Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Recap: January Goals Vs. Accomplishments

I'm checking in to see how I did on my January Goals.

Personal Goals
  1. Read 2 fiction books:  I gave up on this goal. I didn't have much interest in
    "Fantastic Beasts" after all, and I've been busy during the day so when I relax in the evening, I like to catch up on blogs.  I'll have to try again in February.
    1. "Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them" by JK Rowling (library book)
    2. "Mercer Girls" by  Libbie Hawker (ebook on loan from Amazon Prime Reading)
  2. Go on 2 walks with Greg - Done! Went on 1 walk on 1/1 (Lake Idamere Park) and on 1/8 (General Van Fleet Trail)
  3. Exercise every weekday for at least 30 minutes - Did it for the first 3 weeks but not when I wasn't feeling well.
  4. Practice strength exercises one day a week - Didn't do at all
  5. Do foot stretches 3 x a day DONE! and it's really helped!
  6. Log all my food in MyFitnessPal Did it for the first 3 weeks but not when I wasn't feeling well.
  7. Fill up XL RaceTrac cup in the morning with water and drink one of those every day. Start drinking before I drink coffee. Did it for the first 3 weeks but not when I wasn't feeling well.
  8. Lose 5 lbs in January (check with Bonnie how she is doing) Done
  9. Most of our dinners at home should be at the dinner table. Done!
  10. If/when we go out to eat, drink only water and order salads and other low-calorie meals. Half success. I did well on 2 meals out but ordered a Reuben on the 3rd:)  Then I was sick the following week so that was my punishment :)
  11. Write to my aunt (letter or postcard) - Done
  12. Send an email to my French BFF - Done
  13. Post at least 2 pictures on Instagram to share with my siblings 1 picture posted and 1 video as well! And I commented on my brother's photo.
  14. Call my mom - Sent her a very long email and pictures on 1/7
  15. Mail her the 8 x 10 picture of Oldest Son - Done
  16. Start French blog and post pictures that I think my mom would enjoy (outings, cats, kids)
  17. Schedule a lunch with Middle Son this month  Done
  18. Schedule an outing/activity with Youngest Son this month - Done
  19. Schedule an outing/activity with Daughter this month Done
  20. Schedule lunch or coffee with each of my two IRL friends - Done
  21. Reopen blog comments and start engaging with other bloggers again - Done
  22. Go on field trips on my own: P.E.A.R. park, Leu Botanical Gardens, local museums and attractions, county and state parks... we bought a state parks pass and Greg and I went walking most weekends so I didn't go on to any trips on my own... I was pretty busy trying to accomplish my other January goals!
  23. Limit my mindless TV watching DONE
  24. Limit my mindless internet surfing or at least do it while I'm exercising. No screens after 10:30 p.m. (Oh this is going to be hard!) - Since I exercise at 9 p.m., I extended my no screen time to 11 p.m. Mostly done, I only watched TV late one night. It wasn't that hard at all, I was really tired all month!
  25. Make Dr appointment for son's annual check-up - Done
  26. Make dermatologist appointment for my son? Check his back. Checked his back. Need to make an appointment.
  27. Practice using my lightbox to take photos of objects: at least once this month. Didn't do. I need to wait until the kittens are more sedate and stop jumping everywhere.
  28. Start watching Photography lectures online Didn't do. Too busy with other tasks and hobbies (such as web surfing!  Hey, "surfing" counts as exercise, doesn't it?!)
  29. Join the Friends of the Library - Didn't do.  My bravado about joining group has waned.  I'm not a group joiner.

Financial Goals
  1. Continue to track all expenses in my spreadsheets DONE!
  2. Report all expenses on the blog, daily (for accountability and a kick in the pants to perhaps spend less!) DONE
  3. Keep to a $50 a week grocery budget (avoid stocking up on items until I have actually ran out of them). Avoid impulse buys and buy fewer snacks. Definitely did buy fewer snacks and mostly avoided impulse buys. I did stock up on a few things, though, since I had the room in my budget for them.  Ahem, whiskey!
  4. Continue reporting on Food Waste every Friday. No excuses. DONE!
  5. Read through last month's issue of Kiplinger's Read the Annual Forecast Issue and actually used some of the articles to help me select the mutual funds for my IRAs.
  6. Reset my worksheets for 2017 - Done
  7. Have Greg transfer "money sitting around" into IRAs for 2016 and 2017 - Done
  8. Continue to try to purchase as many items from the thrift store as possible - added several things to my thrift store wish list that I keep on my phone and bought drinking glasses from a thrift store, along with an over-the-range microwave for my BFF, cat toys, crafts for daughter and myself, and a container for cat food.
  9. Calculate our bare bone budget and see if we do have 12 months' worth. - Done
  10. Then separate it from our other savings, maybe put it in a CD that is FDIC insured. Considering Discover Bank online savings account, need to research their terms and current APY.
  11. Calculate our Net Worth - Done
  12. Create spreadsheet to calculate our Personal Savings Rate in 2017 - Done
  13. Set up an automatic transfer of Greg's raise equivalent to Savings each time he gets paid - Done
  14. Make a budget for US Road trip to France and stick to it. Not done. We still have time. However decided that we probably won't buy the National Parks annual pass.
  15. Remove Greg's line from our AT&T plan  Done
  16. Car insurance: see if should drop collision on SUV and truck and the consequences of this (i.e. can we keep road assistance coverage?) Cancelled collision on the SUV only (Greg wanted to keep it on the truck, which makes no sense since his truck isn't technically worth the coverage anymore). The family car already didn't have collision coverage.  Now considering lowering the liability since I'd have to raise it to be able to shuttle high school kids to their activities. Kept Road Assistance and rental reimbursement (that last one since we'll be traveling through the US this summer and my car is 10 years old!)
  17. Put money aside corresponding to our son's chore earnings since the last time I calculated his total (in his savings account)-  I transferred $100 to his Savings account and opened a 529 Savings account with his 2016 chores earnings.
  18. Check into NonOwner Insurance policy for daughter once she moves out and take her off our policy? She can only have that kind of policy if not living at anyone's house and supporting herself entirely. If she lives at her dad's, she'd have to be on HIS insurance (as long as she officially changes her address to his).  If she decides to live in an apartment, she'd have to call (with me) to get a quote for a non-owner policy.
  19. Open the latest statements (put reminder on calendar to do this every quarter). Ahem...
  20. Update the big picture matrix and share it with Greg - Did that but we still have to dwell into the detail of our investments and review whether those funds/stocks are appropriate.
  21. Make note of when stock options are vesting in 2017 and put detailed alerts in the calendar - Done
  22. Start gathering the 2016 tax paperwork in one folder (print them as they come in) DONE
  23. Check my passport's expiration date and set a reminder to renew it if necessary (calendar and budget) - Done
  24. Create one more year of budget in my Excel checkbook- Done
  25. Take Driscoll's surveys for 8 days to reach Gold Level this month - DONE
  26. Keep on top of RaceTrac surveys. Took several but then a clerk gave me 12 extra receipts!
  27. Identify one charity I want to contribute to in 2017 - I have put some thought into this.  While many charities are a benefit to society at large, I have people much closer to me who I am watching struggle a bit and who will, in most likeliness, need some support this year. I have decided that I would rather support them in 2017. I'm waiting to see how things shape up for them to determine how, exactly, I will go about it.

  1. Inventory what I have/still need to make new self watering bins
  2. Harvest all the lettuce, tomatoes and peppers that are growing and use or preserve them Ongoing
  3. Water the garden at least every Tuesday morning. It has rained a bit this month so I haven't had to water every week. But I failed at monitoring the garden.
  4. Scrub patio pavers with bleach on an overcast (but not rainy!) day - wear OLD clothes and gloves
  5. Turn the compost bin at least once - done
  6. Inventory my seeds and seed what I need for Spring/Summer if anything - Done
  7. Prune back the roses Done
  8. Buy 2 hose reels with Home Depot gift card - Done but only ordered one to evaluate it first.

  1. Inventory freezer and pantry - save inventories in Google Drive - Didn't do, but I reorganized the freezer and part of the pantry so I pretty much know what I have and what I'm missing.
  2. Write new menu every Sunday - set reminder. Use up at least 1 item from the side-by-side freezer DONE
  3. Unload the dishwasher every morning and reload it during the day done, every day except for the last week when I wasn't feeling well :(
  4. Do the dishes every night done, every day except for the last week when I wasn't feeling well :(
  5. Alternating mopping/fakemopping the kitchen every week - Mopped on Fri 1/6, fake mopped on Wed 1/18
  6. Vacuum or sweep the rest of the house once a week - Done on 1/4, 1/13 and 1/27
  7. Declutter the exercise room (including cabinets under windows and all shelves) -Mostly done
  8. Wash Cat Room windows - Done
  9. Identify faulty electrical outlets need to be replaced 
  10. Take batteries out of fans and store them until next hurricane season - Done
  11. Vacuum fridge coils DONE
  12. Move my music library to the new laptop and try to syncing my phone via iTunes in progress, all files moved to external drive and need to be copied to laptop.
  13. Make sure all programs I need have been moved to my new laptop. Made a list and moved them to the external drive. Haven't reinstalled yet.
  14. Wipe old laptop of all confidential information not done.
  15. Mend at least one item from the mending basket
  16. Mix a bottle of glass cleaner to keep in the kitchen Mixed two!
  17. Set reminder to clean upstairs litter box every morning - Done
  18. Put futon cover back on the futon - Done
  19. Clear out a USB stick and give it to Teen Librarian for photos of Youngest Son well, I thought I had done it but I cleared an SD card instead, which was the wrong thing!


  1. I think you did pretty darn well

  2. You were really successful at meeting your goals in January! I'm still struggling a bit with the fact that it's already February...

    1. Thanks, Laura. The month did go by fast, didn't it? It's the first time that I've dragged my feet so much at putting my Xmas stuff away. I think maybe I just don't want it to be 2017?!

  3. You did very well with your January goals! Look at all those "done"s and items crossed off! Well done!

    1. Thanks, I feel pretty good about my month!


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