Sunday, January 31, 2010

February Goals

Without further ado, here are my February Goals:

1) Credit Card charges of less than $1000: Everything goes on my credit card, except my mortgage, IRA payment, and electric bill (and sometimes gas.)

2) Develop a running plan that involves running 5k per week and follow it!!! (Follow it meaning at least get out there and run. If I don't actually run the whole mileage plan, I at least walk it or make the distance in the following day or two)

3) Get my taxes done! I should have a refund, so that's motivation.

4) Get office ORGANIZED... this is a huge undertaking, but I desperately need to do it.

5) Have March calendar planned out

And of course, I'll keep tabs on the 2010 goals as well...

Friday, January 29, 2010

February's Focus: Money!

The last two months, I have spent way more money than usual. While most of the big expenses were ones I don't regret, I still need to reign it in and revamp my sayings. I wrote about my money stress in more detail here.

So in February, I am going to really watch my spending. My brother is coming to town and I know there will be a few expenses with that, but my mom has offered to take the four of us to a nice dinner as our Valentine's Day gift. I am going to work on cleaning out the pantry instead of buying food, eating at home more, maybe having a few game nights, and just keeping the money side low key.

I'll keep updates on my progress here. Thanks for any support!

Goal #10: Organize my Life

Truth be told, I'm a wanna be Type A person... on the grand scheme, I'm more Type A than not, but I end up over-scheduling and things just get out of hand. For this goal, I've spent most of the month trying to figure out how exactly to quantify this. Do I write goal of concrete things to do; or is it more a goal of "when I can do X without having to worry/reschedule" It's probably going to be a little of both. This is also going to be something that I need to continually work on. I want to set up systems to keep things organized, but I can't seem to find the time to. (Go figure!)

So here are some of my general goals to go with it:

a) No working past 7:30pm. This is usually the latest any of my private business goes to, and I need to stay onto of work so I don't procrastinate and end up working half the night. This will also allow for more time for T and I.

b) Be everywhere 5-10 minutes early: This one has not happened in January, so I need to focus on it now. I will get up plenty early and end up bustling around around just trying to get ONE more thing done. Then I'm late. I'm not usually super late that it has effected my job or anything, but just enough that it drives me nuts.

c) Each month gather one trash bag of Goodwill and one of trash

d) Find a better way to organize incoming papers... I had an inbox but I only cleaned it out every few months (read: 9 months?!)

I think I also need specific goals and parts of the house to work on each month:

January: Bathroom & Bedroom; we re-cleaned out the bathroom and go that back together, but the bedroom still has a ways to go. That's on this weekends agenda.

February: Office!!! (this is the worst!)

I just want to not feel overwhelmed like I do so much of the time!!! Any suggestions are welcomed, encouraged!!!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Goal #9: Streamline My Work

I have spent a lot of time trying to figure out how exactly to accomplish this goal. My private business is rather small, just me and a couple of independent contractors. This year I have a couple of things I need to get, including insurance and looking at what would be needed to turn my contractors into employees. I also would like to offer a few more things with my business.

Office job wise I just found out I am doing a great job this year, but of course, I feel like I could always do better. My office is a bit of a mess right now and I really need to come up with a way to keep myself organized. I think I have mastered using my outlook calendar, but now it's a matter of keeping track of everything else!

In order to accomplish this goal, I decided I needed monthly goals instead of a yearly one.

January: Business:
1) Make new invoices and timesheets that are pre-filled in as much as possible for the first 6 month
2) Pick one client per month to provide a yearly report

January: Office:
1) Clean out drawers with random papers and file them
2) Sort through and organize the new set of materials I just received

Living Paycheck to Paycheck

I had a fun realization this month that I am, at the moment, living paycheck to paycheck. There are a number of factors contributing to this: paid for solar panels this month, christmas, travel during christmas, scuba lessons, paying for flights for my brother and his girlfriend to come visit, an unexpected interview trip I had to buy a flight for, paying my business quarterly payment, going on an extended vacation this month, and not working half of Dec. These factors have all left me scrambling a little bit to make all of my payments this month.

Lucky for me, I not only live with an amazing man who was willing to give me February's rent early, but I am still able to pay all my bills and not go into any debt. Yes, technically I'm fine, nothing will default. However, this has really shocked me into revisiting a budget and fully concentrating on my savings.

So I have looked ahead, we get back next week and I shouldn't have any additional costs once we get back except gas. I am going to start to try having no spent days and focus on keeping my costs as low as possible. I'm also going to try and get my taxes done as I should have a refund coming my way. Finally, I'm going through my house and looking for things to sell and give away.

Any suggestions? What strategies have you used to go on a money diet after a bit of binging?!

Monday, January 18, 2010

Weekly To Do's: Jan 18-21

Around midnight Thursday we are heading off on our vacation... between now and then there is a lot to get done!! Here's the list of private business and personal To Do's:

1) Get February private business calendar hammered out (completed 2/18)

2) Start 30 Day Shred (schedule for Monday or Tuesday) - due to being sick, putting this on hold

3) Finish posting remaining two goals for 2010

4) Get in some quality dog time!

5) PACK!

6) Reserve our place to stay on vacation

7) Go through pile on coffee table and process (this involves a couple of small mailings, some magazines, business cards for emails) (finished 2/18)

8) Get all invoices for private for the first half of the year prepped

9) At office, start working on next big presentation (mid-Feb.)

10) Mail in car registration check/form (completed 2/19)

11) Return dive equipment (completed 2/19)

12) Mail out 1099's for private business - I can do 3, the rest are back ordered...

Friday, January 15, 2010

Goal #8: Save Money

This past year involved a lot of house projects and some unexpected travel (due to sad family events) instead of much savings. While I'm not in any debt outside of my mom and my mortgage. I want to amp of the savings this year.

1) Save $2500 towards a Thailand trip (my best friend will be in China this summer)

2) Increasing emergency fund savings to $5000

3) Have 6 months where my credit card statement is under $1000 (I put EVERYTHING on my credit card, phone bills, gas, etc. since I get cash back rewards.)

4) Pay off my small mortgage

These will be attacked at varying intensity. First I am focusing on paying off my little loan to my mom, next is the small mortgage & travel. The fall will be hardcore saving time.

Goal #7: Be More Social!

This last fall killed my social calendar. I felt like I was always having to get work done or study. My goal if having people over a couple times a month went out the door. The only person I really had energy to be a bit social with was T. I'm hoping that changes this year


1) Meet up with friends 1x/week (even if that means taking a walk with one of the roommates)

2) Go out with friends at night at least 2x/month

3) Have people over 1x/month (at least!)

4) Go to 75% of work happy hours

Progress so far:
1) um, have in the other categories, but not so much this one; part of that is scuba lessons on the weekends

2) We went out for a friends birthday this week for dinner and trivia, so that's 1!

3) We have a game night scheduled for the 30th :-)

4) 1/1 so far!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Goal #6: Increased Engagement with T

The fall was tough for T and I. I was overly busy and he got left to the side a little. I want to really focus on strengthening our relationship even more and making sure he always knows how I feel about him.


1) Date night out 2x/month

2) Show love everyday

3) Send love (email/text) Mon-Fri

4) Do something new together 1x/mo

Goal Updates:
I went for a 2 mile run yesterday at a 9:36 pace! Hey, it's a start! And we're going to the gym tonight.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Getting Better

The week has gotten better. I am feeling a bit more on top of things. The presentation is going well. T and I are good...

In fact today is our 18 month anniversary. I have a special dinner at the fancy all you can eat beef place in town! He was sweet; first thing he said to me was happy anniversary.

I am getting the last of my 2010 goals hammered out and should post them shortly. I'm excited about some of the ideas I have in store.

Also, on the work front, I just found out some interesting information regarding a coworker who could be leaving. This means there's a chance I could be bumped to full time (I'm at 80%) It would be perfect timing.

Now all that is left is to catch up on sleep and resume running! I'm planning on a quick 2 miler before I stuff myself at dinner!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Yesterday's To Do: FAIL!

Let's try again today... so far it's been fairly productive. I had to rearrange my schedule a bit today, but it all worked out.

My presentation is done, copied and all! So all I have to do is show up tomorrow now :-)

We still need to book our hotel for our upcoming vacation and I need to start on the organizing the room and office.

Most of all, I need to sleep...

Monday, January 11, 2010

Goal #5: Wear More Jewelry

So this might be a little silly of a goal, but I have more than my share of unique and beautiful jewelry that I have gotten as gifts or gotten on travels. However, more often than not, I just wear studs in my ears (I have two holes in each ear) and the necklace I got for T & my 1 year anniversary. In fact, my boss even told me I should start wearing more "Bling" instead of just my romantic pretty stuff.

So one goal is to vary up my jewelry.


1) Wear at least 3 difference necklaces a week.

2) Wear fun earrings at least 2 days a week.

Left To Do Today

1) Update a client's file
2) Rough powerpoint for presentation at work
3) 5 minute room clean up
4) 5 minute office clean up
5) Update another client's file
6) Email a client
7) Book hotel for vacation in 1 1/2 weeks!
8) Relax with T

Tough First Week Back

I'm exhausted... this first week back from winter vacation has run me completely down. Feeling like this is tough, since I pride myself on being a productive person. I just can't seem to get anything done when I need to. I know a number of things are contributing: lack of sleep, body adjusting to the gluten free diet, two days of scuba lessons (over 8 hours of pool time) this weekend, crazy busy at office job, attempting to clean house, and not having much time left over for T or myself.

This all culminated in a long talk last night with T regarding ways in which we aren't satisfied or happy. I hate those conversations despite knowing they are necessary at times. I just feel so drained after, and that feeling is hard to shake.

I hope this week is better, T woke up with me this morning super earlier which made me smile.

I'll post my To Do's for the week shortly.

On the exercise front, giving all the in the pool scuba diving I did combined with subfreezing weather, I didn't head out to the gym or around the block with the dogs.

On the dog front, they didn't want to be outside either! Until we gave them the bone from our steaks last night; then they wouldn't come back in!

Here's to a better week...

Friday, January 8, 2010

Goal #4: Explore More Foods

T and I tend to stick to the same standard meals all the time. Partly because neither of us is a food snob (although he is a picky eater!) and part just because we're lazy and tight on time. Trying the gluten free diet will make some of this even more important!


a) Try 2 new recipes a month.

b) Try 1 new restaurant a month.

Anyone have any good gluten free recipes?!

Goal 1 & 3 Updates

#1: I've taken the lab out twice and the puppy once so far this week and plan to this weekend. It's been freezing here yesterday and today so that has made things difficult. They barely even want to go out!

#3: I've run 4 miles so far this week, two 1 milers, and 1 two miler, and made it to the gym twice. I also ordered Jillian Michael's 30 Shred

and Personal Training with Jackie: Power Circuit Training

to join the Well-Heeled Blog 30-Day Shred Challenge

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Goal #3: Get in Better Shape

Overall, I am in decent shape... I'm within 13lbs of how much I weighed 10 years ago (based on my driver's license) and if need be I can run a 8 minute mile (or pretty close). However, I have gained a few pounds and lost a little muscle in the year and half I've been with T. Also, this fall was so insane I felt like I never had a chance to work out and run anymore. I've been having some funny tummy stuff as well that I want to figure out, so without further ado... here are my mini goals for this one:


a) Go to the gym and do some basic weight training at least 3 days a week

b) Run at least 4 days a week

c) Try the Gluten free diet and see if that helps

d) Sign up and complete another marathon at a fast time

e) Run more than 1000 miles this year. (yes, no where near the 2000 of Aron, but still!

Optimism Goal: Run a half marathon in under 2:15!
I have run 3 half marathons in the past and only semi trained and pulled off a 2:17 almost every time. So I'm close... if I can get my act together. I'll be tracking that progress moreso at my other blog at

Goal #2: Finish Paying Debt To Mom (by April)

In 2007, I got a great deal on a house, but somewhat last minute. My mom lent me $10,000 towards my down payment and I've been paying back $200/mo every since. I have $3600 remaining.

Here are my minigoals for it:

a) Pay $600 in the February payment

b) Pay $1000 in the March payment

c) Pay $2000 in the April payment (with tax return help)

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Goal #1: More time with Dogs

One of my and T's goals for 2010 is to spend more time with our two dogs, especially outdoors. One dog I've had for 2 1/2 years, and the other is a puppy we got around May. Both are about 70lbs with tons of energy!

To make this a SMART goal, I want to take the dogs out (walk, park, etc.) at least 4 times a week (assuming we are in town.) We just got back into town really really early Monday morning, and last night one of the roomies and I took both dogs walking for 30 minutes. While they aren't the best walkers, they love doing it?!

So there is one of our first goals of the year... 9 more to follow!

I'm going to try and keep weekly progress reports on most of these goals on this site.

Thanks for reading!

Monday, January 4, 2010

Need Some 2010 Goal Ideas?

Check out all these fantastic goals posts!

For the runner in you, one of my biggest runner blog motivators: Runner's Rambles

Tired of setting goals to accomplish something, how about some goals to not do something: Smart Passive Income Blog

Not sure what your future holds, here are some uncertainty goals: Well-Heeled Blog

Some classic adult goals: Gather Little by Little

One of my favorite fellow planners has some nice goals laid out: Always the Planner

Need help organizing yourself and your goals: Finance for a Freelance Life