I cannot feel my fingers, which has kept me from forgetting that January is here! I’m rocking the double whammy today: heating pad and a heating blanket. Our apartment doesn’t heat itself, it heats the outdoors apparently. So ’tis the season for ALL. THE. LAYERS. We rang in our new year with some good friends J + L at their home. We made tacos, queso & lots of snacks, played Cards Against Humanity and scarcely made it to midnight. Old age is definitely setting in.
The elephant in the room is “it’s been a while.” I had great intentions to be an intense, regular blogger this fall and the arch enemy of the creative process set in: comparison. It ate at the back of my mind that I wasn’t good enough, I wasn’t like “X” blogger I admire, I didn’t get as many views as I wanted, I worried I wasn’t “interesting” enough. So I slipped away in the night, thinking about the posts I’d write if I was brave enough. Well, I am tired of not doing what I want because I’m afraid. So I’m back to putting myself out there, allowing myself to fumble along the way, and I’m going to just be real and authentic. There is SO MUCH to learn about blogging and being successful. I hope to sum up 2018 twelve months from now being able to say I learned how to make this blog successful.
January 1st means breaking in my new Powersheets! I’ve spent the last few weeks slowly and meticulously working through the prep work to uncover what I value right now. I spend December brain dumping what I wanted to do, and have spent the last two weeks making sense of the common themes and I have uncovered the eight big themes I want to cultivate this year. I have a lot of small baby steps under each goal, but I’ll include some of the bigger goals underneath each theme. As this series progresses, each theme will have its own post explaining the steps and effort I’m taking more in depth.
- Regain control over my physical health. I have made progress on this in 2017, but I am still not back to where I want to be: fit, strong, nourishing my body consistently and taking care of myself for longer than one spurt at a time.
- Go to the gym four times per week.
- Register & run a timed 5k
- Lose 30/40/50/60 pounds
- Have an intimate & personal relationship with Jesus. This is an ongoing theme in my life. I made a lot of progress in this over 2017 as well, but want to dive deeper and mature my faith
- Write about my faith on my blog
- Read the whole Bible in chronological order (the order of events as they happen)
- Achieve financial freedom from our student loan debt. This is a bold, scary goal. My mind says “there’s no way you’ll accomplish this in a year” but I’m not letting fear stop me from giving it my all. We have $85,000 in student loan debt between the two of us, and our payments combined are greater than a mortgage on a house. Our student loans have made many “next steps” in marriage completely out of reach. Instead of feeling sorry for myself and wallowing, I’m choosing to do something about it.
- Religiously track every dollar spent
- Use a modified “cash envelope” system
- Lower our student loan premium by $10,000.
- Nourish & love my husband well. We’ve been married for a whole year and real life has set in where we need to intentionally communicate and love each other well, meeting each other’s needs (see: 5 love languages) and growing deeper as a couple.
- Cultivate a warm, inviting & life giving home. It can be discouraging to live in a tiny, unsatisfying apartment that isn’t “ours.” Instead of living in the future and the false belief in “someday” I want to love our home well, make it our safe haven and take care of it now. Our own home is a million miles off, but life is too short to be uncomfortable where you live.
- Clean, purge & organize all of our spaces (no “junk” spots!)
- Regularly invite others into our home
- Maintain a clean, furnished and welcoming home.
- Pursue my creative passions. I dream of living as a writer, blogger and artist rather than “live and die by the corporate world.” This is out of reach if I don’t put consistent effort into it. My heart has always been in creating things and writing that connects with others.
- Consistently blog my Powersheets updates (hello friends!)
- Create a blog content calendar
- Outline my book
- Make $1
- Learn photography
- Connect & establish a tribe of close friends. I struggle with bridging the gap between “acquaintance” and “friend.” I have social anxiety that makes it hard for me to put myself out there because I am afraid of rejection. My mind goes to “no one actually likes you.” I’ve isolated myself because I don’t try. Life isn’t meant to be spent alone and I commit to being a good, reliable friend.
- Make effort, lean in first, initiate. Don’t wait for people to come to me
- Attend Fellow’s various women’s events
- Don’t bail last minute when your brain is acting like a jerk
- Stay consistent in doing the tasks that bring wellness. There is an abundance of “little things” that make me feel better about life, ranging from physical health, mental health & feeling put together.
- Complete Damn Early Mornings (segue: maintain positive morning routine; use mornings wisely)
- Take medication & supplements
- Wear makeup daily.
- Maintain twice daily facial routine
Monthly Goals (big, one time projects that contain multiple steps)
- Attend one new fitness class at Genesis
- Decide which FBC Bible study to attend for spring semester
- Confirm what Dane’s new student loan payment will be
- Celebrate Dane’s graduation from grad school!
- Do all of our laundry (sort: keep/donate/pitch? Wash it. Hang it!)
- Blog: Yearly & January goals (look at me, completing a thing now!)
- Blog: Draft a version of a weekly/monthly content calendar
- Blog: Create new category buttons to match my theme
Weekly goals (habits to complete a few times during the week)
- Work out at the gym 4 times
- Do 1 week of Financial Peace University
(I did this a long time ago, I am repeating to do a blog series on how effective it really is)
- Distribute money into four categories:
(long term savings [$50], emergency fund [$50], bills account [varies], student loan pot [1/2 of whatever is left over the day before a pay day, to hold money for the once a month “massive student loan payment”])
- Weekly family meeting with Dane
(Cover finances, plans for the week, emotional check in, etc.)
- Connect & hang out with a friend
- Attend church service (or stream if we are out of town)
Daily Goals (good habits to develop)
- Damn Early Mornings
(waking up at 5:00 a.m. to make the most of my mornings: quiet time, fitness, etc.)
- Chronological Bible reading plan
(I am using this plan)
- No lazy fast food runs
(Going out with friends to catch up is one thing, hitting the drive through because I’m too lazy to grocery shop and cook is another.)
- No spending money
(We are attempting to save money by devoting one day a week to be a “spend” day. We do our groceries, errands, get gas, whatever during this day only and try to spend $0 [other than bills] every other day that week. We did this one month last year and it was AWESOME.)
- 5 minute clean up session
(I hate cleaning, so smaller consistent effort is easier than one big lump of effort)
How we spend our time is how we spend our life and I intend to spend it the way I want to, not the way I spend it on accident. I plan on expanding on all of these at length later, so consider this an intro. If you have any similar goals I would love to connect with you and support each other!
Next up: to reveal my “word of the year.” Stay tuned!