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Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Goals for 2017


So, I'll be the first to admit that, while I am a huge fan of setting goals for yourself, I rarely set an official new years resolution. I decided that this year I wanted to sit down and record my goals, however. I have a lot of goals for myself, so in an effort to not lose track of these goals, I want to have this post to refer to and monitor my progress throughout the year. I hope you find some inspiration in this as well! I've decided to break it down into a few categories (these are in no particular order of importance):

1. Health 

If I had to pick one item off of my list to focus on, it would be my health. If I am not feeling at my best, it impacts every part of my life. If you look at my lab work and my bill of health through all tests possible- I'm healthy. I'm a healthy weight, and typical doctors find nothing of concern on any of my labs. I don't feel healthy, however. I am in pain all of the time, and I struggle with fatigue. When I'm not at my best, I notice how it impacts me in all of my roles (mom and wife). I won't go into all the details here, but I was finally diagnosed with fibromyalgia (great to have a diagnosis, but annoying that there's nothing much to help), and I finally found a naturopathic doctor that is helping me. She's listening to my concerns. She's figuring things out. AND she's making progress with me! I'm seeing results for the first time, and I've got a doctor that believes she can help me. So, while a lot of this is out of my hands and out of my control, there are a few goals that I have set for myself to help the process of feeling better continue.


  • Continue to believe that it is possible to feel better. I have been in pain for so long, that it is easy to fall into the trap of not believing I can get better. My pain is normal to me, so believing that it can be gone is something I often lose sight of. My husband and my daughter are the reason I've continued to fight and continued to believe that I can be pain free one day. I found this new doctor because of them, and I am making a promise to myself to continue to believe this year. It is a long process, but I know we will get there. Positive thinking can only help.
     
  • Drink more water. This is always a daily goal of mine. I used to have alarms set on my phone to make sure I was on track for the day. In general I just don't drink enough and need to boost my water intake. My best tactic was to carry around a water bottle during the day. I am going to get back to this asap!
     
  • Exercise. It's winter. This means that my husband has time to exercise with me! We always do better as a team and motivate one another. One of his goals is to exercise more. So, while I'm in a lot of pain and can't do much right now, I'd like to find a way to participate with him and support him. I need the exercise, and I'd also like to give him more support in his journey.
       
  • Eating well. This has been a focus for my husband and I since our daughter was born. We've done a great job of this. We eat pretty balanced meals now and we are really proud of this, since we know we are setting the example for our daughter. We spend the extra money on fruits and veggies, and we really enjoy our meals now. Finding new recipes and cooking together keeps us excited and continuing along this path. 
2. Money
  
If I think about the number one thing that stresses me out the most right now, it's money. The reality is that the stress is all self-induced. We simply don't keep track of things as good as we should. We like to live comfortably and have always gotten by just fine. We needed to adjust our reality a bit when we switched from me having a career, to me being a stay at home mom. I do a lot of things to save us money here and there, but I just don't focus on where our money is going as good as I should. This year is going to be a great year and we are already off to a great start. Our money goals broken down:
  • Save more! We've never had credit card debt and never will. When I was working we were able to easily save without a second thought. Then I stopped working and simply put, our savings started dwindling. It's lower than I'd like and our goal is to build it back up. We no longer have any car payments (YAY), so if we simply rethink some of our spending, we can make this happen.
        
  • Log Daily, Review Weekly. Back in the checkbook days, I'd write down every expense, check that things had cleared, balance and keep an eye on things. In the credit card days of today, I simply don't do that. I don't have a good idea of what we've spent versus what we have. So, we got back to daily recording. We made a spreadsheet where we'll track expenses by category, we record our fixed monthly expenses, and compare it to our income for the month. Savings is now considered a fixed monthly expense. I'll do the daily recording, and weekly my husband and I will sit down and talk about where we are for the month and if we need to keep an eye on anything in particular.
       
  • Put more towards the house and get PMI removed! As first time home buyers, we simply didn't have a big enough down payment when we purchased our home. So, we got stuck paying PMI each month. I already put extra on the house each month, but I have an exciting new tactic for this year to put even more. On our loan, once it reaches a 78% loan to value ratio, we can get PMI removed. This will be a couple of hundred dollars each month that we get to keep! I received a couple of grants to put towards my student loans, and as a result I don't have to make a payment on them until 2019. I still pay on them monthly anyways, but I've decided that this year I'm actually going to take advantage and put the money towards the house instead of the loans. We can reach our goal of getting PMI removed much faster this way, and in the long run we'll be able to save more money! By my calculations we'll get it taken off 1 year sooner by doing this.
       
  • Make money. This is just something that I want to do. I like to contribute to our income, even if it isn't much. My number one priority is being a mom and taking care of my family, but I like to find ways to contribute financially as well. I started this blog simply as a passion and an outlet for myself. To my surprise, the blog opened up a lot of doors for me. The blog itself doesn't make money at the moment (and I never expected it to), but it opened up doors to blogging communities, and freelance writing opportunities that I am taking advantage of and really enjoying. My goal for 2017 is to continue to source out side jobs and income opportunities. I'd love to find a company to work with on a regular basis that matches my passions and goals. 

3. Relationships

Now that I am out of the workplace and a stay at home mom, my entire existence is pretty much being a mom and a wife. I am lucky to have a lot of time to invest and work on these relationships. I have a few specific goals for these relationships in the upcoming year.

  • Mom- I can already see this year is going to require more empathy than I can imagine. Year 2 of my daughters life is going to be amazing. She's strong willed, independent, decisive, and eager to learn. She's determined, focused, and very type A like her mama. I know that my biggest gift to her this year will be patience and empathy. My second goal with Caroline is to do more focused/independent play. I'd like to consistently do room time once per week at a minimum, and do some form of table play 1-2 times a week as well.
       
  • Wife- The time that I get with just my husband is limited. Our relationship feels the strain of that at times, especially as a stay at home mom. My "job" takes place at home, so I never leave and get a break. This can definitely effect my mood, and even the things I talk to my husband about. My goal as a wife this year, is to let things slide more often. We both hold each other to high standards and are quick to point things out to one another. I've come to learn that all these little things just don't matter very much. I'm going to try and let the little things go and enjoy the moments more. I am also aiming for 2 date nights per year. Since we don't have family close by, it's hard to find and trust a babysitter with Caroline. We need to make the effort to do this a couple of times a year, however.

4. Self

Taking the time to focus on me is also important. 
  • Blog- This blog is something that I started when Caroline was just a few months old. It's become my me time. I write as an outlet for myself to process "out loud", and also as a keepsake to remember things. I blog during Caroline's nap time, so it is sometimes hard for me to make it a priority instead of doing the million other things that need to get done first (laundry, cleaning, etc.). I am going to continue to make it a priority, however, because I enjoy it so much.
       
    • Content: My content goals are simple. I want to make it a priority to write 1 post per month that is focused on Babywise/Toddlerwise concepts.
         
    • Growth: My personal goal for 2017 is to hit 50K page views per month. This is an insanely lofty goal (I am currently at 14K per month).
          
  • Me time- Something that I've been wanting to do since Caroline was born, is to get up early. I want to get up, have my coffee, relax, read, maybe do some blogging, etc. I now try and fit all of this into nap time including everything else I need to do. I'd love to not feel so rushed all of the time. Incorporating some me time in the morning before she gets up would be fabulous. This is simply a goal at this point because, with having not felt good (pain and fatigue mentioned above), I simply need all the sleep I can get in the morning. It just hasn't been able to happen as a result. I am really hoping that since I'm seeing some positive results with my pain and fatigue, that this will get to happen in the new year!

Happy goal setting everyone! I hope you aren't quite as crazy as I am with a huge list of personal goals! LOL Whether you are mapping out your life in categories and separate goals like I am, or focusing on one personal new years resolution, please share with me in the comments below! It's always motivational to know that someone else is right there with you! Let's support each other this year. 

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