February Resolution Update

I cannot believe that February has come to a close. I ended up getting extremely sick the first week of the month (and even needed to go to the ER). It was rough and I never quite got caught up until these past few days. Ugh. Here are the embarrassing results:

1.Contact a different friend or family member each day. I did not complete this goal. I spent the first week of the month sick and then spent the next week recovering. I just wanted to hide away and not talk to anyone!

2. Increase my daily steps using my FitBit- February: reach 5,000 steps five days a week. Not even close! I only reached 5,000+ steps 13 days the whole month! My goal for March will be to attack this goal again!

3. Host one get-together a month at our home. Check!

4. Get my teaching certification in Maryland. I have all the paperwork sitting on my desk ready to be brought to the post-office!

5. Start ABC Jesus Loves Me Homeschool Preschool with Cupcake. We started this month and it has been a blast! Cupcake is learning so much. She can count to 10, name so many of her shapes, and is picking up new skills each and every day! I LOVE this curriculum!

6. Return to the FlyLady Cleaning Schedule. No. Just no. I just. No. I only was successful this week. Blah.

7. Meal Plan each week. So, if the month of January was the month of Whole30, February was the month of eat-all-the-food. Seriously.

8. Breastfeed Cupcake to 2 years old. Check! I cannot believe she is going to be two next month! I haven’t even thought of what comes next in our nursing relationship. Ah!

9. Increase membership in my local women’s auxiliary by 25%. Still maintaining the 6% growth. We should get a large influx of potential new members at the end of March, so I am feeling optimistic!

10. Short-term goal of the month- Create a gallery wall in my living room! The materials are bought, but nothing is hung. I did manage to get all of my new pictures ordered and I have a layout I think I want, just no time or energy to put it together. My goal for March is to create an inventory of the items in our pantry and try to use them up! I figure it will not only save money, but also help me with my meal planning.

11. Post progress each month. Check!

-Lindsay

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January Resolution Progress

I have long believed that reflection is a great way to keep yourself on track. Each month I post progress on my New Years Resolutions. Overall, this month was not too bad!

1.Contact a different friend or family member each day. Almost perfect! I missed one day, but doubled up the next day to make up for lost time. I love this goal because it really helps me stay accountable for contacting the people I love rather than waiting for them to contact me.

2. Increase my daily steps using my FitBit- January: collect data. Over the month of January, my average monthly steps was around 4,500 . My goal for February is reach 5,000 steps five days a week.

3. Host one get-together a month at our home. Check!

4. Get my teaching certification in Maryland. Not yet! This is a must for February!

5. Start ABC Jesus Loves Me Homeschool Preschool with Cupcake. January has been spent planning furiously. We start the first week in February!

6. Return to the FlyLady Cleaning Schedule. I started using the baby steps again this month (which she recommends to do before getting into the cleaning schedule). Since I had done it in the past, I was able to get through the baby steps quickly as I had retained some of them from last time. Halfway through the month, I returned to her schedule and it has helped so much. It keeps me on track so I do not waste time trying to think of where to start!

7. Meal Plan each week. Check! We even started a Whole30 near the end of the month (currently on day 14!) and the meal planning has helped so much! Our food budget has been kept in check and we’ve been eating so much healthier.

8. Nurse Cupcake to 2 years old. Check!

9. Increase membership in my local women’s auxiliary by 25%. Since the year has started, we have grown by 6%! Wahoo!

10. Short-term goal of the month- Make a major career decision between two fields. This goal was perfect for this month. A few days into the year, my boss approached me about an opportunity that really helped clarify what I want to do. I want to stay in my current field of education and continue to grow and develop in that way. I will continue to do work in the secondary field as it comes up, but I am excited for the growth path I am currently on. My short-term goal for February is to create a gallery wall in my living room!

11. Post progress each month. Check!

-Lindsay

Resolutions for 2016

Last year I tracked my resolutions each month to see the progress I was making. I found this to be extremely helpful as it kept me on track. In the past, I quickly forgot my resolutions and by the time February rolled out I had abandoned them. Since it was so helpful last year, I will continue to track my resolutions here and share my successes and failures along the way!

 

In this age of technology, I am quite adept at texting. It is fast and I can do it anytime. My friends without kids often operate on slightly different schedules than I do and so texting has become my fall-back. A phone call seems inconvenient, but it can be more meaningful than a text. So, my goal is to contact a different friend or family member each day. Phone calls will be preferred, but texting will be ok if that is all time permits. I hope this will help maintain and strengthen the relationships around me!

I received a FitBit for Christmas and I am loving it! The watch is set to a goal of 10,000 steps a day. While walking 10,000 steps a day does not feel realistic at this point in time, it is certainly something to work toward. My goal is that I will increase my daily steps. This will require me to collect some more data through January, but I think this is a good goal since I can constantly monitor it through my watch and adjust my day’s activities as needed.

We have now lived in our new home for just over seven months. We left a wonderful support network of family and childhood friends. Thankfully, we’ve been blessed to meet many wonderful people here! In 2016, I want to work toward strengthening those ties. I would like to host one get-together a month at our home. We meet up with others frequently out and about or at other people’s homes, but rarely here. I would like to change that!

I love being a work-at-home mom. I get to hang out with Cupcake and also still remain in the working world. Prior to Cupcake being born, I was a teacher. Since we moved states, I need to transfer my teaching certification to our new state. It is important that I get my teaching certification in Maryland for several reasons. One, it gives me the option if I ever need/want to go back to teaching. It also makes sure that I do not lose any of the paperwork I collected before we left Connecticut. Finally, it makes sure that I get my certification before requirements change and somehow prevent me from getting it!

As I mentioned, working from home is great. It has taken me several months to find the right groove and rhythm to give Cupcake what she needs and also get my work done. I initially found myself relying way too much on electronics to keep her occupied when I was up against a real deadline. A friend of mine also works from home. She mentioned a homeschool preschool curriculum she was doing with her son. As I researched it more, I realized it was exactly what I needed. It helped to give me more focus in my time with Cupcake and it also provided activities to help build up her stamina for “work time.” My goal is to start the homeschool preschool curriculum with Cupcake this year and continue throughout the year!

In 2015, I used a cleaning schedule to keep myself organized through the first part of the year. Once the craziness of us moving hit, it was hard for me to stick to it identically, because there were so many other things to do! I am hoping to return to the FlyLady cleaning schedule this year so that I can have a more organized home. With so many responsibilities, it is often hard for me to keep track of everything. Since she puts together the schedule for cleaning, it is one less thing I have to think about.

Eating healthy and sticking to our food budget are two challenges I have worked on in the past. My goal for this year is to Meal Plan each week. This will help me in several ways. I will be able to plan ahead so there is less temptation to reach for the Mac and Cheese box. It will also require me to look at what we already have in the house so that I can avoid waste.

My goal in 2015 was to breastfeed Cupcake all year long. With her second birthday approaching, I am starting to feel ready to wean for several reasons. We’d like to expand our family at some point in the future and Cupcake’s frequent weaning schedule will make that difficult for us all to manage. So, my goal is to nurse Cupcake to 2 years old unless she chooses to wean earlier. I will take it month by month at that point!

I recently has the opportunity to start volunteering with a local group. This group has been instrumental in helping to get me established in our new state and has introduced me to some women that will become life-long friends. I want others to benefit from this group as much as I did, so my goal is to help increase membership by 25%. This is a highly ambitious goal based on based trends, but I am going for it anyway!

My last major resolution will change from month to month. I realized that although the long-term goals were awesome, there were different things that popped up throughout the year that I wanted to include and short-term goals are important. So this will be a changing goal! In January my goal will revolve around a career decision. I have two opportunities that sort of put me at a crossroad between continuing my education in one area or starting my own business in another. My goal for January is to research both options and come to a decision by the end of the month what I am going to do!

My last goal is to blog about my progress each month. This kept me accountable last year and I am hoping for the same this year!

Happy New Year’s everyone!

 

-Lindsay

 

PS What are you resolutions? Post them below! Also, if you have a FitBit or recently received one, let’s be friends! It is great motivation when I know someone else is looking in on me!

October Reflections

As part of my 2015 resolutions, I post my status each month to keep myself accountable for the goals I set for myself!

I am continuing to try and find time over here, since I have recently started two new part-time positions. Along with my new title as a work-at-home-mom, I am finding not enough time to get on here! Balance is hard to come by and I am hoping once I get in the swing of my second job, that I will be able to find my new normal.

Now, on to my goals.

1. Design 2015 budget goals with husband to reflect past spending and current saving goals.

My goal for October was to plan out our holiday budget for family members. We came up with a budget and I am hopeful that we will be able to stick to it.  I have a few DIY gifts that I am planning, so I am hoping they do not become extremely time consuming, since I already feel short on time.

My goal for November focuses around the fact that my sweetie gets a two-week vacation this month! In residency, he is assigned vacation time, rather than being able to take it as he wants. We have waited a long time for this vacation to come around and I am over the moon thinking about it. We will be traveling some and eating out and probably spending more money than we typically do. My goal for this month is to set a budget for his vacation time so that way we can still allow ourselves the ability to go out and enjoy, without totally blowing our plans!

2. Go to the gym (or workout at home) a minimum of four days a week.

I really got back in to running this month. There were several days where I ran four miles WITHOUT stopping! When I set my resolutions in December, I never thought I’d be able to do that. However, I did! I also tried out Bikram yoga for the first time. Such a cool experience that is very unlike anything I’ve ever done before. I even managed to snag a babysitter one week when I hadn’t had enough time to work out. Major win!

3. Reduce my PR of a 9 min mile pace to an 8 minute mile.

I completed a 7:57 mile in April. This goal is complete!

4. Try one new recipe a week and blog about it.

I am struggling with this resolution. I definitely am trying new recipes every week, but I just have not had the time to blog about it. Realistically, I do not know if this will happen in November, either. I am hoping to find more time to put toward this blog soon, as it is really important to me!

5. I want to continue nursing Cupcake through 2015, unless she chooses to wean earlier.

CHECK! I am getting frustrated about the nighttime feeding. She had given it up for a glorious week and then got sick. Even after she got better, there were still at least two wake-ups a night. We seem to be moving toward just one wake up most evenings with a very early start to the day. I have told myself that I will not push her nursing habits through the remainder of this year, but 2016 does not have any plans for Cupcake nursing through the night regularly!

6. Visit my grandma every week before our move. Call her every week after we move.

I pitifully failed this month. October was a hard month all around, and I know I put this too low on the list of priorities.

7. Text/call/email a different friend every day to keep communication open.

Check!

8. I will cut my monthly consumption of soda.

I had no soda in October.

9. Subscribe to FlyLady Emails. Complete tasks to maintain clean and decluttered home.

My goal for October was to go back to the FlyLady methods for laundry so that I can hopefully get on top of the mess that was September. I definitely am moving in the right direction there! I also have been doing a good job keeping a pretty regular cleaning schedule.

My goal for November is to continue to work on my cleaning schedule as we have several visitors coming for a weekend this month and I want to be on top of the situation so there isn’t a mad dash to clean the house.

10. Reduce time spent watching TV

Cupcake is a very early riser (5 am AT THE LATEST). I often will put on the TV first thing so that way I can wake up more slowly, make breakfast, and have my coffee. I experimented with moving in to play time together first thing, which just resulted in me and Cupcake both being extremely cranky. I do not think I am well-rested enough at this point to mentally manage a change like this right now. It is more important to me that I continue to nurse her than moving her away from Sesame Street. I will say that once breakfast starts, I switch the TV to a music station, and she does not ask for it again until the late afternoon. TV is my best ally in cooking dinner, and I think I am okay with that.

My goal for October was to spend the month researching fun and easy alternatives for me to help increase Cupcake’s stamina for independent play so that I did not feel so tempted to put on the TV. I certainly have worked with her on this and I have found that she will play by herself very well, after her AM TV time. The only TV I watched for myself was two episodes of Big Bang Theory the whole month!

My goal for November revolves around trying to find ways to get Cupcake involved in the cooking process on some evenings so that way I can eliminate that TV block!

11. Post progress each month on the above goals.

A few days late, but check!

June Reflections 

As part of my 2015 resolutions, I post my status each month to keep myself accountable for the goals I set for myself!
1. Design 2015 budget goals with husband to reflect past spending and current saving goals.

My goal for June was to get to know my new town and figure out the grocery stores. I really prefer being able to feed our family organic foods whenever possible, but that ain’t always easy on a budget. Thankfully, I’ve tried all of the local places and have a pretty good handle on how to handle our shopping. 

My goal for July is to reset our budget given the fact that my sweet hubby is now officially a resident! There is something to be said for earning a paycheck ;). I want to change our budget limitations and figures to reflect this change! 
2. Go to the gym (or workout at home) a minimum of four days a week.

I am finding this a big challenge. I chase after Cupcake all day and find it hard to find time to workout. In July, I am going to take a step back and make it a goal to workout at least two days a week. Hopefully from there I can build back up. 

3. Reduce my PR of a 9 min mile pace to an 8 minute mile.

I completed a 7:57 mile in April. This goal is complete!
4. Try one new recipe a week and blog about it.

Well, I did a ton of cooking this month and also launched a new blog aimed at children’s activities in the area. This ate (pun intended) into my time. I just need to find the time to post all the things I’ve been cooking up! 

5. I want to continue nursing Cupcake through 2015, unless she chooses to wean earlier.

Check! 

6. Visit my grandma every week before our move. Call her every week after we move.

Our phone calls haven’t been the same as seeing her in person, but they will do! I am excited to go home in a few weeks so I can see her! 

7. Text/call/email a different friend every day to keep communication open.

I have put a lot of time into making new connections in our new home. I will need to find a better way to balance out building new friendships with maintaining those from home. 

8. I will cut my monthly consumption of soda.

My goal for June was to have no more than ten 8-ounce servings of soda in June. I had exactly ten. 

My goal for July will be to have no more than nine 8-ounce servings. 

9. Subscribe to FlyLady Emails. Complete tasks to maintain clean and decluttered home.

My June goal was to resubscribe and start tackling tasks in this new home. I am loving the layout of our new place. I find it much easier to maintain! 

My goal for July is to reorganize our storage in the basement. When we moved we put all of Cupcake’s old clothes in bins. I also received a ton of hand me downs from my niece. When we moved, it got all out in a closet. My goal is to reorganize the whole storage  system we have. 

10. Reduce time spent watching TV

My goal for June was to limit my TV to the following items:

  • News (no more than 30 minutes a day)
  • Game of Thrones
  • The Wire
  • Sesame Street or Mickey Mouse Clubhouse (an episode if its a rainy day for Cupcake)

I was able to do this. My goal for July is to limit TV to news, an episode of a show for Cupcake of it’s raining or she’s sick, an no more than 2 movies. 

11. Post progress each month on the above goals. 

Check! 
Right about now I am wishing that I had not made it a goal to post my status, because May was terrible. April was bad enough, but May just was terrible. Now that we are FINALLY moved into our new home several states away, I feel like I can get back to blogging and the goals I set out for myself. I cannot change the past; I can only change the future. Here is recommitting myself to these goals for the remainder of the year!

April Reflections 

Ugh. People. It’s been bad. Real bad. With all that we have to do to prep for our move, I’ve barely had time to think. Much less focus on blogging or these resolutions. This wil be brutal, but here it goes…

As part of my 2015 resolutions, I post my status each month to keep myself accountable for the goals I set for myself!

1. Design 2015 budget goals with husband to reflect past spending and current saving goals.

We found our dream place! It is in our budget, although near the top. We will definitely have some new budget changes  as we start to figure out what our new life will cost! 

Our May goal is to try and make our move as cost effective as possible! 

2. Go to the gym (or workout at home) a minimum of four days a week.

Check! 

3. Reduce my PR of a 9 min mile pace to an 8 minute mile.

My April goal was to get an 8:05 minute mile.

I ran a 7:57 mid-month! This goal is done!!!!!! In high school I could barely run a 10 minute mile so this is  huge for me! 

4. Try one new recipe a week and blog about it.

With our oven broken still, this goal is not shaping up how I want. Until we move, this resolution is effectively on hold. 

5. I want to continue nursing Cupcake through 2015, unless she chooses to wean earlier.

Check! 

6. Visit my grandma every week before our move. Call her every week after we move.

Complete failure. So disappointed in myself. 

7. Text/call/email a different friend every day to keep communication open.

Check!

8. I will cut my monthly consumption of soda.

In April, my goal was to drink no more than 3 servings of soda a week.

One week I went over, but it’s still an overall better scenario than it was before! I notice that when I’m stressed I turn to soda the way some turn to wine. 

My goal for May is no more than 3 soda servings a week again. Hopefully I can achieve this goal despite the stress of moving! 

9. Subscribe to FlyLady Emails. Complete tasks to maintain clean and decluttered home.

With packing being a primary goal, FlyLady will need to wait until we are officially settled. 

10. Reduce time spent watching TV

My goal for April was focused on reducing my overall TV watching a day. It was a really odd month because we were frequently traveling to find a. Ew place and attended a few weddings. This naturally gave me significantly less time to watch tv. Most weeks I only watched whatever I had on the DVR. 

The only exception to this was we watched quite a bit of TV relate to the riots in Baltimore. As this was a major news story in our soon to be new home- I feel like it was acceptable! 

My May goal will be to only watch something I have on the DVR (unless another major news situation pops up). This will reduce TV time by eliminating the time I spend watching commercials. 

11. Post progress each month on the above goals. 
Check! 

March Resolution Update 

As part of my 2015 resolutions, I post my status each month to keep myself accountable for the goals I set for myself!

1. Design 2015 budget goals with husband to reflect past spending and current saving goals.

Cupcake’s first birthday was this month. Our goal was to set a budget and stick to it. 

In order to make the party more cost-effective, we limited the guest list to grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins. Having our friends there to celebrate would have been awesome, but also a bigger expense. 

We managed to spend almost exactly the budget we set and that includes all the food, decorations, gifts and everything else we did. I was so excited! 

Our April goal is to determine exactly what we want to spend for a new apartment when we move and to find our dream place! We debated buying, but residency only lasts three years. Although there’s a good chance we could stay in the area, with no guarantee it didn’t seem worth it. 

2. Go to the gym (or workout at home) a minimum of four days a week.

Having the warmer weather back made such a huge difference. Counting long walks of 3+ miles, I worked out 4-5 times a week without fail! Yay! 

3. Reduce my PR of a 9 min mile pace to an 8 minute mile.

My March goal was to get below an 8:25. I am absolutely astounded at my progress in this area! I added in quite a bit of interval runs and that has made a huge difference! My fastest mile time this month was an 8:07! I also had many runs under 8:25 so this is a definite success. 

My April goal is to get an 8:05 minute mile. 

4. Try one new recipe a week and blog about it.

This goal I did much less awesome on. I only blogged about one recipe the whole month! Will definitely need to start researching some new ones for April! 

5. I want to continue nursing Cupcake through 2015, unless she chooses to wean earlier.

Check! 

I officially made it to one year of nursing and am so excited that our nursing relationship is still going strong. 

I did have some strong second thoughts when Cupcake was having nursing sessions for over an hour at a time several times a day and night. However, she seems to have just been going through a huge developmental leap. She now walks almost exclusively and her language skills are huge. She’s even used two-word phrases (“all done” and “no touch”) a few times recently! 

Cupcake still loves her night nursing sessions, but they have gone down from 3 to 2 on most nights, so it’s getting better! Here’s to nursing through April! 

6. Visit my grandma every week before our move. Call her every week after we move.

This one makes me sad because I failed miserably. We only have two months living in the same state so it is vital that I make this happen for April and May! 

7. Text/call/email a different friend every day to keep communication open.

Check!

8. I will cut my monthly consumption of soda.

In March, my goal was to drink no more than 3.5 servings of soda a week.

I only had one can of root beer (my fav!) at Cupcake’s birthday party and no other soda for the rest of the month! The cravings are still there, but they’re getting lesser by the day! Yay! 

My goal for April is only 3 servings a week. One of my best friends is getting married and this girl wants to have the option to enjoy a rum and coke (or two). 

9. Subscribe to FlyLady Emails. Complete tasks to maintain clean and decluttered home.

I didn’t follow the tasks outlined because we started prepping for our move. While not officially making my goal, I’m amazed at the progress we made of totally cleaning out and packing up the basement! 

10. Reduce time spent watching TV

My goal for March was focused on my afternoon television. I love watching Ellen, but now that the weather is nicer, we are outside during this time. This is definitely a check as I only watched a few episodes the whole month! 

My goal for April will be focused on reducing my overall TV watching a day. To accomplish this goal, I will spend the first two weeks tracking exactly how many hours I watch. I will spend the second half of the month working to eliminate a few hours a week (exact number to be determined by results of data collection!). 

11. Post progress each month on the above goals. 
Check!