New Year’s Resolution 2014

Every year I set New Year’s resolutions, despite sneering at the concept.  I suppose I dislike the idea of waiting until January 1 to stop bad behaviors and make changes in your life.  But, in a way, I get it.  It’s a chance to start fresh. It also gives you a great way to calculate your success.  For example, we started our austerity commitment on December 30th.  However, I’m not going to tell folks that I’m not spending for 33 days.  That’s silly. I’m not spending in January. Round numbers that are easy to check off a list. No more judging folks for “resolutions”.  (Then again, I should just stop judging folks…)

This year, I wanted to focus on things I could check off.  No vague ideas like “I want to become a better driver.”  Instead, I’m making lists that can have a notable completion date like “I want to master parallel parking.”

This year, I will:

1. Read 33 books

I wasn’t much of a reader as a kid, but over the past couple years, I’ve fallen in love with the library. Education and entertainment for free!  Last year I read 32 books.  This year I want to read one more.  I track my progress on Good Reads.

2. Wash one load of laundry every weekday.

I get behind in laundry. It’s easy to toss a load in the washer in the morning.

3. Drink 8 glasses of water a day.

I recently downloaded a daily to-do template by Thyme-is-Honey.  It’s helped me stay on track with my water (among other things). You can buy your own copy on Etsy.

4. Leg press 250lbs.

5. Reduce my body fat percentage below 20%

Currently, my body fat is around 22%.  That’s considered the “Fitness” level by Ace.  The Jackson & Pollock chart consider it “Ideal”. Don’t get me wrong - I do not have a problem with my body.  It’s a fitness goal like improving my running pace.  I’ve buckled down and started focusing on my weight lifting.  It’s a way to monitor my success.  Also, it’s noteworthy that I don’t necessarily want to keep it below 20%.  I just want to get there.

6. Change the bed sheets once a month.

Um…I don’t do this consistently.  Sometimes it’s couple times a month.  Sometimes it’s every other month. I’m gross; I’m sorry.

7. Attend one yoga class per month.

Attend a class, not teach.  Since I started teaching a month ago, my yoga attendance went down.  And if I’m being really honest, it wasn’t too hot before that because I was working full time.  Time to get my butt back to class.

To keep myself on track, I’m going to schedule a monthly resolution check-in, which will take place mid-month.  That will allow me a few days to completely my monthly tasks if I get behind. I’m also allowing myself some grace.  If I don’t get my water in one day, I’m not going to say, “Forget it.” That’s what I dislike about resolutions - when folks fail and give up. 

So those are my goals.  What are yours?

Austerity

Categories: home , Married Life | No Comments

After an expensive December that included some anticipated and unanticipated expenses, Chris & I decided to commit to a month of zero spending.  Well, actually it’s 33 days of zero spending, but who’s counting? I was inspired by the 31 Days of Living Well & Spending Zero challenge on Living Well Spending Less.

On Sunday, I took inventory of our pantry, sat down with the local grocery store flyers, and planned out our meals for the month of January.  I’m a self-admitted food hoarder and usually keep a pretty well-stocked pantry and deep freezer (and fridge freezer and fridge).  Unfortunately, it had been a while since I hit the meat sale jackpot (hello, “manager’s specials” that keep perfectly fine in my sub-zero deep freezer) so the majority of my grocery list was meat, and meat can be expensive.  Between stocking up on household supplies and buying meat & produce, I spent $250 on Sunday.  Keep in mind, that is an entire month’s worth of food and supplies.  (And if I’m being truthful, it’s probably closer to a month and a half’s worth.  However, this will be the first month, probably in this history of mine & Chris’s relationship, that we haven’t eaten out.  I needed to be prepared.)

Alright, it’s day two.  I know. Only day two.  No eating out. No buying stuff. Resisting my child’s pleas to visit the snack machine at the gym. I decided to look around the house and finish some unfinished projects as a way to avoid spending money.  Why spend money when you’ve already spent it on stuff you haven’t gotten around to doing?

As I was looking around our office/craft room, I saw my old Kit Cat clock on the wall.  The poor guy just hangs there, still and purposeless.  In the past, excess dust has stopped him from twitching his tail.  I figured I’d give it a go.  Fix Mr. Kit Cat.  Thankfully, the manufacture has some fantastic tutorials on repairing their clocks.  Within five minutes, I had him going! Yay! But he was missing a part, which turned him into drunk Kit Cat (very apropos for New Year’s Eve). 

I discovered he was missing a part - a J clip that costs $1.50, which includes shipping. I couldn’t fix him because I couldn’t spend ONE DOLLAR AND FIFTY CENTS. Damn you, austerity.  But then I remembered - I had a very old gift card in my car that was worth $2.29.  Eh? Would it work? Some sites want to put a $5 hold to charge anything. It was worth a try, and HARK! It worked! I repaired Mr Kit Cat, ordered a new part, and didn’t spend any money! Huzzah!

I realize it’s only day two, but I consider that a win.  Drunk Kit Cat agrees.