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Archive for the ‘New Year’s Resolutions’ category

Another month is in the books!  As we say goodbye to September I’d like to take a moment to review the outfits for the month and we’ll do the check-in/update on the goals for the year.

Returning to work full-time at the end of August meant that I was able to provide lots of content for the blog.  Here are the outfits that I wore this month.  (These are not in chronological order.  If you want to see the order that I wore the outfits, check out the gallery.)

Finances
  • Student loans

I just made one of my student loan payments for the month and I made the minimum payment because I am still getting back on track.  But, I do plan to start putting extra money towards them starting with the second student loan payment that I will make at the end of the month.

  • Retirement/Savings

Starting a new job has made this something that I was forced to focus on.  As I mentioned, I already have 10% allocated to my savings but I’ve also signed up for my 401k.  My company matches 6% so I decided to start out with 10% and see how that affected my take-home pay.  Let me tell you, it had more of an impact off my bottom-line that I thought it would, but I am going to force myself to adjust to it.  I also want to re-explore rolling over my 401k from my previous job.

  • Professional Development

I am proud to say that this past Friday I graduated from the first 6 weeks of training.  On Monday I will be starting the second phase, Academy.  As I’ve previously mentioned the average time for this second phase is about 12-15 weeks.  I expect to be there through Christmas.

Misc.
  • Skydive

I’m going to take this one off of the list.

  • Travel

At this time, it doesn’t look as if we will be taking any trips between now and the end of the year, but that doesn’t mean that we can’t go away somewhere for the weekend.  But, buying a house is the big priority for us right now.

  • Read 12 books

I started a book in early September, but I can’t say that I really love it.  I haven’t felt compelled to read it and so I haven’t.  I might just abandon ship on it and start a new book.  I’m still at 15 for the year as of now.

Health/Well-Being
  • Lose Weight

I am still working on making the number on the scale go down– I haven’t had much success yet, but I am getting into a groove that is going to get me there. . . eventually.  I did beat my goal of 9 runs with a total of 12 workouts.  My goal is to workout at least 3 times per week.  My hours will be switching so it will be much easier to work out after work.  Also, I am working on my diet.  I packed my lunch all but 4 times during my 6 weeks of training which gives me a lot more control over what I am eating.  I have also been slowly decreasing the amount of calories that I consume during the day.  Now that we are done with the classroom training and doing the job I don’t have as much time to snack–which is good.  I am busy and I don’t think about eating as much.

Also, I get points on my fitness app through work for my daily steps so I have set a goal of 5,000 steps per day.  With a job where you sit for 8 hours that can be hard to do!  I have to force myself to get up during breaks and walk around just to stretch my legs and get my steps in.  I try for a minimum of 5,000 everyday but I have only been making it about 4 days out of the week.

  1. 5,000 steps per day
  2. workout 3 times per week
  3. eat fruits/veggies; drink water
  4. be mindful of calorie intake
  • Brush/Floss nightly

I met my goal of 75% for “perfect days” (brush before noon, floss and brush before bed) with 23 out of 30 days for a 77%.  I missed flossing and/or brushing before bed 2 nights of the month so I missed my goal of 95% by 2%– 93%.  I will keep the same goals for next month.

  • Beauty Routine

I didn’t do great with this one this month.  I slipped up too much.  A few nights I went to bed without even using a cleansing cloth to remove my makeup.  I need to get better at this one for this month.

There you have it!  That’s my progress for the month of September and my goals for October.  What are your goals?

-Carla

In August I returned back to work and regular posting.  Here’s a month review of my outfits.  (These are not in chronological order.)

Let’s take a moment to reflect on the progress that I made on my New Year’s Resolutions during the month of August and any changes or updates to those goals for the month of September and beyond.

Misc.
  • Skydive

I am thinking that this one might be off the list, but I’m going to keep it on there just in case.

  • Travel

This is still low on the priority list right now.  I have already started accruing vacation at my new job but I am not permitted any time off for the first 90 days– which will take us in to December.

  • Read 12 books

I’ve ended August at a total of 15 books for the year so far.  I would like to try to read one book per month for the remaining 4 months of the year but I am not sure if I will be able to complete that goal.  I am still going to try, though.  I will need to pick a new book for the month of September in the next few days.  Any recommendations?

Health/Well-Being
  • Lose Weight

My weight didn’t change from the start of August to the end.  I did create a weight lifting routine but I only completed it twice.  I did start to get back to running, though.  I met my goal of more than 7 workouts by completing a total of 9.  The first week back to work I didn’t work out during the week, but this past week I worked out once after work and once before work.  I think that I could make working out before work at 6am something that I do at least twice during the week.

Also, my new employer participates in a program that rewards you for healthy choices like eating fruits and vegetables, working out, and taking 10,000 steps per day.  The points that you earn can then be redeemed for gift cards.  Making healthy choices a game is something that totally works for me!  I have also downloaded a new app that will work with this program and track my calories when I work out.  I am going to try to beat my 9 runs for August in the month of September.

  • Brush/Floss nightly

I am so winning on this one!  In fact, I even stepped up the game to the next level.  I brushed and flossed every day in the month of August for a perfect 100%!  The new level is logging my morning brush for a perfect day!  My goal for September is going to be above a 95% for brush and floss and at least a 75% for perfect days.  Because I have to brush before noon in order for it to count I am just starting with weekdays and not counting weekends.

  • Beauty Routine

I am solid on this, but I have yet to find a way to track it.  I also tried out a new eye serum, but I don’t think that it’s worth the price when there are other products that do the same thing for a lot less money.

Finances
  • Student loans

Now that I am back to work and I have an income source again I can start making more headway on these.  I have planned to make the minimum payments for the month of September and resume paying as much extra as I possibly can starting in October.

  • Retirement/Savings

I have already set-up my direct deposit to automatically allocate 10% of my paycheck to my savings account.  This worked really well for me in the past and made saving a painless process.  It’s a hard thing to balance saving money and paying off debt!

  • Professional Development

Since I just started a new job I am not in a situation to do any professional development.  The goal is to complete the 6 week training program and then I will move in to another training environment that will be anywhere from 12-15 weeks.  I don’t need to be the first one through that training, but I wouldn’t mind being in the top of my class.

There you have it!  Over the Summer I felt as if I was basically hitting pause on most of my goals and now that I am back to work I have hit play!  I am hoping for some big gains in my goals during the next several months.

Thanks for reading,

Carla

Let’s talk about July!  It seemed to fly by in the blink of an eye.  It was 4th of July one day and then the 31st the next.  It’s hard to believe that it’s August already.  Although the autumnal equinox is on September 22 I think that most people in the U.S. take Labor Day (always the 1st Monday in September) as the end of Summer.  Or, the start of  school–whatever day that may be for you, your kids, or the area where you live.

All of that to say that Summer is slipping away!  I’ve seen many people on social media bemoaning Summer and wishing for cooler temps and sweater weather.  Me?  Not so much.  I am still enjoying Summer weather and I know that Fall and Winter will be here soon enough– there is no reason to rush it.

Be present.

Here is a gallery of my outfits for July 2016:

Don’t worry– I did get dressed the other 26 days of the month.  I also have a pair of light denim shorts, dark denim shorts, and olive-green shorts that were in heavy rotation.  The olive-green shorts were recently added to my wardrobe along with the rust colored shorts.  I wouldn’t mind picking up a few more pairs of shorts that fit well for the last month of Summer, but I probably won’t.  (I have 4-5 pairs of shorts that don’t fit.  I’d rather get in to them than buy new shorts.)

And with that, let’s review my resolution progress.

Finances
  • Student loans

No real progress to report– just holding steady and paying the minimum payments until my income resumes and I can pay more.

  • Retirement/Savings

I am doing my best not to blow my entire savings account over the Summer, but I know that I will have to use about half of it to pay bills.  The goal is then to replenish it!

  • Professional Development

Announcement time!  I will not be returning to academia this Fall.  I am taking the semester off to explore another avenue.  Last month I accepted a full-time position as a customer care representative with a Fortune 500 company.  I am excited and nervous.  I have never had this type of job before and I am not sure if I will love it or hate it!  But, I am going to find out.  I begin a 6 week training program August 22— one week before I would have started back to teaching.  The dress code is casual— jeans are permitted and I’ve been thinking a lot about the future of this blog.  If you have any thoughts or comments, please share them in the comments.

Misc.
  • Skydive

Not sure if this is actually going to happen.

  • Travel

I think that we are back to this one being on the back burner for now because we are buying a house and I am starting a new job.  Priorities!

  • Read 12 books

I’ve hit this one and I am still going!  Right now I am reading book #14 for the year and I am about an hour away from finishing it!  I estimate that I will end this year with 19-20 books read.  That’s kinda crazy when you think about it.

Health/Well-Being
  • Lose Weight

I have dropped the ball, big time.  I stopped counting calories and I fell off the running wagon.  I only logged 5 activities for the month of July.  I did attend yoga 2 times, but that only brings me up to 7 work outs.  That’s not going to help me reach my goals.  My weight is almost exactly the same as it was on July 1 and my body composition hasn’t changed.  The last week of this month I did start weighing myself almost daily so that I could use that number to help me make solid choices for what I put in my mouth.  If it was high one day, I would use that as motivation to skip the sweets.

In a weird way, I am looking forward to going back to work and having a more rigid schedule to help keep me on track.  I’m also nervous because I will have a job where I am sedentary for 8 hours a day.  I haven’t been in that type of scenario since high school.

The plan for August is to log more than 7 workouts for the month.  That’s about 2 a week.  I also keep saying that I want to start lifting weights, but I haven’t followed through.  Perhaps that is what I should do today?

  • Brush/Floss nightly

I’ve got this one down as a solid habit, now.  It’s part of my nightly routine to go and floss and brush.  I flossed 29/31 days of the month, or a 93.5% and that was my goal.  I brushed 30/31 nights for a 96.7%.  I have also added another step to the routine and that is a fluoride mouth rinse to further help fend of plaque, tartar, and cavities.  My goal for August is to stay above 95% for brushing and flossing.

  • Beauty Routine

I have gotten in to a routine of washing my face any applying products every night when I brush my teeth.  But, I am still not tracking the products that I use.  The book about habits that I recently read talks about monitoring and how it can be beneficial.  That’s the reason why the silly app helps me keep up with my nightly brushing and flossing.

I wouldn’t say that I am doing amazingly well on all of my goals, but I would say that I am doing well at not slipping too far on the ones that I am having some trouble with.  I could just say the heck with it all and be much worse off than I am.  Summer is always a very difficult time for me.  As weird as it sounds, I hate not working during the Summer— you know what they say, “idle hand’s are the Devil’s workshop.”

How are you doing with your progress?  Have you met goals that you set in January?  Did you drop the ball and then re-commit at the half-way point for the year?  Are you bolstered by small wins?  Please let me know–share in the comments below.

-Carla