Tuesday, January 11

A New Leaf

I'm sure I'm not the only one of us who's reflected on some personal changes in the past few weeks, but somehow my resolution maker has gone into overdrive this year.

I have a tendency of doing things in spurts. Whether it's organizing all the closets at once and then letting them deteriorate back to their original squalor in a few weeks, or training for a half-marathon and starting an indefinite hiatus from running the moment I cross the finish line, what I lack in consistency I make up for in zeal. For that reason, all this new-found motivation has me a little nervous that I'm setting myself up for disappointment. We'll see.

Here are some of the goals I've set for the near future:
Balance my personal life 
1. Read at least one pleasure book each month and one spiritual growth book every two months.
Good news -- I finished my first novel a week after making this goal!

2. Be in great shape in time for my brother's July wedding in Brazil. I'd like to drop about 10 pounds and tone up all over.
I want to feel great for our trip, look great in the pictures, and most importantly, fit in the slightly-too-small dress I ordered online! : )

3. Have a time of personal Bible study and prayer four times a week.
Daily would be better, but this is something I really struggle with and would be a big improvement for me.

Make it easy to keep the house clean. 
1. Simplify cooking for easier clean-up, faster shopping, and more time for other things (that I tend to neglect).
I'm trying to make things that are quick, feed us for several days, and don't dirty every dish in the house (essentially the opposite of my usual method). I use an incredible iPhone app called MealBoard to plan my meals and make my grocery lists. I still use coupons, but I limit my time investment.

2. Keep clothes off the floor.
It sounds ridiculous, but I usually put on at least three outfits before I choose what to wear. The remaining clothes become a serious chore for me. Last night (Sunday), I chose each outfit I'll wear for the week, ironed and lint-rolled if needed, and hung it, accessories and all, in the front of my closet. I can already tell this is going to be a life-changing discovery. How have I never done this before??

3. Stay reasonably clutter-free.
I read an article recently in which a professional organizer gave her simplest piece of advice: never leave a room empty-handed. Why is this such a new concept to me? It's already making a serious difference.

1. Make MyPublisher photo books from our travels.
2. Stick to our budget and save some serious cash/make big student loan payments.
  Anybody have tips on balancing saving and paying off debt?
4. Be better at staying in touch with friends.

As you can tell, that list is a doozy! What are your resolutions this year, and what advice do you have to help me accomplish mine?


  1. Congratulations on meeting another one of your life goals... being an author. True this isn't the next great American novel (yet) but it is a publication so kuddos to you!!
    1.) I adore your blog already and cannot wait to see more.
    2.) You and I are truely still sisters. As I read your resolution list I saw the same list writen on my fridge for the year : )
    3.) A hint for your request for ways to save cash and pay off debt: Casey and I choose to live with one basic principal which has worked very well for us so far which is to only have as many expenses as one of our pays. This way if either one of us is out of work there is no panic because we do not rely on the extra income. Also, this means that one of our paychecks every two weeks immediately goes into a savings account. After vacations and other trips / splurges we save LOADS of money every year. You want proof? We are 24 and have 2 paid in full vehicles, paid in full student loans, paid in full wedding loans, no credit card debt, a market account (which was originally set up by my mother - thanks mom!), a savings account, and have just closed on our second home purchase about a week ago! By the way my new address is 108 McIntosh Ct, Cary, NC 27511.
    Love you, always will, and good luck to you and your adventures. I will definately be following.

  2. www.mint.com helps me budget my money. it's awesome! annnnnd, i miss you :)

  3. Katie - I'm so glad to have your new address! I sent y'all a Christmas card and it came back. :(
    It would be so great to have two incomes! Right now it's just mine against Michael's school expenses. Working hard for the money!

    Keriann - I love mint's site and iPhone app! It's the only budget we have! Annnnnnd, I miss you, too!!