In 2017 I picked one word to focus on for the entire year: ‘strive’. I decided to strive towards saving money, decluttering, experiencing more, being healthy and growing my blog. I set up monthly goals for myself, and overall I was pretty happy with the progress I made. By the end of the year though, making goals started to feel like more of an undesirable chore more than anything else. I knew I needed to do something new for 2018.
I believe that every day is an opportunity to make a change. You don’t need a new year to change things you’re not happy with or to set new goals. That being said, there is something refreshing about 1/1/18. It’s a real start, a true beginning, that also has a real end. A final point to accomplish your goals by. It’s a brand new year, and 365 days to accomplish whatever you set your mind to.
I made the decision to focus on quarterly goals for 2018, with a different focus for each quarter. January, February and March I will focus on ‘a fresh start‘. It seems like a suiting way to kick things off. I fully believe that the way you start a year will set the tone for the rest of the year. It helps your changes to become a habit, rather than feel like a chore. I want to feel renewed this year, and I know that my goals for January-March will put me in the right frame of mind to really make some changes and have a great 2018.
In 2017 I focused on spending less than I did the same month of 2016. January-March was my lowest spending quarter of the year, so I’m definitely going to have to focus. I spent $1140.90 on things that I wanted (basically, shopping) and I spent $1748.47 on things that I needed (car insurance, gas, groceries etc). The total for the three months was $2889.37.
Yup, you read that right. Three months, no shopping. This is a want vs. need situation. If I succeed I am going to purchase an aerial hoop and hammock. I found out about a Canadian company that sells them for a reasonable price. I really enjoyed learning moves on them when I took classes so this will be a great at-home workout. Now, there are a couple of pre-set exceptions to the no shopping rule:
- Subscription boxes: Trillia Planning (monthly) & My Balanced Box (quarterly)
- Gift cards can be spent
- Black Skechers – these are my everyday shoes, mine are close to needing to be replaced.
- Black sweats – I have a bunch of casual shorts and capris, but no full-length pants. Seeing as how 2/3 of the year the temperature dips below freezing (fun fact, 211 days I believe is the exact number), this is a calculated and warranted purchase.
- Home purchases – There are still things we need with only having been in our house for four months. I’m not going to write off those purchases, but I am going to assess if it’s something we will benefit from or just something that I want.
On the plus side, if I succeed at this, I will have succeeded in spending less! Full disclosure – in order to make the most of this plan, this is running from December 23-March 23. I have to do this according to credit card cycle, otherwise, I would likely spend until January 1st, which totally defeats the purpose!
Sidenote: I’m ultimately planning on a ‘No Spend 2018’. Looking at it quarterly just makes more sense for my goals format. I’ll have monthly posts with tips and updates on how I’m progressing, so make sure you check back!
Health & Fitness
I really want to focus on eating healthy foods and not just using fallbacks of chips for a snack or throwing a frozen pizza into the oven for supper. This means buying and making food from scratch. I’m going to have to find some new recipes to try! As a side note, that’s not to say that I won’t still eat some junk food. I’m not delusional, I know I’ll still have treats. I want to limit them though.
Keep an Inventory
In line with the ‘fresh start‘ mentality, I’m going to do some work in our kitchen. I’m going through all of the food and throwing out anything that’s expired. It’s amazing how things can pile up! I’m also taking inventory of what I have. The app Grocery King is my favourite for doing this. It allows you to keep track of everything you have in your pantry, fridge & freezer. You can enter quantity, organize it by area and even enter expiry dates. I’ve done this a few times, but I never keep it up to date. These three months, I will. It’s so much easier for grocery shopping and meal planning. Plus, you save money by using what you have and not buying duplicates!
Once I know what products I have available to me, meal planning will be much easier. My goal is to cook, from fresh, 4 meals a week. This allows for at least one day of leftovers and 2 days (likely weekends) to have easier things like chicken nuggets or pizza.
I love running, and I’m always wanting to improve. When I first started to run, I just ran. I just hit the treadmill and went. I’ve always heard good things about C25K (Couch to 5K), which is a running plan that’s supposed to get you from your couch to running 5k/30 minutes without stopping. I’m curious to see if I benefit from it, and how my time changes after going through the program.
Aside from C25K, I also want to get back into the habit of going to the gym 20 days a month for a total of 60 times over the first quarter
I’m super excited to now have a standing desk at work (I’m an office administrator). If you are looking for an affordable option, I highly recommend Oristand. My goal is to stand for the afternoons of at least 3 days a week. I find the afternoon to be where I start to feel more tired, so that is the time that I’m aiming for. It’ll be nice to have more movement in a day after spending the past 4.5 years sitting for the entire day.
Wear My Closet
I’ve done this a few times. One of my biggest spending downfalls is clothes shopping. I buy items that I have fallen in love with, but then I often feel like I have nothing to wear. So, every once in awhile I will go through and, one by one, I will wear every single item I own. It’s a great way to re-discover items you have forgotten about and get rid of clothes that you no longer like, or no longer fit the greatest. No repeating until you’ve made your way through! I do this 5 days a week for work, weekends are a free-for-all!
Catch up on Jane the Virgin
Self-explanatory. When I started seeing commercials for this, I thought it looked SO dumb. I finally started to watch it recently and have fallen in love. I love all the characters, and I can’t wait to see where they take the story. I’m into season 3, but I still have a way to go before I’m caught up.
Finish My Closet
Well, I clearly didn’t accomplish this in December. Perhaps giving myself 3 months to get it done will be enough time! I’d also love to do some work in our upstairs bathroom, but I’m not sure if that will start this quarter.
3 Fun Nights Out
We are hugely homebodies, especially in the winter. That being said, I’d like to do at least three fun things that are out of our regular routine. We do already have one planned, my favourite singer (Josh Ritter) is here in February and I bought tickets for that a couple of months ago. Now we just have to come up with two other ideas!
Plan posts for the first half of the year
The biggest struggle I have is coming up with post ideas. A lot of my posts are written on the fly a day or two before I post it. I’ll hear or read something or experience something and feel inspired to write. This isn’t a bad thing until I suddenly don’t feel inspired in time to have a post up. I’d like to actually plan out enough posts to take me through until June.
Grow my social media following
I do enjoy social media, especially Instagram. I just hate things like algorithms and the whole follow/unfollow trend. I’d really like to keep growing my social media numbers, with true followers. People who are going to interact and not just follow to try and get more numbers for themselves. I also want to utilize Instagram more for sharing my blog.
I’d like to get at least 3 blog opportunities with other companies. This means possibly pitching some brands or companies I’d like to work with and looking into companies who reach out to me. I enjoy working with brands, and that it gives me post ideas that I may not have thought of otherwise!
I’m really excited for the first quarter of 2018! We don’t have anything big or eventful happening over those months, so it really allows me to focus on these different goals. In theory, there is no reason that I can’t accomplish what I am setting out to do.
What kind of goals are you setting for 2018? What are you most looking forward to?