I have never really been the time of person to make New Year's Resolutions. I don't know why...I guess I just feel like if I say there is one thing I am either going to do or not going to do for a whole year, I'll probably be setting myself up for failure. But more importantly, while I understand "New Year's" is a good time for these types of resolutions, I think if there is something I really want to accomplish, there is no reason for me to wait for the beginning of the year to get started on working towards my goals.
Earlier this year, I did actually post some New Year's Goals, although I didn't do it until almost February...and I also posted my Hopes, Dreams and Plans for the Next 365 Days back in April as part of my 30 Day Blog Journal. I always enjoy going back and reading those...seeing what I can mark of the list and take pride in what I accomplished, recognize that I still have work to do, and sometimes, even see how my thoughts and goals have changed, even over a short time.
To start off, we'll briefly review and see how I've done on my New Year's Goals: Though I have not defended my PhD proposal and have yet to run a 10K or more, I can say that I have been somewhat successful. I have lost at least another 5 lbs since then, and I have been doing really well at saving all of my receipts and keeping them organized for when I am ready to do my taxes. I am not completely debt free yet, but we are taking big steps towards it. We have a good little nest egg for our savings, and I have been creating and sticking to a monthly budget really well over the past few months. We have absolutely zero credit card debt, and though I do have a couple of credit cards, I do not use them for anything I do not have the money to pay them off with before the next due date, so we never accumulate any interest whatsoever. The truck should be paid off by the end of October, and after that, all we will have left as far as debt is some student loans. Considering we are both still in school, I think that's pretty good. I am proud of how well we have worked together to get our finances in such good shape :)
I'll be honest...since my post in April, I have not gotten much of that accomplished. However, a lot of it has either changed, has been put on hold a bit due to my internship, or is in the works. The wedding planning has been coming along quite nicely, and that has probably been my biggest focus of the things on that list so far this summer! I blogged about it some here and here. Right now I am on the hunt for some bridesmaids dresses because the first ones I bought ended up being too short...I am kinda at the point where the rest of the planning will be centered around the bridesmaids dresses (because of the color I end up choosing), so once I solve that dilemma, I can continue my planning. Because I am in the works of changing my dissertation topic and moving my graduation date back a year, the timelines for my proposal and dissertation writing can be extended a bit :)
So I decided since we are about 3/4 of the way through the year, it was time for an updated list of things I'd like to accomplish in the next few months...we'll say before my wedding in May :) In no particular order, here they are:
1.) Run a half marathon.
2.) Finish writing and defend my PhD proposal.
3.) Pay off all debt, except for the student loans (when we both have big kid jobs, those will go quickly), and build up a solid savings of 3-6 months worth of expenses.
4.) Complete the entire 60 days of INSANITY by Beachbody.
5.) Spend more quality time with my family. After ten and a half weeks this far away, I realize how much I have taken for granted the fact that I am typically only an hour and forty minute drive away. Knowing that I will have about 8 months back home in Arkansas before I return to California next summer, and then another 8-9 months before we move out here for good, I want to take advantage of the time I do still have.
6.) Plan a stunning beach wedding in the Caribbean in May! (8 and a half months!)
7.) Do some serious downsizing of our junk and getting rid of things we don't need, particularly in the office/spare bedroom. Maybe even have a garage sale!
8.) Buy a sewing machine and learn how to use it, at least to make simple things.
And here are a few more specific goals that I want to accomplish before the end of the year, again, in no particular order:
1.) Get LASIK eye surgery done.
2.) Watch at least 2 of my nephew's football games this Fall.
3.) Watch at least 2 of my niece's soccer games this Fall.
4.) Participate in Warrior Dash on September 24th.
5.) Run the 10K at the Chili Pepper Festival on October 15th.
6.) Complete the Route 66 Half Marathon on November 20th.
7.) Complete 4 weeks of Boot Camp, using my Groupon :)
8.) Start eating bigger meals so I don't wither away with all this running and exercise...haha
9.) Defend my PhD proposal by the end of the semester (I was going to try to do it by October, but now that I am changing my project a bit, I'm going to need a little more time).
10.) Have my 2nd first-author publication submitted by the end of the year.
11.) Pay off the truck no later than the 1st of November.
12.) Get my wedding dress altered in time to do some bridal pictures when all the trees are pretty colors :)
That's all I can think of for now. I will update the list accordingly, and I will try to give you an occassional update of how things are going :)