Is anybody out there still working towards or tracking your 2012 goals or New Year's Resolutions?
It's time for a mid-year check-in. For me, the results aint all pretty. But I have to keep it real and be honest with myself. And having this blog and sharing my progress or lack thereof helps me keep some accountability.
So, in case you've been wondering, here is where I stand on my goals:
Financial Goal: Get our emergency fund (4-6 months of living expenses) in place.
Progress: We are approximately 75% there. We had actually projected that we would reach our savings goal by August (next month). However, life happens. We have continually been hit by expenses that have dipped into our savings. A plethora of medical expenses at the beginning of the year. New tires for both cars. A sick dog. And we over-spent our budget on certain things this summer.
This is our 2nd year of trying to get our emergency fund in place. And it's so frustrating that it seems like we take 2 steps forward and 3 steps back. However, we are really determined to complete this goal this year.
How we're going to make it: We have gone back and read Dave Ramsey's advice on this. He recommends getting this fund in place before any retirement contributions or college fund contributions. We had already stopped contributing to the college funds, but we were still doing the 401k. We recently decided to cut back on the 401k and play with our tax withholdings (so that we don't get a tax refund) in order to help us get to where we need to be. And hope that no other emergencies come up and really pay attention to keeping our spending within our budget. I think we really need to do a better job at saying "No" to our kids, friends & family, and ourselves when it comes to our spending!
It's a hard one, this one!
Housekeeping Goals: Make and stick to a cleaning schedule. Declutter/organize one area of our house each month.
Progress: The cleaning schedule worked really well for me the first 5 months of the year. I had the bathrooms on a rotating schedule and would clean them while my 2 oldest were at school and my youngest was napping. Then once a week I'd have all 3 kids play upstairs while I cleaned the entire kitchen and downstairs area (dusted, swept, mopped, vacuumed). I think my husband was even impressed at the regularity at which our house was cleaned.
However, in the 6 weeks since the kids have been out of school, I haven't been as religious at keeping with the schedule. It's been hard with traveling, having guests over, taking the kids to various summer activities and having them here more often.
Overall, I'm pretty pleased with how I've stuck to the cleaning schedule goal. I'm cutting myself some slack for the summer and vow to resume the strict schedule in the Fall when school starts.
As far as the decluttering goes, we've decluttered 3 major areas. So we're behind on that, because we should have decluttered 6 areas by now. Since my husband is the one who wrote this goal, I'm putting this back on him! LOL
Health/Fitness Goals: I had a few of these: Lose 20 more lbs this year. Increase 5k speed by 3 minutes. Try new kinds of exercise. Teach my kids more about health and fitness.
Progress: I haven't lost any more weight since I updated my progress in the Spring. Losing weight in the summer has historically been harder for me than during the school year. My goal is to maintain my weight this summer and lose the remaining weight in the Fall. I'm still running, but I haven't done a timed 5k since the one on our cruise. I have one coming up in October, so that will give me a chance to see how I'm doing on my speed goal. As far as trying new kinds of exercise...does bike riding count? After our fun bike rides on Castaway Cay I told my husband I'd like a new upright bike for a gift someday (I'd say for Christmas, but please refer to our financial goal above! LOL) We've definitely been teaching our kids about health and fitness. That's an ongoing discussion. We've talked about how eating better and exercising can help you live longer and not get diseases like diabetes. I'm most proud of how my 2 oldest kids were able to walk all around Disney World without complaining and without using strollers. You'd be surprised at how many kids who appeared to be much older and bigger than they are were using strollers to get around!
So that's where we stand, folks! If you have any words of encouragement, or can point me to any articles or websites you think may inspire me to help reach any of these goals, please share.