At the beginning of this year, I considered laying out all of my goals and plans for the year, but it just seemed too… overwhelming.
I stopped and reminded myself that for the last few years all the big plans I had on the agenda blew up in my face. Nothing ever panned out the way I had planned. So, was there a point in expecting the next 12 months to be any different?
Maybe I just needed a different approach. Smaller goals, smaller practices that could build up to those bigger dreams. It’s worth a try, right?
So, here we are at the end of January 2018. My first month down, and overall it was a success.
If you read my post about Bullet Journaling, you can see a few of the pages I created to begin the year. My most important (to me) were the money challenge pages, the 30 Day Fitness/Weight Loss pages, and my Books to Read. They’re three things that I have struggled with in the past, and even though there were a few days here and there where things went off course, I was able to pick myself back up and stay motivated. – I even went away for a few days and doubled up on some of the Fitness Challenge days just to make sure I never skipped.
The weight loss was certainly hard. As I wrote above, I had been thrown off my game last year when a truck plowed into my car. I ended up sidelined and in physical therapy for a while, then my husband had another on-duty injury to deal with, then about 10 other catastrophes that we all know only ever happen to us. Ugh. Now don’t get me wrong, 2017 was certainly the “easiest” year we’ve had in, well, over a decade, but it was still hectic. I put on about 12 pounds (according to my doctor), but I’m pretty sure it was more at one point.
Weight loss is such a personal struggle, but if I can help even one person, then it’s worth writing about. I started the process of chronicling my progress and struggles here: Losing Weight: My Beginning.
In May of last year, I wrote a post about saying no to volunteering and over-extending myself. Going into 2018 that was still a huge priority. I took on different responsibilities at the end of 2017 and unfortunately, I needed to sit back and take the time to reset my brain. It was fried! At the bottom of each daily page of my bullet journal, I added a little section called “Me Time”. I simply circle Yes or No to any of the activities written. My goal is to circle at least 3 a day, whether that’s having a hot cup of tea, reading part of a book, listening to music, etc. The time between my kids going to bed and my husband waking up for work is the only, and I mean, ONLY hour when it’s just me. It’s so hard to just sit back and relax. I know, that sounds crazy, but I really struggle to put down the laundry or clean up around the house during that time of night.
As for saving a few extra dollars, I began my 52 Week Challenge again this year. In the past, this has been a great help in covering things like a new hot water heater, supplementing for a paycheck mistake, paying off a portion of tuition up front for the kids, etc. I also took a leap and opened up an extra account (not our usual savings/checking) specifically set up to hold ALL of my challenge earnings, app earnings, and money back app earnings. I’m eager to see how it’ll grow month by month.
Of course, for all the successes of the month, there were things that needed to take a backseat. We’re still not 100% set with my husband’s new schedule. It’s been about two months going now, but he gets called in or kept late a lot. It’s a complete departure from what we’ve lived the last 7-or-so years of 12-hour shifts when he was home every two to three days at a time. There have been times recently where he’ll work 14+ days straight, with the majority of the shifts being 12 hour days.
A few of our extracurriculars have had to take a backseat this month while we iron out everyone’s schedules. But I’m not too worried, I’ll find my groove again.
Overall, I’m pretty happy with January. I hope to keep up the pace – slow and steady. I’ll take each month and each week, down to each day at a time.