Friday, March 31, 2017

Recap: March Goals vs. Accomplishments

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

Analysis: A LOT OF BIG FAT FAILS, mostly centered around health goals.  I've been in a huge slump since the end of January. I'm tsk-tsk'ing myself and yet not getting back on the darn horse.

  • Call my mom - sent her a postcard and emailed her several times
  • Write a letter or card to my great aunt Wrote her a letter and sent her a postcard
  • Schedule lunch with Middle Son He came to visit and had dinner here.
  • Schedule outing with Daughter Bike Ride and lunch on 3/29; Lake Apopka Wildlife Drive and lunch on 3/31
  • Schedule outing with Youngest Son DONE, D&D on 3/11, 3/23 and 3/26 and St Augustine trip
  • Visit at least 2 new state parks, with or without Greg Alafia State Park on 3/5, Anastasia State Park on 3/20
  • Have lunch or visit with each of my two IRL friends DONE
  • No screens past 11 p.m. Success for most of the month!
  • Wash kitchen windows DONE *inside only, though
  • Read at least one book DONE "Heartbreak Hotel" by Jonathan Kellerman
  • Turn the compost bin at least once DONE
  • Have Greg unhook the hose from the house and set it up with new hose reel!  DONE
In Progress/Partly Accomplished
  • Go on a walk every weekend with Greg Done on 3/5 and 3/18
  • Keep French blog updated done on 3/3, no one seems to be reading it so I don't think I'll be as diligent. Maybe just use it to post pictures of the kids when I happen to take one.
Failed/Didn't Do
  • Purge the dresser in the upstairs hallway
  • Purge the top drawer of the file cabinet
  • File all the pending documents
  • Lose 5 lbs (weight goal: 211.6 lbs)  PUT ON WEIGHT SO BIG FAIL
  • If/when we go out to eat, drink only water and order salads and other low-calorie meals FAIL I didn't order healthy food at all :( I did drink water most of the time, though.
  • Drink at least 32 oz of water a day BIG FAIL
  • Exercise on my recumbent bike every week night for at least 35 minutes ANOTHER BIG FAIL
  • Input all my food intake in MyFitnessPal FAIL, FAIL, FAIL
  • Set a 15 minute timer everyday and try to do as many housework chores as possible during that time NOPE. I did do chores in spurts but didn't set the timer even once.
  • Do the dishes every night after dinner Sigh. FAIL
  • Mop/fake mop the kitchen once a week  Arrgh FAIL.
  • Vacuum or sweep the rest of the house once a week Hmm, FAIL again.
  • Use brush on fridge coils (last done on 2/28) 
  • Scrub patio pavers with bleach on a cool day (wear old clothes!)
  • Replace self-watering bins (spend less than $50 total on soil)  I'm not gardening this year so there's no rush although I do want to get rid of the broken bins once the plants in them finish producing the straggling veggies so I'm reporting this to April.
  • Water the garden once a week when it hasn't rained I watered the pots a couple of times but that was it. And it rained only 2 days, I think.
  • Wipe old laptop of confidential/personal information
  • Schedule dermatologist appointment for Youngest Son
  • Have Greg start giving our son driving lessons on the Focus. Asked him repeatedly, he still hasn't done it.
  • Back up the external drive to its own external drive
  • Inventory the pantry
  • Inventory the freezer

  • Add $166.66 to our Emergency Fund DONE
  • Earn at least one $25 gift card in Swagbucks DONE
  • Continue to try to spend only $50 per week for groceries DONE. On average, I spent less than $50 out of pocket per week on groceries alone this month.
  • Continue to track all expenses in my spreadsheets DONE
  • Report all expenses on the blog, daily DONE, when I blogged daily.
  • Calculate our Net Worth on 3/1 DONE
  • Confer with Greg to see how we will use our tax return (I would like to send it to the mortgage company) DONE We will be sending it to the mortgage
  • Read the latest issue of Kiplinger Magazine DONE
  • Continue tracking Greg's paystubs in my spreadsheets DONE
  • Continue tracking all of our expenses DONE
  • Continue passing on items and coupons to my BFF I saved a few coupons for her  and some cat food samples, but I haven't given them to her yet. 
In Progress/Partly Accomplished
  • Earn two $5 gift cards in Microsoft Rewards Earned one on 3/17, getting closer to the 2nd one.
  • Continue avoiding going out to eat: pack picnics, plan meals taking into account what's going on on certain days and how I'm likely to be feeling about cooking on those days. I was mostly good at cooking dinner and we did bring a picnic with us when we walked about half the time. But we socialized a lot, either with other people or with our kids, this month!
  • When eating out/ordering in drink water and order low-cost, healthier foods - hmm, how did this goal get into both categories?  See the other one.
  • Buy fewer snacks I bought fewer snacks than in the past but still too many, I think.
  • Continue avoiding food waste as much as possible and reporting on Food Waste every Friday. I had more food waste than I wanted to have, but I did report on it faithfully.
  • Continue to try to purchase as many items from the thrift store as possible Added several items to my wishlist and purchased several items from the thrift store, including some on my wishlist such as a new pair of shorts, a casserole dish, a lamp fixture (which ended up being too small, though), a sheet. 
  • Set dates and a budget for summer road trip Dates have been set but trip might not take place at all if my daughter gets a summer job.
  • Investigate if can rollover Greg's old 401(k) into an IRA if he's already met the maximum of IRA contributions for the year. Did the research, need to discuss with Greg and have him call Vanguard to make it happen.
Failed/Didn't Do
  • NO MORE THAN ONE COOK'S NIGHT OUT this month! Failed. I had two of those. 
  • Call my bank to combine the two IRA accounts (somehow I had this on my original list twice).  I didn't call even once. I hate making phone calls and it just doesn't seem like a big deal right now.
  • Stay on top of RaceTrac surveys Not really, I took surveys but not every day and I have a big backlog.
  • Schedule maintenance appointment for my SUV. I need to coordinate a day with Greg when he can work from home so I can schedule the appointment for that day.


  1. Looks pretty good to me! I never make a monthly goal list because I know I'd fail big-time LOL. I am vowing to get the pool enclosure re-screened and to have my bedroom measured for flooring. YES! I should be able to schedule these for April. As for the dishes, since you don't like that job can you enlist the help of your son? When my kids turned 12ish I made up a list of chores for them to choose 3 to do regularly. There was no pay involved but they all got allowances. They all chose do their own laundry and vacuum the family room and the other chore varied- one daughter put away all the dishes from the dishwasher (I hate that chore) and one cleaned the bathroom every day. I can't remember what my son chose. They all keep a pretty neat apartment/home today but youngest daughter is not interested in cooking. She never has been. Her husband cooks or she fixes something very simple for herself and the toddler. I like your list!

    1. The kids are in charge of doing their own laundry and packing their own lunches. Additionally, they also make their own breakfasts and lunches on the weekends as I only cook dinner. My daughter is in charge of cleaning her room and bathroom. Our son is in charge of cleaning his room and feeding the older cats, as well as cleaning all three downstairs litter boxes.

      I don't give allowance. I expect them to do their chores and obtain excellent grades. If they do, then I will reward with funds for outings and lunches out with friends, D&D and LARP'ing materials, etc.

      The kids can earn extra cash by doing the dishes. My daughter used to do the dishes to earn her share of the car insurance but now she just saves her allowance from her dad's and pay me the monthly $30 (I give her a 66% discount!) out of that.

      Once my son gets his license, he will need to either get a job or start doing the dishes to earn the car insurance portion, same as his siblings did. For this reason, I don't ask them to do the dishes right now :) I had to do chores when I was younger, as my mom worked a lot, so I'm easy on the kids with that because I want them to have plenty of time to enjoy their childhood, especially since I'm a stay-at-home mom! There's really no reason for me not to do the dishes aside from the fact that I hate doing them and I'm lazy!

      I wish you luck with your April goals! I need to put my list together but it'll be a big repeat from March probably since I didn't get so much done. Oh well, if anything it kept certain tasks that I ought to get done front of mind, like scheduling the maintenance on my SUV. I don't think there's anything that's really pressing on my list (apart from my Health goals I really need to get back in sync with those!), though, so if it doesn't get done, it's not the end of the world. Life is too short to stress about chores, I think!

  2. I think you did quite well on your goals, Nathalie, and you are being too hard on yourself. Look at all those things that either got done or started on! I've heard that filling the sink with soapy water and putting the dishes in as they get dirty helps with doing the dishes - they are supposed to practically clean themselves while soaking, and all they need is rinsing off. Maybe that would help? I find it easier if I do the dishes as I use them. Put 1 item in the sink and next thing I know, there's a whole pile of them! Seems they breed when stacked in the sink or on the counter!

    1. Thanks, Bless. I do soak the pots and pans and they're much easier to clean that way, with minimal scrubbing, and I rinse the plates and bowl with the sink sprayer as I organize them. I just need to get back to at least unloading the dishwasher in the mornings (I use the dishwasher as a drying rack) so at night it's just a matter of washing the day's dishes and having them dry overnight. Somehow, just knowing that I have to put the dry dishes away at night always ends up making me say "meh, I'll do it tomorrow!".

  3. I never had much responsibility as a kid even though I was the oldest of 6. Mom did everything and I never cooked until I got married at age 21! I did bake goodies but never made a meal. The allowance seemed to work better for us- the kids budgeted their money pretty well. I gave younger daughter $25 a week and she could use it for lunch or whatever. When she was in college she got a monthly amount and that was it although I paid for her cell phone and car insurance. She also got a job at UF- in fact, she still says HS was more difficult than college but she was a liberal arts major- might be different in other subjects. The money she saved paid for her graduate school. I did see your daughter was a National Merit finalist. Did she get a lot of offers from colleges in the South? My son was a finalist way back in the early 90s when we lived in NoVa. He really wanted to go to Berkeley but they had so many great applicants they offered him little $$. His dad and I told him we would not finance anything over what UVa cost so he decided to go there instead.

    1. Hmm, she had mailers from a bunch of colleges all over the South, yes, but I don't know that there were any more than the ones my older kids received. I believe that College Board (the entity that administers the SAT) and also our school district sell the students' information to all the various colleges, regardless of their academic results. She certainly didn't get anything else than flyers (no offers of scholarships or anything).


Anything you'd like to add? Share away!