Sunday, January 8, 2017


Seeing how we're over a week into 2017, I guess I should get around to posting my goals.  By sharing them, I'm more likely to be accountable for them.

I've been making steady progress with this goal.  Last month I finished (finally) There's Nothing Worse Than Witches and started The Hammer of Thor.  I've been trying to read a few chapters each night and type up notes about the novel as I go.  I'm currently on chapter 22 (of around 60), so we're counting this as a win.  As I {previously shared}, I've got the goal of at least one book per month.

With report card comments due soon, this one has been a tad more difficult to follow. 

I didn't stay past 5 any day this week and didn't really bring any work home for the weekend, which are both steps in the right direction.  I'm trying to preserve my morning times as quiet, productive moments. 

On the bright side, I was selected to attend an educator's conference in Anaheim at the end of March.  I'll be going with three other teachers from my school as well as my principal. I've heard of the guest speakers, but haven't read their books yet.  I'm hopeful we'll get free copies at the conference.  

Yes, I am easily bribed with free books.  Fingers crossed!

I {previously shared} my resignation letter for Jamberry.  We're going through our closets and donating what no longer fits, we don't wear, or is no longer reflective of who we are.  Tonight we're going through our mugs (we have a lot) and donating ones that aren't sentimental or reflective of us as a couple.

I'm also applying this to friendships or relationships with people. I tend to over-invest in people, then are hurt when they don't reciprocate.  I'm investing less in these toxic relationships (because some I have to keep professionally). I'm keeping my boundaries (they aren't a bad thing) and letting go of things (and relationships) that don't bring me joy.

Our wedding was expensive.  We took every possible avenue to cut expenses and use coupons (more on that later), but it was still an expensive day. 

We've also had some unexpected expenses lately (new tires), planned expenses (water softener, couch repair, bedroom set, security door), and an impulse buy (new TV, but for more than half off because of gift cards and Black Friday sales).

Unfortunately, as a teacher, I don't make a lot.  (Yes, I know my job is rewarding and I'm in it for the outcome, but cliches aside, I work really hard and it'd be nice to be compensated more for my time).

However, we're taking lots of steps towards financial freedom. We've paid off our couch repair, new TV, the surprise tires he needed, and our new water softener.  I paid off my car this week and have two payments left on our second security door.  We're paying off all our credit card debt within the next few months and eating out less to not only be healthier, but because it's cheaper.  

We're using Ibotta, cartwheel, and coupons as often as possible. We've limited our spending to food, gifts for others, and bills.  We had a financial check in with a consultant, fund our savings each month, and have set realistic financial goals together as a couple. 

We've mapped out our big expenses for the year (new mattress, new tires for me, home warranty, wedding & baby shower gifts) and luckily, they're pretty spread out.  We are both also working overtime because we'd like to take a Disneyland trip in the upcoming months, but don't want to acquire new debt to do so.

We're using our upcoming tax return to fund our savings and tackle home improvement projects, which will only add value to our home for when we eventually sell and move.

It's difficult at times to say no to the pretty things at Marshall's, but I know in the long term, a mattress is more important.  

But still...


It's really easy to focus on the negatives.  Teaching is hard.  My students, as lovely as they are, can be exhausting at times because of their behavior choices and fluctuating hormones (which they can't always control).  People (and pets) get sick and that's scary.  I am legitimately terrified by the new cabinet and President.  2016 was particularly brutal with the number of deaths (both personal and public icons).

However, focusing on the negatives and complaining doesn't really do any good.  Yes, I understand the need to vent.  However, I'm putting into place the idea of venting about a particular issue to just 1-2 people, then letting it go.  

More importantly, I picked up a grateful journal and am writing in it each night.  (Found at Marshall's for a few bucks.)

We also started a jar for 2017. Every time something awesome happens, we add it to the jar.  

To be fair, I am way more into this then B is, but it'll be nice to look at on New Year's Eve.

I don't like the word diet and I don't like saying I'll completely cut something out of my life.  Instead, we're focusing on healthy habits.  Coincidentally, I'm also participating in Biggest Loser at work, so that money pot is a financial incentive.  B is totally on board with healthy habits, which makes a huge difference because I have support at home and at school. 

We're cooking more at home and eating earlier in the evening.  I'm taking Waffles on her morning walks, but we've also added in evening walks which benefits everyone.  He is really excited about a yoga DVD set, so we're trying to incorporate those work outs a few times per week. We're working on portion sizes and I've cut down on soda consumption. Instead of viewing soda as an every day drink, I'm limiting myself to 12 ounces per day and as a reward instead of a frequent drink.  We're adding healthy snacks to the fridge as go-to items and I'm adding a dash of lemonade to my water in the morning for flavor.  

We've also got cheat meals planned and enjoy them.  Last night we went to Olive Garden, but didn't eat all of our meals.  I had two bowls of soup, salad, and a small bit of my pasta.  The rest was taken home and split into 2 smaller meals.  

One of the best healthy habits tips I read was to ask for a to go box when you order food at a restaurant.  Before you start eating, box up half of it for a later meal.  Automatic portion control!

My last goal is an all-encompassing one.  At the end of the day, my family matters. My husband matters. My overall health (physical, mental, emotional, spiritual) matters.  My pets matter. My friends matter.

My job is important, but it doesn't define me.  There will always be more work that can be done. There won't always be more time to enjoy being a newlywed. There won't always be time to enjoy my (future) children when they're little.  (Not a pregnancy announcement, kids are still in the distant future, not on the horizon.)

I'm vowing to spend more time on the big, important things.

What are your new year's resolutions?

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