I always am excited for New Years. It is a chance to reflect on the past year and all that is brought. 2014 made me a mom and gave me my beautiful daughter. It has been my most favorite year ever! Needless to say, I am sad to see this year end.
However, I always feel so refreshed after New Years. After spending nearly two weeks relaxing and enjoying with friends and family, I feel ready to turn inward and make my resolutions. I always feel like general resolutions such as “lose weight” and “stress less” are ineffective at best. They are general and lack achievable goals. Instead, I like to make so-called SMART goals.
These are Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Time-bound goals. Each month I will post my progress on these goals in order to keep myself accountable for my progress.
So without further ado…
1. Design 2015 budget goals with husband to reflect past spending and current saving goals.
I maintain a pretty in depth family budget throughout the year. Keeping our budget has allowed us to notice areas in which we spend more than is necessary. In order to be successful at this goal, we need to review our past budgets to find trends in spending. We will look for additional areas to improve.
This goal is not in SMART language, because I will be selecting one area to work on a month. The previous months’ goals will carry through.
For January, my husband and I decided to start slotting ourselves a weekly allowance of $10/week each for discretionary spending. This will include all coffees and snacks we eat out. Money can be carried over week to week to save up for restaurants and takeout. It’ll be like we’re dating again as we will each be able to “take the other person out.” One of our hardest areas is our spending on food outside of the house. This will definitely help control our habits since a typical dinner out is a minimum of three weeks allowance! It will also be helpful because when we meet up with our own friends we will have to use this allowance for any drinks or meals. Any food outside the home will come from this money. I think this will make a big difference over the course of the year!
2. Go to the gym (or workout at home) a minimum of four days a week.
Currently, I try to go to the gym 3x a week. Now that Cupcake is older and increasing solids, I’d like to work out more knowing my supply is ok. We will be moving late this spring, so we may not continue our gym membership, hence why I included an option for a home workout.
3. Reduce my PR of a 9 min mile pace to an 8 minute mile.
Even when captain of my tennis team in high school, my fastest mile time was 10 minutes. Due to an alarmingly low blood pressure when pregnant with Cupcake, I had to stop working out. When I started running again, I ran a 14 minute mile pace. Through a lot of hard work, I have improved to a 9 minute mile in the last few months. My goal is to continue this progress through 2015 and hit my goal of an 8 minute mile!
4. Try one new recipe a week and blog about it.
I want to be able to cook a wide range of healthy meal options for my family. I want Cupcake to start her relationship with food in a positive way. I want to introduce new foods and learn new recipes. Finally, I want to keep it real. Some will be flops- I want to be brave enough to share those, too!
5. I want to continue nursing Cupcake through 2015, unless she chooses to wean earlier.
Fact- I type 99% of my blogs while Cupcake nurses.
Breastfeeding isn’t for everyone or every family. However, it is for us. It’s working. We love it. I never thought I’d last this long (9+ months), but I am still going strong. My ultimate goal is that I will nurse until Cupcake wants to stop. That may mean two more months or two more years.
Likely I will get pregnant again at some point, and then I may change my thinking. However, I’d like it to be Cupcake’s decision. It’s a lofty goal, but one I hope I can stick to!
6. Visit my grandma every week before our move. Call her every week after we move.
“Gramma” is 91. The reality is I don’t know how much time we have left together. I don’t want to waste any of it! While we live close, I plan to take Cupcake to visit weekly. If something prevents this (sickness, travel, etc), a phone call will take it’s place. When we move, I will be hours away so a weekly phone date will stand.
7. Text/call/email a different friend every day to keep communication open.
Since we will be moving, I plan on moving through my contact list every day and reaching out to my friends one-by-one. The typical interactions we have will be gone, so I will need to make a more concerted effort once we move. By the end of each month, I will make sure I have reached out to every one of my friends at least once in a meaningful way (i.e. Not just a “like” on Facebook).
8. I will cut my monthly consumption of soda.
Currently I tend to only drink soda on holidays and special occasions. In the past holiday week I had 5 servings of soda. I count a serving as 8oz, so that a typical can counts as 1.5 servings. My eventual goal is to eliminate it from my diet, but I do not know that it is a realistic goal at this point.
To accomplish this goal, I will set a smaller goal each month. My January goal is to have no more than 4 servings of soda a week.
As a disclaimer, I only drink ginger ale when seriously ill or pregnant. I will not count ginger ale consumption in this goal. I am not sure what the timing of my next pregnancy will be, but there is certainly a chance it could happen in late 2015. Therefore, I want to make sure I set the parameters of this resolution now.
9. Subscribe to FlyLady Emails. Complete tasks to maintain clean and decluttered home.
Many moons ago, I found FlyLady and started using her system for organizing my home. I loved her methods as it focused on progress, not perfection. Each task only took 10-15 minutes and I never had to guess what to do.
What I loved most was my house was always “company ready.” A friend could pop by and everything was as I wanted it. No last minute flurry of cleaning before company arrived! It was the best feeling.
However, life got in the way and I slacked. I returned to my clutter and my flurry of cleaning. I don’t like it. Therefore, I am resubscribing to the emails and will work to get my house in shape!
The best part is she has a whole list of recommendations for when you move to set up a clutter free house. I will certainly be employing her tactics later this year!
10. Reduce the amount of TV I watch.
This is the one resolution I am most nervous about. Why? Well I have several reasons.
-I grew up in a house with TV always on
-My husband and I have gotten in the habit of “background tv” so it’s on and we don’t even notice it
-I like the noise from it. A quiet house is irksome to me.
However, now that Cupcake is here, I am increasingly aware of my bad habits. I do not want her growing up like I did. When I think of the wasted time in front of the tv it blows my mind! What would I do with all that recaptured time?
TV has become one of my favorite ways to “veg” out. I am honestly too embarrassed to even share how much tv I watch in a day, but I’ll sum it up:
I watch the news every morning. I watch the news every evening. I have a few shows I watch weekly. It’s bad.
So since this resolution is not worded as a “SMART goal,” I will pick one for each month that falls under the umbrella of this category.
For January, my SMART goal will be focused on the amount of time I spend watching the news. This month I will reduce my news watching to only while I workout at the gym. There’s not much else on at 5:30 that I enjoy watching. On days I don’t go to the gym, I will allow myself an hour or less of tv news a day. This amount is still higher than I’d ultimately like, but if I reduce it too much, I doubt it’ll be an achievable goal for myself.
11. Post progress each month on the above goals.
So those are my 10 SMART resolutions (plus a bonus for recording them) for 2015. What are your goals for the upcoming year?