Posts Tagged With: resolutions

Resolution Season – S Style

Last week E posted her new year’s resolutions on the blog so I figured with 2014 officially underway that it’s time I posted mine too (plus, now all of you can help hold me accountable).

My main goal with resolutions is to make them extremely realistic. I hate setting myself up for failure and one of my mid-year resolutions this year (going rouge, I know!) was to be more self-aware. I’m constantly trying to better myself, but I also have to realize that I know myself best and I need to adapt any potential changes to what can realistically work for me. So these may not be the loftiest of goals, and they may not be exactly measurable – but they are all sure-fire ways to make me a more put-together and all around happier person.

1. Better monitor my spending

MoneyTree

or learn to grow one of these…..

I think I’m done pretending I can use budget apps and notebooks for now. I’ve tried every trick in the book and nothing seems to work – there’s just something that seems so inefficient to me about writing every little transaction in a notebook or opening an app every time I want a coffee. But I do need to start paying better attention to what I am spending. So that all being said, I’m vowing to start using cash more and lay off the debit card. It’s so easy to swipe your card everywhere, but with cash I have a much better picture of how much I am actually spending.

And yes, ending up with loose change is annoying…but hey, maybe this will lead to another resolution….saving coins for something big, maybe?

2. Cook more at home

cooking

I love baking. This is no secret to anyone who reads our blog. But one of my ongoing goals is to cook more real meals (and healthier meals!). If I have skills with flour and sugar, who says that can’t translate to chicken and veggies? Plus, with cooking there are just SO many more opportunities to experiment and be creative! I’m not talking anything fancy, but grilling some chicken every once in a while probably wouldn’t kill me. I hope this can help me save some money on buying lunch out and lead to an overall healthier diet as well!

3. Get my morning act together

cereal

Like E, I have a track record for playing the ‘how quickly can I get ready and out the door’ game in the mornings.  And everyday I play this game, I feel and look like crap upon my arrival into the office – which is not really how you want to start the work day. There are literally COUNTLESS benefits to waking up a little earlier and spending a little extra time getting ready instead of having to rush through a morning routine. You can eat a real breakfast – the healthiest meal of the day, you’re more awake and alert, you look much better when you put effort in, and it’s no surprise that heading off to work looking good automatically puts you in a better mood and starts your day off right.

 I’ll never be the girl who wakes up early enough to hit the gym, shower, make a gourmet breakfast, and solve world hunger….but I definitely can manage to get my butt up in enough time to eat a bowl of cereal and put on some makeup.

4. No texting, tweeting, or facebooking when with friends

A wise man – okay, it was Andy from The Office – once said: “I wish there was a way to know you’re in the good old days before you’ve actually left them.” But it’s SO TRUE. There’s nothing more annoying than trying to have a conversation with someone while they’re scrolling through their newsfeed reading about what so-and-so from high school made for dinner. But we’re all guilty of it. So this year I’m vowing to put the electronics down and focus instead on what’s right in front of me and building real relationships. I’ve met an amazing group of people here in DC, and it would be a shame to miss out on real fun because I’m lost in my phone. Plus, there’s plenty of time to catch-up on social media on those long metro rides into the city or on my way to the grocery store.

What are you resolving to do this year?

xO -S

Categories: Interesting, Motivation, Self Improvement | Tags: , , , , | 4 Comments

Organization Tips for the New Year

So I’ve been MIA even longer than Elyse, but alas, I am also back in the New Year. I would recap my holiday experiences and give you all excuses as to why I’ve been such a slacker, but I doubt you want to hear all about the movies I was watched and hours I was worked….so let’s just put all that behind us and start fresh in 2013.

As for resolutions, I’m in complete agreement with Elyse on this one. I don’t believe in setting firm or specific resolutions because then it becomes so easy to quit when you mess up the first time. However, I have been working on a little self-improvement project recently that’s been going pretty well, so I’ve kind of made it my resolution to keep it going through the New Year.

My goal: become more organized – this applies to work, finances, and general cleanliness/preparedness. Nothing listed below should be any kind of new revelation, but it’s just some stuff I finally decided to give a try and it has actually been working.

Some things I’ve been doing to accomplish this:

Doing things right away

  • Seriously how long does it take to hang my coat up or put my shoes in the closet as soon as I walk in the door? Do I need to leave the pasta box on the counter after making food? Couldn’t I just do my one dish from dinner right away instead of letting it sit in the sink? All things that literally take seconds, but make the world of a difference for avoiding massive cleaning sprees and stress later.
  • One of the worst feelings is to have something looming over you – like an email you have to send, a call you should probably make, or an errand you have to run. So my new motto is ‘just do it.’ (I know that’s totally plagiarized…but I’m using it kinda differently so it’s fine). But seriously, how hard can it be to sit down for 3 minutes and just type out that email? Probably less hard then continuing to add it to my to-do list everyday and whining about how I really need to get it done.
  • Getting home from work and getting all my stuff ready for the next day right away. Once I plop down on the couch when I get home, it’s highly unlikely that I’m going to do anything productive for the rest of the night. And even though that’s all I want to do when I walk in the door, I make an effort to either make my lunch for the next day or make a little bit extra with my dinner so I can do the whole leftovers thing. I know that makes me sound like a middle-aged soccer mom, but if I don’t do it the night before, there is no way I’m rolling out of bed any earlier than usual to make anything, and I’ll just end up having to buy fast food somewhere, which is costly and gross.

E-mail Organization

  • I currently (and for the first time in my life) have 1 unread e-mail and 15 total e-mails in my inbox. Delete or archive anything that isn’t urgent or doesn’t require action. Unsubscribe from the e-mails you never read anyway. Take 10 minutes a day to actually read the ones you don’t want to unsubscribe to. It’s such a relief to have a clean inbox that it automatically makes me feel more organized.
  • If you e-mail someone and need a response back, BCC yourself and keep it in your inbox until you hear back. This serves as a reminder to follow-up with them in case they don’t respond.

Keeping track of my finances

  • I’ve tried to use a checkbook, I’ve tried to keep my receipts, I’ve also tried just ignoring it all and paying my bills at the end of every month. None of it worked. But I think I’ve finally found something that actually does. Old-school people beware; it’s an app that’s literally connected to my debit card, so every transaction is automatically loaded right onto my phone. Having a constant reminder of my account balance and breakdown of where I’m spending my money is a perfect way to hold myself accountable for my spending habits! [The app is called Mint.com]

I’m no expert, and these are not things I do everyday, it’s more like things I’m making a concerted effort to do more often. And the results I’ve been seeing have been serving as my motivation to continue. My next bold move is making a serious effort to keep a planner. But let’s see if this other stuff works out first.

If anyone else out there has any other helpful organization tips – send them our way!

-S

Categories: Adventures, Interesting, Self Improvement | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

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