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Archive for the ‘New Year’s Resolutions’ category

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

Uh, I don’t want to alarm you, but the first 6 months of 2016 are gone!  Done. Over. Finito!  Have you accomplished half of the things that you set out to do in 2016?  If not, I have news for you: you are behind.  Me?  I’m doing OK.  I’m doing better on some things than others, but isn’t that always the way it goes?

But, first: gallery of outfits.  I didn’t have many reasons to get all dressed up in the month of June since I am off for the Summer.  I didn’t let that stop me, though!  I spent most of the month over-dressed for trips to Wal-Mart and the grocery store for your behalf.

Now let’s get to the heart of the matter: my progress on my goals for the month of June.

Misc.
  • Skydive

Trust me, if I went skydiving you would know it!

  • Travel

My husband and I have kicked around the idea of doing a 3-4 day trip before I go back to work at the end of August, but we haven’t booked anything.  We’ve talked about New York, Chicago, and a weekend in the mountains.  Considering that I go back to work in 7 weeks we need to figure out if we are going to do a mini-trip.

  • Read 12 books

I’m about to meet this goal and we’re just at the halfway point for the year.  Since I am not working, I have lots of time to devote to reading.  During the month of June I finished a book that I had started in May and then read three more for a total of 4 books this month, alone.  Please check out my thoughts on the books I’ve read on my Book Reports page.

Health/Well-Being
  • Lose Weight

I’m doing all of the things that I need to be doing to accomplish this goal, but I am not meeting it!  This will be the 11th week that I have tracked my calorie intake.  When I started I gave myself 1,300 calories a day.  But then once I got used to a more restricted diet I lowered it to 1,200 thinking that I would meet my goals faster.  It didn’t work.  I just raised it this week to 1,350 to support working out.

I started working out regularly a week after I started tracking my calories so I am coming up on the end of the 10th week.  During the month of June I wanted to get 4 work outs in a week, but I didn’t make it.  I only did 4 in a week once during June.  But, I ran more miles, had a better average pace, and burned more calories than May.  I had 2 more activities in May and spent an hour more running than in June.

I am not gaining weight, but I am not dropping it either.  I’ve been bouncing around the same 3 lb. range for the last 2 months.  I want to add strength training in to the mix, but I just haven’t done it yet.  I think that could be the missing component.  Also, running so often is changing the shape of my body in one particular way that I am not fond of: my thighs are more muscular, re: bigger.

  • Brush/Floss nightly

According to my app, I didn’t brush/floss one night out of the month.  However, this isn’t accurate.  I did brush and floss that evening, but it was after midnight so it didn’t count.  In any event, I am recording this as a 29/30= 97%.  My goal was a 90%+, so I crushed it!  I am super-duper happy with my consistency.  My goal for July is to stay above 93%.  That’s 29 days out of 31.

  • Beauty Routine

I have been adding different things and rotating one product with another in the evening, but I still haven’t quite hit on a winning combination.  And, I don’t have a way to track what I am putting on my face to see if certain items are working.  I’m still working on that.

Finances
  • Student loans

I am in lean expenditure mode over the Summer until my income starts back in the Fall.  Therefore, I am paying the monthly minimums on my loans.  I have done a few odd jobs here and there, but nothing major or consistent.

  • Retirement/Savings

See above.

  • Professional Development

I am not sure if I’ve mentioned that I have two classes scheduled for Fall.  I am looking for more.  I have also been applying to other area colleges for applicable opportunities as they arise.  There’s a sweet spot when they start staffing for the next semester and you’ve got to hit it or you’re out of luck.   We will see if anything comes of my efforts.

There they are.  I’m doing the best in the health/well-being category and well in the Misc. category.  It’s the Finance category that gets dicey this time of year.  How are you doing on your goals?  Have you completely forgotten about any goals or resolutions that you made for the year?  Perhaps this half-way point is a good time to re-evaluate what you would like to accomplish for 2016 and start working towards it.

-Carla