Goals, Goals, Goals (In Depth 8,9, &10)

To see the full list of my 19 in 2019 goals click here.

8) Open an Investment Account

Along with Goal 1 this is some financial housekeeping to push me closer to my early retirement goals.

Action Steps to reach my Goal:

  1. Do research to choose where to invest.
  2. Do research to choose what to invest in.
  3. Decide what amount of money and how frequently to invest.
  4. Open the account and set up automatic deposits.

9) Work toward a 5am Wakeup

This is the first step in many to improve my fitness.   I know from past experience that the only way I’ll fit exercise into my day is to do it in the morning.  The problem is, I HATE mornings.  I really struggle to get up early.  My goal is to slowly push my wakeup time earlier and earlier until I’m waking no later than 5:15.  At first I will use this time to make myself better breakfasts and just not have to rush so much in the mornings.  But once it’s early enough, I will implement some sort of exercise.

10) Be active at least 3 times per week.

Are we seeing a theme with number 9?

Action steps to achieve this goal:

  1. Leave a pair of sneakers at the office so that I can walk during lunch or breaks when my workload allows.
  2. Plan family activities that are more active. (Hikes, walks, swimming, yoga with my daughter, etc)
  3. Schedule long dog walks into my week.
  4. Try to start off Saturdays with lifting weights, yoga, etc.
  5. Schedule these activities on my planner and make them a priority!

 

Anyone else trying to kick the couch potato habit?

Goals Goals Goals (In Depth 5, 6 &7)

Moving on to goals 5,6, &7 of my 19 goals of 2019.  (Find the full list here)

5) Increase my Veggie Intake

I think this is pretty self-explanatory.  I don’t eat enough fruits and veggies and need to change that.  I plan on making a conscious effort to include a serving or two at every meal and have ready to eat fruits or veggies on hand for snacks as well.

6) Send Birthday Cards to siblings, parents, nieces, and nephews.

I’m ashamed to say that I’m TERRIBLE at this.  I really want to be a thoughtful family member, but to be honest, it just doesn’t come naturally to me.   I don’t remember birthdays and even when I remember one is coming up, it’s always when I’m at work or driving and can’t actually act on it.   I need to put processes in place to let my loved ones know I’m thinking about them.

Actions Steps to achieve this goal:

  1. Buy or Make cards for the whole year before the end of January (we have a nephew’s bday at the end of the month.)
  2. Make sure all addresses are in my phone contacts, if not, add them.
  3. Pre-address the envelopes.
  4. Pre-Buy small gift cards for the nieces and nephews.
  5. Make sure we have plenty of postage stamps on hand.
  6. Add reminders to my planner and google calendar for one week before each birthday.

7)Paint Trim

We got new flooring LAST January.  That involved pulling up and replacing the quarter round in most of the house.   It’s not been touched since the installation.  I’ve spent a full year dreading this task but also hating that it’s not finished. It’s embarrassing that I’ve let it go this long.

Action Steps to achieve this goal:

  1. Scrape any old caulk from the baseboards.
  2. Spackle/Caulk all nail holes, gaps, seams, etc
  3. Sand and clean up from step 2.
  4. Find a piece of trim I can easily remove to take to the store to color match paint.
  5. Buy paint, tarps, and LOTS of painters tape.
  6. Paint, clean up and breathe a sigh of relief.

 

Any big projects that you’ve been putting off for way too long?

 

Goals Goals Goals (In Depth 1&2)

As promised, here’s a bit more in-depth information about some of the goals I have for this year.

 

Open an IRA for ME.

I’m moderately obsessed recently with retiring early.  I mean, I’m still at least 10 years out, but that would still have me retiring about a decade earlier than most.   In order to do that, I have some financial housekeeping that I need to take care of.  (Maybe I’ll get more detailed about this journey in the future.) One of those housekeeping items is to open an IRA.

Action steps to achieve this goal:

  1. Research low fee options for where to open the IRA. (I’ve already done this, and am going with Vanguard.)
  2. Open the account
  3. Research how I want to invest my money.
  4. Choose my investments based on my research.
  5. Decide how much and often I will deposit funds.
  6. Set up automatic deposits.

Transfer my husband’s IRA

My husband just isn’t into financial stuff as much as I am but is happy to have me handle most of the financials for our household.   He was a stay at home dad for about 10 years and has only been working outside of the home for the last three years.  He works part-time at a non-profit and also makes a bit of money off of his YouTube channel.

Obviously, neither of these income streams come with a 401(k), pension, or any other sort of retirement account.   We opened an IRA when he started working three years ago and he has automatic deposits set up.   However, when we set it up, we really had no idea what we were doing and just went through the bank we have our checking accounts at.   Now that I’m a bit better educated, I realize that was a crappy decision.  The fees he is paying are well higher than average and we need to remedy that.

Action Steps to achieve this goal:

  1. Basically 1-4 above.  I’ll only have to do that work once.
  2. Research how to transfer the funds from his current IRA to the new IRA.
  3. Make the transfer and update his automatic deposits.

 

I think I’ll have these steps completed within a week.  It will feel good to knock a couple of items off the list before we get too far into the new year.

Does anyone else have big financial goals for 2019?

Challenge Update – 2 months in

I’ve been really quiet, but that doesn’t mean I’ve totally fallen off the wagon.  I’m proud to say that July was a pretty kick ass month for me.  I’ve rocked my Super Summer Challenge sheets!  (If you don’t know what I’m talking about, go to Back to Her Roots blog and check it out!

In July I lost almost 8 pounds as well as several inches.  I drastically reduced my soda intake.  Like majorly, I was drinking several coke’s a day and now I’m probably averaging one a week.  That is many calories saved people!  I’ve been so happy with this challenge and how great it’s been at motivating me, that I’ve decided I’ll start a new very similar challenge at the beginning of September to get me through the end of the year.

So what changes have I made and what things do I really think the challenge has helped me with? There are lots of areas I think I’ve improved on, but these three are what have made the biggest impact in my opinion.

  1. As i mentioned I cut way down on the soda consumption.  I get 10 points for any day I limit myself to only one soda.  I get 50 points for each day I don’t have any soda.  And I get 75 points for no soda for a week. (that’s only happened once.)  Also, I get points for drinking at least 8 cups of water a day, that helps keep the soda at bay too.
  2. Planks.  I need to work on my core strength in a major way.  The challenge has really helped me with that.  I’ve set a reminder on my phone to do a plank every other day.  I’ve been pretty consistent with that and have even planked on the off days at time.  At the beginning I could BARELY hold a 30 second plank.  Now I can routinely hold a one minute plank and have worked up to 80 seconds so far.  Once I get up to a 90 second plank the point value goes up to 75 points!
  3. Tracking my food.  I get points for each day that I track EVERYTHING I eat.  I get more points if I stay within my calorie goal range.

This challenge is for body AND mind, and I haven’t done as great at establishing as many good routines on the mind side, that is something I will want to concentrate a bit more on for the fall.

Anyone want to join me for a fall challenge?  I could post copies of my fall challenge point sheets at the end of this month.

Challenge update – 2 weeks in.

I spent the last week in paradise.  Seriously a week in an amazing house on the beach with my mom, my brother and his family and my little family.  It was GREAT and as I was tallying up my Super Summer Challenge points while I was there, I learned just how good vacations are for my mind.  My mind points for this week were at least 50% higher than last week. (If you have no clue what I’m talking about, I highly suggest you go check out Back To Her Roots and read up about the awesome challenge she created!)

The view from our vacation bedroom

The view from our vacation bedroom

Now, the body part of the equation?  That didn’t go quite as well.  I didn’t eat absolutely horribly, but i didn’t track one bite and I really didn’t think much about what I was putting in my mouth at all.  Aside from a few planks, a stretching session, playing around in the pool and a couple of strolls along the beach, there was little activity.  I’m still on track to be able to meet my goals for the summer. But I REALLY need to pick it up a notch to get the results I want.

Another revelation from vacation is just how big I’ve actually gotten.  When I see myself in the mirror, I know I’m woefully out of shape and need to do some serious work.  But seeing a picture of myself REALLY shows just how bad things have gotten.  I took most of the pics, so I’m not in many.  But as I was browsing through the photos my husband took today there were a few of me wading in the ocean with my little girl.  And wow, it was eye-opening for me.  I’m not “just a little chubby” as  I’d like to imagine.  I’ve well beyond that point.

With that in mind, I’m ready to jump back into things this week.  I went to a couple of  classes at the Y the week before vacation and really enjoyed them. (One was a Zumba class, the other a Hip Hop class.)  I definitely plan on going back at least twice this week.  And beginning no later than next weekend I will start the couch to 5k program as well.

Tomorrow will begin with a trip to the grocery so that I can have everything I need to eat well this week.  I made a small list of goals for the week,  (I get 25 mind points for that!) I created a menu of lunches and dinners for the week as well.  Hopefully this little time spent planning and prepping will spell success for the rest of the week for me.

How’s your summer starting off?

 

It’s a start

Is anyone else doing the Super Summer Challenge from Back to Her Roots?

I’ve been pretty excited about the challenge since I first read about it.   I’ve been in major need of some sort of motivation and this just seems to be the right thing at the right time.

The customizable templates that Cassie provided worked great for me.  I used some of the items that Cassie had on her list and added plenty of my own.  Then, because I’m a total nerd, I printed them out and took them to the office store to be laminated.

I’ve hit a few items on my list so far today:

Drink a cup of tea (10 points) and eat a meal outside (10 points).

Tea with breakfast on the back patio

Greek yogurt with fruit and granola.
Greek yogurt with fruit and granola.

Limit myself to only one soda for the day.

Track everything I eat for the day. (I use MyFitnessPal)

I never said I met my calorie goals for the day :) but I DID track everything.

I never said I met my calorie goals for the day 🙂 but I DID track everything.

It’s not a stellar start, but it’s not bad either.  I still have a few hours left before I go to bed, maybe I’ll earn some more points during that time.  (My first goal is to reach 5000 points, my ultimate goal is to reach 10000 points by the end of August.  That will be TOUGH.)  I need to average about 110 points per day to reach my goal.

Overall, I’m pretty okay with my first day of the challenge.  How did you spend your first day of June?

challenge time!

The last few weeks I’ve been a sloth pretty much.  Zero exercise, poor food choices, and lots of soda.  Guess what that means?  I weigh WAY too much.  I know I need to get back on track, but I’ve had troubles with motivation.  Well, i ALWAYS have trouble with motivation, but it’s been especially bad.

If you read my last 14 by 40 update then you may have noticed that I have registered for a 5k in September.  Well, I didn’t just register for it, I’ve also annoyingly harassed fellow high school alumni to run or walk the race too.  The 5k is in my hometown and in the last year or so I’ve noticed that there are quite a few runners among my Facebook friends that are from my high school.  I thought it would be fun to get a big group of us to do the race together.  I’ve had lots of interested parties, not many have registered yet, but there is still plenty of time for that.   What I’m trying to get at, is now I have a goal race that I’d really like to be in better shape for.  Think high school reunion in running clothes.  Yikes!  I’m hoping that will be a motivator to get me eating better, and start tackling the couch to 5k program yet again.

Something else I’m taking part in to help me reach my goals is this awesome Super Summer Challenge that Cassie from back to her roots has created.  I think it’s a great match for me.  I’m not going to explain it in depth, because she already has on her blog, but it’s basically a way to work in all sorts of healthy choices into your summer.  Here’s why I like this challenge.

  1. It’s totally customizable.  Cassie has her tasks listed, but they are totally personal for her.  Her task list is a fantastic starting off point to create your own list.  I’ve deleted some of her tasks, added some of my own, and moved some things around to different point levels.
  2. The tasks aren’t just exercise and diet related.  There is a list for “body” points, but there is also a list for “mind” points as well.  I need that right now.  Yes, I definitely have work to do in the exercise and food realm, but I also have some work to do in the basic “taking-care-of-myself” category as well.
  3. It’s very flexible.  There isn’t a strict workout schedule or diet to follow.  I have a list of almost 100 tasks that I can choose to do whenever I want.  I think this may help me keep from getting that “well, I didn’t do my workout today, I’ve messed it up so f*&# it, I’m going to go eat an entire cheesecake now” attitude.
  4. Cassie made super cute printables.  I mean, who doesn’t love a cute graphic thermometer  to color in as you reach your goals???

The official challenge begins June 1st, so if you’re interested there’s still time to download her awesome printables and customize your own list.  You can even sign up for peer accountability on her blog.  Cool right?  If you decide to join in on the fun, let me know so we can check in with one another!