january goals + pictures wrap up

Ah January. A month of fresh starts and ernest goal setting. I always find joy in clean slates, from New Year's Resolutions to new school supplies at the beginning of a school year. It feels life-giving.

As I write this on the first day of February, I'm fully aware that this is a time when many are expected to abandon their goals, once they realize how difficult it can be to implement change in their lives. I am no different, for if I try to change too much at once, I become overwhelmed and adopt an all-or-nothing mindset. Recognizing this weakness of mine, I decided to assign one small change to each month of the year. Baby steps. Mini goals.

January's goal this year was centered around fitness. Cliche as it may be, I felt the timing was right. The first month of the year also marked the time when I would pass from the first to the second trimester of my second pregnancy. I was hoping the morning sickness would fade, and energy would start to return. I wasn't happy with the way I had been eating. Although I couldn't much change the early pregnancy food preferences my body was asking for, I could make better decisions overall. (What is with the pregnancy weeks 5-10 fast-food-only thing? Anyone else? The only things I could even remotely stomach were cereal, french fries, and toast.)

So I set out to put in an exercise tape for 5 minutes/day, 6 days/week, walk outside with the dog for 10 minutes/day, and eat 2 servings of vegetables each day. Small goals. Easily put into practice.

Well, as one of my favorite proverbs in Spanish says: del dicho al hecho hay mucho trecho - or easier said than done.

  • I didn't work out with the videos 6 days/week. Lingering morning sickness and very intense headaches that seemed to last for days at a time prevented me from doing much some days. I will say I probably worked out 3-4 days/week. Better than none! I'm happy with my progress on this goal.
  • I definitely didn't walk outside for 10 minutes each day. We had some very cold days (below zero) where it just wasn't safe to take Pippa out for even 10 minutes. But my goal did push me to get outside on days when I didn't feel like it, but the weather was fine (20-30 degrees). 
  • The one goal I can say that I met most days of the month was eating 2 servings of vegetables. Progress, y'all! 

I will continue putting these habits into practice in February (and beyond!). However, the main focus for February is:

ALL ABOUT THE BENJAMINS - Financial February
Guiding thought for the month: “Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this,” says the LORD Almighty, “and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that you will not have room enough for it.”  Malachi 3:10

We took the Dave Ramsey Financial Peace University course a few years ago, and got really good with our budget. We managed to start a debt snowball and pay off both of our cars. After having the baby, though, we kind of fell out of practice with tracking our money each month. The good thing is, we don't spend much outside of our bills and student loan payments. I'm frugal by nature, and didn't worry that we would have lots of little things adding up. The bad thing is, we weren't making much progress on our remaining student loans.

So this month I set out to zero out our budget at the end of the month in order to:

  • restart our debt snowball
  • save for hospital bills
  • save for quarterly tax payments
The other goal is to give so it hurts - I really want to feel the giving! This goes along with the Bible study I am currently doing with some amazing women. We are following The 7 Experiment: Staging Your Own Mutiny Against Excess. I can't wait to see how I can implement a fast from spending, possessions, technology, etc.  

Finally, I am trying a photo 365 project, forcing myself to take the camera out to capture ordinary moments each day of the year. I'll admit there are some days when it just doesn't happen. But I am enjoying the process, and the resulting photographic evidence:
1. waiting for dad // 2. chilly sunday // 3. baby announcement
7. quiet time // 8. fit pregnancy // 9. birthday breakfast
10. messy hair // 11. pippa the photog // 12. san diego airport

13. palm springs // 14. 14 weeks pregnant // 15. ideal lunch view
16. goodbye to friends // 19. dance party // 20. peaceful
21. fits over "foffee" // 24. light reading // 25. conservatory fun

26. 16 weeks pregnant // 27. lazy weekend // missing california

Welcome February! Bring on the rest of 2015!

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