Friday, January 3, 2014

2014: Goals for the Year, January-March

While I am nowhere near an expert at making goals, I have learned from teaching students how to set academic goals that they have to be reasonable, they have to be measurable, and they have to be ACCOMPLISH-ABLE. If you set a goal beyond the time frame available, then you're setting yourself up to fail. (For example, there's no way I could lose 50 lbs in 3 months, at least not without doing it in a very unhealthy manner.)

I also think setting goals for an entire year is a bit too much; stuff happens, and we can't always control what happens to us, just how we react to it. So it makes more sense to set a goal for a few months, and then re-assess at that point. If it's going well, keep going; if it's not working, try to figure out what the problem is and figure out a fix. So my 2014 goals will be for the overall year, with measurable steps along the way.

So what do I want out of 2014?

To be happy,


To be healthy.

So how do you measure happiness in a way to achieve a goal? By taking steps to fix the things that make me unhappy.

So as to not overwhelm myself, I have two mini-goals to help me achieve the two overarching goals of 2014, one for each.

Happiness: Break my internet habit. (Don't think I don't see the irony in blogging about this.) Seriously, though, when I come home, I zone out with my computer and iPhone. Some people use the TV, I use the internet. So much time is wasted where I could be doing something much more fulfilling, like crafting, or reading, or stuff around the house that needs to get done. I mean, we're hoping to move in the next 2 months, so I'll need to use at least a couple of evenings for packing, for example. Not to mention I just feel like I'm wasting my life away on the internet when I could be doing something more interesting or personally fulfilling.

So how will I stay off my favorite time-killer? 
  • Make plans on the weekends. Can't be on the computer if I'm out of the house. Luckily, I usually have plans on the weekend, so this won't be that much of a stretch. I'll just need to find ways to get out of the house during the day, esp. if The Hubs isn't interested in joining me. 
  • I want to stay off the internet at least 3 nights a week for now. Mondays and Fridays will be long days at work due to tutoring after school, so I think it's only fair to decompress with my internet crutch on those days, but I'll aim to stay off the internet Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. I'll give myself an hour on a timer after dinner, and once that timer goes off, the computer is shut down. 
    • Of course, as we are house-hunting (renting, not buying) at the moment, I might have to go on if The Hubs needs me to check something out related to that. 
  • No using the internet on the phone if I've shut the computer down for the night. Leave my wifi off. NOTHING is so important that it can't wait until tomorrow. 
  • Playing games on my phone doesn't count as "more fulfilling activities". I can play on the phone a little before bed as long as it's not internet and it doesn't keep me up later than I need to be. (If it does, then it'll get limited. To be fair, though, I do read books on my iPhone.)

Health: Only eat out 4 times a week (including weekends). We have gotten into a NASTY take-out addiction. Part of it is my fault; my main household chore is cooking, and I haven't been doing it. Part of the problem was that I injured my calf, which has required me to be off of my feet for most of November, but it was a problem before that (which we blamed my coaching schedule for). The point is that I was working myself overtime, and using it as an excuse to not cook at home. Which means bad food, more money than we need to spend, and actually more time and effort than if I'd just cooked at home half the time. Seriously. We also tend to not cook on the weekends, which meant we were eating out a LOT. We're both tired of it, we're both frustrated that it wastes money, and honestly most convenient fast food doesn't taste that great. And since I'm the main cook, guess whose responsibility it is to fix this problem? That's right, THIS GAL.

So how will I ensure this happens?
  • When I'm cooking the current dinner, take out the meat from the freezer for the next meal and put it in the fridge. I tend to use this as an excuse for not cooking, because if I forgot (or "forgot") to defrost the meat, and I'm tired when I get home, then I don't want to wait for the meat to defrost in order to eat, right? GUESS I SHOULD ORDER OUT. So no more, darn it! Take out the food for tomorrow while cooking this evening's meal. Simple!
  • Get back to meal planning. It's not even that hard, and I have about a GAZILLION recipes saved to Pinterest - I even have an Excel spreadsheet AND a Google calendar set up for meal planning! So not only do I need to meal plan, but when I'm picking out the food from the freezer to defrost, I'll choose which meal to cook from the plan. 
  • Buy a frozen meal or two for "emergencies" (like something comes up that keeps me late, or I just am TOO DANG TIRED). Even buying a pre-made frozen meal is still cheaper than buying a fast-food meal. 
Fairly simple and attainable, and I've still left myself some squidge room to help me transition to these better behaviors. I feel confident going into these because they're not totally overwhelming, they feel manageable, and they're measurable. Even if I end up buying 5 meals out one week, but we've been doing better before then, I'll still feel successful.

I can't guarantee that I'll update regularly with my success, but I'll try. Baby steps into blogging regularly. ;D

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