Happy New Year! I wish you all the best in this brand new shiny 2015!
Last year ended roughly for my family, and I’m glad to see the back of 2014. 2015 promises to be a year of change for us, and I’m ready to meet it head on, take it to the mat, and win on points if I can’t tap it out. There are likely to be some changes here as well, as we adjust to whatever the new year brings.
For starters, the great big scary stress which has been keeping me off keel hasn’t gone away despite desperately wishing it to. The Hub’s position was eliminated just before Thanksgiving, reducing our household income significantly. Thanks, Ebenezer. While The Hub has some promising leads on new work and is likely to be fully employed someplace better by the end of January or perhaps even pursuing a promising new career as a freelance contractor, we’ve begun the painful process of trimming our budget to try to make our savings last. Some of that will show here as I work to cut our grocery spending, hopefully while increasing the quality of our nutrition. There will be a lot less eating out and a lot more creative use of leftovers; a lot more Costco and a lot less Whole Foods; and a lot more home cooking and a lot less convenience packaged foods (once I run through all the leftovers from last night’s party). It is like that I’ll start writing more about the other ways we’ll be cutting back, since frugal and green are often bedfellows, and green living is, after all, the reason I started this blog in the first place!
Beyond that rather large goal of cutting my budget to the bone, I’ve given some thought to what goals I want to set for 2015, and here’s what it looks like:
- Take my photography from hobby to pro by beginning to market and sell my work. I have no expectation that this can be a career change, but it would be nice for my gear to pay for itself!
- Running-wise, I plan to log a minimum of 12 miles a week (weather permitting) and complete 3 half marathons. In June I’ll see where I am and decide if I will also reach for a marathon in the late fall.
- And while I’m at it, I’m going to slay that gosh darned 2 hour half marathon finish time white whale of mine. This is my year, dammit! This is going to involve…
- Dropping the extra weight. After last night’s party, I’ve got just under 25 pounds that I can reasonably ditch. To do this, my first step is to slash sugar and processed foods from my diet. I expect to start with this next Monday, once the last of the holiday cookies are gone.
- Get stronger. I’m going to start each day with a few push ups, sit ups, and squats (I did 10 of each this morning despite feeling like dehydrated death when I woke up). I’m also going to fit in at least two strength training sessions each week, even if it’s only 20 minutes or so after my run.
- As long as I’m going to put all this work into my body, I might as well work on dressing up the results a bit more. I have a wonderful closet full of clothing that sits there sadly as I wear jeans and same 3-4 T-shirts nearly every day. Time to make better use of the wonderful things I already own.
- Work on them social skills by hosting some dinner parties, like we did last night. Maybe one a month?
- And, as usual, there are the number targets I set: read at least 12 new books (I managed 14 last year), add 50 new birds to my life list (I managed only 21 last year…each year it gets harder and harder to spot birds I haven’t already tagged, but there’s still at least 100 birds that visit my state that I’ve never seen!), and watch at least 24 new-to-me movies.