized shoes. It makes me happy. The master bedroom closet is next on the list since our room looks like a natural disaster has hit it. I've taken before pictures, but haven't been able to talk CG into letting me post them once I get the closet done. Yes, it's THAT bad. But I'll keep trying. After our room comes the laundry room. I can't even talk about that room right now without having an anxiety attack. Maybe another time. Maybe not.

And now for the ridiculous.

Ridiculous Goal
Write A Book-A lot of people have this goal. Somehow, I feel like I'm missing out on something. I could totally write a book, right?! I mean, everything I write on this blog is just dripping in fabulous-ness. Writing a book should be a piece of cake. You guys would totally buy my book, right?! I could write a book about.......

Ha ha ha ha ha......I think I'll just stick to reading books and leave the writing to the people who actually know how to write. I think I had another ridiculous goal, but for the life of me, I can't remember what it was. Probably had something to do with improving my memory.

Lolly's New Years Resolutions are to learn how to use permanent markers and drive a car. She is 5. She wasn't thrilled when I told her that those goals probably weren't going to be reached this year. Maybe my goals are as equally unattainable. Or maybe I should do more to support her goals. I'll let you know how the driving lessons go.


Happy Birthday Aunt Cindy!

Your card is going out in the mail today. The glitter took longer to dry than I anticipated.


Kristina P. said...

$50 a week? That is amazing. I wish I could spend $50 every two days on food. We eat out way too much.

hairyshoefairy said...

I've been trying to keep our groceries down to about $45. I'm the geeky lady you see with her calculator out adding it all up as I go along so I'm not (too far) over. Good goals and good luck!

Messy Musings said...

They aren't "new year's" resolutions - they are groundhog day goals!! So, you're not late in getting them posted after all. You are exactly on time :-D

Cluttered Brain said...

Wow! Wow! Wow!

Good luck on your resolutions! $50 a week? I guess it could be done if i didn't have to buy those pesky diapers.

good post!

Just SO said...

Good luck! I'm so bad with goals and goal setting.

peewee said...

$50 per week??!??!?!??!?!? Seriously!? HOW!? My jaw is on the floor. What do you eat? top ramen? I would KILL to be able to just spend that. Tell us your secret!! I mean, I don't even have KIDS and that seems incredible! Sheesh. I know you're skinny and all...

ANd you're gonna HAVE to expand that for d-land!! I think just a frozen banana is $50 there :)

ps...u bringing Dexter?!??!

Happy Granny said...

If you get even half of your goals, you will be going in a great direction. I love to set goals, but seldom reach all of them, but I find I am still farther ahead than not setting goals at all. It seems to me you have made a lot of headway on all of these, so 2010 could be your best year ever!! xoxoxo

Granmacindyprice said...

Thank you for the beautiful birthday card. It made my day! :-)
I think $45.00 of your $50.00 grocery budget was spent on the glitter. I can also see why it took a little longer than anticipated for the glue to dry. A girl can never have too much sparkle. I will keep it forever. I love you guys! XOXOXOXOXOXOXOX

Camille said...

I would definitely purchase any book you've written. It's not ridiculous! What is ridiculous is a budget of $50/wk! Although, a budget like that would lead to my much needed weight loss diet. :)

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