Friday, January 1, 2016

New Year, New Goals

Welcome, 2016.

I have some big goals for you.  Twelve in fact, so let's get started on this new year.

1) Make healthier life choices.  

I'm competing in my school's "biggest loser" competition, so I'm enjoying my last weekend of glorious, fattening foods.  Starting Monday, healthier habits will ensue.  I'll be giving up soda.  We'll be cooking more at home and eating dinner before six pm.  There will be less chips and more veggies and fruits.  I'll hit my 10,000 steps a day and Waffles will get more walks.  When we're watching television, we'll do stretches and lift on commercials.  Smaller, healthier changes are in store for both of us. Both financial gain (biggest loser) and appearance (hello wedding dress in November) are huge motivators.

2) Be more the kitchen.

Anyone who knows me knows I hate cooking. I hate it.  I always come up with a variety of excuses (it's hard to cook for one, I hate left overs, it's time consuming, etc).  So, we're taking baby steps to counter act this.  B and I will be trying one new recipe each week.  We're starting with some crock pot meals and branching out from there.  We're planning ahead and making grocery lists, together.  

3) Be more organized.

I wrote about my first steps towards organization {earlier} and am looking forward to making small, purposeful changes.

4) Work smarter

Just small tweaks at work will make a huge difference.  First, I'm going to print out rosters for each subject.  Second, I'm stapling answer keys to the back of the rosters.  Third, I'm setting a timer.  I work best in the morning, so that's when I'll complete my tasks.  Instead of grading at night, I'll grade in the morning.  I wake up early enough to be able to set aside an hour before work each day (if needed) and still have time to get ready.  I need to shut my door and be more focused when I'm at work. I'll never get everything done...and that's okay.

5) Stop Comparing Myself to Others

This one is self explanatory, but crucial.  I'm not like my coworkers and I'm only in competition with myself. 

6) Read more

I've got five more books for Battle of the Books by April, but I also want to make sure I'm taking time for myself to read each day.  I've got a stack of books that I'm dying to dive into!

7) Take more "me" and "we" time...without feeling guilty

There's a running club at school I'd like to visit after school on Wednesdays.  Some of my students are in it, so I think it'd be a nice way to build up a relationship with them.  I also want to limit technology time and do more fun stuff as a couple, not just simultaneously work on things in the same room and call it together time.  I'm also giving myself permission to leave work on time and do fun things on the weekend.  For me, this means craft time, nap time, and reading.  For B, his "me" time is soft ball (which I'll try to go to more games) and video games.  We also want to go hiking and do more couple activities with friends.

8) Focus on the right people

I set ridiculously high expectations for myself.  I often invest too much energy and emotion into friendships, which when not reciprocated, leaves me devastated.  So this year, to the best of my ability, I will not focus on those that don't want to be my friend and instead cultivate the relationships that matter.

9) Work Less, Live More

As a teacher, I far exceed forty hours a week.  With three side businesses ({Teacherspayteachers}, {Jamberry}, and {Younique}), I often feel pulled in several directions at once.  I'm going to set small, purposeful goals and then spend the rest of my time doing things I want to do.  Sure, I'd like to hit promotions within my small businesses, but I'm also not willing to be that annoying, crazy sales lady.  I hope my friends know that I'm all about girl time, mimosas, and bonding.  Essentially, my business motto is this: If you want pretty nail wraps or make up, let me know!  If you're just here for the brownies, that's cool too.

10) Fiscal Responsibility

News flash: weddings are expensive.  I'm blessed to have help from my mom, B's family, and loved ones.  While we're both seizing opportunities for overtime, I think we need to curtail our spending.  Part of this will come from planning ahead for meals, so we aren't tempted to pick up take out on the way home.  Part of this means focusing on big expenses (security door, new couch, new bedroom set, new flooring, vacations, and so forth) rather than short term items.  We're couponing (thank you Cartwheel app!) and B's been doing a better job of comparing the prices of items, rather than just grabbing something off the shelf.  In 2015, we paid off our new dishwasher, our security door, a new water heater, his wedding band, and his truck.  We'll have our credit cards paid off in February and my car will be paid off before the wedding.  I'm already funding my 403b at work on a monthly basis, but I'd like to be more serious about funding my Roth IRA and saving for the future.  Luckily, most of our friends are feeling a bit poor after the holidays (you know, like the rest of the country) so we're all in this fiscal responsibility thing together!

11) Find more joy

Teaching, at times, is the most disappointing of careers.  There's a lot of politics involved and I'm not paid enough, plain and simple.  But instead, I'm going to focus on cultivating joy and authentic learning experiences in the classroom.  

This extends outside of work.  I'm excited about my wedding.  But there's lots between now and November to be thrilled about as well.  Waffles will turn one in March and have a Barkday celebration.  The cats will turn five in April (how did that happen?), B and my bestie both turn 30 (uh oh!).  I've got two other weddings (that I know of...), engagement shower(s)?, and engagement pictures.  We bought our close friends an escape room ticket, so a group of 8 of us will be doing that soon. 

I want to make my weekends mean something, and that means adding more joy (and less work) into my life.

12) Use the internet with intention

We've all been there.  I sit down to check facebook real quick, but then I'm reading things I don't need to.  I'm checking up on what other people are doing instead of living my own life.  Then pinterest calls, and soon enough, an hour has gone by with nothing to show.  The internet is crucial, but I want to set time limits and use it with intention.  A large part of this means to stop multi-tasking.  Yes, it seems counter productive, but I need to focus.  If I'm working on a region ppt, I should have open ppt and only internet tabs related to what I'm working on.  It seems simple enough and ties right in with working smarter.

What are your goals for this new year?

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