Well, we’re a little more than two weeks into the new year, and I think it’s time to evaluate and refocus.
I normally make very vague New Year’s resolutions, and maybe that’s part of my problem. My goal is always to improve, whether it is mentally, physically or financially. When I reflect on New Year’s Eve, I want to be able to say that I ended the year better than I started.
So, how do I achieve that goal? In the past it’s been more of a daily challenge to seize opportunities in front of me. But I’m thinking this year, maybe I get a bit more aggressive and at least identify some specific areas for improvement. So here’s the goals I’ve set, the technology I’m using to achieve them and how I’m doing so far.
FINANCIAL – to end the year with less debt and more in my savings account, to create a budget and stick to it
Status Report: I’d say I’m doing okay. So far this year I have increased my charitable giving and actually added to my savings account, so I’m proud of that. But I did go off budget this weekend when I bought a dress that I didn’t really need. On the bright side, it was on clearance and only $7, but it was my first splurge buy of the year. I’ve also ended up spending a bit more on food because of my workout and healthy eating goals (see below). I re-figured my budget a few nights ago and things are still on track as long I stay strong through the weekend.
Tools: In the past I’ve used an iPhone app called BillMinder that would remind me when my bills were due and subtract them from my income. I had tried out Mint.com, but had never really invested in using it. Last week I went through and updated all of my account info, created a budget and set goals for myself. I like how thorough it is and the variety of alerts I can receive either by e-mail or text message.
VOLUNTEER - to spend more of my time helping other people
Status Report: I’m doing terribly! Last year I was volunteering about once a month. This year I wanted to increase that to at least once a week. So far, I’m 0/2. But I am signed up to help out at the Northeast Iowa Food Bank this week!
Tools: I find out about a lot of opportunities through work and friends. But if you’re looking, you can check out the Volunteer Center of the Cedar Valley. They have a variety of volunteer opportunities that are searchable on their website.
HEALTH – to eat healthy and live a more active lifestyle
Status Report: This goal has two pieces – to be more active and to eat healthy foods. I started my running journey almost two years ago when I decided I was too sedentary and set a goal of running a half marathon. This year I’m upping my game by training for a full marathon in the spring. And so far I am failing on the training front. I have only run a couple times in the last few weeks and the runs have not been nearly as long as they need to be. As for food – it’s been hit or miss. For the most part I’m sticking to fresh foods that are low in fat and sodium and rich in whole grains and protein. I’m also investing more in foods and supplements that will help fuel my aggressive training. There have been a couple days where convenience won out and I hit a drive-thru. But the nice thing about the running and food is that each day is a fresh start. And today I’ve done well with both.
Tools: I use DailyMile to track my exercise. It’s a social networking site for runners, walkers, cyclists and tri-athletes. I can track my stats, map my runs, and connect with other athletes. There are a mixture of beginners and pros, and I love that they help me celebrate the little victories and answer all of my questions as a relatively new runner. For tracking food I use an iPhone app called Lose It! But I’ve also used DailyPlate in the past. Really, you want something that will track your weight, food intake, exercise and nutrients. As I lose weight, it adjusts my calorie goals. And by balancing the calories I burn and eat, it helps me make better food choices.
EDUCATION – to continue to read and learn
Status Report: Making progress…I’m finishing up a photo essay One Million Shillings, I also watched a documentary to help re-inspire my running efforts called Spirit of the Marathon.
Now it’s your turn! What are your resolutions, how are you doing, and what technology are you using to achieve them?
Posted under Education, Health, Web/Tech
This post was written by jjarvis on January 17, 2011