Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Goals Check-in: February

It's already the end of the month! Sheesh, so much has happened in the shortest month of the year. My sweetie lost her job, I thought we might be moving (our application was turned down), I did my taxes and actually got a refund this year (thanks to the education credits for being enrolled in grad school), my cat got lost, I've been charging through another semester, the wedding venue we'd been expecting to book fell off the table, and all sorts of life changes!

Oh, and I made a bit of progress on my 2012 goals.

Read 100 books in 2012.
The count is over 30. Still no reviews. I started writing one review, but slacked off. It's easier to consume than produce, and reading is no exception.

Exercise for
90 minutes per week.
I forgot to wear my FitBit a couple of days -- I took it off to charge and then didn't put it back on until the next day. So I'm missing some data. :( I'm still not as active as I would like, and I'm considering modifying this goal to better express what I want to be doing.

Get rid of (sell, donate, recycle) 80 items from the house by the end of the year.
I joined the Declutter Challenge! And then I kind of ground to a halt - LOL. I do have a bag of old clothes to donate, and a whole bunch of books in a box, but they haven't left the house yet. I finally sold something on Craigslist! It was our large cat carrier, for $10. I listed the electric keyboard and had several people express interest, but they fell through before coming to take a look. I might lower the price a little.

70 posts for this blog in 2012.
In February: 7 including this check-in. 21 total to date. I've slowed down while doing coursework, but I have some posts for Women's Money Week coming up! I'm also asking my sweetie to do a couple of guest posts. Topic suggestions are welcome -- what do you want to read about?

60 hours in 2012.
I'm still singing in the Sunday evening church choir, helping with services as a reader or Communion holder, and meeting with the pastoral search committee, but I haven't volunteered for anything outside of church so far this year! That's kind of depressing. (And then I look back at my schedule, and it's clear why.) These are some things that I'd like to do: feed people, read to kids, care for animals, cuddle babies, pick up trash. Not all of those have to happen during business hours, or even with a program. I might be creative and get some friends together.

Save or donate 50 percent of my take-home income.
In January, I saved 79% and donated 7% of my net income. (I'm counting the cash I applied to the accounts, not any interest earned.) This month was unusual because I received a bonus, and I am including that amount in the calculations.
Here's how it broke down:
Emergency Savings: 13.4%
Xmas 2012: 1%
Wedding: 4.1% (plus a large chunk that came from an outside source)
House Fund: 5.1%
Grad School: 17.1%
Roth IRA: 39.5% (the bonus check went in here)
401(k): taken from paycheck; 5% of gross income; not counted in this total
HSA and medical FSA: taken from paycheck; not counted in this total
Investments: added money from tax refund and a belated Xmas gift; not counted in this total
Church Pledge: 6.3%
Other Donations: <1% I bought breakfast for a man asking for money outside, but I didn't select a recipient for the monthly amount.

Distribute 40 business cards by the end of the year.
Okay, I finally ordered these and they have been delivered. I gave 2 to a coworker. Now, to start networking!

Spend 30 minutes per day in meditation.
This goal has completely fallen by the wayside. :( I'm finding it hard to scrape together 30 minutes of non-sleeping downtime at ALL, much less when I am alone and centered. I'm converting this goal to Spend 30 days without a phone or computer in 2012. I think this new goal will encourage me to relax, rest my eyes, and appreciate the world around me more, which is what the old goal was SUPPOSED to do (but instead made me feel more frantic about scheduling).
Be able to do 20 pushups at once by the end of the year.
I haven't been practicing!

Write 10 recommendations on LinkedIn in 2012.
I wrote 1 for an employee of our outsourced support vendor. She's been a big help to me, and I referred her to our HR department last year when they were hiring for customer support, but unfortunately for us, she lives in the wrong geographical area. If I can't work directly with her, I'm still pleased to see her move forward at the outsourced company.

Don't buy lunch at work. Done! I forgot to bring lunch a couple of times, but I had some cans of soup in a drawer at my desk.

No ice cream for Lent. Well, we've only just begun...

Attend Taize and Q-Sangha. I went to Taize last week (Ash Wednesday) and will go again tonight; I also attended Q-Sangha yesterday. Having a dedicated space and time for meditation helps me make room for it!

Take a break. I took my 4 days off at the beginning of February, but I didn't get as much done as I would have liked to. (Yes, I realize that looking at time off work as an opportunity to do schoolwork and chores is  not much of a vacation, and possibly indicates a mild mental disorder. Have I ever claimed otherwise?) I have more than two weeks of vacation time on the books, and if it gets much higher, it'll stop accruing, so I'm being urged to take it when I can. Later in the month, I had a mid-morning appointment, and so I arranged to take the entire day off and ran some errands. It was nice to be away from the screen and out in the sunshine (although I burned my eyelids a bit and had to lie down with witch hazel pads over them).

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