So, a new year has begun. I really don’t make resolutions any more, because, like so many others, I set myself up to fail. My past resolutions always revolved around trying to change habits, so they really never happened. I realize that I am who I am, and some things will never change, though it is always good to strive for improvement! So, instead of resolutions, I come up with some goals. My big goals for 2010 are to become both physically and financially fit. I’m off to a good start on both.
As for becoming physically fit, I’ve joined my husband in weightlifting at home. He started back in the fall, when I couldn’t stay healthy enough to join in. Since I’ve been feeling better, I’ve been able to join him 2-3 times a week. We’re currently moving the schedule a bit so I can get in all three days. I’ve already noticed improvements in my strength and muscle tone and am happy to see results so quickly. I’ve also started going to Zumba on Friday mornings. I’m hoping to add another morning possibly this spring. I plan to go at least twice weekly when the boys start preschool this fall, as the schedule works out nicely! I really enjoy Zumba and highly recommend it to anyone who wants to work out but hates exercise. It feels more like a party than a workout. The moves and the music are fun and sexy and it just makes you feel really good. I’m also hoping to add some pilates to the mix at some point to strengthen my core. I took classes in the past, but haven’t fit it in my schedule in a long time. If I still can’t fit a class in at some point, I may just find a good video to follow at home. I really don’t have a weight issue, but I do want to improve my shape. Overall, I just want to feel healthy and strong. On a side note, since I’ve started all this exercise, I haven’t been sick! I’m getting into a good routine for once and will try hard to stick to it. It’s worth it to feel good!
As for becoming financially fit, I have a few things I want to accomplish. I recently read The Total Money Makeover by Dave Ramsey. While I don’t have a lot of debt and don’t plan to follow all of his ideas, it did get me thinking about money more than I ever have before. I really want to try to get us living below our means so that we can do more to save and plan for a secure future. We do already have some things in place, but it would be nice to grow the nest egg even more, as well as get college funds going for the kids. I already started working towards this last year, with my adventures in lowering our grocery bills, and that has made an impact. I know that there is more I can do though, and to get started, I really need to get a written budget put together. One thing Dave Ramsey likes to say is to tell your money where to go instead of wondering where it went. I’m hoping that within the next few months I can get a better handle on our finances and really start directing the dollars. I want to trim some of the fat, so that when we do want to make a large purchase, we don’t have to feel guilty about it. One thing we did recently, in the interest of fat-trimming, was to cancel our cable TV service. We really haven’t been watching TV. The kids love their DVD’s and hubby and I usually aren’t able to watch the shows we like when they’re on. Instead of paying for DVR, we would just watch the shows online. So, cable TV is gone, and in it’s place, for far less money, we got Netflix. We can rent movies and shows we want to watch on DVD and there are thousands we can watch instantly online by plugging the laptop into the TV. Throughout the year, I’m hoping to find lots of little ways to both save and maybe make a little extra money. And, I will try to share those ideas as they come along.
One more small thing I’d like to try to do this year is be a little more “green”. I’ve been trying very hard to remember to bring my reusable shopping bags to the store. Not only am I not creating more garbage w/ shopping bags, but both grocery stores give you a 5 cent discount per bag! I’m also making sure I properly recycle any plastic and paper shopping bags I do bring home. I only have 3 reusable bags right now, which is usually enough, but the best part is, I got all of them for free, through online and store specials. It pays to be on the lookout for freebies, not only when they can make a financial impact, but an environmental one as well. I recently read a blog post about going paperless in the kitchen. Another great green idea, but it will take breaking some hard habits. We’ve become so accustomed to reaching for the paper towel roll, when we could just as easily use cloth towels that we can wash and reuse w/ far less impact on the environment. So, I’m going to keep on the lookout for ideas like this and try to make some simple changes around the house so we can be a little more eco-friendly.
I guess that’s pretty much it. My goals seem pretty big, but the nice thing is there are lots of little ways to accomplish all of them. Each can be done using baby steps. I think 2010 is going to be an exciting and challenging year!