Friday, January 6, 2012

2012 goals

I feel like this blog has gotten pretty baby heavy so I wanted to switch things up a bit. I came into 2012 with all kinds of great ideas for the year swirling around in my head but I know there is no way I will accomplish any of them if I don't write it down somewhere. What better place than here, right? So here we go - my 12 goals for 2012!

1. Meal Planning - I have been doing Once a Month cooking for about 4 months now and it works out really well. I love having meals at the ready when I just don't feel like cooking. It has also made weekly grocery shopping easy because I just pick up the usual produce, dairy, bread, etc - no major grocery shopping. The downside is that I miss going through my cookbooks or magazine recipes and making something new. The other issue I have is that #2 will be joining us in May. I did a pretty good job with freezer meals before Madelyn was born and it would be nice to have a stash built up a again.

My new plan is to continue with the once a month cooking and still incorporate a weekly menu plan. Within the menu plan will be 1-2 days that we pull something from the once a month freezer stash but other than that, I am making something new.

2. Couponing - I haven't really couponed since Extreme Couponers hit the airways. I have officially tossed out my big binder because all my coupons expired and I haven't bought inserts in ages. The problem - my stash is about gone. Yikes! I have been trying to come up with a way to incorporate couponing into our current eating lifestyle. Again, since Madelyn has been born we have cut way back on the processed foods. I also buy mostly organic produce and all organic meats and dairy. It definitely has increased our food bill but if I plan well I can still keep it manageable. Still, there are some staples that it is nice to keep in a stockpile such as pasta, frozen veggies, Ben's lunch items, etc. When I go through an insert, there are only a handful of coupons that I would actually use anymore so it hardly seems worth buying the paper every week. A few months ago I tried ordering the coupons the week of a sale so that I could get the items I wanted but it usually left me with only a day or two to shop.

My new plan - use an online coupon clipping site and order the coupons I will use in bulk when they come out. Very rarely will those coupons go to waste before the expiration date and then I have them handy for whenever the sale hits.

3. Purge My House - Nick and I bought this house planning on having 2 babies while we lived here. Well, we technically have the room for 2 babies but man alive is it crowded. It is amazing the amount of stuff you accumulate just because you have room for it. Fortunately, this pregnancy has removed my sentimental "oh but I might use that" packrat tendencies and I am taking advantage of it. Our basement needs it the most since that has always been the go to area for storage.

My plan - use Madelyn's morning nap as a chance to clean 1 shelf in the basement. I figure if I approach it 1 shelf at a time, I will eventually get it done but it won't get out of control with my short bits of time that I can work on it. Big goals right now - scan all photos onto the computer and then get a backup of some sort. I can't tell you the last time I have looked through old photo albums that are collecting dust - they've gotta go! Convert all cardboard box storage into plastic bins. I am sick of digging through musty cardboard boxes that give no clue as to their contents. Clear storage bins here I come!

4. Pay Off Something - This may cross the line into too much information to share on the internet but oh well. I am so tired of payments. Between my car, our house (with 2 mortgages), 2 rentals and Nick's student loans I am annoyed. Have you ever noticed this about debt? It seems to take ages to go away but as soon as you can clear out a payment the amount of income you can add to another debt is incredible. Our debt is all what the financial advisor in me calls "good debt" but it still is debt and it drives me batty.

My new plan is to get my dang car paid off. My original loan is scheduled to be paid off in August 2015 (5 year loan). I have always paid more than required and as a result should have it paid off by Feb 2013. If I throw 3 extra payments at it this year, I will be done before the end of the year!!! Paid off in half the scheduled time - not bad, right? Maybe I'll use the extra money I save from couponing to make those payments ;)

5. Timeblock - This is a term I knew well when I worked at Edward Jones. And here's the thing, it works. It is just one of those things you have to be diligent about doing. I am great at making todo lists but I am also great at coming up with reasons why they didn't get completed. Timeblocking will also really help with the rest of the goals on my list so it's time to pick back up an old habit!

My plan - It isn't realistic for me to plan out my timeblocking very far in advance because my schedule can change so quickly and #2 isn't even here yet! I will create a general gameplan for the week sometime during the weekend. Something along to the lines of Monday - go to office, Tuesday - stay home, Wednesday - errands, etc. Then, each night after the kiddos hit the sack, I will create a plan for the next day that is much more specific. ie: 7am - get up, 9am - during M's nap, clean 1 shelf, work stuff, 11am - lunch, etc. Granted, the times will need to be a little flexible but it is more about the order in which things are done and how to take advantage of time. It also allows me to prep the night before for the next day's projects such as gather my coupons, prep any food for cooking, etc

6. Focus on Work - I'm still under my gag order with Edward Jones until end of April. #2 is due in May. The timing is about ideal. I am not planning on taking the full 12 weeks like I did with Madelyn, mostly because FMLA isn't really a factor when you are self employed. I also could have worked part time, from home when Madelyn was born but due to to FMLA and disability rules it was all or nothing so I opted to spend that time with her. This time around I am planning on taking a few weeks and then getting back to a work routine in which I can move full speed ahead on getting my clients back!

My plan - I will still work from home a lot of the time but I will be in the office on Monday's and Tuesday's most likely starting in June. I may even start going into the office before that if I have appointments with clients. I am lucky enough that my grandma and mom are able to watch the little ones on those days. They are close enough that I can even go back and forth to the office between feedings for #2. Depending on #2's temperment, I may even have a buddy in the office on days without appointments.

7. Reduce Pesticide/Plastic Nasty - The one part of becoming a mom that caught me the most off guard was the fierce need to protect my children above all other things. It is as if something switches inside of you and your children become #1 in your life, above all other things, no questions asked. The tough part is coming to terms with the fact that there is so much out of your control. If you let it get to you, the fear can be paralyzing. Anyway, once Madelyn was born I really started researching all the nasty that is hidden in our everyday products. Pesticides on produce, BPA in cans, PVC in toys, chemicals in cleaners, etc. It can be completely overwhelming. Throughout Madelyn's first year we dramatically increased the amount of organic food we eat, cut way back on canned goods and tried to limit Madelyn's exposure to plastic toys. I want to keep this going for 2012.

My plan - I would like to switch to all natural cleaners in 2012. I have been using "green" cleaning products but they can be a little pricey so I am going to spend some time researching vinegar and baking soda cleaning methods. Cleaner air in 2012. I know there are certain plants are supposed to be good for purifying the air in your home. I also want to make sure our heating and cooling systems are cleaned out as well.

8. Project 365 - My sister started this on her birthday last year and I think it is a great idea.

My plan - take a daily picture and post it on the blog. There are a lot of the blogs that do wordless wednesday entries. Basically a picture with no content. I figure this is the quickest way to post these pictures since I am terrible about updating facebook. It will also keep me on the blog and hopefully updating here as well.

9. Pinterest - Oh pinterest and my love/hate relationship with you! I love looking through the ideas and pinning to my heart's content but I am terrible at actually completing anything I pin. Terrible.

My plan - complete at least 25 pins in 2012. This can be as complex as a craft or as simple as a new recipe. I just need to do 2 a month plus a bonus. A recipe and a craft and I'm done!

10. Plan a 2013 Trip - I don't know when. I don't know where. But we will travel in 2013.

11. VBAC - I know that there is a chance this won't happen but at the end of the day I won't be at peace with a repeat c-section unless I know I did everything I could do to have a VBAC. I don't want to question or second guess. I don't want could have's and should have's keeping me up at night after the fact.

12. Monthly Goal Check - Pretty self explanatory. I am going to use this blog to check in on the first of every month and see where I am with each of my goals. Wish me luck!!

And here is some cuteness if you managed to make it to the end of this post!
Yup! That's my girl in a viking hat!


amw said...

holy goals batman! as for VBACs, not sure if you have actual real live people you know who were successful with VBAC, but if you want to talk to someone about it, my moms soon-to-be husbands daughter had a successful VBAC in 2010. it was her second kid, and she was over 9 lbs! she lives in st louis but i can "introduce" you on facebook if you think that would be of interest.

Julie Watt said...

I'll do pinterest projects with you!! In fact, now that I've been laid off I can actually do stuff on weekends now. Maybe you could help me get started couponing too.

I love love LOVE your Viking baby!!!!!!!

Sarah said...

Al - Thanks for the offer. Pacey was a VBAC so I've been able to talk to Shannon a lot.

Jules - still bizarre that you got "laid off". Bring on the fuzzy love valentine's crafts!!