I wrote a New Year’s Resolutions post at the beginning of January 2017 and was so thankful for the positive response that I received from everyone. I plan to come back every month with a goal check-in, so that I have even more incentive/accountability to continue working on my goals. Here is my August goal check-in.
Goal #1: Publish at least one blog post per week on Luggage and Literature.
Met! I published six posts in August.
Goal #2: Complete the Modern Mrs. Darcy Reading Challenges.
You can check out my previous post outlining my 2017 reading plans here. So far, I’m ahead of schedule for completing both the Reading for Fun and Reading for Growth challenges. My August Reading List post lists the categories that I fulfilled this month.
Goal #3: Play cello at least twice (preferably more) per month.
I played cello zero times in July, due to my busy schedule. But I did play my ukulele a few times.
Goal #4: Pay down debt.
We continued making progress toward this goal. We have no credit card debt. I paid off my Acadia. Mike’s vehicle will be paid off in September. Our next focus will then be business debt and Mike’s smaller student loans. We haven’t been paying extra on our student loans or mortgage so far.
- Prepare lunches on the weekend. Met this goal most weeks.
- Pack lunch or eat at home every weekday for lunch, unless meeting colleagues. Met this goal for most of the month.
- Eat dinner at home five nights per week. Met.
- Prepare/freeze dessert items (I have a major sweet tooth, and if we don’t have dessert items in the house at all, I’m much more likely to go get ice cream or run to the store and purchase snack items). We have frozen peanut butter cookie dough so that we can make cookies after dinner. But I’ve been eating ice cream instead, as we needed to clean out the freezer so that I could put up pasta sauce (I ended up freezing 20 quarts of pasta sauce).
- Curb spending on books by utilizing the library. I’ve been reading books that I purchased at the Friends of the Library book sale, and that I already had on my Kindle. But I did purchase the four books of The Neapolitan Novels used at a local book sale for $16.00, which I thought was a fantastic deal.
- Curb spending on clothing and accessories, especially by utilizing Pinterest for remixing my existing wardrobe. I purchased a pair of Keens hiking shoes, and a raincoat from Cabela’s, in advance of our Yellowstone camping trip (stay tuned for posts about this!). Pinterest continues to be very useful in making my wardrobe feel fresh.
- Use up back stock of MaryKay and hair products before purchasing more. I didn’t purchase any MaryKay or hair products in August.
- Clean out refrigerator/freezers/pantry and use up existing food rather than just purchasing more. We have a well-stocked pantry and freezer, and are working out way through it. We’ve mainly purchased milk, bread, and produce. A friend gave us plenty of tomatoes (which I turned into 20 quarts of pasta sauce and a large container of Panera-style tomato soup) and peppers (which we just cut and freeze), which we’ve now frozen to restock for the next year.
- Curb unnecessary trips to Kearney (this is about half an hour from our town, so the gas can get pricey when we run there for no reason other than we’re bored/want to go shopping/etc.). I don’t think we make any special trips to Kearney in August.
- Take on additional cases and work more hours to increase income. In August I was really busy at work, but it was a much more manageable pace than I had in July.
Goal #5: Be healthier.
I got back on the health wagon in June, as it was simply necessary. Since then, I’ve been working my way through The Beck Diet Solution, and have found it quite helpful. Essentially the book isn’t a diet, but rather helps you to work through the sabotaging thoughts that lead to weight gain. I’ve already started catching myself in them, and am hopeful that I continue to make progress in the right direction (a decrease on the scale).
- Drink no more than 3 pops per day, preferably no more than 2 (but I’m realistic about my job). Met this goal.
- Drink at least 8 cups of water per day. Met this goal. I’ve reduced back to the 8-10 cups per day range, as I think that it’s best for me right now.
- Eat/drink at least 2 servings of dairy per day (when I did Weight Watchers, the studies showed that this contributed to weight loss, plus I know that it makes for healthier bones and teeth). Met nearly every day.
- Eat at least one fruit or vegetable per day, preferably more. Met most of the month.
- Drink 1 cup of water before each meal. Met some of the month, but not consistently.
- Take my water bottle with me during the day. Met now that I have an RTIC bottle that keeps my water cold all day long.
- Pack lunches or eat lunch at home during the week. Met this goal for most of the month.
- Eat dinner at home five nights per week. Met.
- Do 10 sit-ups and 10 push-ups 3 times per week (in law school, I had a professor who expected all students to do 10 push-ups at the start of each of his classes, and was surprised how doing this 3 times per week actually made me feel stronger by the end of the semester). Not met.
- Exercise (walk/swim/yoga/YMCA class) 3 times per week. Not met.
- Walk at least 6,000 steps per day, preferably more. Met probably 75% of the time, which is an improvement.
- Sleep 8 hours per night. Met probably 90% of the time.
- Continue taking a daily multivitamin. Met.
- Track food daily in My Fitness Pal. Met probably 50% of the time.
- Continue utilizing my Fit Bit to monitor activity, steps, food, sleep. Met.
Goal #6: Take one trip or visit one local area attraction per month.
I get stir crazy if I stay home for too long. To combat that, I think that this goal will help. Although monthly travels to exotic locations aren’t realistic in my stage of life and with my career, a monthly trip somewhere is realistic. So it can be international, domestic, or just a local area attraction, just some reason to leave my house and my town. Plus there are several museums in my area that I’ve been meaning to visit, but just haven’t gotten around to. So I’m actually really looking forward to this goal. This goal is in progress.
- January: The Museum of Nebraska Art (MONA), and The Great Platte River Road Archway, Kearney, NE (I’ve wanted to visit the archway since we moved to the area, but haven’t gotten around to it yet…probably because Mike is absolutely not excited about visiting it). We visited MONA in January. After looking at the admission price for the Archway, we opted to skip it for now.
- February: Roatan! What a great time! I’ll be posting about this in the future, so stay tuned!
- March: Scuba diving at Bonne Terre again, perhaps The Roatan trip was February into March and was glorious. Bonne Terre ended up not working out in March, but I did go to Sioux Falls, SD. I met up with my parents for a day, then also spent a day with my friend Tara. It was really fun!
- April: Black Hills for Easter with family, I hope. Met. We spent 4 days in the Black Hills with family. We also spent some time wandering through downtown Rapid City, went for a drive in the Northern Hills, and stopped at Homestake Mine.
- May: Topeka, Kansas to watch NHRA drag racing, and Witchita, KS to see family. This was really fun, and a much-needed escape.
- June: Stuhr Museum, Grand Island, NE. I didn’t visit the Stuhr Museum in Grand Island, NE. My friend Tara did come and visit me for our local Swedish Days festival, though. And Mike and I have spent a fair amount of time at Sandy Channel lately (Mike to scuba dive, and me to relax and read). I’ll have to visit the Stuhr Museum another month.
- July: Michigan again and Canada, perhaps This didn’t happen due to having trials scheduled. But I did go to the Black Hills for a weekend visit with my family, including some drag racing (against my sister!) and riding along with my dad (a 7 second 1/8 mile pass with lifted the front wheels off the ground).
- August: Total Solar Eclipse on August 21 right in my area, Cincinnati, Ohio for a conference, and Norwalk, Ohio for a Pontiac car show and drag races. Whew! What a whirlwind of a month! Stay tuned for posts about all the fun I had!
- Labor Day weekend (August-September): Yellowstone. This trip is something that we added this month. We went with our friends Randall and Paige, and had such a fun time!
- September: Kaaboo in Del Mar, California, if I can find a partner in crime to go with me. This is going to happen! My friend Jamie can go with me! I’m so pumped!
- October: Pioneer Village, Minden, NE or perhaps the Willa Cather museum in Red Cloud, NE
- November: Florida perhaps (Mike wants to get his full cave diving certification, and I’d like to go back to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal) Mike is actually going cave diving in December now, and they’re going to a different part of Florida than last time, so I’m not sure that I’ll be going along. We’ll see.
- December: ??
- I also need to plan a get together with my dear friend Tara. She and I have talked about several different options, but need to nail down the date and location of our visit. Met! We got together in March in Sioux Falls, where she lives. And she came to visit me in June.
- In 2016, I also had a super fun girls weekend with some of my closest friends from college. We talked about making it an annual occurrence, so I need to check in with those gals as well, then nail down the date and location of girls weekend 2017! I think this is going to be postponed to 2018.