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.