Dec 31, 2013

2013 resolutions follow up

last year i made a list of resolutions

i began by documenting them every week

and then i dropped off and revisited them at mid year

and here we are just a day away from 2014

so how did i do?

1. i'm trying very hard to eliminate artificial sweeteners.  my constant struggle.  i think for the majority of the year i did pretty well.  i had a few slip ups before i found out i was pregnant and was drinking more diet soda than normal.  but since finding out i was pregnant i've eliminated artificial sweeteners as well as the majority of my soda habit - definitely NO diet cokes.  i do, on occasion, want a soda, but opt for a regular sprite or ginger ale.

2homemade meals and eating out less.  at the beginning of the year i was doing an awesome job of this and having FUN finding recipes to try.  during the middle half of the year bill and i weren't eating out at all!  and we both lost a lot of weight!  we weren't cooking complex meals, per se, but making our own lunches and dinners was top priority to monitor our calories.  unfortunately the last 2 months of the year has been all over the place. cravings for burgers and pizza, the thought of touching raw meat making me yak, as well as my aversion to vegetables meant a lot of take out.  but it's getting better - my crockpot has become a saving grace in this department.  so i'm giving myself a pregnancy pass on this one

3.  cooking with my husband.  womp womp.  no we haven't done much cooking together.  but i'm glad we took the initiative to try earlier in the year.  i think bill is more confident to cook on his own now - even cooking spaghetti for his whole family while i was out of town one weekend!  bill has also made a few dinners recently while my aversions were in full swing. 

4.  i'm going to clean out our closet.  looks like i have one more day to get this done?  ha.  sorry resolutions. this never happened.  but guess what?  it HAS to now.  we live in a 2 bedroom condo.  and the second bedroom will be home to baby ottman in july.  also.  bill works from home.  and that second bedroom is currently his office.  the plan?  well this closet is a huge walk-in.  and honestly, we don't use all the space wisely.  and once we clean it out we will have even more space - space to put a desk, computer, and maybe a tv for bill's new office.  it may not be 3200 sq feet of luxurious living space, but it's plenty for a small family.  for now.

5save more money  saving money is hard.  especially when you realize you should pay off a lot of things before you can actually save.  but thanks to the forethought i gave, i am now in a fantastic position to save lots of money each month.  we have some pretty serious projects in 2014 - new floors throughout, paying for a BABY, and hopefully squeezing in a vacation before baby.  so it's very relieving to know we will have that money in savings when we're ready to spend.  if you're curious - all i did was set up an excel spreadsheet - no fancy apps, software, etc.  just an excel spreadsheet.  perhaps the accounting nerd in me coming out.  the left hand column was income/bank account balance per week. and the following columns were my monthly/weekly expenses.  the last column was a formula that would forecast my bank account balance at the end of each week.  when i would pay a bill i would update that cell (for example, i forecast $40 a week for gas, but sometimes would only spend $30, so i would update what i spent and highlight that cell as being paid).  i also had a miscellaneous column and usually gave myself 50-100 a month to spend on "other" items.  it became somewhat of a game to see if i could NOT spend the miscellaneous money which would add to my bottom line.  right now my budget is forecasted out through 2016.  i think what i like seeing best about everything laid out is the cash flow.  statement of cash flow is something i put together at work on a quarterly/yearly basis - but for my own budget seeing it weekly really helps.  in the past i would pay everything from one paycheck, be broke until my next, have a big paycheck since i already paid all my bills, and then stupidly spend that paycheck since i was bill free for a couple more weeks.  i like seeing when each bill is due and paying it as it's due as opposed to all up front.  it spaces out my money and makes me accountable every week for things that come due.  it also helps in case some unexpected expense pops up.

here's an example: i've blocked some items out of view, and these aren't all of our bills - bill pays a few things from his separate checking.  and this isn't quite all of our savings either - as bill does his own banking for now.

6.  get back to running seriously  i did it!  i really did it!  you know...until i got pregnant and freaked out about running.  i would like to chalk this up in large part to a relatively cool summer.  i think i actually enjoyed running this summer too.  and now thinking back to it, i miss it.  my favorite memory was running in dallas around the lake...almost in the dark.  and then thinking i was lost.  for 10 miles.  it was awesome though.  i doubt i try to run much this coming spring in my second trimester, but i will visit running again - hopefully to help me lose baby weight!  until then i will be exploring other exercises

7.  finish more projects  i was actually chugging along on blankets this fall!  and sold one!  and then i got pregnant.  i'm really starting to see a theme. ha.  but the exhaustion hit and there was no way i was able to stay up and knit for 3 hours every evening.  but i'm really proud that i was able to make *a little* bit of money, knit for a best friend who is expecting in february and have many requests for more blankets!  i love knitting when i have the time and i love knitting for other people.  but i am really excited to start knitting for my little bean.  this little guy is going to be outfitted in a ton of wool in july.

so while none of my resolutions held up throughout the whole year - making a list did keep it fresh in my mind.  and at the end of the year it's nice to be able to look back at some of my smaller victories.  i may not have cooked every week, but i did manage to not eat out for several months and i was able to lose weight!  and while i wasn't able to save a bunch of money - i was able to put myself in a position to do so and paid off debt!  i may not have completed the half marathon (thanks baby O) but i did train for one and that's just as hard!  so while some of you may put workout/lose weight at the top of your resolutions - maybe consider making smaller less broad resolutions.  trying to do it all at once can be a sure fire for failure.  but taking small steps to be better is a lot more manageable.

here's to a healthy and happy 2014!