librarian + adventurer

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Goals on goals on goals

 Confession: this picture is from July 4th. 

Confession: this picture is from July 4th. 

I am a sucker for cliche New Years resolutions: go to the gym, eat healthy, save money, be less stressed, etc. I love them; I love the thought of starting new and setting goals and making lists [its possible that the making lists part is my favorite]. Typically I write a list of my resolutions in whatever notebook I'm carrying around at the time, which are promptly forgotten the next week. This isn't to say I don't accomplish some of what I set out to do, it just means that I lost the drive to hold myself regularly accountable for what it is I wanted out of the year. 

Looking back, I really had a great year!

  • Graduated from undergrad with my BSW
  • Moved across the country and successfully move in with Logan
  • Started graduate school and had a successful first quarter
  • Got a full time job
  • Stood with my best friend as she got married
  • Climbed a mountain over 14,000 ft tall
  • Drove across the country - twice
  • Met Landon Donovan
  • Visited the Bahamas and Washington for the first time, and Florida, South Carolina and Nebraska for at least the second time

Heading into 2016, I want to make a list as usual, but I want to be more mindful about what I add to it and how I plan on achieving those goals. Instead of saying "lose weight" my goal will be to be conscious about what I am eating and shop for wholesome, unprocessed foods. Thinking about the process that will go into achieving those goals will help me be more realistic in what I want 2016 to be about. Writing this post is one of my ways to hold myself accountable for these goals - it's hard to turn my back on something I posted publicly online. It's much easier to ignore a paragraph of scribbles in a notebook I'll probably lose track of. So, here goes nothing:

Get healthy and maintain a healthy lifestyle. Logan and I were really good in November and December about eating fresh fruits and vegetables and making dinner at home instead of ordering food, no matter how late we had to work. I want to continue doing this [while being more mindful about the amount of fruits we're getting vs. how much we actually eat - that was difficult] and make it a habit instead of a chore. I've been running/exercising pretty regularly, and I have found that having an event to work for helps me stay on track. I had already signed up for a 5k in January, a 10k in February, and a Spartan Race in May, but this morning I added a Half Marathon in April. Knowing I have these events coming up will keep me motivated to both exercise and eat right, which in turn will negate any guilt I may have for enjoying the occasional food tuck pizza.

See somewhere new. This kind of sounds silly, especially if you know me! I just moved from Virginia to Colorado and there's so much in Colorado that is new to me, so this should be easy. But when I say "see somewhere new" I mean states I haven't been to or new National Parks or the top of a mountain I haven't climbed yet. As of right now, Logan and I have some pretty cool trips already planned [and paid for, HALLELUJAH]. One is a secret, but the other involves my family spending 10 days in the Grand Tetons and Yellowstone doing things that Grandmommie and Grandaddy used to love to do. The hardest part about these trips is being able to afford them - we're still paying for our cross-country move and I'm currently in grad school, but we did a really good job about setting an adventure goal and saving enough for it. Which leads me to my next goal:

Create, and stick to, a realistic budget. I have been a terrible emotional spender and saver in the past. I'll look at my bank account, have a minor panic attack, save diligently for 4 or 5 paychecks, and then blow my money on something. It's not a good system, and it causes entirely too much stress for me. Towards the end of 2015 I set a zero-sum budget and was able to stick to it for two pay periods, but then Christmas presents happened and I lost track. [A zero-sum budget means that every cent of your income is accounted for, which can be difficult because I'm paid by the hour instead of by a salary]. The realistic part of this goal is key - after trying a zero-sum budget once, I've realized what I have budgeted in some categories is wayyyy too much and there's not enough in others.  Mint is amazing because you can set how much of your money you want to go into what spending and it gives you a gentle reminder when you're reaching the top end of one of your categories. Truth be told, I probably need something more than a gentle reminder but theres an app for it, so my plan is to check it once a week during one of our weekly shows (Survivor, once it comes back in February) because I'm usually on my phone for part of it anyways. 

2016 has the makings of a pretty damn good year, cheers!