Wednesday, January 14, 2015

2015 will be a year of change.

Every January I jot down a handful of things I want to accomplish during the year. It usually includes the same things - eat healthier, be more active, read more, save more money, use what I already have, make my house cuter/better/safer/etc. This year I looked a little closer on how I can actually do those things and decided to make some pretty big changes. I know, I know. Studies show that when people make really drastic changes in their lives, they are less likely to stick with it than if they make small changes gradually. Well. Unfortunately, I'm not that patient.

1. Eat healthier, be more active, lose weight. For a couple years in college, I didn't have a car. If I couldn't walk somewhere, I had to bum a ride from a friend. I lived on campus, so walking to class wasn't a big deal and walking to my job downtown wasn't that big of a deal either. Combine being 19 with walking everywhere and you get to stay pretty svelte, no matter how much unlimited fountain coke you drink (at least, that was the case for me.) Then I got a car. Then I moved further away from work. Then I got married. Then I... Then I... Then I... I could rattle off all of the other reasons I became less healthy, less active, and gained more weight. The fact of the matter is, I got lazy and stopped walking as much. I kept eating less healthy foods (in fact, I probably ate even more of those less healthy foods because I thought Taco Bell was more convenient than anything else). And now, many years later and many excuses later... I am finally deciding to be more proactive in making myself be more active! The hospital is sponsoring a New Year, New U Challenge that involves healthy weight loss and healthy dieting. I would like to be down a couple dress sizes in a couple months and am working on that. Trying to hit 10,000 steps every day (including my "cheat" day). Cutting back (significantly) on soda and starbucks. Completely cutting out drive-thru foods. Sticking with foods that are closer to nature. Eating breakfast. Going to the free 1-hour classes offered at the hospital about nutrition.

2. Read more. Does it count if I am going back to school? I would like to read more for fun, but honestly, Friends just came onto Netflix and dang-o is it funny! BUT, I am going back to school to get my BSN finally. Two pre-reqs this semester and classes start in June. Whew. I don't particularly want to do it, but it is a necessary evil for moving onward and upward in the nursing world.

3. Save more money. Cutting back on soda and starbucks helps a lot. When I started at the hospital, I would get starbucks on Sundays as a celebration that it was my Friday. I had one more 12-hour shift and then it was my weekend. Then I started getting it on Fridays because it was my Monday. And then fuck it, I might as well get it on Saturdays too. And I don't get a $1 coffee. I get a $5-6 "coffee" - filled with syrup and sugar and milk and mmmmmmm. So tasty! But, it is also so bad for me (see resolution #1). What started off as a $6/week treat turned into a $20/week bill. Killing two birds with one stone by cutting it out. I'm also cutting out drive-thru foods and making myself cook more meals at home. $12.99 for stir-fry buffet when I have most ingredients at home and need to buy $5 worth of chicken (and get 3 meals out of it instead of 1) is a WAY better deal. I just found a "save money plan" on Pinterest. I am using one savings account for pet expenses, one for vacation savings, and one as an emergency fund. I'm not buying things I don't need. I get e-mails all the time from Ulta, Bath & Body Works, Old Navy, etc with "deals". I don't need any more makeup, soap, or leggings.

4. In fact, I'm trying to use more of what I already have. When I was growing up, my mom had the habit of buying a lot of unnecessary things. The grocery store would have pasta 10 for $10. So my mom would buy 10 boxes of pasta. Do you know how much pasta we had in our pantry at any given time? About 10 boxes, because my mom would never actually make said pasta. That terrible habit of buying tons of unnecessary shit has passed through her blood and into mine. I didn't realize it until the last few years. A couple people have pointed out how much I have in my shower. Doesn't everyone have 4 different bottles of shampoo? 6 conditioners? 7 body washes? A couple face washes? Doesn't everyone have boxes upon boxes of pasta and oatmeal and hot chocolate? Doesn't everyone buy new stuff when they still have more than 1/2 of the old stuff left? NO. So, one of my resolutions (I actually started doing this last summer) is to use the stuff I have before buying new stuff. No shower stuff for a while. No pasta. No oatmeal. And holy cow is this going to help me save money.

5. Ahhh. My house. Last July I completed refinancing my house. It is all mine. Sonofabitch that is a lot of responsibility. So far, I'm handling it well. In 2014, I got new windows and doors (making it more energy efficient and safer). They also installed new shutters (making it look a hell of a lot nicer). This year I plan on sprucing up the front of my house a little bit more. Flowers or bushes or something. I am working on painting the basement (ugh. it just takes forever and is so boring). My brother may install a bathroom downstairs (would be pretty handy to have a bathroom down there). I need to start saving for a new roof/gutters. I also need to start saving to get rid of the carpet in the living room and hallway.

So that's where I am at. Being healthier, reading more, going back to school, using what I already have, saving money, making my house where i want to hang my hat.

Monday, January 5, 2015

What did you do in 2014 that you'd never done before? I refinanced my house, making me the sole owner of my home. I went on a road trip with friends, went to a music festival, ate fried alligator. I went to New York and saw the Statue of Liberty. I went to Epcot!

Did you keep your new years' resolutions, and will you make more for next year? Same as last year - one of my resolutions was to travel more, so I did that.

Did anyone close to you give birth? No one super close to me.

Did anyone close to you die? No.

What countries did you visit? None - still just traveling stateside

What would you like to have in 2015 that you lacked in 2014? Even more traveling! I would like to NOT have any credit card debt.

What date(s) from 2014 will remain etched upon your memory, and why? I never remember dates. I will remember going to HangoutFest in May, New York in September, and Florida in December.

What was your biggest achievement of the year? Successfully refinancing my house. I own this bitch.

What was your biggest failure? Not starting my BSN program like I intended.

Did you suffer illness or injury? I had a really bad bout of the flu in March.

What was the best thing you bought? Uhhh, my house! Plane ticket to NY, more paint, windows & sliding glass doors!

Whose behavior merited celebration? Kristan moved to Chicago, which was a dream of hers, so that's pretty cool.

Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed? My mom got even more strange.

Where did most of your money go? House. Student loans. Travel.

What did you get really, really, really excited about? Epcot! Hangout! New York! New windows!

What songs will always remind you of 2014? Taylor Swift, probably. Ed Sheeran, maybe.

Compared to this time last year, are you...
i. happier or sadder?
ii. thinner or fatter?
iii. richer or poorer? Happier, the same, and the same. I'm working on being happier, healthier, and richer.

What do you wish you'd done more of? Saved more money. Travelled more. Ate healthier and been more active.

What do you wish you'd done less of? I wish I had worked less.

How did you spend Christmas? I worked 12 hours.

Did you fall in love in 2014? Nope.

What was your favorite TV program? Walking Dead, probably.

Do you hate anyone now that you didn't hate this time last year? Hate is such a strong word.

What was the best book you read? I didn't read anything that wow-ed my socks off.

What was your greatest musical discovery? Lana Del Ray.

What did you want and get? I wanted to go places I had never been - did that!

What did you want and not get? I wanted to travel even more than I did.

What was your favorite film of this year? What If.

What did you do on your birthday, and how old? My roommates took me out to dinner at Stadium Grill. I turned 29.

What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying? Traveling more.

How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2014? Cropped pants. Riding boots. Uggs. Moccasins

What kept you sane? Friends, working, pets

Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most? Daniel Radcliff

What political issue stirred you the most? All these "anti-rape" products.

Who did you miss? My dad.

Who was the best new person you met? I don't really know - Tyler. I didn't meet him until October though.

Was 2014 a good year for you? It was okay.

What was your favorite moment of the year? Sitting on the beach with Gianna the evening I got to New York. Or watching the fireworks at Epcot on NYE.

What was your least favorite moment of the year? Breaking up with Tristan. Ugh. He did not make that easy.

Where were you when 2014 began? I was at Room 28 with Lauren and Ashley and Hannah. I was the sober driver and I was in a really bad mood.

Who were you with? A lot of people from the hospital - Lauren and Ashley and Hannah were really the only people I chatted with.

Where will you be when 2014 ends? I was asleep in my hotel room after a 15 hour day at Epcot with Sharida and Kellianne

Who will you be with when 2014 ends? Family.

Did you break up with anyone in 2014? Just Tristen (Tristan? I don't even remember how to spell that).

How many different states did you travel to in 2014? New York and Georgia

Did you lose anybody close to you in 2014? Not really.

How many concerts did you see in 2014? I saw so many bands at HangoutFest. And then I saw Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zereos a week or so later.

Did you drink a lot of alcohol in 2014? Nope.

Did you do a lot of drugs in 2014? No

Did you do anything you are ashamed of this year? No.

What was the worst lie someone told you in 2014? My mom telling me so many lies about so many things.

If you could go back in time to any moment of 2014 and change something, what would it be? I would have added more time to my September vacation and went to a couple more states around NY while I was there.

What are your plans for 2015? Quitting the law firm, picking up some more hours at the hospital to make up for it. Starting my BSN (ugh). Going on a birthday vacation! Living with Kellianne. Maybe going on another trip in the fall, but probably not another trip in the winter. Paying off all of my credit card debt. Losing weight and being healthy!