Planning for 2015 (aka setting New Year’s Resolutions!)

Happy Sunday!  I hope everyone had a great weekend!  I am very excited to NOT be going back to work tomorrow and, in fact, have another week of vacation to try and be productive!

I’ve been thinking about my goals for 2015 and I started by classifying my goals into several categories.  Next I set some top-line direction.

Here’s where I’m at so far:

Family goals:

  • Update our budget for 2015 and set our financial milestones for the year
  • Take a family vacation
  • Participate in more activities with the girls and provide more experiences

Professional Goals

  • Start turning my mind to what comes next for me career-wise
  • Look to build the skills I would need to get there
  • Continue to build my professional networks
  • Explore some options for further education

Health & Fitness Goals

  • Bring more physical activity into my life
  • Eat more vegetables
  • Eat less processed/convenience foods

Blog Goals

  • Rebrand the blog with new visuals
  • Update my “About” page
  • Introduce some collaborations into the blog
  • Expand my social media (e.g., platforms I’m using, followers I have)

My next steps are to get quite specific and identify my tangible plans for achieving these goals.  Stay tuned for progress on this!

What are your goals for 2015?

Planning for 2014

While I’m still in vacation mode until I’m back at work on Monday, I have a huge list of things I want to accomplish around the house. While there are a lot of little things, I’ve decided to focus on projects for 3 specific areas of the house: L’s room, the kitchen and the basement.

Here’s what I have planned:

L’s Room:

  • Add 2 bookshelves (considering making these!) to either side of her bed
  • Set up a reading centre
  • Set up a place for playing with magnetic dress-up dolls
  • Put a fun paint treatment on her dresser
  • DIY some accessory storage
  • Make some canvas photo displays

Kitchen:

  • Install a hanging shelf under our upper cabinets
  • Update the command centre
  • Organize the large corner cabinet
  • Add some DIY artwork

Basement:

  • Paint and install some curtains
  • Add more storage to the office/craft area
  • Set up a place to display the kids’ artwork
  • Create a dress up centre in the playroom
  • DIY some artwork for the playroom
  • Set up an area to display family photos
  • Finish the bathroom reno

Now that I everything down on paper, it looks like a lot! I’m ready for the challenge though!

My goal is to have these projects wrapped by the end of March. 1 space/month makes it seem much more manageable!

What are your goals for 2014?

Lifestyle Diet

Can you believe it is already September?!? August was a great month for the blog and I wanted to thank to everyone who visited and helped be achieve my stellar numbers. I broke my previous record of most views in a day, my highest weekly views to date were this past month and August saw my highest monthly views so far. I still have to pinch myself that you guys are reading what I’m putting out in the world and apparently enjoying it because you keep coming back.  Thanks again! 🙂

So looking back on the summer… while it was a great few months, they were more than a little gluttonous.  Especially on the eating and spending fronts.

Moving into September and the fall season, my house (and especially me!) are going on a lifestyle diet. What does this mean? We are eating healthier, we are getting active and we are going on a budget!

I wouldn’t consider myself an unhealthy eater but my family definitely loves grilled cheese, oven pizzas and fast food. We have been eating way too much of this type of food lately and my waistline is showing it. My goal is to decrease the amount of processed and convenience foods we eat.

Here are my steps to achieving this goal:
• Limit convenience foods to once a week
• Get on board with menu planning and freezer cooking
• No buying treats unless there is a ‘special occasion’ (and Fridays don’t count)
• Get back into the habit of making homemade nutritious muffins for snacks
• Start drinking smoothies to bump up my fruit and veggie intake
• Limit work snacks (this is going to be hard… for any of my colleagues reading this: don’t let me have more than one serving snack on Wednesdays!)

When it comes to physical activity, I have been slacking. I haven’t participated in any form of structured exercise since before I was pregnant with E and the girls just don’t enjoy long stroller walks like they used to. My goal for this area is to work on integrating physical activity into my daily routine and ensure I’m getting active as frequently as possible.

Here are my steps to achieving this goal:
• Use my new gym membership 3 times a week
• Take the stairs at work (all 8 flights including the 2 down to the parking garage!)
• Walk more often (e.g., to the library, the drug store, the subway station, etc.)
• Get active with the kids on the weekends

Now for the fun one… getting our finances back on track. I love money stuff and I pride myself on all that M and I have achieved financially in the past few years. While we are usually quite good at paying off our credit cards and saving for the future, we overindulged this past summer. We have a bit of money to pay off on our line of credit plus we are planning for a $35,000 home renovation and I don’t want that sitting as debt for the next 15 years. My finance goal is to develop a reasonable budget that will allow us to live life (e.g., eat out, go places with the girls, buy new clothes) while still effectively planning for our future (e.g., RRSPs, RESPs, debt repayment).

Here are my steps for achieving this goal:
• Meet with a financial planner to develop a plan
• Get a lower interest rate for our mortgage
• Limit credit card use and spend cash
• Plan (save!) for big expenses
• Limit eating out to once per week
• Become better at differentiating between wants and needs
• Make a list (and stick with it!) whenever I go shopping

Looks like I’ll be busy over the next few months! I’ll be sure to keep you guys updated with my progress. Do you have any tips that will help me out?

Remembering Accountability – Updated Task List

When I first started this blog a little over 6 months ago, one of my intentions was to document my house-related project adventures including a to-do list which would keep me accountable to finishing my tasks.

Over the last couple months, I feel as though I’ve lost that element.  With going back to work and being busier than ever, I just wasn’t accomplishing all that I wanted to at the speed I wanted to.  Now that I am back into a bit of a routine, I wanted to provide a glimpse into some upcoming projects and what I hope to achieve in the next couple months.

Here are the projects I am aiming to complete by the end of August.

Fashion

  • 4 3 C’s posts
  • 2 tutorial-type posts (1 fashion-related, 1 beauty-related)

Home Decor

  • Reveal my mini backyard makeover
  • Update by dining room wall with a fun gallery treatment
  • Finally set up my kitchen command centre (which I have been talking about for months!)
  • Keep you updated on our plans to potentially renovate our house

Organization

  • Post about the menu planner I am so close to finishing
  • Create some storage for keys and sunglasses by our front entrance

DIY

  • Finishing editing the photos for E’s birthday book
  • Start a super exciting pregnancy photo documentation project (not for me!)
  • Show you how to clean a microfiber couch

Be sure to check back on Friday when I will be posting about the fantastic menu planner I made using materials from the dollar store!