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New Year’s Resolutions
I’ve been mulling several New Year’s Resolutions in my head over the last couple of weeks. Not things that I’m doing wrong but things I’d like to improve, nurture or grow. As a result, I’ve been reading a lot of posts and articles and I think I’m almost there with my New Year’s Resolutions list. I’ve found a lot of great tips and articles along the way to help me on the path to success. I’d like to share a few of the tips and tricks with you.
Generally speaking, my list is as follows:
- Save more money
- Improve my relationships
- Improve my health
- Something fun…hmm
New Year’s Resolutions – Breaking it all down
Those are all pretty broad categories. If I want to be successful, my resolutions or goals need to be more specific and tied to actions or tasks that have measurable outcomes. I’m very task oriented. Experience has taught me that a broad statement or plan without actionable tasks will leave me feeling overwhelmed and like I have accomplished very little.
So how am I going to break those monster goals into something attainable? The steps I’m taking may overlap in some ways and support each other. I’m a big fan of efficiency, so if one task can meet two objectives…I’m all in!
New Year’s Resolutions – Save More Money
I’ve thought a lot about this one. There are just some things I’m not going to give up. Wine for instance or a quarterly Stitch Fix or Home Chef once in a while. But I do want to be intentional about how I spend my money, so this is my plan.
- Set up all of our accounts on Mint (checking savings, credit cards, cars, even mortgages)- a free app from Intuit that allows you to track your spending on your phone or tablet. Fortunately, we don’t have any credit cards that aren’t paid off monthly or a car payment. But we do use credit cards and seeing balances decline or build over the month will make us more conscious of where the money is going. The application also alerts you when you have an automated charge or fee increases so you can address them immediately.
- Audit our expenses
- Meal Plan – When we have planned our meals in the past, little goes to waste (we buy what we need for the plan)and we aren’t spending money on ordering pizza or heading out to a restaurant. I’ve done meal planning in the past but only for dinner. This time we will look at breakfast and lunch too.
- Follow Medium Sized Family’s 30 Day Money Challenge. I can’t wait to see Jamie’s great tips and incorporate them into our plan.
If your New Year’s Resolutions are financial, John & Jane Doe have developed a great resource guide. For great tips on sticking to your New Year’s resolutions check out Hannah’s post on Eat, Drink and Save Money.
New Year’s Resolutions – Improve Relationships
Several things in 2016 reminded me that life is short. We have so many things battling for our attention that sometimes we forget to appreciate the blessings that we have in our life or let the people around us know that we care.
- Be present. I find I’m guilty of this in so many areas. I’m going to create a schedule. Time for everything on the list. At work, I’m going to block off an hour everyday to read emails. 30 minutes in the morning and 30 minutes in the afternoon. This will allow me to stay focused during meetings and not bounce from one email to another. At home: Schedule time for Social Media, Writing Posts, and other administrative tasks. Not to mention cleaning, cooking etc.
- Be appreciative – Take time everyday to let those that I see, talk to and live with to let them know they are appreciated.
- Follow and do The Classy Chapter’s 52 Weeks to a Better Marriage – Not there is anything wrong here, but I’m a firm believer that relationships require work and it’s a great place to spend my time.
New Year’s Resolutions – Improve Health
Those things that reminded me about my relationships, also reminded me about my health. Prior to combining our households, I was an avid runner. I’ve run 6 full marathons and something like 25 half marathons. I’ve used our location, snakes and coyotes as an excuse. I’d like to start running regularly again, so much so that I’ve registered for the Chicago Marathon in October. Steps to get me running again, prepared for the marathon and improve my health?
- Keep a running log. Start to work with my running coach to put together a schedule and actually do what’s on the schedule
- Track my calories, hydration and exercise with my Fitbit Alta. Instead of doing 10,000 steps a day I’m going to shoot for 70,000 steps per week. I’m able to get all kinds of steps on the weekend. My job keeps me chained to my desk and some days it’s hard to get 5,000. In this case spreading my goal over the week versus everyday make be more achievable
- Develop my meal plans to support my increased activity levels, see the repetition here?
- Continue to THRIVE. I started THRIVE last August and it’s make a huge difference in my energy levels. If you would like to learn more about THRIVE check out this link. Or email me.
I’m still contemplating adding a resolution that is something fun but haven’t settled on one thing yet. I’m looking at Hollie’s 20 Fun and Unusual New Year’s Resolutions.
Ready, Set, Go
I’m starting these goals with some specific actions. Others will require some additional thought, but overall success will require flexibility. I’ll need to periodically look at each goal and see what is working, what is not and adjust my approach accordingly. I’ll be posting my progress and course corrections each month as a way to stay accountable.
Please leave a comment and tell me about your resolutions and the steps you are taking to reach them. I’d love to hear about the resources you are utilizing to meet your goals!
Happy New Year and hope you’ll check back to see how these goals are shaping up!