Category Archives: Goals

A FEW GOOD LISTS

We all know I love a good list.

Grocery lists. To-do lists. Packing lists. Task lists. And random life things lists.

Even better? I adore finding a good, well written list. You know, the ones that perfectly describe exactly what you think and provide you with a good laugh and a little guidance.

Well, my dearest darlingest friend Maggie has a birthday today. And in reflections about her perfect new age, she stumbled across this amazing list written by one very smart and clever lady at Glamour magazine.

Miss Mags read the list out loud (long distance friend phone date style) and we laughed and commiserated over every line. Piece by piece. And realized, this list just made us happy.

Because no matter where you are, what you’ve accomplished, what your current status is – this really is a good generic list of things you should know and have.

And a great benchmark to read and acknowledge that by 30 (or your late twenties) – you really have learned quite a bit, accumulated more than you realize and that by this far, you already have a pretty great story to tell.

So I give you this list. I hope you smile as you read it. And that it brings you a small part of joy that it brought to us in realizing that being thirty (or any age) is so incredibly wonderful and perfect – just because it’s how old you were intended to be.

By 30, you should have …

  1. One old boyfriend you can imagine going back to and one who reminds you of how far you’ve come.
  2. A decent piece of furniture not previously owned by anyone else in your family.
  3. Something perfect to wear if the employer or man of your dreams wants to see you in an hour.
  4. A purse, a suitcase, and an umbrella you’re not ashamed to be seen carrying.
  5. A youth you’re content to move beyond.
  6. A past juicy enough that you’re looking forward to retelling it in your old age.
  7. The realization that you are actually going to have an old age — and some money set aside to help fund it.
  8. An email address, a voice mailbox, and a bank account — all of which nobody has access to but you.
  9. A résumé that is not even the slightest bit padded.
  10. One friend who always makes you laugh and one who lets you cry.
  11. A set of screwdrivers, a cordless drill, and a black lace bra.
  12. Something ridiculously expensive that you bought for yourself, just because you deserve it.
  13. The belief that you deserve it.
  14. A skin-care regimen, an exercise routine, and a plan for dealing with those few other facets of life that don’t get better after 30.
  15. A solid start on a satisfying career, a satisfying relationship, and all those other facets of life that do get better.

By 30, you should know …

  1. How to fall in love without losing yourself.
  2. How you feel about having kids.
  3. How to quit a job, break up with a man, and confront a friend without ruining the friendship.
  4. When to try harder and when to walk away.
  5. How to kiss in a way that communicates perfectly what you would and wouldn’t like to happen next.
  6. The names of the secretary of state, your great-grandmothers, and the best tailor in town.
  7. How to live alone, even if you don’t like to.
  8. Where to go — be it your best friend’s kitchen table or a yoga mat — when your soul needs soothing.
  9. That you can’t change the length of your legs, the width of your hips, or the nature of your parents.
  10. That your childhood may not have been perfect, but it’s over.
  11. What you would and wouldn’t do for money or love.
  12. That nobody gets away with smoking, drinking, doing drugs, or not flossing for very long.
  13. Who you can trust, who you can’t, and why you shouldn’t take it personally.
  14. Not to apologize for something that isn’t your fault.
  15. Why they say life begins at 30

Happy birthday Miss Maggie. The amazing lady that fulfills both halves of the #10 on the list of things to have and for always encouraging a #12 here or there! And, of course, for teaching me #6 on the thing I should know list…  May your day today be filled with joy and happiness… and be oh-so-excited for the post man to deliver a package that might fill a few of the holes here and there!

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April Resolutions

It’s a tough call, but I think March was my most favorite month of 2013 thus far. I celebrated a birthday, was showered with love, received SO MUCH MAIL (which I love), went to a wedding, almost caught my apartment on fire, realized cropped tops were back in style and enjoyed a nice calm and restful Easter with friends. I mean, there were not great parts too… but I’m fairly certain the good outweighed the bad!

And I conquered some serious goals.

Boom.

Let’s review shall we?

  1. I want to learn to knit. Or at least sign up for a class. Here’s what I realized… the knitting class I was going to attend was in the middle of the day. What? Anywho, we can start the goals by saying that I failed here. Hard core. Sigh. Might as well move it to April, because nothing says laying by the pool better than a pile of yarn and some knitting 😉
  2. I’m putting together a budget. So we’ve already discussed that I used to work at a bank and back in those days I discovered the beauty that was mint.com. It’s an aggregation tool that basically pulls all of your financial information into one place… where it then categorizes everything you spend so that you can EASILY watch where your money is going. So I logged in this month, renewed all of my accounts, categorized all of my purchases and worked through a budget. I mean, I wouldn’t say it was easy, it took some serious time to set up the categories (because I have a mortgage payment and a rent payment… so that confused mint a bit), went through EVERY transaction and then set amounts. I’m having a hard time letting it log me into one of my accounts… but once we get that in there – the budget will be complete. Oh – and even better – Mint emails you when you’re being bad. “Hey Betsy, you spent more on Coffee this month than you said you were going to. STOP DOING THAT.” I mean, come on, talk about accountability. That’s just plain awesome. So if you’re in the market for some fairly basic budgeting software give it a try. I think you’ll like it. Oh, plus there’s pretty graphics. And as a visual person, it’s hard to say no to some pretty charts.
  3. Put money in savings at the end of the month. You guys. I DID THIS. Not only did I put money in savings, but I actually opened up a savings account to put the money into. This can also be attributed to the fact that I got my taxes filed and parts of my refund went into savings (the other parts went into other fun practical things like wedding gifts and a replacement microwave for the apartment). So I would like to announce to you that in March of 2013 – I have money in savings and no bad debt! Cha-ching! High five! Hip hip hooray! I mean, I still have my car payment and my mortgage. But we’re not calling that bad debt. We’re calling that happy debt. It’s the kind of debt that you don’t wonder how you got. You had to commit to it. With papers. 🙂
  4. Re-become a morning person. This is a weird one to measure. I knew that going into it, but I feel like I’ve finally started re-adjusting. Going to bed earlier, getting up earlier. And I’m loving it. Partially I think it’s easier to do because as you get up earlier the sun is up earlier to greet you. Partially it’s because I asked friends to go to a 5:30am boot camp class. Yuck. And yay. I’m torn!

Those were LONG responses, because I didn’t really blog about those to lead you anywhere. Whoops. Sorry about that.

So now… for April goals.

  1. Organize my drawers. I know a I talked a little bit about this here, but seriously, I’m going to clean out and re-organize my drawers. I thought I’d cleaned out PLENTY when I moved here. But my stuff doesn’t really fit in my two dressers. And that’s just sad. If I’m not wearing it, then it needs to go. Especially since I’m about to move my costume closet from home here. And that stuff takes up some serious space. Well, that and I know I’m going to have to move again in May… and why not just move less?! You’ll for sure get a blog post about that. You know, something to look forward to.
  2. Read Jesus Calling. Every day. All month. There’s been a few bad days this last month and I’m constantly amazed at the comfort I feel when I’m down and I spend time in the Word. Which should always be where I turn first, but sometimes, it’s an after thought (if we’re being honest). To be fair, Jesus Calling isn’t necessarily ‘the Word’ – but it’s a little bit of a daily inspiration that then normally leads me into the Bible to look up the verses it’s referencing. If you’re in need of a daily pick-me-up, I’d find yourself a copy. It’s uplifting, it’s inspiring and it’s a bit convicting. Which is just what my heart needs!
  3. Buy an oil thermometer. Surely they can’t be that expensive? And I have a wee little bit left on a Bed Bath and Beyond gift card I got as a moving gift. And that will lead to…
  4. Fry something. At first the failure was terrifying. But then I just got mad. And now I feel challenged. I’m going to fry something. Maybe not cheese frenchees… but something. You know, since the microwave is already burned. Might as well attempt something again before it gets replaced… And this time, I WILL have people around. Because this time, I’m going to want witnesses.

It’s going to be a great month. I can’t wait!

5 Things I Need to do in the next two years.

A few years ago (okay, maybe 5), I had a brilliant idea.

I was going to compile a list. An entire list of 10 Things To Do… before I turned 30.

It was inspired because so many people talk about their five year plans. Now, I love to plan. Every minute of the next month out. With friends. But the “what I want my career path to look like” or what my “life goals” are. Not so much. That’s just too big picture. And I’m having too much fun living in the moment of now to think about what might be.

But since people kept asking… I thought of the things I’d love to do before hitting 30. Random things. Things that I’d always wanted to do. And I wrote them down. And I’ve been keeping track.

Turning 28 has me thinking I’ve got to get a move on here… but I love the smiles that all of them have brought through random conversations… and the laughs I’ve had watching them play out.

So ladies and gentlemen… I present the list. And I’d highly encourage you to do something similar. Find some things you want to do. Write them down. Set a deadline. And tell your friends.

And if what you want to do is silly. All the better. They make for the better stories anyhow. Forget those life plans.

  1. Ride a Cow (This stems from a story my grandmother once told me)
  2. Ride on a Motorcycle
  3. Ride on a Roller Coaster
  4. Sing Karaoke Alone
  5. Travel Outside of the Country
  6. Watch a Movie in the Movie Theater Alone
  7. Skinny Dip (Sorry Mom and Dad)
  8. Make Out in a Library (Sorry again)
  9. Visit Disney World/Land
  10. Buy a House

I’ve accomplished five. I’ve got five more to go.

And two years.

It’s going to happen and be great… and you’ll hear the stories.

Well, most of them 🙂

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March Resolutions

Did February fly by? I mean, were there actually 28 days? Where on earth did the month go?

It was like magic. It disappeared. It might have flown by because life has started to pick up. Have you maybe noticed in my lack of posts? Sorry. My bad. But, I pretty much kicked my goals butts. So I feel GREAT about that.

Let’s review goals and how we did shall we? Oh accountability. You little minx.

  1. Driver’s license, license plates, Passport. Check, check and check. I blogged about it here. And I feel GREAT about it.
  2. Appointments. Eye appointment, Dentist, Vet. Check, not-so-check and check. I mentioned K going to the vet here, but didn’t blog about the eye appointment, because it’s really not a great post. Although, they did dilate my eyes. I looked like a mess. That’s pretty funny – here’s me three hours after:

    I normally have nice little pupils. Tiny little guys. This makes me look like a crack addict. No good.

    I normally have nice little pupils. Tiny little guys. This makes me look like a crack addict. No good.

  3. No recorded TV until I’ve exercised for the day. Can we just call a spade a spade and say we failed hard. I have cut back on tv… but only because I now have friends that invite me out. So… it’s sort of a win. But really, more of an exercise fail. Who wants to give me a hard time about that?
  4. Use my crock pot. Totally did to make Buffalo Chicken. And it was genius. In fact, I’m using it again today for some BBQ Chicken for the week… YUM!

So now let’s talk March.

What do I want to do with my month? Here’s what:

  1. I want to learn to knit. Or at least sign up for a class. I’m doing it. 
  2. I’m putting together a budget. Like a real “here’s how much you have to spend on gas” budget.
  3. Because of my fancy new budget,  I’m going to put money in savings at the end of the month.
  4. I want to re-become a morning person. I miss it. I want to get up, spend time going my side work, shower, get ready… whatever. But feel ready for the day… and go to bed at a decent hour. It’s a wee bit harder to measure. But, typing it makes me at least consider it every night when setting the alarm… right?!

Hope you all had a fantastic February! Bring it on March!

Just Call Me Miss Colorado

ZOH!

ZOH!

You guys. It happened.

I officially live in Colorado.

It’s okay friends. Take a deep breath. I promise, I’ll come home again. Don’t worry about it.

But last week was CRAZY productive. This is the beauty of these monthly goals. You’ve only got some many days to get your stuff done. Here’s what I did:

  • Got my license
  • Went to Walgreens for a new passport photo (I mean, I’d already curled my hair)
  • Went to the post office to re-apply for my passport (I lost the last one – I don’t recommend doing that – it’s crazy expensive)
  • Sent a love day package while I was there
  • Got a VIN inspection (which, ps, is $15 worth of nothingness)
  • Got my Colorado plates
  • Mailed my NE plates back for a credit

Bam. Kick it. Wowzer.

That combined with the trip to the vet for K make for a rather expensive February. But, um, better to get it all done at once right? Rip the band aid off. Start the new year off right. And really, it’s just not possible to say no to this face.

I mean, come on, she's adorable.

I mean, come on, she’s adorable.

 

Now we’ve just got the eye appointment next week and the dentist the week after that and we’re kicking butt on those goals. High five self. Maybe I’ll try and get my taxes done too? Whoa, slow down there Bets. Let’s not get too ambitious…

I’m already brainstorming things to do in March. Man on man, is this going to be a 2013 or what? Especially now that I’m so officially Colorado. Thanks beautiful mountains. You apparently really inspire me!

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February Resolutions

If you’ll remember – last month I came to the genius conclusion that setting yearly goals for myself just didn’t work. I procrastinate. Bad style. If I did that – I’d wait until December to even attempt to start something that really I wanted to start a year ago. That just doesn’t make sense.

But you know what did? Monthly goals. Love me a box to check. Plus – if I tell you – then you know about it and I am held accountable. I really think I’m on to something here.

So here’s January’s goals and how they shook out:

  1. Buy nothing month. We knew it was going to be a little rough with two sets of visitors coming into town and a trip home. But I tell you what. I actually got into the habit of bringing my own lunch to work. I stopped going to Target when I felt the whim and started making a list. That way I actually think about something before I buy it awhile to see if I really needed it… or just wanted it. Those tweezers? Yup. Those are a need. The tape? Well, I found some in my tool closet (where else?) and now I don’t own two rolls. High five Betsy!
  2. Drivers license and license plates. I tried. I really really tried. I just didn’t have the right paperwork. #Bummer. Don’t worry, that moves to the top of my list for next month…
  3. Thank you notes. I didn’t write about it, mainly because that would be extremely boring. But I did it. Check. Watching The Bachelor and writing thank you notes is absolutely the way to go. I highly recommend it.
  4. New Way to Exercise. Bam. Frequency of exercise maybe not so great. But I found something I love. Hm. Maybe I should set a goal about that this month…
  5. Cook one new meal every week. Done! I blogged about those here, here and here. And don’t worry, there’s a fourth. But I’m a huge slacker and I haven’t blogged about it yet. Stay tuned.

I’d call that a pretty great month. So great, that I will absolutely set goals for February.

  1. Driver’s license, license plates, Passport. That’s right. I’m adding Passport to the list. This requires going to Walgreens, getting a photo and then going to the Post Office and spending a ridiculous amount. That’s easy. And what if I end up with a whim to go to Paris? I mean, it’s not ‘no spend January’ any more… I’m going to need that sucker.
  2. Appointments. It’s time. I’ve been here three months. I need to find new people. This month I’m scheduling an eye appointment, a dentist teeth cleaning visit and I need to find a vet to see K and Phoebs. I know, this is an extremely sexy goal. Even though it’s maybe disgustingly practical. It’s a need. And I’m doing it.
  3. No recorded TV until I’ve exercised for the day. What?! Here’s the deal, I really like my bed. Like, a lot. That combined with my absolute lack of discipline leads to me going home and crawling into bed and watching tv. Instead of doing something active. For heavens sake, there’s an elliptical in my living room. There’s no excuse to not jump on while watching a show. Or spending quality time with Julian before seeing what’s happening with Jess and Nick. This is happening. Count on it.
  4. Crock pot fun. I brought my crock pot back from my old home this month. I love my crock pot. And there’s one million things to try with it. Once a week – I’m making a crock pot meal. Yes I will take suggestions. Send them my way if you have them.

What about you friends? Want to accomplish something this month? Shoot me an email. I’m more than happy to hold you accountable! Overall, January was a fantastic month. The temps were warm. I had fabulous visitors. I found a groove. I’m looking forward to February as it’s looking as if it’s going to be pretty darn wonderful month. More fun visitors, more fun new places to try, great work to be done and some wonderful new friends to explore more of life with!

New Years Resolutions

I love the idea of setting new years resolutions. Because really, it’s like making a task list – and boy oh boy do I love a good task list.

But here’s what I don’t love. A year? Really? So much can happen in a year to completely alter those goals – and I think it’s such a far away distance that you don’t really work to achieve them, they are easy to forget about, etc. If my boss walked into my cube and handed me five things to do ‘this year’ – I’m not that motivated to start right at this moment… but if he walks in my cube and says ‘these things need to be done this month’ – I’m going to get those suckers done.

Why don’t we all just set monthly goals for ourselves? That seems like a much more attainable, trackable, accountable idea. You can begin the month setting yourself up for what you want to get done and thirty days later (or less if you’re starting late – whoops) – reflect on how things went and adjust, as necessary, for the next month.

Here are the things I’m going to do in January. Please feel free to hold me accountable and ask me about it!

  1. Buy nothing month. I already blogged about it here. It’s going well, but that’s still a goal for the month!
  2. I need to get a new drivers license and license plates for my new state. I have 90 days from move date… and end of January will be the last of those days! It’s quite the process in this state. I’m sure you’ll be hearing about that adventure.
  3. I think I have about 100 thank you notes to write from Christmas. I am going to write these.
  4. It’s impossible to run here. There is no air and it’s all hills. Oh and secretly (or not so secretly if you’ve ever run with/near/around me) I hate running. Therefore, I must find a new means of exercise. And it needs to be indoors because it gets cold and it’s already dark by the time I leave work. And I miss my bootcamps. So I will take suggestions – because the elliptical gets old 😉
  5. Learn to cook one new meal a week each week of the month. I’ve got a new cookbook and Pinterest, these will be beautiful tools. Plus, a girl can only eat so much spaghetti!

With my mass amount of free time all of the ‘clean and organize my closet’ or ‘sort out and get rid of things you don’t need’ have already been accomplished. Bam. Take that! But I think these are five very do-able things that I have 27 days to accomplish. Bring it on January. I’ve got my eyes set on you…