Sunday, January 2, 2011

Filling My Blank Sheet of Paper Part 2

I went back to January 1, 2010 (I love blogging for this reason!-I actually have a record of my dieting life now!). Below is that post-I am adding in bolded bits to discuss my progress and 2011 plans.

Happy New Year and New Decade. After reading Simone's (The Bottom of the Ironing Basket) post this morning I am inspired to plan how I am gong to fill my brand new yearly inspired blank sheet of paper for the second year.

Food and exercise not weight loss: This last year went very well in the dieting department. I would like to continue the weight loss but now start feeding my whole family in a much healthier way. In the last few months we have begun to eat at home more. This has had a tremendous effect on our budget but now I need to view it in terms of health. I also want to get all of use doing more exercise related activities together. I have started getting on my bike (although not often enough). It is time we all started exercising. We did a little geocaching a few months ago and enjoyed it and there is no reason we could not do more.

Well in this I would say we were the most successful. We hardly eat out and we have drastically improved the quality of food we eat. So much so, in fact that David ground some fresh organic turkey and beef on our own (insuring the best quality meat we can get at this point). I grew my yearly garden and ate out of it even preserving some of the vegetables. There is still room for progress. We still eat way too many sweets and need to shift to eating less carbohydrates and more protein as a whole family. I now consider myself a bike rider and exerciser. I now miss activity. I have stayed at home a lot over the Christmas holiday and was just asking David today to hook my bike up to the trainer that is sitting collecting dust in the garage. Grace, David and I rode on our area trails and roads but have more room to activate our lives.

Budget: We have been crap with our money. We have separate bank accounts and I have paid attention to mine but never the bank account that gets the day to day expenses. Yesterday I went though it and found that we make stupid amounts of transactions the fill up pages with 2.00 here and there. We also have some expenses that need attending to (verizon was one big one!!). David and I think we can cut some expenses on our cell phones and eating out. I think I can tighten up grocery expenses. We have a less expensive store near our house that annoys us so we have not gone opting for the more expensive but less crowded store. We are gong to bite the bullet and put up with people standing in aisles to save the money. We are also going on a budget with a weekly allowance each in cash. Hopefully this will cut down on the starbucks with a card runs. David and I want to visit the UK in the summer and I want a new couch. Hopefully stopping the frittering away of money will make those two goals more easily attainable.

The budgeting has been up and down. We have months where we are excellent and others not so much. I managed to get my new couch but we could not afford the summer trip to the UK. We are hoping this summer will be the one. We dropped cable and changed our phone plan. We dropped our cell costs and then upped them again (so hard to resist fancy cell phones). Our grocery budget is much improved as we take care to eat in and buy good foods but save them in the freezer instead of letting them go to waste. We can still improve on this area! We are not very self disciplined when we want something and we do not set a good example for Grace and need to be mindful of the messages she gets from us.

Work: I have to decide what I want. Do I want a tenure track job? Do I want to take on several part time jobs allowing more flexibility at home? Do I want to retire (and am I willing to make the sacrifices necessary for that?). Can I even decide what I want given the children I have who need me to pay for their college tuition?

Again progress but no decisions. I changed jobs, I ended up working three part time jobs mostly because the opportunities presented themselves to me. Retirement still entices me but I don't think I can afford the help my daughters with college tuition if I am not earning any income. I had a great part-time summer and really enjoyed it. I really do not know what I want to do when I grow up still. sigh...definitely need to keep working on this one.

Time: I need to learn how to plan and execute my time in a more organized way. When I am working I need to work. When I am home on weekends I need to stop work from bleeding over into family time. When I am spending my leisure time I need to spend it mindfully and give my daughters and sometimes husband :) focused attention not a quick glance and comment from behind a computer or away from the TV or from the kitchen or or or.

Again-improvements here. I took weekends off and did a much better job of separating my leisure time from my work time. What I have still failed miserably at is to stop letting myself be distracted when I am working. I spend a lot of time getting nothing done it seems. This definitely needs work still.

Arts and Crafts: Sewing the pajama bottoms made me realize that I miss my arts and crafts time. Since 1999 I shifted my focus from leisure to starting and finishing a Ph.D. I have finished that and I need to refocus at least some of my time on things I like to do. Grace would love to sew and craft with me and I need to make the time to sew, quilt, knit, and bead. The good news is that I have a decked out sewing room in which to do this. All I have to do is go in there and get started.

I have really improved in this area. The time off I had during the summer and this Christmas break were largely spent crafting and pursing non-work passions. I have knitted, painted, sewn, ridden my bike, ridden a horse, gardened and volunteered to write for my local paper....definitely an expanded creative life.

So although I am not going to call these New Years resolutions in a sense they are. I have always had a simple resolution in the past. It was lose weight. I never really planned how I would accomplish the weight loss goal and until I got the lapband I had very little success at it from year to year. Something else I have noticed this year is that with the weight loss goal getting accomplished I have other personal failings rising to the surface that I am now paying attention to. A lot of those listed above contributed to the vicious circle of weight gain and failed weight loss. I am hoping this blog post and additional off post planning will help me succeed and truly making changes in my life.

On a final note: I had a horrible dream last night that I lost my restriction and discovered that I had really not changed any of my habits at all and bounced right back to my original weight in rapid speed. I am really afraid that this is correct. I am planning on making broad changes to how I live my life in 2010 to insure that even if I have glitches with the band my lifestyle changes will at least temper the damage that could be caused by band blips.

I think that this goal setting is effective and that I was right when I said that I had always made resolutions but never really thought about or planned how I would accomplish them. This year I changed how I lived...really pretending to be the person I wanted to be. It has been effective and will continue to do so as I decide exactly who I am and want to be. The biggest difficulty I find is part of who I want to be largely involves my family and if they are not on board with the plan it is very difficult to 'make' them change. I will continue to work on my own stuff but I would like to get my husband to work with me on some of them (not sure if this is even a good idea much less doable).

So the broad categories:

Career-Need to figure it out!
Time-Still problematic. I can now take time off but need to work effectively and in an organized way.
Budget-still need to work on this one.
Family fitness-good start refinement needed.
Craft-excellent progress. I need to keep making time for it.


Nella said...

Great Post!
Here's to an amazing 2011!
You rocked 2010!

Nella said...

Anytime you come this way...let me know! I would love to meet!