Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Lean and Mean in 2014.

Our word of the year: Simple.  Streamlining things always makes me happy, so that should help make the year a success.

Goals for 2014:

1. Continue working on a healthier lifestyle: Despite some health problems (eyes!), I have been exercising more and being more conscious of what goes in my body.  That said, I need to double my efforts and see some results.  I want to be back in shape before I even consider having a second child (which won't happen until at least 2016, so I have some time to enjoy being in shape).  I already put together a school schedule that allows me to go to the gym twice a week, and I got a ballet fitness video for Christmas!  I started taking dance in the summer, and I was able to start teaching dance in September. This equals out to about 12 hours of dance a week. I've slimmed down, and I've continued putting good things in my body to make it work well!

2. Complete 40 Days, 40 Bags challenge: I did a half-hearted version of this, but February and March were very challenging months.  The first thing to go was the 40 Days challenge, which takes place over Lent.  It's a way to purge and cleanse your life before Easter.  It's my annual Lenten challenge, rather than trying to give up something.  I'll post more about this closer to Lent.

3. Potty train Elliott: I was hoping to do this over Christmas, but he is simply not ready.  I'm hoping to start over Spring Break.  He'll be 3 in July, but I know boys can be more challenging to train than girls. This happened...sort of. It didn't take long to potty train him with pee. We really went crazy with small rewards (M&M for each successful trip) and even our parents helped by getting him some rewards. However, we are still not night trained or able to go #2. So, the work continues.

4. Budget better and start saving for a Disney trip: I could budget better, simply put. I want to find a better way to make our food budget stretch further too.  Since I'm not working full time (yet), I will use pocket change to save for our Disney trip, which we are hoping to take in two years.  Once I get a better job, I will also (finally) start a future fund for E (money for college, trade school, what-have-you). Nope. Didn't happen. See #5.

5. Get a job that is fulfilling and helps pay the bills: My assistantship ends in May, so I need to get a job that begins in June.  I need some specific work experience, but with my education, I'm hoping to double our household income. This will make 4 easier too! Tried as I might, I did not find a full time job after May. It has been a frustrating experience, which might also account for my lack of posts. I know 2015 has to be better on this front.

6. Organize the house more effectively: We organized some things this year that made life oddly easier.  I would like to extend that throughout the house.  I hate looking high and low for things that should just have a spot.  Once I've purged in step 2, I want to make it easier to find the things we keep (the things that matter). Still working on this, but we made strides. 

7. Complete a rough draft of at least four dissertation chapters: I want to graduate in 2016, so I need to stay on track with writing.  I have the beginnings of a few chapters, so I should continue making progress through the year. Yes! I completed a final draft of my chapter on crosswords and rough drafts of my Disney chapters (2), the Olympics, and my introduction. 

8. Finish coursework and maintain GPA: I should finish coursework in May, and I'm already registered, so this should be the easiest goal on the list. Yay! I maintained my 4.0, finished coursework on time, and I passed my comps in October with flying colors. This is what I am most proud of this year. 

It's an attitude adjustment. My other mantra should be "live intentionally." I want to pay better attention to what goes in my body (thanks MyFitnessPal!), where my money goes (mint.com), and what happens to my time.  I need to think long-term, worry about myself and my family, and less about what others think.  Elliott will probably start pre-school, I'll probably start a new job.  It's going to be a big year!

- M.