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100 Day Challenge Update 3

Goal – Stay within my budget

My main motivation for this goal is to be able to start putting money into a liquid emergency fund. We have money in mutual funds but we may not be able to access them quickly in case of an emergency.

Currently I try to save  so that at the end of one year I have enough money to pay the next year’s property taxes and the car, disability, home and life insurance premiums. I was not able to do that this year so I need to save for that shortfall along with the regular savings and my hoped for emergency fund.

The property taxes and the life insurance premiums come due in the first three months of the year. I had enough for them but we’ve had some unexpected expenses come up and that is putting a wrench in the works.

First the check engine light in the car came on. While it was being fixed my hubby decided to have them fix the rear windshield wiper as well. Then the circulating pump started acting up and we weren’t getting enough hot water for everyone to get a bath/shower.

Now I need to work hard to keep the other expenses down. We’ll be eating out of the freezer and pantry as much as possible and staying out of stores. Hopefully we’ll be able to squeeze out a few dollars over the next three months.

How do you handle unexpected expenses? Where do you keep your emergency fund? Drop me a comment and let me know.

Phoenix

I’ve been through a decade of difficulties and it is time to make some lasting changes. Time to focus less on problems and more on solutions. Time to focus less on planning and more on doing. Time to focus less on what other people need or want and more on what I need and want.

To that end I’ve chosen my word for the year – PHOENIX.  I want to let my old ideas, habits, and life die and from the ashes let a new me be born. I want to work on changing my negative self talk scripts, focus more on positive things and move towards new habits.

I’ll be starting my first 100 day challenge of the year next Monday, January 27th.  I have five goals for this challenge

  1.  Remove 100 items
  2.  Stay within my budget
  3.  Read 15 books
  4.  10 minutes of exercise 6/week
  5. 1 hour/week working on my hobbies

I’ll be back soon to flesh out these goals.

Did you pick a word for this year? Please share in the comments

April results and May Goals

Here are the results for April. I didn’t do as much physical decluttering this month – only got rid of 12 items but I did purge some possible to read items from my way too big list. I’m still working on clearing things out and hope to do a bit better in May.

Hit 24 out of 28 days(85%) with the boy’s training which was my best so far. Slowly starting to see some results.

Was able to do my five minutes of exercise and some bedtime stretching everyday! Didn’t get in every strength training session that I had planned and sometimes the exercise happened right before bed but I did something everyday. Now to keep it up this month.

Also am still keeping track of my bedtime – slipped a bit there 23 out of 30 days(77%) but improved with getting off the computer – 16 out of 30 days(53%).

I’m sticking with the same goals for May and hopefully I will continue to do a little better each time.

How did you do with your goals last month? What are you working on this month? Please share in the comments

The Declutter update – March 2019

I am rolling along on this goal – total of 78 for this month’s  activities. Will easily make my goal of 300 – thinking I should shoot for 500.

Here’s how it went –

Trash – 25

1 hotel room keycard from a vacation years ago                                                                         1  hot hands packet that expired 7/15                                                                                                1 glue on fingernail tip                                                                                                                        1 pie crust expiration date 12/15                                                                                                       1 bottle of ginger – don’t know how old but it no longer has any scent                                    1 fitness tracker notebook-partially used                                                                                        1 broken VHS rewinder                                                                                                                       1 dried up marker  1 lid for a marker saved in case we lost a lid and needed to replace one but now can’t find any markers that it would fit                                                                   2 dried up pens                                                                                                                                     12 packets of expired seeds from 2011                                                                                              3 plant info tags for plants I killed

Gave Away – 22

2 checkbook covers                                                                                                                              1 tree wrap                                                                                                                                             4 plastic tubes that florists use to keep the stems from bending                                                1 decorative pin                                                                                                                                    1 package of silicone food savers                                                                                                       1 box of activated charcoal toothpaste                                                                                            1 spaghetti scrubber                                                                                                                            1 lunchskins brand sandwich bag                                                                                                       1 lunchskins brand snack bag                                                                                                            1 ice pack- we have more ice packs than any one family needs                                                   1 package of bee’s wrap                                                                                                                      1 bamboo cutting board I already have 3 plus 2 wooden cutting boards                                   1 package of “Fresh paper”                                                                                                                 1 stasher –  silicone storage bag                                                                                                         1 veggie brush                                                                                                                                        1 container of deodorant cream                                                                                                        1 small glass water bottle – again we have more water bottles than one family needs           1 silicone to go cup

Removed  – 14                                                                                                                                          5 computer folders of articles, blogs, etc  with links that no longer work or items that I am no longer interested in                                                                                                                         9 places to visit off my travel bucket list because of lack of interest, money and/or time

Recycled – 17

1 empty contact lens cleaner bottle                                                                                                    14 manuals for items my kids no longer have                                                                                1 book of deposit slips for a bank that no longer exists                                                                1 book of checks for a bank that no longer exists

 

UPDATE

January did not go as well as I had hoped. I did do a good job of getting rid of things and am on track to get rid of at least 300 things this year.  however I did not do so well with following through on the other goals. I did create the morning list for the boy but was inconsistent in making sure that he did all the tasks. Something I’m trying to do better with this month.

At the beginning of January I wanted to be off the computer and in bed at certain times at least 90% of the month. I should have checked my chart before posting that because I would have seen that there was no way I could have accomplished it by the time I  wrote the post. I managed to get off the computer only 51% of the time. I did a bit better with bedtime -managing to be in bed for 64%.

February is not looking to be much better on the sleep front. I’ve had some rough times with the boy and instead of getting to bed on time I’ve been reading, playing computer games and/or following rabbit trails across the internet. I need to do better but it is such a struggle. We’ll see how things go for the rest of the month.

 

 

Yet another fresh start

So, it has been awhile since I’ve been in this space – the past two years have brought a lot of changes to my life. I haven’t taken the time to post for a variety of reasons. The major ones being – trying to deal with the changes in my life and being discouraged by those changes.

When I was last in this space, I had recently lost my father, found out that my daughter was pregnant, started a part-time job and was not happy with my situation. Since that time there have been some other major changes – going through the passing of my father-in-law(which brought up memories of my dad’s passing), the birth of my first grandchild,  changes in my son’s behaviors/attitudes and trying to come to terms with my job situation and the stresses it brought to our marriage and family. There were times when I thought about writing but it never seemed to happen.

Part of the problem was that I never knew where to begin – should I try to catch up on what has been happening or just start fresh. Then I started reading the posts from the beginning and got very discouraged. It seemed like no progress had been made – I keep wanting to start something but the follow through is poor or nonexistent. I know there has been some progress but it feels like I’ve been stuck in the same place, still dissatisfied and yet not doing anything to get myself out of that place.

However, I am at a point where changes need to be made. I’m no longer willing to have my future look like my past. I am committing to do the work. I am committing to getting back on track when things go wrong instead of giving up. I’m not sure what my future will look like but I am committed to working towards a better one.

I am going to be looking very carefully at the things, people and activities in my life to decide if they work for me. I’ve read/heard several times lately an idea that has taken root. It is that you need to get rid of the stuff that doesn’t work for you because it either speaks to the person you think you should be or to the person you think you want to be instead of the person you actually are.

To that end one of my year long goals is to remove at least 300 things/people/activities from my life. The other year long goal is to work on preparing my son for life on his own. He is in high school now and needs to be prepared to head off to college/trade school/work and be able to manage himself and his activities.  Then each month I will have one mini goal as well. For January it is to get back to a good sleep routine. I have let things slide and it isn’t good. I know that being well rested is a keystone habit for me and I need to strengthen my routines and habits in this area.

My action steps for this month are as follows:

1.  Get rid of the stuff that has been gathered and sitting in the house waiting to be dropped off or collected

2.  Commit to getting off the computer by 10 pm and into bed by 10:30 pm -shooting for at least 90% this month

3.  Creating a morning checklist of tasks M needs to do before school and work on him getting them done

Wow, this has turned into quite a long post. I should go back and check for errors but I’m out of time and want to get this posted. Hopefully there aren’t too many mistakes.

One Word 2017

Last month I was contemplating what I might choose for my word of the year and I decided to look back over my past choices for inspiration. Unfortunately what I discovered is that I seem to have no staying power. Most years my efforts did not last more than a couple of months before fading away.

Another thing I discovered is that there is still a lot of work to be done in each of the areas I have chosen in the past. Work that I really would like to master/complete. After much thought I’ve decided that I’m going to divide the rest of the year into three sections of 100 days. Each section of the year will be devoted to a separate theme and hopefully the shorter period will keep me focused and on task.

I’m going to start with my original one word theme – health. My goals for those hundred days are to get to bed by 10 pm, walk for at least 10,000 steps each day and limit my “dessert” to 250 calories each day. I’m also going to try to incorporate some other activities like less processed food, more vegetables, more water, and some strength training.

Because my son’s schedule is going to be a bit crazy for the next two weeks I’m going to wait until January 29th to start. That means my first hundred day period will run from January 29th until May 8th. I’ll take a week or two after that to review how things went and decide what the next focus will be.

How about you ? Has anyone chosen a word for this year? Please share in the comments – I’d love to hear what you are up to.

 

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