Monday, July 3, 2017

The Year is Half Over...Time to Check In


I said in my initial post on my resolutions for 2017 that "this year could honestly go in a lot of different directions," and boy, was I right.

For starters, I said that because I was sure I'd be having a baby by the end of the year, which I knew from my experience with Raven would throw ALL my usual goals and such out of whack. (And, had I not miscarried, I would have indeed had that baby as planned in October). I knew that if my pregnancy was anything like it was with Raven, I would be so sick during the first trimester I could hardly do anything, and so exhausted by the middle of the third that I still could hardly do anything. So I didn't want to hold myself to too much.

I was also unsure if Matt's work would be relocating to a new location, thus prompting us to also possibly relocate somewhere. But, as it stands now, since the company appears to be staying put for the next 5 years at least, we decided to buy a home instead of continuing to rent since financially, it made a bit more sense.

That had not been in the original plans for this year AT ALL.

It also wasn't in our plans to deal with tragedy and death and miscarriage all in the first three months of the year, but so it went.

So yes, I had one thing right about this year back in January, and that's that it could honestly go in a lot of different directions (and it has).

Nevertheless, I'm not one to set resolutions and forget about them by mid-February, so here I am, doing a little check-in post to keep myself accountable.

Here goes.


Resolution #1: Finish our emergency fund.

We were making really solid progress on this one until we decided, somewhat suddenly yet not suddenly, to start looking to buy a home. And while we didn't have to dip into our savings *too* much to pay for our down payment and for the closing costs, we still are further away from this goal than we were at the beginning of the year.

Realistically speaking, I don't think we'll complete this one this year, but our plan is to keep adding to it more seriously now that we don't have a down payment fund distracting from it at all.

Our plan is to put anything extra from our regular income into the emergency fund and if we happen to get any extra money that was unanticipated (such as from a raise or bonus or side income), then we'd put some into the emergency fund and some into paying off our mortgage early. Once our emergency fund is completed (hopefully by sometime next year), then we'll shift our focus to really putting that same money into our retirement since we've had to take a break on that for about a year and a half.

Resolution #2: Break myself of my social media and Diet Dr. Pepper addictions.

Sigh.

I was doing REALLY well on both of these things through February...I had outlined a solid plan for when I would check social media and had been largely following it, and I hadn't touched a drop of DDP since late December.

Then we got hit with a lot of stuff, and I started to rationalize that because I'd been so good, I could afford to treat myself a bit so that I could have some help getting through those tough times. Well, I'm currently back to drinking a bottle of Diet Dr. Pepper a day and currently have zero limitations on my social media use.

However, that's not to say I've made NO progress...just that I've let myself backslide a lot. Before this year, I would spend a lot of time scrolling through my Facebook feed, and I also felt the need to read ALL the posts in my Bloglovin feed, which stressed me out more than it should have. Now, I do check FB multiple times a day, but it's usually just to look at my notifications and check the first 4 or 5 posts in my feed (since those will usually be the most important, though that's an imperfect assumption sometimes). And with Bloglovin, I've gotten into the habit of reading only about half of what's posted and of just marking the rest as read so that I don't get stressed out by my feed anymore.

Because I've been spending a lot more time on other things (like checking things off my weekly to-do list or reading or spending quality time with Raven), I haven't been too strict with my time on social media in the past few months. However, I've noticed that lately I'm spending way more time than I'd like to on it with Raven around, and I don't want her to have this image in her head of Mom on the computer all the time. So I need to rethink this resolution so that it's not as strict as before, but so that it gives me more of a strict boundary line while Raven is awake.

Resolution #3: Between Matt and I, complete all temple work for at least 10 ancestors (and research and find out as much as possible about them beforehand).

Now THIS one I'm rather proud of so far...not only did I find ten new ancestors on Matt's side for us (a previously unknown feat for anyone in his family), but I also found enough for ALL of his siblings who were interested to take 5 names apiece to the temple! This has been a matter of a lot of prayer for me this year, and I have seen those prayers answered in abundance, and it has been a very special experience for me, indeed.

For anyone who's not LDS and is curious about the work we perform in temples, click here for more info (last paragraph) and here.

Resolution #4: Complete 3 personal photography projects.

I started a project early this year (of photographing the lesser-known nooks and crannies of Logan, Utah), but now that we've moved to a nearby suburb, I think I'll need to expand this one to include all of Cache County. Also, I burned out of this one pretty hardcore because I kept getting snowed/rained out many times that I wanted to go shoot, and then I got busy with moving. So that is a project I'm interested in picking back up, but it will have to be with different parameters.

Currently though, I'm challenging myself to participate in the Clickin' Moms 2017 Summer Scavenger Hunt. While I'm not planning on posting to my Instagram every day with things on the list, I am planning on trying to post at least 15 photos from the list. (And, bonus--I'm hoping that doing as much of the scavenger hunt as possible will also help us to fit in a lot more fun and play this summer than we would have otherwise!)

A third, very informal "project" I've been doing lately is to try and take a lot more photos of reflections. It was something I hadn't played with much before, and it's something that I've started to make myself notice now and capture on camera. I've also been pushing myself to be a bit more experimental with certain aspects of my photography, which, while not a formal project with defined guidelines, is still helping me to improve nonetheless (which was the goal of the resolution in the first place).

Resolution #5: Set monthly goals, in addition to doing a weekly to-do list.

This resolution by far has been the best one for how crazy this year has been. After a wake-up call in February that I needed to make these monthly lists about more than just nagging tasks, I've been attacking my monthly (and weekly!) goals with renewed vigor and have been pleased with how much I've been getting accomplished most weeks (and months) this year so far.

Since I was so very right in assuming that this year would bring a lot of change, I'm glad that I had this built-in way to keep myself progressing on goals that were important to me, while at the same time giving myself flexibility to change things as time went on.

Did you set any resolutions for the year? And how do you limit your social media time (since I obviously need to work on that one)?



Like to post about your goals? Link up with any goal post in staygoldautumn.com’s linkup on the first day of the month!

8 comments:

  1. You've had quite the year of highs and lows. I'm so sorry for your losses, but I admire the strength and hope that resonates in your words.

    You've done very well with your goals, all things considering! Congrats!

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  2. I need control over my social media time as well... its crazy how this is a real problem. In church yesterday they were talking about how studies show how it effects people health being without their phones/gadgets to check on social media - that is NUTS!!!!! What a world we live in.
    Congrats on the temple resolution completed. The important things that you put on priority to finish up - good for you!

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  3. oh my word. you've had such a rollercoaster of a year. it's so good to keep your eyes on your goals but also really good to give yourself some grace. hopefully your healing is continuing <3

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  4. I think you've done a great job so far! The social media thing is so hard! I had deactivated my facebook for the first few months of the year and I felt so much better. Then I reactivated it and now I find myself scrolling all the time! This was a good reminder that maybe I need another break too! I hope you have a great second half of the year!

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  5. I know 100% how you feel. I was feeling the same way at the start of the year because I, too, was expecting to be having a baby this year and would have in November if we hadn't lost it. It's a tough year, that's for sure. Maybe next year will be both of our baby years?! :)

    I think you're kicking butt at these goals! So many great accomplishments, especially the new house! I really, really need to cut back on the social media too but haven't been successful yet. I've been doing pretty well with cutting back on diet soda though. I'm a diet coke addict and went all of June without drinking any soda. YAY! It makes me feel sick but I still love it. Sigh.

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  6. you know what's funny about DDP - i love it too (and regular DP, who are we joking) but i really only love it if it's fountain. i don't love it nearly as much from a can or bottle. so i really think that's what saves me from being a complete addict and having one daily. i have to either be out to eat or take the time and energy to stop at a gas station to get one if i really want it. which is why i usually have them on nights i work, cuz i get them in the cafeteria. it doesn't help that we moved closer to corner22, which has a drive thru haha but still. it saves me!!! social media is hard. now that i have insta i totally ignore fb. i feel like it's a ton of repeated stuff and while there is more to it that i don't see elsewhere, i don't have the app on my phone and i don't have a computer at home to get on it. so i guess that's what makes that easy to avoid. but insta is another story...

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  7. Wow, those are incredible goals. I can definitely relate to unexpected personal issues getting in the way of goals, and all sorts of other things. But you're right... you have to keep working toward them. I found out at the beginning of the year that my parents were splitting up. So that's been a big strain on our family and our goals. But we found motivation in that helplessness to change things we COULD change. That's been such a comfort to work on projects and goals that we have some control over. I'm so glad that you have made progress on your goals, some more than others is totally reasonable and definitely OK! I hope that this mid-year check-in has allowed you to reassess where to go next. I always feel like there is at least one goal that I want to let go of! hehe and that's ok too! Good luck! Xo - Alexandra

    Simply Alexandra: My Favorite Things

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  8. I just started doing weekly lists in my Bullet Journal, so far so good. Hope it works for you too, because I totally get those nagging tasks and how you can forget about them, and then only remember them in the car or some place else where you can't do anything about it. Good luck for the rest of the year.

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