Reflecting on how well I accomplished my goals in the month of January has been…difficult. Year after year people resolve to never make New Year’s resolutions or goals again because when you look back at your list you realize you didn’t do all that well. Maybe some people do, but I didn’t. So let’s review.
- Paying an additional $835 towards our student loan debt. This one amazingly enough we did accomplish! Yes, it definitely requires a bit of insanity and sacrifice and a lot of faith. Last October I came across this post about getting one month ahead of your expenses so that you are budgeting with real money that you’ve already earned. Using this method you put all your earnings for one month (January’s paychecks for example) in savings and use your checking account with last month’s earnings (December’s paychecks) as your budgeted income. Brilliant! It has actually been working better than expected for us. Due to bonuses at my job, PTO cash-out from Henry’s previous job, reimbursements for child care, selling items on eBay, earning Swagbucks, snapping pictures for ReceiptHog, and the blessing of Christmas money we were able to pay an extra $2094.08 towards student loan debt!
- Reading daily for 20 minutes. Well…if I count blog posts about getting out of debt and my patients’ histories and physicals I think I read everyday for 20 minutes. We do read to our boys before they take naps and go to bed but they pick the books and there’s only so many times you can read “….mini loader….dump truck….car transporter…” before it’s not reading any more. But I will say I can recite in entirety Dr. Seuss’s Amazing Alphabet board book which has come in handy on trips. Otherwise, I am in the middle of reading two books for myself. As always, I have great intentions to read as much as possible and unfortunately I just don’t. So this has been a fantastic challenge. Like most people I have so many books on my shelf that I “will get to at some point” and this goal pushed me to pick up one of those books and start reading it. The one I chose is Zen Ranching and the Farming Game. Now that may seem like a weird choice but I know the author and the Farming Game is quite popular in the Kritikos household. What I’ve enjoyed about this book is that I heard many of these stories first hand and it’s been joyous to revisit my friend and his stories.The other book I’m reading was inspired by a conversation with one of my sisters-in-law. She and her husband are taking the KonMari Method to heart and parting with the belongs that don’t bring them joy. This idea intrigued me. We just bought a house and already it feels like it is bursting at the seams! And I always think that we don’t have that much stuff. Right. Well, Henry definitely jumped at the chance to reduce our belongings because he doesn’t like to keep much and I keep quite a bit. He bought the book about 10 minutes after I started talking about it. So…I’m roughly two-thirds of the way through The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying-Up and we have gone through the clothes and books and are mostly through the papers. The process is slow with breaks to feed kids and also because I want to sell much of what we’re getting rid of to bring in money for debt repayment. My clothes felt overwhelming because there was this huge pile on the floor, but you know what…now that most of them are gone and I only have the ones I like (which ended up being about 10 shirts and 3 pairs of pants), I enjoy my clothes again!
- Exercise 3 times per week for 30 minutes. Um..fail. A few days after I wrote that I came down with a really bad cold and exercising was the last thing on my mind. I ran a total of two times in January and did a seven minute work-out with Henry one day.
- Post an EKG related blog post each month. This also did not happen. After recovering from my illness I just couldn’t get started on any of my projects. Anxiety has kept me from writing more posts related to nursing. I’m afraid that I will post some incorrect information and get really embarrassed and then won’t be able to post anything ever again. But February is Heart Awareness Month, so it seems fitting to really get things jumpstarted this month.
- Travel nursing. I messaged a friend on Facebook about travel nursing and will have to follow up with her again soon.
- Small Group. I attended the January small groups! Yay! I did not do enough praying about small group so only a partial success.
- Serve the City. Henry and I did not chose a place to visit or any volunteering in January. We’ll have to try again in February
- Sermon. I did listen to two sermons from Denver Pres so I did meet this goal.
- Traveling in the area. We did not manage to make it to anywhere but Charlotte this past month. My birthday is in February so maybe we’ll go somewhere to Celebrate. Once again we didn’t nail down whether we are volunteering this month or traveling.
- Simplify our house. Yay! We have made great progress on this goal! Like I said, we are following the KonMari Method and are in the process of getting rid of belongings that just don’t bring us joy.
Overall I learned that I need to have a better plan for my days off. I miss my boys immensely at work and I usually leave before they wake up and they are in bed when I get home so on my days off I need to focus on them for a good chunk of the day and squeeze some of my other tasks in before they wake up and after they go to bed. I’ll be so thankful when we pay off our debt and I can work less.
How did you do on your goals/resolutions in January?