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Archive for the ‘New Year’s Resolutions’ category

Here we are– one month in to the New Year.  How are you doing with your resolutions or goals?  Have you fallen off the wagon and given up?  Are you one of those that always thinks that tomorrow is a good day to start?  I’ve been there and made some of those mistakes in the past.  But, for me I have found that doing a monthly check-in of my goals and resolutions helps me to stay on track and get me back moving in the right direction if I’ve started to stray.

Health and Well-Being

  • Lose 4 lbs. (142 by Feb. 5)/ Work out

I’m not sure if I’ve met this goal, yet.  I have 3 more days until I need to weigh in and then I will see where I am.  I have done a great job with committing to working out regularly, though.  For each of the 4 weeks in January I successfully completed 3 workouts.  I am extremely proud of myself for meeting this goal.  There were many times when I didn’t want to work out or I put it off until the next day— but I did it!

  • Drink more water, 2 cups of coffee a day and 48 ounces of water

Um, I did not meet this goal.  I am having the worst time trying to cut down to 2 cups of coffee a day.  I have a cup first thing in the morning when I wake up and then I like to have something warm in my travel mug for my drive to work.  Once at work, if I haven’t already had a second cup of coffee I’ll make one then.  And then in the afternoon I sometimes get chilly or feel like I need a pick-me-up for working out or class that evening and I make a 3rd cup of coffee.  I’ve tried making my second cup of coffee herbal tea, instead, but it just hasn’t worked out.  Most days I am lucky if I drink one bottle of water (approx. 24 ounces).  I try for two, but haven’t made it many days.

  • Eat better

I have done a fairly good job of eating better.  I do pack my lunch for work almost every day and I have a piece of fruit for my morning snack, leftovers or a heat-em up meal for lunch with a yogurt, and a 110 calorie snack pack for my afternoon snack.  This has been working out well, but I know that I could also stand to me more strict with my diet.

  • Reach platinum level on Vitality (10,000 points)

I am well on my way to meeting this goal!  I hit Silver level about mid-way through the month and currently have 2,792 points.  There are a lot of online education courses that I can complete to earn points and I want to start knocking some of those out.  My goal is to reach 3,000 points by the end of February.


  • Student loans– pay $600 per month

I just paid for January and I paid slightly over the minimum ($450).  I will begin paying the extra this month and continue through June.

  • Retirement savings– roll-over previous 401(k)

I have my retirement set-up automatically at my current job but I do need to see if it automatically increased at the 1st of the year or if it’s on my first anniversary date.  I know that I set it up to increase 1 or 2% each year, but I don’t know when it goes in to effect.  I have not done anything with my old 401(k), either.

  • Build up savings

I’m working on this one.  It’s hard to balance paying off bills and saving money but I’m trying to make it happen.  I am one-third of the way to my goal but I know that there will be things that come up that I need to tap into my savings to take care of so I’m not trying to count my chickens before they hatch.


  • Read one book per month

So far, so good!  I read In the Shadow of Lakecrest for my first book of the year and I posted my thoughts about it on my Book Reports page.  I will be checking out the free Kindle first-look books this evening and starting on my February book.

  • Travel

We are busy planning our potential trip to California.  I knew that CA was big but I didn’t know it was that big!  After doing some research I found out that we would not be able to see wine county, the redwoods in the Sequoia forest, Yellowstone National Park, Santa Monica Pier, Hollywood, Universal Studios/Disney, the Golden Gate Bridge, LA, and San Diego.  We have narrowed it down to the southwestern part of Cali–most of what we want to see is around that area.  But, that’s about as far as we are in the planning process.

I am happy with my progress towards my goals in most categories but not in all.  I am very curious to see where I am when I weigh in on Feb. 5.  I have this unsettling feeling that even with meeting my workout goal that I may not have met my weight goal.  But, that doesn’t mean that I am going to stop or give up– I have noticed a lot of my dresses and work pants fitting better.

Thanks for reading,




It’s that time of year again when we sit down and take stock over the last 12 months and then set forth our goals for the next 12 months.  Although people often receive a lot of flack for New Year’s Resolutions I think that setting goals is a worthwhile endeavor.  But, it’s the follow through that many people are missing.  That and setting extremely ambitious goals and then abandoning them before the month’s end.  Here are the 10 goals that I made in January of 2016.

2016 Resolutions

Health/Well Being

Lose weight!  5 lbs. by 2/1 and a total of 10 lbs by 3/6/16.  In order to achieve this, I would like to stick to 1300 calories daily, tracked with myfitnesspal and do 3 cardio sessions weekly burning at least 150 calories and 2 weight training sessions using my gymbook app.

Brush teeth nightly, 90% for the month as tracked by the Oral B app.

Beauty routine/regime.  I would like to be more consistent with using beauty products and taking off my makeup nightly before bed.


Continue paying on my student loans– more than the minimum for every month that I have income.  For the months in-between teaching, pay the minimum.

Retirement/savings.  I want to continue down this path, and I would like to learn more about my pension and rollover an old 401(k) to a Roth IRA.

Read at least 1 finance book this year.

Professional development– attend some conventions, and/or the yearly retreat, company picnic, etc.


Read 12 books for the year. 

Travel– focus more on gaining experiences instead of possessions.


I made some of these goals, modified some, and completely failed at others.  Let’s go through them from top to bottom– lose weight.  Um, I did not do very good at this goal.  In fact, it’s going to be on the list again this year.  Brush teeth and beauty routine– I did well at both of these.  I do track my teeth brushing and flossing with an app so I can monitor that I brush twice a day and floss.  I haven’t found a way to track my beauty routine but overall I’ve been more good than bad with it.

My finances were an area with some ups and downs considering that I was out of work from June-August.  But, I was responsible with my savings and I made it work.  I did pay on my student loans monthly and I have even more ambitious goals for this category this year.  My retirement savings are back on track now that I have a full-time job and I need to once again re-visit rolling over my other 401(k).  I also read a finance book even though I am not sure that it was all that beneficial.  Perhaps this year I will read another one or two.  And, despite the fact that I was out of work for 3 months over the Summer I did attend the company picnic and yearly retreat at the community college where I work.  I also joined a professional organization.

In the Misc. category I did not go skydiving and I did not travel.  The travel was less of a fail and more of a shift in priorities since my husband and I were house-hunting and I was out of work.  I did read my 12 books and then some– I ended 2016 with having read 16 books.  I was working at reading one book a month but then over the Summer I kicked it in to high gear and rocketed past my goal.  But, then I didn’t read anything for the last 3 months of the year.  This year I think I might modify this goal to be read one book a month for a total of at least 12.

2017 Resolutions

My goals for this year are going to look a lot like my goals for last year, at least at the outset.  I always change them and modify them throughout the year, though.


Lose 10 pounds. Currently I am at 146 pounds and I am not happy about it.  I remember a time when I hovered around 130 and if I hit 135 I would make the necessary modifications not to go above 135.  And then one day I did.  And it seems like once I slipped over that number I’ve slowly crept up a little higher and higher each year.  I have noticed that as I have gotten older it is a lot harder to lose weight as quickly and easily as it has been in the past but I still need to do it.  My goal isn’t simply to yo-yo with these 10 pounds but to steadily lose them and keep them off.  According to most charts, at about 135 pounds I am overweight for my height (5’3″).

By Feb. 5 I hope to have lost 4 pounds and be at 142.  By March 1 I hope to have lost 8 pounds and be at 138.  And, by April 1 (my birthday) I hope to have shed the rest of the weight and be at 136 pounds.  I’m giving myself a total of 13 weeks to lose 10 pounds– that’s just slightly under one pound per week which is a completely reasonable goal.

Drink more water!  Limit coffee to 2 cups a day and drink at least 48 ounces of water a day (6 eight ounce glasses).

Eat better!  My diet has really slipped and I need to get it back on track.  At the get-go I don’t really want to focus on calorie counts, but I do want to make better and healthier choices.  I am going to continue packing my lunch for work and I want to try taking a piece of fruit for my morning break, a reasonable lunch of approximately 300 calories, an afternoon snack, and a reasonable dinner of protein and a vegetable.  I need to focus on eating more vegetables and less snacking!

Work Out!  I’ve got to get back on a regular work-out schedule.  I am toying with a few different options right now.  I am thinking about a program where I work out 4 days a week but for 20-30 minutes only.  I can go after work at the gym at my apartment to do cardio on the treadmill and to do strength training.  The other idea that I had was joining the gym at work and going to yoga 2 or 3 times a week during my work day.  The only drawbacks of that plan is that the gym at work costs $20 a month and I would have to use my lunch hour to attend the workouts.  But, I like doing yoga and it would be cheaper at work than the yoga studio where it costs $13 per class.

Reach platinum level on Vitality (10,000 points)

I’m going to continue with my oral health and beauty routine goals but now that they have become a habit I am no longer going to include them here.


Student Loans.  Grrr, I hate student loans more than anything.  My goal is to pay them off as quickly as possible so that I can minimize the amount that I have to repay over my lifetime.  Currently, I owe about $26,000 on them.  I have slowly been watching this number decrease over the past several years and this year I want to supercharge that decrease.  My minimum monthly payment is $450 for my loans and I want to pay at least $600 on them a month for the first 5 months of the year– while I am working full-time AND teaching a class.  I’d like to try to get the total amount to be repaid at $20,000 at the end of 2017.

Retirement savings.  I have a good thing going here with automatic payroll deductions from my full-time job but it is time once again to re-visit rolling over my older 401(k) into my new one.  I want to have that done by April 2017.

I have slowly been working on building my savings back up after having to deplete it over the Summer.  It’s hard to balance paying off debts and saving money at the same time but having it set-up to automatically put a portion of my paycheck directly into my savings account helps tremendously.  I’d like to build my savings up to $3,000 by the end of the year.


Read a book a month, totaling at least 12 books for the year

Travel– take a week long vacation somewhere (California, maybe?), Summer trip to Columbus for my cousin’s wedding

There you have it.  Yes, those are almost the same as the prior year but that’s OK– I’m not too concerned with that.  What are your goals for the month?  6 months?  The year?  Please let me know what your number one priority is in the comments below.






Wednesday, November 2, I went to Wal-Mart to get some Halloween candy on clearance and there wasn’t any!  I couldn’t believe it.  But, what they did have was 22 aisles of Christmas stuff.  All of a sudden, Halloween is over and the gloves come off and it’s Christmas.

Aren’t we skipping over Thanksgiving?!?

Here is a month-in-review of the outfits that I wore during the month of October.  These are not in chronological order, though.  (Check out my gallery page for a chronological listing.)

And, as always let’s go ahead and update the progress for the month towards my New Year’s Resolutions.  We’re done with 10 months of the year–there’s only 2 months left to meet, or exceed, the resolutions that I set at the start of 2016.  (It really does go by faster and faster each year.)

  • Travel

No trips or plans for one for the rest of this year, at least.

  • Read 12 books

I did abandon the book that I was reading during September, but I started a new one during the month of October called Eileen.  I’ll be writing my thoughts about it shortly on the Book Report page.  But that makes 16 for the year.

  • Student loans

I just made my student loan payment at the end of October and for the beginning of November.  I am happy to say that I am at the point where I am able to start paying more than the minimum amount.

  • Retirement/Savings

Doing well with having 10% of my paycheck automatically deposited into my savings account.  I like to see that number get bigger every other week.  I’m doing my best to let it alone and let it grow.  I also have 10% put into my 401k and it was hard the first time it was deducted but I’ve adjusted.  I know that it’s important so I am making it a priority.

  • Professional Development

I am not seeking any additional professional development beside the training that I receive for my job.  I am doing my best and my coach always has a lot of positive feedback for me, which is great, but there are some things that I really need to improve and I’m putting my focus and energy towards them.

  • Lose Weight

I have been struggling with this one for a while now.  I’ve tracked my weight for several years on myfitnesspal and I can see that the trend over time has been an increase of 10-15 lbs.  I am trying to get that down 5-10 pounds but it is so hard to do!  I was doing well with working out at least 3 times per week but then I missed one here and there and before I know it the month was over.

I have made a strong effort to consume less calories during the day by packing my lunch, but it doesn’t always carry through when I get home.  It’s just something that I have to keep working on.

  • Brush/Floss nightly

I met my goal of 75% for “perfect days” (brush before noon, floss and brush before bed) with 26 out of 31 days for a 84%.  I missed flossing and/or brushing before bed 3 nights of the month so I missed my goal of 95% by 5%– 90%.  I will keep the same goals for next month.

  • Beauty Routine

This was spotty, again, for the month of October.