Since we're about halfway thru 2008 (which, by the way, I find completely unbelievable... yet, my calendar wins), I thought this would be a good time to let you all in on how I'm doing with my resolutions.
The original Resolutions post can be found here, if you'd like to read all the details. For the purpose of the progress report, I think I'll just sum up.
- In this vein, I have successfully created the habit of cooking at home, averaging at least 3 nights a week.
- I am still working towards: an exercise regimen, quitting smoking, and enjoying the fruits (and veggies) of the local farmers' market on a regular basis.
Be more financially responsible:
- I've worked towards a MUCH more involved and informative approach to our bill paying/income-tracking/expense reducing/money saving activities. Everything is in excel (I still can't believe that up until this year I was still using a paper check register), I pay 95% of our bills online, we have a "working budget" in process, and I've created a very basic Income & Expense statement. We also have a detailed excel file showing how much we owe people, who we owe it to, and how quickly we're paying it off.
- I'm still kicking around the idea of taking that damn class the boss wants me in. It's offered again in August, but I really have ZERO interest in the subject matter. Argh!
- Still working towards: unloading some resell-able stuff on Craigslist or ebay.
I've also done some "off-list" things in this area, the biggest being that I've stopped going to Meijer (Wal-Mart-esque superstore chain) for grocery shopping, and have instead started using Aldi for most of our regular shopping needs. The store is smaller, they have less variety (and thus, less things for me to get caught up thinking we "need"), and the prices are oh-so-much lower. Example: Doritos @ Meijer: $3.99. "Nacho cheese chips" @ Aldi = $0.99. And they taste the SAME people, THE SAME! Seriously, if you have an Aldi near by, and you haven't yet explored it, give it a shot! Take a quarter so that you can rent a cart, and be prepared to a) pay with cash or debit card, and b) bag your own purchases (you can bring bags, or buy from them: $0.10 for plastic, or $0.05 for paper).
Get more organized: I feel like I've made a lot of progress here, even though much of it is not in the ideas I set forth in the original post.
- I have a better filing system for the bills, and for grocery shopping.
- I clean out closets (and other clutter filled areas) MUCH more regularly. One of my favorite steps I've taken here is that I donated THREE pieces of furniture today. I transferred our CD & DVD collections from their jewel cases into media cases like these. This simple step allowed me to get rid of 3 media towers! THREE OF THEM!!! (Can you tell I'm a wee bit excited about this?) This also makes the collection MUCH easier to toss into the camper for vacations, or into the car for road trips!
- I've made some strides in the housecleaning area as well, although I definitely still need to focus more energy here.
Live a little more green:
- I have: discovered and used Freecycle (that's where all those jewel cases went), started recycling everything that our city will pick up curbside, planted a few tomato plants (and planned for a larger garden next year), adjusted the thermostat to use less energy, gotten in the habit of turning off lights and unplugging electronics when they're not in use, and I've broken the habit of having the TV on all the time (thanks in large part to our DVR).
- Things I still want to work on: more detailed garden plans for next year, continue doing all of the things I've started.
Be more adventurous:
- I think I'm pretty good about picking up "something new" when grocery shopping, altho I haven't tracked it.
- I KNOW that I've tried a whole lot of new recipes over the last 6 months. Some have been added in to the rotation, others have been banished from ever appearing on Grumpy's plate again. Win some, lose some, right?
- Haven't been on the bike, as the bike needs fixin'.
- Have only been shooting once so far, but I know there is more of this to come.
Be more kind to myself: This is an area that I really feel (at least on good days) that I'm excelling at.
- I have definitely spent more time with friends over the last few months, both in person with the local friends and on the phone with the out-of-towners. I think I've also grown and nurtured some connections that I've made thru the blog. Still want to work on spending more time with family, specifically my side.
- Grumps & I have spent a LOT more time together this year, too. We are working better together on projects, and we are playing together more often (thank you camper).
I must say, compiling this post has made me feel really, really good. I've gotten a lot accomplished over the last 6 months. Of course, there is a lot more to be done (isn't there always?), but I really feel like I'm making good progress towards being that version of myself that I want to be. I need to remember this, and to refer back to it. I hope it will serve as encouragement to continue, even when I'd rather plant my big, fat, white, cellulite ass on the couch.