There are big things in store for November, including a major work presentation, we’re hosting Thanksgiving for my family + my in-laws, the last month of training before my third marathon, and lots of life things.
Here’s an update on my October goals:
- Drink less Starbucks coffee drinks: I went about twice per week. While this still is an expensive habit (iced coffee with one pump of pumpkin syrup, I just can’t quit you), it’s scaled back from previous months.
- Get back into my groove at work: Eh. I’ll give myself a B- on this. I wanted to stop resenting my commute (which is 3x as long as the commute I had for nearly 5 years), but sitting in an hour of traffic each way every day is just too much for me. I also need to learn to tackle my to-do list daily and stop putting things off.
- Tackle some financial goals: This is another one where I could have done better. I wanted to pay off our 0% credit cards, review my 401(k), and move money into savings accounts, and while I’ve accomplished some saving, it’s not nearly what I had planned. Hopefully my meeting with my financial advisor next week will set me straight.
- Take my vitamins and eat a fruit or veggie at every meal: Yes! The husband has been great about reminding me and I keep extra vitamins in my desk drawer so I did pretty well at this.
- Give a great MOH speech and let the bride vent/judge on all wedding stuff without having it stress me out: I didn’t write my speech until the day before while on a plane home from a work trip, so needless to say, it wasn’t as memorized or rehearsed as it probably should have been, but eh, whatever. I did my best.
- Make (and stick to!) a holiday budget: I love shopping. Lots. I love buying presents for other people and I love wrapping them. I tend to go overboard with my Christmas gifts, so this year, I want to make a rational/fair holiday budget and stick to it. I need to remember the reason for the season, right?
- Tackle four major household projects: I have a few things in process, but I want to finish up. We’ve lived in our house for four years and it seems as soon as I fix one thing, another breaks. Ugh - the perils of being a homeowner.
- Run 100 miles, take 4 yoga classes and do 4 strength sessions: Self explanatory. I want to work on my (well-rounded) fitness.
My November goals are simple. But that’s what I need. Simple, attainable goals which fit in to my life.
Hello October! I’m ready for you and ready to embrace your fall temps, the fact you’re Chicago Marathon Month, and the jam-packed weekends you have in store for me.
- Eat in more and eat out no more than twice per week: Except for being out of town (I was gone two out of the four weekends this month), I’ve done great on this. Planning weekly menus has helped and the husband has gotten on board with this too. I plan five meals for the week and he decides when he wants to eat them. We have one dinner of misc. leftovers and one dinner of takeout per week and it’s been working for us.
- Read (not watch TV!) before going to bed: I did okay at this. I have gotten in the habit of reading (but I usually pass out before I can make a noticeable dent in the book.
- Eat at the dinner table more often: Such a big, fat fail. I think we did this twice (for my birthday and anniversary dinner) - but I didn’t even try most nights. I had big hopes on this fostering better conversation with my husband and helping me cut back on my TV consumption, but then fall TV started and I plopped myself back on the chair and ate at the coffee table.
- Do adult things that I keep postponing: I cleaned the fridge and freezer, throwing away misc. condiments and random food, and scrubbing all shelves, nooks, and crannies. I still need to schedule eye exams and back up my laptop.
- Tackle two decorating projects: Nope. Not even close.
- Stick to my marathon training schedule with at least 4 strength, crosstraining, and yoga sessions: Yes! It’s now taper time, but in September I did yoga 4x (twice I went to aerial yoga, I did 1x video and 1x class with my favorite yoga teacher - although making it to her class after work has become increasingly difficult), 5x strength sessions, and 3x crosstraining.
- Walk at least 2mi each day (not including my running mileage): I lost my work-issued fitbit sometime this weekend, but by taking the stairs and moving a bit more, I was easily able to do this.
Here are the goals I want to accomplish in October:
- Drink less Starbucks coffee drinks. Go no more than 2x per week. My go-to has been a venti iced coffee with nonfat milk and one pump of pumpkin spice and while this isn’t as costly (financially or calorically) as everyone’s favorite PSL, my habit is still becoming a little intense.
- Get back into my groove at work. Stop resenting my commute (which is 3x as long as the commute I had for nearly 5 years). Tackle my to-do list daily and stop putting things off.
- Tackle some financial goals (pay off our 0% credit cards, review my 401(k), and move money into savings accounts)
- Take my vitamins and eat a fruit or veggie at every meal
- Give a great MOH speech and let the bride vent/judge on all wedding stuff without having it stress me out. Let all her inevitable comments roll off my shoulder.
I know October is going to be hectic, so by tacking things I can control (cutting down on caffeine, dazzling at work - again, saving $$, eating better, and being the best bridesmaid possible) I think I’m setting myself up for success and these will help me find the cam in every day.
September is my absolute favorite month. It’s my birth month, my anniversary month, and the start of fall (scarves! boots! layers! football!).
Here’s how I did with August’s goals:
- Make a concentrated effort to catch up with friends: eh. I’ll give myself a C on this one. I tried on a few fronts, but due to conflicting schedules (and gasp, flaky friends), plans didn’t totally come to fruition. I still feel like I’m the one reaching out and I don’t know how to change this.
- Do more more yoga: I did a lot of yoga in July, but fell off a bit in August. Actually, with a major work presentation and a week of vacation, I was lucky to squeeze most of my runs in for marathon training, but yoga (and a bit of cross training) took a back seat.
- Unplug: I’m getting better at this. I unplugged when on vacation and I’m not checking my phone as often and while it’s definitely a crutch I lean on to keep me occupied, it’s actually causing me to not be as present as I want to be (duh, right?)
- Tackle two household projects: The husband and I spent a weekend cleaning out the debris from our yard (this doesn’t sound major, but seeing how the previous owners didn’t discard any old yard trimmings, branches, broken fencing, rocks, etc, this ended up being a labor-intensive task and we filled a whole dumpster!) and dismantling the old/dilapidated shed. We still need to get a new one, and I want to powerwash and stain the deck, fix our bricks on our walkway, reseal the driveway, and tackle some serious inside decorating, but hey, one step at a time. Seeing how I have big plans (a marathon relay, an out of town half marathon, and a bachelorette party) this month, I’ll have to work on chipping it away one bit at a time.
- Take the stairs at work:Yes! I’ve been schlepping up to the 6th floor more often than not, and unless I’m absolutely running late or have super high heels on, I’ve been taking the stairs.
- Read three books: I read 2.5, including Domestic Violets (eh, quick vacation read) and Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us (good premise, basic ideas which have been presented before, but still got me thinking).
- Dazzle during my major business review presentation: Extra time would have made it a bit more polished, but my thought process was spot on, I was recognized for laying it out in the appropriate way, and compared to others, it was pretty dang good.
- Decide whether to go for/take a new position at work: I’m still struggling with this one, but the position that interested me would involve far too much travel (West Coast trips weekly), so that decision was pretty much made for me.
- Have more fun: I’m working on this - but in August I did things in the name of fun that I normally wouldn’t do (like fishing, going to my sisters frat-ish holiday party, went to a barre class, taking my dog swimming in the river, etc).
For September, I want to:
- Eat in more and eat out no more than twice per week (breakfasts, lunches, and dinners)
- Read (not watch TV!) before going to bed
- Eat at the dinner table more often (and stop eating at the coffee table). This will foster better conversation with my husband and help me cut back on my TV consumption.
- Do adult things that I keep postponing (cleaning the fridge, backing up my laptop)
- Tackle two decorating projects
- Stick to my marathon training schedule with at least 4 strength, crosstraining, and yoga sessions.
- Walk at least 2mi each day (not including my running mileage). We got fitbits from work (as a company health initiative), so this will be easy to measure and track.
Hello September. Please be kind!
I’ve been making progress on my July goals (for real, I have!) - by taking the stairs at work, doing more yoga than I typically do, and tacking a few house-related projects (like filling a dumpster with yard debris and misc junk), but I’ve been pretty bad at unplugging and catching up with friends.
That being said, I want to keep the goals I had for July (you know, actually accomplishing them) and tack on a few August-specific ones, including:
- Read three books
- Dazzle during my major business review presentation
- Decide whether to go for/take a new position at work
- Have more fun
August, please be kind.
The year is half over - eek! Here’s an update on my monthly goals for June ‘13:
Start Whole30: I did surprisingly well with this. Even when travelling I limited my carbs and dairy. I’ve started eating new to me foods (like sweet potato hash with an egg for breakfast) and tons of veggies. I probably did Whole5 or 6, and then slipped a bit, and then started over. So, while I didn’t accomplish Whole30, I definitely cleaned up my diet – cleaner than it’s been in months. This weekend was rough (we celebrated my mom’s birthday and restaurant week) so Whole30 was out and I’m constantly shocked at how many products have sugar (including honey or agave) and soy in them.
Go on a weekly date with the husband: Done! We went to the movies, went to a fancy restaurant, went shopping (I’m totally counting out massive trip to Sam’s Club as a date – lame!), and had plans to go golfing – which fell through because of the weather. I’m making time for my husband right now, which sounds easier than it is, since I tend to like to be alone occasionally and often make plans (with my family, with my running group, or by myself) without including him.
Commit to a marathon training plan: My training plan started on June 9th and I’ve been enjoying the short, mid-week runs (which started with only 3 miles – yay!) coupled with lots of cross training and strength sessions (I swam and took a spin class in June – which I haven’t done in months). I’ve been following the plan (last week I didn’t skip or move a workout at all – which is shocking!) and I’m feeling good about this training cycle!
Be present at home and work: Eh, I need to work on this. I’ve been multitasking (poorly) at work, losing my focus, and not dedicating myself fully (to anything). I just picked up Drive – which talks about being fully focused and immersed in what you’re doing to experience happiness, and I’m looking forward to reading it this weekend.
Spend 15 minutes a day picking up/cleaning the house: Done! This is one of those little things which makes a big difference! Our house still needs a weekly deep clean (vacuuming the carpets, cleaning the bathroom, etc), but the general mess has been much more manageable.
And here are my goals for July:
Make a concentrated effort to catch up with friends: I’m not sure if it’s me, or what – but it seems unless I see friends often, we fall out of touch. I need to make the first step to rekindling some of my friendships with my girlfriends – it’s been far too long since I’ve seen them! Also – I need to email some friends who I won’t see anytime soon.
Do more more yoga: I like my body when I do yoga. I feel stronger and I’m amazed at the way I can push myself. It’s also a great counterbalance to my running.
Unplug: Put my phone, laptop, work phone, and iPad away. Go a whole day without checking my phone.
Tackle two household projects: This is consistently on my to-do list. I feel I have so many things to do that I’m so overwhelmed that I freeze and do nothing. I’m not trying to pull the “I don’t have a dad” card here – but there are so many projects I’d like to complete (hanging photos on our plaster walls, hooking up our attic fans, fixing the broken bricks on our walkway, dismantling the old/dilapidated shed and getting a new one, revamping all the flower beds in the yard, painting the house [and fixing the ceiling damage from a leaky roof]) – and I married a sweet (but not especially handy) man, so I have no idea where (or how!) to start.
Take the stairs at work: I work on the 6th floor, so this is a totally attainable goal, except that I make poor footwear choices and the stairs are not centrally located in my building. I need to suck it up and plan ahead (wear commuting shoes to work and change at my desk and arrive to the office a few moments earlier to have time to find and take! the stairs).
Guys. It’s June. Eeek! Although this week’s sweltering heatwave in the Northeast has made it feel like summer around these parts, I cannot believe that we’re now making our way into June. Time flies!
Here’s an update on my May 2013 goals (which I guess was just a rehashing of April’s goals anyway…)
- Eat clean: I’m doing much better with this! Although I’m not perfect (c’mon - who can control themselves on Memorial Day?), I’m eating much cleaner. The husband and I are weaning ourselves away from whole grains, legumes (even peanut butter - whaaaat?), dairy, and sugar/artificial sweeteners in preparation for doing a Whole30 challenge in June.
- Pick up/clean something in the house every day: This is another work in progress. I’ve gotten much better with hanging up my clothes every day, instead of just throwing them on the chair in the bedroom and I’ve been cleaning the kitchen after dinner every night, rather than waiting until the morning/following day. In terms of not dropping my stuff (lunch bag, purse, work bag, gym bag) in the hallway and kicking off my shoes the second I get home) - I still need lots of work on this.
- Tackle one home improvement/decorating project: I had big plans for a wall of frames (inspired by Young House Love) - but I conveniently forgot that our walls are plaster, which means they’re susceptible to cracking. Needless to say, I have lots of photos/art/mementos in frames, but haven’t done anything with them yet.
- Clean out our closets: Done! And three giant bags of stuff were donated. I also cleaned out our pantry and cupboards.
- Take a yoga class at least 1x per week: I took three yoga classes in May (including one at a vineyard!) and had plans to take a fourth - but I had to bail at the last minute to pick up my mom at the airport. Even though I didn’t take as many yoga classes as I wanted to, I had an extremely well rounded month! My strength workouts were much more consistent and I also cross trained.
- Try to be less comparative (to others, or to past/future versions of myself). Don’t stress about things I can’t control: Eh. This is a complete work in progress and probably always will be. I’m okay with that.
Here are my goals for June:
- Start Whole30: I’ve read the book, I’ve gotten the husband on board, and I think I’m ready. I’m travelling quite a bit this month (Napa: 6/2-6/7, Seattle: 6/18-6/19, San Diego: 6/20), so I think we’ll start towards the end of the month, as eating out (no dairy! soy! beans! grains! alcohol!) will presumably be hard to do while on Whole30.
- Go on a weekly date with the husband, as mundane or adventurous as needed.
- Commit to a marathon training plan (which starts June 8 - yikes!) with lots of strength and yoga included. Follow the plan.
- Be present at home and work.
- Spend 15 minutes a day picking up/cleaning the house.
Welcome, June. Let’s do this!
April was kind of a bust. so rather than set any May goals, I’d just like to actually accomplish the ones I planned to accomplish in April. Second time’s a charm, right?
It’s 9pm on a Saturday night and I’ve been slaving away on a giant work presentation for most of the day. I need a break, so I figured I’d do a monthly check-in:
February 2013 update:
- Cancel/pause all my reoccurring subscriptions: I cancelled StitchFix and pvBody/Ellie (I wanted to love these - but the clothes were so meh, that I didn’t feel any twinges of remorse when I unsubscribed. I really have liked my graze boxes, and for $5/week, it’s money well spent. I also called Sirius/XM and got a major discount on my subscription (I’m now paying $25 for 5 months). It seems silly to pay for radio services, but my commute is so long/tedious that sometimes I really like to zone out to the Sirius/XM stations.
- Set up budgets on Mint: check! Realistic budgets were set, and for the most part, they were followed.
- No buying a single item of clothing (workout gear and outerwear included): check!
- Use the public library system: check! While I didn’t read as much as I wanted to this month, I visited the library by my office and stocked up on some reading material.
- Go to the grocery store no more than once per week: I was good at this. The husband, not so much. Even though I tell him that all his little shopping trips add up, when he’s in the mood for something, he must buy it rightthatsecond, and instead of rummaging around our fridge/pantry, he just goes to the grocery store. This is still a work in progress.
- Do something active every day: Towards the end of the month, I was great at this. At the beginning, I don’t think I even remembered I set this goal.
- Track my meals: Nope - I probably only tracked my meals about 50% of the time.
- No eating out unless someone else is paying (gift cards, work travel, etc): In terms of going to an actual sit-down restaurant, we were good at this. But, we still need to break our Jimmy John’s addiction. We go at least once per week (I can’t get enough of their Beach Club!)
- Take part in Meatless Mondays: I think I did this once. And then I got bored of it.
- Save $XXX: This was an easy one, thanks to my quarterly work bonus. Also, since I really cut back on shopping in February, I transferred quite a bit of extra money into savings. And - I increased my 401(k) contributions. Yay!
For March, I’d like to continue to work on some of the habits I started in February, namely:
- Save $XXX
- Eat out no more than 2x per week (lunches, dinners, take out, and restaurant meals are included here)
- Drink more water (I used to be so good about carrying a water bottle around with me at all times. Right now, not so much.)
- Do something active every day
- Track my meals
- Embrace the philosophy of Intuitive Eating
March will be a busy month for me. Already, I have two work trips planned (one to FL and one to AR), a wedding to attend in Key West, and training for the Brooklyn Half Marathon begins (or kicks into high-gear). Although I’m exhausted (a 10m run followed by 10 hours staring at PowerPoint will do that do you), I’m ready to give March my all!
Ah, yes. February. A short, cold month. If it’s February 1, it’s time to set monthly goals!
January 2013 update:
- Run a marathon: check! done! yay!
- Go to yoga 5x (extra points if I make it to hot yoga 5x): Hmm. Not even close. I went twice. Although, I was out of town for 16 days during the month (Vegas, Houston, Chicago), so I’m not really sure how I planned to make it to 5 classes.
- Get rid of at least 3 bags of clothes, accessories, and misc. stuff: The stuff is collected and bagged and now sitting in our spare bedroom, I just need to drop it off to Goodwill.
- Take my vitamins daily: I did so well at this! Granted, they were chewy vitamins, and they tasted delicious, but I’d say I did this at least 95% of the time.
- More often than not, read (not watch TV) before I go to bed: yes! done! Because of this, I read more books than usual (5 this month) and dare I say, I’ve been sleeping better?
- Buy only budgeted items (which in January include new glasses, a bag which is big enough to hold my laptop for work, and a extra battery for my phone): Bahhh. No, I bought wayyy too much stuff, including the aforementioned bag (I decided on the Madeline tote from Banana Republic), a bra and run swiftly tank at lululemon, New Balance cold weather running gear (what can I say? Last week’s cold spell had me drooling for these tights, this jacket, and this top [which is supposedly better than the lululemon Run Swiftly long sleeve]), and blazer from Banana Republic. I did not buy new glasses (I didn’t like the Warby Parker frames - gasp!, I returned quite a few things to J Crew that I bought in December and did not want/need, and I sold a few things on eBay. But even these positive things cannot save my bank account from all the unplanned shopping that happened in January.
- Embark on some sort of healthy hair regimen: I’ve been trying to blow dry less, my new go-to hairstyle is a messy braid (rather than a ponytail), and I’ve been using leave-in conditioner and hair masks, but I really think the only way to fix my hair may be to get a pretty serious haircut. I still need time to digest this.
- Track what I eat: Eh. I’ll give myself a C on this. I (mostly) didn’t track during the beginning of the month, and then I’d track really well for breakfast and lunch but forget to track dinner. But there were times where I’d track for a whole week.
- Set up actual alerts on Mint and stick to a budget this month: Based on all the shopping I did, it’s glaringly (and embarrassingly) obvious that I did not stick to a budget. I also did not set up Mint alerts (I guess ignorance is bliss, right?)
I’ve been kinda half-assing my goals/workouts/work/plans/life, so since February is a short month, and since I no longer can use the excuse of ‘I’m training for/just ran a marathon” (which I used in situations it didn’t even apply), I’m ready to commit fully to these goals:
- Cancel/pause all my reoccuring subscriptions (Graze, Hello Fresh, pvBody, StitchFix, etc)
- Set up budgets on Mint (and stick to them!)
- No buying a single item of clothing (workout gear and outerwear included)
- Use the public library system. No buying any books!
- Go to the grocery store no more than once per week. All these little shopping trips are getting expensive.
- Do something active every day
- Track my meals
- No eating out unless someone else is paying (gift cards, work travel, etc)
- Take part in Meatless Mondays
- Save $XXX
January 2013 goals:
- Run a marathon
- Go to yoga 5x (extra points if I make it to hot yoga 5x)
- Get rid of at least 3 bags of clothes, accessories, and misc. stuff
- Take my vitamins daily
- More often than not, read (not watch TV) before I go to bed
- Buy only budgeted items (which in January include new glasses, a bag which is big enough to hold my laptop for work, and a extra battery for my phone)
- Embark on some sort of healthy hair regimen (including blow drying less, wearing a bun/braid instead of a ponytail, and trying to stop all the breakage I’ve seen recently)
- Track what I eat
- Set up actual alerts on Mint and stick to a budget this month
hahaha. Yes, Gizoogle. These are the same stupid-ass goals and I totally need to re-up my hustlin’.
I cannot believe it’s December. Honestly. It feels like I’m saying that every month, but really - where does the time go?
For the last few months I’ve had the same basic goals:
- Commit to running
- Commit to yoga
- Commit to eating right
- Commit to saving money
- Commit to being a responsible homeowner
- Read three books
- Take more photos
- Do a cleanse
- Appreciate every day
I’m in the swing of my training plan for the Houston Marathon. Although work (and a hectic travel schedule) has been super busy at times, I’m getting in most of my runs, and I’m definitely making running a priority. November was my highest mileage month ever (!!!), and besides some slight niggles here and there, I’m feeling good!
I’ve gone to a few yoga classes, and have been eh, about eating right. For some reason, I crave salt when marathon training and I use it as an excuse to eat whatever I want (think: all the salt and vinegar chips and lo mein, and no cleanses).
I’ve cut back on my Starbucks trips (down to once or less per week!) and I’ve changed homeowner’s and auto insurance to save nearly $900/year. The husband tore down our old fence and we’ve scheduled an installation of a new, vinyl (read: overpriced) fence, but I like to think this is adding extra curb appeal to our house and makes us responsible home owners.
I’ve read a few books (Little Bee, My Life on the Run, Normal Gets You Nowhere, and Clean) and have quite a few more in-process. I’ve been writing down (manually!) something that I’m grateful for/appreciative of each day, and I’m taking more impromptu photos.
These last few months haven’t been perfect, but they’ve been good to me.
Here are my December goals:
- Go to yoga 4x
- Eat in every night, except when traveling or at a holiday function
- Write down everything I eat
- Stick to my running/training plan at least 85% (no more than 4 missed workouts this month)
- Enjoy the holidays! Get in the Christmas spirit!
- Don’t buy random stuff - check to make sure we don’t already have whatever I’m planning to buy (since I like to stockpile extra things and buy in bulk)
I love this time of year!
Guys, thus far, November has been totally crazy. I’m gonna skip my monthly check-in and monthly goals, and just say that I plan to keep on keeping on with October’s goals (carrying them into November) and I’m going to welcome November with open (albeit sweatshirt or down jacket covered) arms.
- Commit to running: While I took quite a few rest days, September was the highest mileage month I’ve had since March 2012, which was pre-injury. I’m slowly inching back into training - which is smart, right? I had quite a few bad runs this month, but I had a 7m tempo run on Saturday which felt great, so I’m starting to feel like my old self again (or at least I hope I am!)
- Commit to yoga: I went to my favorite yoga class three times in September, which is pretty good, considering I need to leave work by 4:45pm to make it happen. I also took a pilates seminar, which concentrated on foam rolling, which helped my creaky body.
- Commit to eating right: ugh - I did not do this (unless you could eating Reese’s peanut butter cups and tater tots, as eating right).
- Commit to saving money: While I didn’t move much money into my (our?) savings account this month, I did commit to not buying unnecessary stuff. In fact, the only piece of clothing I bought was a $15 dress from Banana Republic (after a sale + my Birthday Coupon) for a wedding. (It was a late September, NJ beach wedding - and all my dresses were either too summery-beachy, or two fall-formal, so an ikat strapless dress was perfect!)
- Commit to being a responsible homeowner: The husband (and his dad) fixed our leaky shower (no more dripping sounds waking me up in the middle of the night, and no more fear of breaking the porcelain handles when I turn the knobs super tight). We also closed our pool and I took steps to replace our rickety fence.
I really liked my September goals - they were all-encompassing, focused on the big picture, and a little non-specific. I’m actually going to keep the same goals for October, except add a few new ones:
- Read three books
- Move some serious money into my savings account
- Do a cleanse
- Take more impromptu photos
- Appreciate every day - find something to be grateful for every day, and do not rush through (eagerly awaiting what’s next)
October, let’s do this!