Monday, January 31, 2011

January 2011 Goal Update

It's the last day of January and I need to revisit my goals to see how I'm doing:

1. Lose 52 pounds
This month, I'm down 12 pounds! The scale definitely fluctuates; sometimes I'm down only 8 pounds, sometimes 10. But today when I weighed myself, I was down 12. So we'll stick with that.

It seems like a lot, but I made major changes to my eating habits this month. I paid attention to portion size, and the types of foods I allowed myself. I have cut out most sugar, and upped my intake of veggies, proteins and healthy carbs.

No white pasta, rice, breads; it's all whole wheat for this girl.
No ice cream (my biggest weakness), cookies, cake (except for one bite of my birthday girl's cake), or cereal (a tough one for me, especially at night).

Most importantly, I've totally cut out condiments and mock healthy foods that are loaded with sugar such as ketchup, bottled spaghetti sauce, flavored yogurt, instant oatmeals...all kinds of things that seem to be okay to eat, but really aren't if you're trying to lose weight.

I still have about 40 pounds to lose.
February Outlook: I am adding exercise to the equation. I will lose 4-8 more pounds.

2. Enter my writing into at least 12 contests (1 per month)
I sent a couple ideas to two different greeting card markets. I also entered my poetry into a couple different contests. I have been trying to write on a daily basis, using prompts to help me get going when I need a starting point.
February outlook: Daily writing practice! Entry into at least one new market.

3. Become more fluent on the guitar
I have been working on scales and revisiting some old stuff to wash the rust off my chops.
February outlook: DAILY practice!!!

4. Read at least 24 books
This month I only read 1 book, unless Newberry honors count as 2? Maybe? Yeah? No? Okay.

The book was Number the Stars by Lois Lowry. I'm almost embarrassed to admit I had never read this's been on my to-read list for a long time!

It's a children's historical/speculative fiction book about a 10 year-old Danish girl who lives during WW2 when Nazis begin to eradicate Jewish families living in the area. Annemarie Johansen and her family aren't Jewish, but her best friend's family are, so Annemarie summons up the courage she needs during a scary time to help save her best friend's life.

I can see why this book won a Newberry Medal. It's a page turner with all the suspense you would expect from a story written during one of the most insane times in history. I read it straight through from beginning to end, so I'm ashamed to say I read no other books the remaining 30 days of the month.

Most of my reading this month has been magazines, e-newsletters, and blogs. Oh, how I love reading a good blog!
February outlook: Read AT LEAST 3 books to make up for my lack of book reading in January! I have no idea which ones yet!

5. Make $1000 per month for extra income
I didn't earn a cent this month.
February Outlook: I have a bunch of stuff set up to sell on EBay and I am also going to work on marketing my writing.

6. Get out of credit card debt
This one is tough. Nothing happened this month. Unfortunately, I need to get our credit card situation organized so we can tackle it somehow.
February Outlook: Call consumer crediting counsel to get some assistance.

7. Spend under $150 per week on groceries for my family of four.
I spent an average of $184/week on groceries!

At first, I was appalled at this figure because I know that I shopped smart, utilized coupons and really watched what I put in my cart. But then I realized, the figure is inflated because I have seriously altered the types of foods I buy. Organic and natural foods cost more. Also, we've really cut back on eating out which used to help stretch our groceries at home. We're eating out of the home every meal, every day.
February outlook: Get a handle on buying organic and plan out menus so I buy just what I need and nothing more.

8. Get my foot in the door someway, somehow working in a library and/or bookstore.
No luck here. I applied for both type jobs in December and heard nothing in January. {sigh}
February outlook: Keep searching!

9. Get all my pictures organized and labeled, both print and digital.
This project got sidelined this month because we (we, meaning my husband) decided to rearrange our whole apartment and do an intense, deep cleaning which also includes repainting, rearranging and redoing just about everything. I've been busy trying to hold onto as much of my junk stuff as I can at the same time my lovely husband is carrying it out to the trash. Not to mention, I now notice a dozen new projects I need to get started on.
February outlook: Project Pictures begins (I hope).

10. Post to my blog AT LEAST once per week, preferably more.
YAY! Exactly one blog per week this month! With my house in chaos, and tons of hockey to watch, I'm impressed I've blogged this much.
February outlook: I have so many ideas and I just keep stashing them in my idea folder! With that said, I hope to blog more next month.

11. Get my husband on an airplane, and finally visit Chicago.
Despite the fact that he still won't agree to a plane trip, I did get him to mention that, if we win the lottery, he will set foot on a plane to take me to Detroit where we can watch the Red Wings on home turf.

While we didn't win the lottery, are still in massive credit card debt and have no extra money for traveling, I hold a little more hope that I will eventually get him on a plane.

And we will definitely make a detour to Chicago. He'll want to get up close and personal with the Blackhawk boys. I'm sure of it!
February outlook: Work on winning the lottery!
Mention in everyday conversation about safe plane take offs and landings, instead of the usual media mention of plane crashes and disasters.
Butter him up with pictures of the Windy City, blog posts from Meesa chronicling her and Justin's escapades around "sweet home Chicago", and their close proximity to The Blackhawks and the ice they skate on.


  1. I see we share similar goals! :) You did great this month, keep up the good work!

  2. you're doing great, keep it up! everything can't happen at once and it's only been a month.

    keep at it with randy, he'll hopefully give in soon!