Happy New Year!!
Here we are … a new year. It’s a time for new beginnings. A time to look back at the things from the past year(s) that we’d like to change. I’m no different. There are several things I would like to change this year.
Over the past week or so, I saw several friends on Facebook and Twitter coming up with a theme word of the year for 2013. I’ve decided to use the word REDUCE as my theme for this year. Pretty much everything I want to change/work on this year fits pretty nicely within that theme, so it seemed like the perfect word. Here’s my REDUCE plan for 2013:
As you may remember from my recent Expect Amazing post, one of the big changes I want to make this year is to start taking my weight loss journey more seriously again. I’ve been playing around with the same 5-10 pounds for far too long, so one of my goals for this year is to make some good forward progress again. I’m not setting a specific number goal, but I would love for it for be at least 50 pound which would be an average of at least a pound per week. In an effort to help me meet this goal, I will naturally be continuing with Weight Watchers. I’ve also signed up for a few challenges to help me kick the New Year off on the right foot.
The first is Roni’s New Year DietBet put together by Roni over at Just Roni. In this challenge, participants pay $20 into the pot to join the challenge. The goal is to lose 4% of your body weight in the month of January. At the end of the month, everyone who meets their goal will split the pot. As of this writing, the pot is at over $8,600!
Next up is the New Year’s Weight Loss Challenge we’re hosting over at The Sisterhood of the Shrinking Jeans. I’m really excited to be teamed to do this free eight-week challenge with my long-time online pal, Suz. We’ve dubbed ourselves FitBy50 for our team name.
Finally, I’ve also signed up for the free eight-week Progress Not Perfection Trackstar (#pnptrackstar) challenge put together by Dani from Weight Off My Shoulders. You can find out the details on her Facebook page or by sending her an email. This is an individual challenge for tracking my food and exercise. As the name implies, it’s not about being 100% perfect with tracking, but with making progress. When I’m on track with my weight loss efforts, I always track. Tracking only falls by the wayside when I’m struggling. So, my goal for this challenge will be to track everything for the entire eight weeks — good, bad, or ugly.
Between working full-time, commuting nearly 300 miles per week, and being a full-time college student, my stress levels pretty much run on over-drive more often than not these days. One of the things I used to do to help with stress-relief was yoga, but I had to stop doing it about 13 months ago when I injured my knee. After my knee surgery & recovery, I just never went back to it on a regular basis. That’s my goal for 2013. Due to my schedule, I’m not going to set some big lofty goal for practicing several time per week or anything. Instead, I’m going to set a goal for myself to practice at least twice per month. It will not only help my stress, but will help my flexibility as well.
When I split up from my ex-husband back in the summer of 2004, I moved into a new apartment with very little stuff. I had some very basic pieces of furniture, kitchen basics, clothes, and my computer. In the eight+ years since then, I’ve accumulated quite a bit. Ok, ok, quite a lot! It’s time to do something about it. It’s time to reduce the amount of clutter/stuff I have. To accomplish this goal, in the short-term I’ll be following along with Peter Walsh’s #31Days2GetOrganized challenge as well as the Motivorganization Month put together by my pal Christie over at Average Moms Wear Capes. Her challenge is based on the FlyLady principles. I’ve followed them in the past, so this will be just the nudge I need to get back to following them again and get my place in order!
This is actually a reduce/increase combination. The goal is to reduce my spending so I can increase my savings. I have an amazing transatlantic cruise and European vacation planned for 2014 as part of my 50th birthday celebration. My goal is to not put any of this vacation on my credit cards. Well, at least, not any of it that will carry over as a balance. I’ll use one of my cards during the trip for security reasons, but will pay the balance off in full when the bill comes due.
To help me meet this goal, I’ve pledged to go on a Spending Diet for 2013. This is going to mean some pretty major changes in my spending habits. Here are the rules I’ve set for myself:
- All spending will be scrutinized as a need (rent, food, utilities, etc.) or a want.
- I will have an allowance for $100 per month for “fun money.” This will cover things like entertainment, hobbies, eating out, etc.
- Any purchase over $50 requires a five day “cooling off” period to minimize expensive spontaneous purchases.
Now I realize some folks would say that paying for my Weight Watchers membership is more of a want than a need. However, for me, it’s definitely a need. I’ve tried enough times in the past to do it on my own to save the money and it just doesn’t work. There are times I have a difficult enough time staying on track even with the motivation of my meetings, so dropping my meetings is simply non-negotiable.
This kind of goes hand-and-hand with the previous category. Not only do I plan to reduce my spending in order to increase my savings, I also plan to use part of that money to reduce my debt, too. While my debt-load isn’t ridiculously high, it’s still higher than I would like, especially given I’ll probably be buying a new vehicle in 2014. I want my credit score to be as high as I can get it in order to make sure I get the best possible interest rate. That means getting rid of as much debt as possible.
So, there you have it. That’s my REDUCE plan for 2013. Here’s to an amazing year for us all!
Until next time …
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