Category: Resolutions

March Goal Recap & April Monthly Goals

It’s that time again!

Here’s another look at what my goals were for March:

2015 Monthly Goals - March

I’m happy to say that I accomplished each one of these and, while there is still room for improvement on a couple, it’s nice to finally feel like I had a successful month.

I used up a lot of things that I had been saving for “the right moment” – a facial scrub, some face masks, an eye cream, and some makeup samples, just to name a few. Some of them I may repurchase, and for others it was nice to use them up and make space for some new things. It felt like I was treating myself every time I used a product that had previously just been sitting around! Spoiler alert: I had so much fun with this that one of my April goals is based on the same concept!

I found a dress!! It was actually one of the most uneventful wedding experiences so far, but one of the least stressful and I certainly needed that. I had tried on a few dresses with my mom, but none that I really loved and was having a hard time finding a style that fit the slightly nontraditional route that I knew I wanted to take. I ended up seeing a dress online at David’s Bridal, so I popped in one afternoon by myself, tried it on, and walked out with it 20 minutes later! I hadn’t expected to like it, so I think there was so little pressure in trying it on that it was just a really low key experience. The employees now refer to me as “The World’s Fastest Bride”. I’ll take it. 🙂

I am proud to say that I have limited myself to Starbucks breakfasts only one day per week. That’s not to say that I haven’t visited for a late afternoon latte, but we’re taking baby steps here. I’ve been having a lot of oatmeal (with pomegranate seeds – delicious!), whole grain waffles, and fruit. If you have any other breakfast ideas for me (because I tend to get bored quickly) please leave them below!

Here’s what’s on the agenda for April:

2015 Monthly Goals - April

I have a lot of DIY projects in mind for our upcoming wedding, but so far they’re all sitting in various Michael’s and AC Moore bags around the apartment. The goal this month is to complete at least one of them so that I can enjoy my summer and not be buried inside under a pile of glitter and glue.

As I mentioned before, it felt so nice to use up a bunch of products last month and create some much needed free space, so I’ve decided to apply this to my wardrobe and jewelry collection as well. I intend to purge my closet and discover some new ways to wear old pieces. It will be like shopping for free in my own closet! Plus, it will be nice to make a little extra cash at the consignment store 😉

Lastly, I intend to get up early one or two days each week to add some time to my day. Lately I’ve been feeling like there just isn’t enough time in a day to get everything done and still have some time for me, so if I can get up even 20 minutes earlier to throw in a load of laundry or take care of some online banking before work, that will make my nights a little less chaotic. I hope.

Wish me luck! What things would you like to accomplish this month??

February Goal Recap & March Monthly Goals

I figured you might be tired of me posting goals around here and not much else, so instead of doing a recap post AND a new list for March, we’re just going to combine them. Here we go:

2015 Monthly Goals - February

I’m happy to say that I actually 100% accomplished something from this list! The Save the Dates went out this week and we’re starting to hear back from people about the design and the link to our wedding website. I’m loving all the feedback!

I’m starting to think cutting down on sugar just isn’t in the cards for me (evident by the fact that I just typed “carbs” instead of “cards”). I do really well with it for a few days by grabbing only one square of dark chocolate when I want something sweet, but then Cadbury Mini Eggs come out and I’m a goner. Then I will be really good again and pass up a piece of cake at an office birthday party (physically painful, don’t recommend it), only to come home and find that Dan has bought me a slice of cheesecake. Work in progress still.

I like to think I’m pretty good with numbers, but somehow 10,000 seemed a lot smaller to me before I bought a Fitbit and was supposed to take that many steps in one day. I’ve only hit that goal twice in the past three weeks, and both times involved me running laps through our small apartment, or jogging in place next to the bed at 11pm to get those last few steps in. Going for walks hasn’t been much of an option around here lately, but when all this snow finally melts, I plan to hit 10,000 multiple times a week.

Here are my goals for March:

2015 Monthly Goals - March

I have this thing, and I think it’s really a thing, so let me know if you do this also, but I’ll buy something special for myself or get a nice gift and then be afraid to use it because I want to make it last. Well, this month I’m going to try to use those things up because I should be enjoying them! There will always be more “things” when my coconut shower scrub and fancy eye cream are gone.

We’ve checked a lot off of our wedding planning list in the last month, but the one thing I haven’t been able to do is find a dress. I know sometimes they can take months to create, and even though I don’t intend to buy something custom and would rather an off-the-rack, simple number instead, I would still feel better having that checked off with time to spare.

In the name of saving money and eating better, I also need to cut down on Starbucks trips in the morning, or grabbing a snack bar as an alternative. I know there is a Pinterest board full of interesting, healthy breakfast ideas out there just calling my name. Do you have any to add?

Check back in a few weeks to see if I can finally have a month where I reach all three goals! Daylight Savings and Spring are coming this month to bring longer, sunnier days and I think that will be all the motivation I need. 🙂

February Monthly Goals

It’s FeBRRRRRuary! Despite the cold, some of my favorite things take place this month -last night’s Super Bowl (!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!), Valentine’s Day, a local chocolate and wine festival, and two after-the-holiday holiday parties.

Since our schedules always seem to be jam-packed with fun things and family events, I’m finding it hard to accomplish monthly goals on top of the Winter Bucket List that I’m still trying to complete. Now that we’ve added wedding planning to the mix, I feel like I’m just about flat out, and so I’ve decided that for now, one of my monthly goals will be wedding-related to help move me along in the process.

2015 Monthly Goals - February

We still need to choose a photographer, have an engagement shoot, design our own Save the Dates, address them, and get them out. So while this goal only appears to be five words long, it’s one that may take me a good part of the month to complete.

Since I didn’t do so well at cutting down on all the sugary sweets last month, I’m adding that one back in with the hopes that Valentine’s Day will not equal boxes of chocolate. Now that Dan bought me a ring, he says he’s covered on gifts for the rest of my life, so I think I’m safe. 🙂 But there is that 75% off sale the day after…

Finally, I just bought a Fitbit One with my tax return, so I’m challenging myself to get outside and go for some long walks to increase my step count. And obviously my health as well. Find me and we can be Fitbit friends!

What are some of your goals this month?? Do you have any tips for me on accomplishing mine?

January Goal Recap

So January was a month full of ups and downs. Dan and I got engaged, but we also had a death in the family. There were a few 50 degree days, but there was also a blizzard with three feet of snow.

My monthly goals suffered their own highs and lows this January. Here’s what I was attempting to accomplish:

2015 Monthly Goals - January

I did read 4 books, as well as several wedding magazines that were the size and weight of books. The first book I read was a guilty pleasure, and I will tell you, but get your judgey pointer finger ready and cue the laughter. Are we ready?

book

Amber is one of MTV’s Teen Moms. How would you feel about me if I told you I also watch Pretty Little Liars? This book was as bad as you would expect it to be, both in content and in writing style, but there’s something about getting a peek into someone else’s life that I really enjoy. Which leads me to book #2:

book2

I saw rave reviews for this book by bloggers who had been gifted an early copy. When it finally became available to the rest of us, I snatched it up on my Nook app immediately and finished it within a few days. I loved loved LOVED this book and am recommending it to you also. It’s not just a diet story, and I think many people can relate, but even if you can’t, her writing will suck you in anyway.

The third book I read was gifted to me to help with wedding planning. At this point, I’ve read so many things about wedding planning that I feel like I could write my own. While there were some good ideas and checklists in this, most of the information is very traditional and slightly outdated (it talks about getting the “film” from your photographer).

Dan’s grandmother loaned me the last book and it came with a great review. Her and her friends couldn’t put it down, and while it isn’t something I would normally pick up to read on my own, I also found myself getting really into it. It’s a bit of a history lesson, but it’s a great story and I’m interested in reading more of her books. I think it’s also being developed into a TV mini-series this year.

book4

As far as creating a night time routine, I don’t think the word “routine” can really be applied yet. I would say I successfully washed my face and flossed my teeth before bed about 1/3 of the nights this month. While it’s not great, it’s more than the teeth-brushing followed by an immediate face plant into a pillow that I usually do. I’m going to keep working on this one.

And finally, never EVER set a goal to eat less sugar during a month when you are hosting a sweet swap for your friends. That was terrible planning on my part. Not to mention all of the Christmas candy that was still around and the celebratory engagement drinks. I’m not going to pretend like I climbed Mount Everest or anything, but the fact that I didn’t develop diabetes this month is accomplishment enough for me.

Stay tuned for February’s goals! I’m off to apply some eye cream and floss all that sugar away.

Happy New Year! | Monthly Goals

Happy New Year!!

I know you’re all busy at the gym, or food shopping for fruits & veggies, but when you get tired of that next week (or tomorrow, if you’re me), I hope you will come back and read this.

We had a pretty good 2014, but I’m hoping that 2015 is filled with bigger and better things, mainly apartments and salaries! And ok, maybe some smaller things, like stomachs and stress levels.

Instead of doing resolutions this year, I decided to pick a few goals to accomplish monthly. It seemed much more manageable to me that way, although there are times that I do miss my weekly resolutions from 2013. What I don’t miss is the time crunch every week that came with choosing, planning, accomplishing, and blogging about each activity. I figure if I pick only three things each month and spread them out over 30ish days, I can take my time to really get into each one without rushing through it. Or, you know, leisurely wait until the 29th to start all three, giving myself the anxiety that I seem to thrive on from creating projects like these for myself.

SPOILER ALERT: Positive thinking is not one of this month’s goals.

But here’s what is:

2015 Monthly Goals - January

I think the first and second goals might end up tying into one another, but what I really meant to focus on was taking some time at the end of each night to wash my makeup off (I’m so bad at that), floss my teeth (I’m even worse at this), and do all those other routine-like things people do at the end of the day before crawling into bed with a book. I’m hoping it will help my skin, my mind, AND make dentist visits less terrifying.

The final goal is something I’ve been tossing around in my head for a few weeks. I’m not entirely sure how I’m planning to go about it yet, but I definitely need to cut down on syrupy lattes, holiday cocktails, and gum with fake sugars! Stick around to see how I do…

Do you make New Year’s Resolutions? What’s on your list this year?

[Resolutions] – Auld Lang Syne

Very mixed emotions writing this today. While I really did enjoy this whole project, I can’t say that I’m not happy to have some extra free time in the near future. Some of these resolutions required little effort, but others involved time, money, and motivation that I wasn’t always ready to spare. Each week there was planning, doing, and writing. It’s mostly thanks to you guys holding me accountable that I even completed this entire thing, so thank you for that because it’s been a great year!

I crammed eight resolutions into my final week. I was focusing on Saying Nice Things for the entire seven days while also throwing in an additional resolution each day. Here’s how it went:

Wednesday: Try New Foods – I decided on this one while there was a plate of shrimp on the table for Christmas dinner. I kept trying to talk myself into trying one, but in the end, I couldn’t do it. Instead, I grabbed a piece of pot roast and a sip of coffee (two things I already know I dislike) and called it a day.

Thursday: Backup My Files – I hadn’t run a backup on my computer since the last time I drew this resolution, so I did that and backed up my WordPress files (for the new blog that’s coming once I figure out how to swap domains) as well.

1388618867

Friday: Watch More Movies – I never liked the first Anchorman when I saw it, but now that there’s a sequel, Dan convinced me to watch it again so that we might be able to go see the new one. Nope, still don’t like it. We also saw The Secret Life of Walter Mitty that night.

Saturday: Learn More About History – I searched Comcast OnDemand to find something from the history channel that I wanted to watch and was surprised to find that there were a lot of things! I chose “The Real Story of Christmas” and basically learned that Christmas began as a drunken mess, was actually banned for a period of time for being “too much fun”, and is based on an arbitrary date, as the day of Jesus’ birth is not known.

20131228_132930

Sunday: Pamper Myself – I’ve been sick this week, so after a little bit of shopping, I came home and took a nice, long, hot shower. I sat in bed with a new candle, a clean blanket, warm pajamas, some treats of the chocolate variety, and a magazine. Ahhhhhh.

20131229_181417

Monday: Take a Class – When I originally had this resolution, we tried to take a camera class, but it ended up being cancelled because of snow. We just signed up to take the same class again, so fingers crossed that summer starts in January this year!

Tuesday: Visit New Places – For Christmas I received a gift card to Legal Sea Foods, so we decided to check out their Legal C Bar for a special New Year’s Eve dinner. We went a little nuts. There were crab cakes and sushi, lobster and roasted mushrooms, and a seafood casserole. And that was only Dan’s meal because I don’t like seafood. We also had a glass of sangria each, some fried pickles, a small salad, and (my all-time favorite) macaroni & cheese. You watched the ball drop last night? That’s similar to how they had to roll us out of the restaurant and off of the curb. It was FANtastic.

20131231_170437

So there it is. Somewhere after the first few hours, I forgot about saying nice things, so I’m not sure how much of that went on. I do remember pointing out to Dan that I said something nice about him or one of the cats, but I’m gonna guess that it probably doesn’t count if you have to point them out. Regardless, it was a week packed full of some of my favorite resolutions and favorite things.

And just like that, it’s over…

But I will be back with more fun projects, new things, and little adventures, so keep following and we will enjoy 2014 together 🙂 Happy New Year!

[Resolutions] – How I Did With My Holiday Bucket List

Since this is the first Sunday in an entire year that I haven’t drawn a resolution from the jar, I figured I would update you on one of my past resolutions. Maybe you remember Week 45 where I decided to create a new holiday tradition and made us a bucket list of 24 things to complete before Christmas.

20131113_175241

And here’s what it looks like now that Christmas is over:

20131228_121406

We did pretty well! The only item not checked off is “Play in the Snow” and I would love to say that it hasn’t snowed here yet, so we couldn’t complete this one, but that’s not entirely true. It’s snowed a few times, but we’re (I’m) just too old and lazy to get all bundled up in snow gear only to go outside and throw a few snowballs and freeze. Plus, all that laundry when you come back inside. Ugh. We do have snow tubes that I want to use if there is a more significant amount of snow, but until we have kids, I think our snow angel days are on hiatus.

Here’s what we did for the rest of the things on our list:

Watch a Christmas Movie – I made Dan watch It’s a Wonderful Life because he had never seen it before. It’s definitely dated and a bit cheesy, but it’s such a good movie with a nice Christmas seasony message.

20131206_174224

Create a Holiday Drink – We did this one twice! Er…two nights in a row. We made Christmas Cookies and Candy Canes.

20131206_171451

Take a Holiday Photo – This was actually taken while we were accomplishing one of the other items on our list. Yay multitasking.

20131221_221158

Drive Around Looking at Lights – The house in the photo above goes crazy with their Christmas decorations (and electric bill) every year. We drove around the neighborhood and checked out some of the other light displays, too.

20131221_221830

Bake Cookies – I can’t even tell you how many times I baked cookies in the last three weeks. Multiply that by a lot and that’s how many of them I ate. Someone has to do quality control.

20131218_185200

20131218_210439

Make a Christmas Craft – I found this wreath project on Pinterest and I love how it came out. It’s so easy, but so pretty!!

20131219_211729

Listen to Christmas Music – Pretty much every day.

Donate a Gift – I brought a board game to a work function for Toys for Tots.

Put up New Decorations – Dollar store for life!

20131212_151846

20131212_151919

Drink Egg Nog – I don’t like the regular flavor, but I could drink the vanilla one for days. I wish it wasn’t just a seasonal thing. Can someone petition this?

Give a Secret Gift – This one wasn’t entirely secret because Barnes & Noble wasn’t letting me send a book as a gift, so my name showed up on the packing slip. I think it was still a surprise though!

Do a Christmas Activity – We jumped the gun a bit on this one because we went to the Enchanted Village on November 30th. But at that time, it must have been December somewhere? We also went to a tree-lighting ceremony a week later, so we didn’t break the rules entirely.

_DSC0016

20131205_181517

Wear Holiday Jewelry, Nails, or Clothing – Did all three. BAM!

20131221_180109

Play a Christmas Game – Technically this didn’t happen until Christmas night, but I see no reason why that shouldn’t still qualify.

20131225_225507

Read a Christmas Story – I downloaded a short story collection from Kindle and I actually really enjoyed these. They’re not very modern, but the old feel to them makes it more authentic and nostalgic I think. Check them out.

Enjoy Christmas-Scented Things – Oh, I did. Winter Candy Apple, Christmas Cookie, Peppermint everything.

Watch a Christmas Special – We watched the Saturday Night Live Christmas Special and I found TLC’s Extreme Christmas Trees on Netflix. Obviously I liked the tree made of cake the best.

Drink Hot Chocolate – Spiked, unspiked, made at home, bought from Starbucks, we did it all. But mostly spiked.

20131205_204914

Send Christmas Cards – Done.

Enjoy a Christmas Treat – We’ve had a candy dish full of peppermint bells and I bought Dan some gingerbread cookies. I’m not even going to make a joke about gingerbread for the ginger because he won’t like it.

20131211_195622

Send a Card to a Soldier – Someone posted this story on Facebook so I mailed him a card. His birthday was on Christmas!

20131215_185736

Wrap Gifts – Ok, this one was kind of a free pass. Obviously I wrapped gifts.

Attend a Holiday Craft Fair – My mom and I attended one in November, but Dan and I found another one a few weeks later. We didn’t buy anything at the one in December, but it was part of a nice day of shopping, eating, and people-watching.

20131207_151008

That’s it!! I can totally tell you that this was a complete success (even without playing in the snow) and I will definitely be doing it again. It made the holiday season about more than just last-minute shopping and chaos, and I really enjoyed doing these. I think this is going to be my new “advent calendar” for years to come!

[Resolutions] – Good Deeds Done

I hope you all had a very Merry Christmas!! We certainly did. Lots of time spent with family, playing games, giving gifts, visiting, chatting, and of course eating. It was a great couple of days.

20131221_221158

I started my week of good deeds off by holding the door for a woman at Target. One of the workers had gotten a train of shopping carts stuck between the automatic doors and a bunch of us were waiting behind him to get out into the parking lot. The woman with her carriage full of boxes and a bean bag chair was in front of me, but I slipped by her and pushed open one of the other doors and held it for her. She thanked me, but then continued to complain all the way to her car about “how stupid the kid was getting carts stuck in a door” and how they “didn’t have any large bags for her items at Christmas time!” among other things. I got in my car, wished her a flat tire, and went on my way hoping all my good deeds wouldn’t be rewarded this way.

A few days later, I ended up back at Target (shocking.) and grabbed a basket full of things from the local animal shelter’s wishlist.

20131222_114028

I had planned on bringing it to the shelter myself, but a friend of mine who I met up with after my Target trip was actually heading to the shelter with some donations of her own that night, so I gave her my bags and she played Santa to some very happy animals.

My week ended with Christmas Eve, and as we were driving to my family’s house we (obviously) stopped at Bagel World. I decided to pay for the man behind me in the drive-thru as my last good deed. Dan tried to watch his face as we drove away, but I was intent on getting out of there before he could catch up to me so he wouldn’t think I was waiting to be thanked. OR creepy. I like to imagine he appreciated it and that his free coffee tasted better than usual that day.

Apparently I didn’t earn enough good karma this week because guess who got a cold for Christmas?! This girl. Cough, sniffle. I would still like to do a few more good deeds for this one however, but I ran out of time with the Christmas Craziness. I plan on donating some winter jackets soon and I think it would be fun to bring some flowers or cookies to the hospital. As soon as I’m done sniffling.

[Resolutions] – The Grand Finale!

This is it! The last resolution of the year!

20131222_174549

While I think it’s nice to be nice (someone get me a thesaurus), I feel like this is a little anticlimactic for the final resolution, so I have something else in mind for the week.

For each day of the final week, I’m going to choose one of my other 51 resolutions to focus on. I will still be trying to say nice things all week – complimenting people, not being gossipy or negative – but I will have a second resolution to accomplish each day also.

So, for example, Wednesday might be the day I choose to eat healthy, or see how far I can run. Wait, Wednesday is Christmas? Well, forget that. I’m going to have to plan these very carefully it appears…

It’s definitely bittersweet writing about my last resolution. I have had so much fun doing this and have accomplished and experienced so many things this year that I most likely would not have if it weren’t for this project. While I’m really going to miss it in 2014, I have some other things up my sleeve for the year and I will enjoy having a little more time each week to focus on those. This blog won’t be going anywhere and I will still be doing weekly posts, so make sure to “like” the Nic on the Net Facebook page if you want to see what’s coming up next!

[Resolutions] – From Boots to Bow Ties

I have Christmas songs stuck in my head today so I apologize if there are some misplaced fa-la-la-la-la’s in here. I’m on Christmas overload right now, but in a good way. Tonight will be spent baking Rudolph and melted snowman cookies (might be a “Pinterest nail or fail?” post coming soon?) while trying to wrap a few gifts and listen to the holiday songs that are in my head. Good times.

Anyway, this week was a definite success. I didn’t wear a skirt or dress every single day (only four of them), but frankly, it’s too darn cold for that right now anyway. I still dressed up for the other two days, especially when compared to my normal work & weekend attire.

You might be thinking right now “wait just a minute, 4 + 2 = 6. But there are 7 days in a week…” Yes, smartypants, you are right. Thanks for pointing that out. Would you like to venture a guess as to which day I missed?

Wednesday – Started off the week with a sweater dress and even had time to curl my hair and take an obnoxious selfie in my dirty bathroom mirrors before work.

20131211_080833

Thursday – We had a film company visiting at work that day and were all told to dress nicely. I followed the rules, but ended up leaving work before the crew got there and went to finish Christmas shopping instead. Shopping in a skirt and heels? I think I am now eligible for sainthood.

Friday – I had a work event at night that required me to dress up, so this one was another dress and heels day. This week is not going to be good for my dry cleaning bill.

20131213_080918

Saturday – I was supposed to be going to a birthday party that night, but Snoowwwwmygosh 2013 made sure that didn’t happen. Instead I went out to dinner with a couple friends and still wore a dress (with leggings and boots, I’m not totally insane), which I would NEVER have done on a normal weekend. Not a fancy dress, but a nice enough one where I still felt better than jeans or yoga pants.

Sunday – Buuuuuuut then Sunday happened. Let’s see, did I even shower on Sunday? Oh, I did! I did, around 6pm, and then went outside to shovel out my car. This was about as dressy as Sunday got, but that’s what Sundays are for, right?

20131215_174406

Monday – When I woke up Monday morning, my phone said the temperature was 5 degrees. That’s it, just 5. Not 5-0, not even 2-5, just 5. Definitely a pants day. To make up for it, I wore a dressier blouse and a bow tie necklace, because everything is fancier when you’re rocking a bow tie.

20131216_165823

Tuesday – It may have been 10 degrees on Tuesday, so….yayy heatwave? Still a pants day, but I wore my new Loft dress pants that I’m in love with and made sure to curl my hair again instead of leaving it a wet, frizzy mess.

So there ya go, six days of dressing up and one obligatory day of rest. When I made some of these resolutions, I think I was a little over zealous with the “exercise EVERYday” or “dress up EVERYday”. It’s nice to try something new for an entire week, but in real life, there is no way that would continue throughout the year, and many of these things are resolutions I want to extend for….well, life.

Which means I need more bow ties.