Tuesday, March 6, 2012

March Goals

I'm not quite sure what is going on with the weather, but I will take it!  We reached a high of 67 degrees today and I am only sad that I was stuck at work for most of the day and missed it.  Unfortunately it is supposed to dip back into the 40s by this weekend so I won't be able to enjoy the nice weather then either. Is it nice where you are?

A new month means a new set of goals around here.  If you've never tried setting monthly or weekly goals for yourself I highly recommend it.  It gives you something to work towards and improve about yourself.  I try to pick something I know I can achieve if I put in some effort.  If I chose something impossible, I won't even try.

With that, here are my goals!

Goal 1: Stick with less sugar consumption goal

I successfully navigated through the end of February with this goal and now I just need to keep it up throughout March.  I know I mentioned this in my February recap, but the cravings do seem to be dwindling.  However, after dinner is definitely the hardest time for me.  It's a good thing I don't have any sweets in my apartment (save for a hidden jar of dark chocolate peanut butter) because I doubt I would have been able to resist.  I try to curb these cravings by having a small snack, like a handful of nuts or a piece of cheese, but I still have ice cream on the brain.  I am hoping these go away soon because otherwise it is going to be a long month.

This goal is definitely an exercise in will power, but I am very proud of myself for sticking to it.  I was even able to frost some cupcakes for my mom two weekends ago without licking any frosting off my fingers! It was HARD, but I did it.  It was also really difficult to resist punching the Farmer when he ate said cupcake in front of me and told me how delicious it was.

Goal 2: Do Best Body Bootcamp!

My motivation to workout has been slightly lacking lately.  Actually, I took last week off from exercise--a real rarity for me.  For about the past month, it has been a struggle for me to go to the gym every day after work.   I tried bribing myself with promises of new workout gear,  bringing a snack for after work/before gym, telling myself all the great benefits of exercise, pumping myself up for my favorite class, getting more sleep, but nothing seemed to work.  So last Monday, after debating heavily over going to the gym or not and attempting to force myself to go and failing, I gave myself permission to take a week off.  A little reverse psychology, if you will.   The rest of the week, I drove straight home from work without guilt.   And you know what?  It worked.  I returned to the gym yesterday refreshed and ready to go.  Sure I missed some training runs, but I don't feel my training suffered overall.

For a little extra motivation and to mix up my workout schedule, I signed up for Tina's Best Body Bootcamp.

It's an 8 week workout program including strength and cardio workouts.  Of course, it isn't individualized or anything but it will be a nice change of pace to my usual workout plan.  This plan will also give me a little accountability as it requires a check-in each week to keep up with workouts and 2 healthy goals set each week.  I'm looking forward to pumping some iron!

Goal 3: Participate in the March photo a day challenge

I first noticed this photo a day challenge popping up my Twitter feed and again over at Jenn's blog.  The #marchphotoaday challenge is being hosted by fat mum slim.  For each day in the month of March, there is a prompt for a photo.  I'm looking forward to this challenge as it will give me a reason to put use to my camera and work on my photography skills (seriously lacking).  More often than not, these will probably be taken with the camera on my "dumb" phone.  Hopefully these photos will make it up on Twitter, but since I don't have an iphone or smartphone like the rest of the world (okay, I know I am not the only one), it may not happen since I have to upload to my computer first and then onto Twitter.  No Instagram for me.

It's already the 6th and I've only taken about 2 photos, but I am determined to remedy this starting today..

Goal 4: Stick with grocery budget and expand budgeting to other areas of spending

This isn't the first time you've seen this goal around here.  In fact I tried it and failed badly.  But this time, this time, is different.  Why?  Because this time I have already been following the budget for a few weeks.  I've seen how it works and know what to do, and now, I just need to follow through.  My budget is $150 for the whole month, but I am trying to limit spending to $30 a week.  I am very lucky to have a grocery store close to my apartment that has cheap, fresh produce and good prices on lots of other staples in my diet.  Of course this kind of budget does require a little extra work including meal planning around sales and specials of the week and making thorough lists before grocery shopping.

Now that I feel I have grocery budgeting somewhat under control, I want to spread my budgeting plans to other areas of spending including shopping money and any entertainment or "fun" money.  My plan to make this happen include limiting the number of times I eat out at restaurants, finding cheap or free things to do with friends, and paying more attention to shopping and spending habits.

My overall goal in terms of budgeting is to save more money for a "rainy day fund" and also to save up for bigger purchases.  Not that my spending habits are out of control but I think this will make me more aware of where my money is going.

Goal 5: Make weekend plans

Relaxing weekends are great for the mind, but sometimes my relaxing weekends turn into super lazy, not-leave-the-house weekends.  These aren't really relaxing as much as they are depressing.  Don't get me wrong, it is nice to be lazy every once in a while, but watching endless Netflix episodes with no human contact for 24+ hours is bad for my mental and physical health.  I find that on weekends where I at least have one thing planned with another person, I am much less likely to unglue myself from the couch and be productive.

So my goal is to make at least one plan with another person every weekend in March.  It can be anything from as simple as meeting up for coffee to as big as visiting a friend in another state.  The first weekend in March was already a success--the Farmer was visiting and I met up with a blog friend for tea.  Other events already include visiting my friend Kate in Milwaukee and hosting Laura who is coming to visit from Champaign.  Hopefully those plans will also include meeting up with my Arlington Heights friend Rachel!  We've been trying to hang out for about a month now, but one of us is always out of town.

Now I just need to make some plans for this weekend!
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