Just when you thought you were getting used to writing 2016 on things, you blink and half of the year has gone by. I suppose it is time to check in with our 2016 goals, though I admit I’m nervous to look at my original goals I set at the beginning of 2016. So much has changed, and my plans have gotten derailed by life, so I know I’m not where I wanted to be in my goals. But let’s do a check-in anyway and see where changes need to be made.
My Goals for 2016
Maintain Balance and live in the moment. Here is what I wanted to get done: I will play with my child and find ways to include him in my hobbies now that he is mobile and interacting with the world around him. I will keep positive and not allow myself to get too overwhelmed with my responsibilities and endless to-do lists. Most importantly, I will maintain sanity while my husband is away for his training. I survived a full deployment on my own; I should be able to handle a few months with a toddler.
June Update: Well, I do play with my son, and I’ve taken him to parks and play dates when they happened on weekends or days that I had off. I do my best to keep positive, but it sure is hard! I have so many responsibilities while solo parenting and working full time and blogging and everything else.
I don’t know how I function sometimes, and there are times when I just don’t want to adult anymore.
I find it interesting how I mentioned the full deployment since this training turned into a full mobilization for an additional year once the training was up. I’m handling it, not always very gracefully, but we’re managing.
Organize the house. Here is what I wanted to get done:
- Organize the home office. The closet is full of boxes that still need to be unpacked and organized. I also keep making piles of documents that need to be filed but rarely take the time to actually file them, so the piles continue forming.
- Bedroom decluttering. There are still some boxes in our master bedroom that have not been put away. And, of course, there are the suitcases from travel that get stuck in corners and take ages to unpack for some reason.
- Kitchen decluttering/organization. I’ve been able to put away a lot of the baby feeding stuff now that the little guy is weaned off bottles and onto sippy cups, is no longer on formula, and I’m no longer pumping breastmilk at work and cleaning all the supplies. I still need to come up with a system and reduce some of the clutter on our counters.
- Baby stuff. Also mentioned earlier, but this has become an issue. We recently brought home a bunch of stuff from my Mother-in-Law’s house that she had for my niece and nephew. A lot of the haul is toys my little is just too little for. So what do I do with it? Right now my poor library is used as storage, and that is not right.
June Update: Pffft! NOPE! Big fat nope on this one. Well, to be fair, when I stopped breastfeeding I did pack away all my supplies (pump, storage bottles, etc.) as well as all the baby bottles since we transitioned to sippy cups. So I did declutter my kitchen in that aspect, though I mentioned that I started that process when I wrote these goals – everything is now properly packed away in a storage bin. Just nothing else.
My library is still full of baby things that we aren’t using anymore or can’t use yet. Not like I use my library anyway. I have finally started using my home office now that I wait for Baby H to fall asleep in his crib. Rather than going downstairs and running back upstairs every time he cries before he finally settles, I am just down the hall and can pop in when needed.
But no, I haven’t tackled that closet. It just doesn’t feel important. Plus, depending on how this mobilization goes, we may have a whole new life change and have to move anyway if hubby gets transitioned to Active Duty. That will be a whole new life I have never experienced as a Guard wife.
Budget – seriously. Here is what I wanted to get done: Between the many student loans, the mortgage and car notes, the unexpected roof repair loan, child care costs and other bills, we’ve been terrible at managing our finances. We do have some extra income coming in this year with hubby’s training, my 2.5% raise, and hopefully hubby’s promotion (he’s due for one at work, but they’ve made no promises), and maybe even some legit blogging income. We’re starting 2016 with a lot of continued debt, but after taxes are filed and paid, and immediate expenses are taken care of, we plan to come seriously up with a debt management plan and start managing our finances responsibly. Some of that includes really thinking about unexpected or seasonal expenses and setting aside for them each month. We didn’t prepare for the holidays this year, and that was our bad. Our plan is to snowball our loan payments by first increasing what we pay to a particular loan and once that is paid off, take the entire payment amount and apply it to the next loan. My husband was able to take the Dave Ramsey Financial Peace course for free while he was deployed a couple of years ago, so we will revisit some of those lessons and see how we can apply them in our financial journey. This definitely isn’t something we can complete in 2016 – if I added up the amount of our debt I would probably start crying – but a good plan put in place is absolutely required.
June Update: We started talking about budgeting and plans to pay down the student loans, but it is hard to do over the phone across miles. I expected we would make a solid plan after he returned from training, but, well, yea. So the formal budget has been on hold, though we do have phone call meetings where we go over what we’re spending and what we can save. I’ve wanted to give it a bit to see how our finances look with him having to get an apartment and buy food and all.
Once we have a better feel for our current spending and total income we should come up with a plan to tackle these loans. Oh! But we did make some awesome progress – we paid off the roof loan since it had the highest interest rate. We were able to get rid of that after hubby’s training ended. So that is a huge step in the right direction.
Focus on my overall health and lose the baby weight. Here is what I wanted to get done: I’ve yo-yo-ed with my baby weight, losing half of it during maternity leave, and then gaining it all back after returning to work. My clothes don’t fit, my body doesn’t feel well, and now that my baby is a bit older it is time for the excuses to stop and me to start focusing on my health. My parents bought me a month of Nutrisystem, so if that works well for me, I’ll continue it. Their basic program seems to be a little less costly than the Jenny Craig program I did (which worked well for me and I lost about 30 pounds pre-baby). I’m also still breastfeeding, but only morning and evening typically. I don’t know if that is making me keep the extra stores of “fuel” on my body, especially since my supply is dwindling away, but I’m going to try to keep at it until he’s no longer interested or I dry up. I need to continue to drink a lot of water, but I really need to add in the workout sessions. Even short ones, I just have to make it happen because continuing to be so sedentary is not an option.
June Update: Well I am happy to say that going on Nutrisystem has been a great step for me, and I have continued it for several months. So far I’m down 25+ pounds! I’m almost to the pre-pregnancy weight, which is quite awesome.
I’d love to go down further, and why not, I have the time. I hate cooking for one anyway so might as well have them send me food. I mean, it isn’t budget-conscious, but I need this weight loss for my health, right?
I’ve been pretty good about drinking my water, and I keep adding that goal to my #GratitudeGoals posts so I keep that on my mind.
The working out hasn’t quite happened, but I do walk with the Toddler of mine after work if the weather is not horrific. Now that he’s so fast and only wants to run away from me, I do chase him a lot. That counts as sprints and jogging, right?
Read more. Here is what I wanted to get done: I do listen to a lot of audiobooks on my long commute, so I get in a good amount of books that way. But I miss sitting down and reading. I miss curling up on the couch. And most of all, I miss my library that I never really got to use because it got completed and then I had a baby. Maybe my little man is getting to a point where he can play quietly in the middle of the room while I sit on my recliner and read a book? We’re hosting the #ShelfLove challenge again on Chapter Break, and I plan to read some more of the books I’ve already collected that are now just collecting dust.
June Update: I think I have read all of ONE print book this year so far. I have such a hard time getting the time to read without interruption and by the time I finally go to bed at night I’m too tired to read more than a page or two. I’ve been adding this to my #GratitudeGoals lists as well. I really want to fix this reading issue of mine, but I spend most of my “free” time writing (blogging). Which brings me to…
Blog consistently and with purpose. Here is what I wanted to get done: I’ve been working on growing my blog, and my writing skills through it, and my plan is to continue this growth. I feel blocked a lot, and often feel like I need a rebrand but don’t have any naming ideas. I’m limited on time to blog, but also feel like I’m missing something in my motivation. I will continue to make my blog work for me as hard as I am working for it. I will continue to focus on sponsored content as my primary income option, but will still attempt to improve my affiliate options. I also plan on adding content upgrades to built my email list, and then start selling a few digital products. One such plan is my nanny contract template that I plan to launch at the beginning of the year.
June Update: Well, this has been something I have definitely focused on a lot. I think blogging is a wonderful outlet to pour yourself into, and I really have this year. Late January I bought a new domain name and had my new brand up in early February. I’ve been working on growing this blog ever since and have seen some wonderful progress in the past couple of months.
The new brand fits me so much better and helps me connect with my readers as well as with brands. My blog has finally started paying off and working for me, though I have been working harder on it than ever before. I think that’s part of growing – having to put in a lot to get something back.
I did also finish and quietly launch the nanny contract template. I’ve even had a sale! I know I need to get better at promoting it but I did beef up the sales page literally last night.
I also have so many ideas written down, just not enough time to make them happen. I have plans for an ebook too, a sort of handbook for new working moms, and my goal is to launch that before the hubby returns.
What are your goal updates? Be sure to come link them up to tomorrow’s #GratitudeGoals post.