Friday, January 8, 2010

Great Quote

So it's 11 pm on Friday and I am watching What Not to Wear and Stacey London just said something so profound, at least to me anyways...

"You have to let go of what you were and allow yourself to be who you are."

WOW! So true. We all need to be ok with who we are, what we are right now, not who we were, what we used to do and even more importantly, what we used to look like.


A woman with a plan

So I have already written about my plans to turn 2010 into a year of growth, discovery and a better life. Now I need a plan to do what it takes to do just that. In the spirit of adhearing to the word Stability that I chose as my focus throughout twenty-ten, I need to figure out how to accomplish of the goals of financial, emotional, and physical stability in my life.

Let's start at the beginning...

1) Financial Stability...Already I have witnessed how unstable this part of my life is with the very first paycheck of the year.

A) Eliminating Debt/ Emergancy fund-I have talked about how I want to work on a on-going register to ensure all the necessities are paid on-time and in full. But along with that I need to cut out all unecessary spending and start saving. Simple Mom had offered lots of insight into all of this, and she mentions here that the first step in this is creating a emergancy fund, then working to payoff all non-mortgage debt (for me this is all debt, since I currently do not have a mortgage). Her theories seem plausable and I see how I can make this part of my goals for financial responsibility.

B) Organization- While it isn't for the sole purpose of financial stability, it certainly can't hurt and will also allow me to get my house and life in order. There are lots of different aspects of my home and life I would like to organize. Simple Mom (yet again) offers 6 tips for conquering the problems that come with organizing your life here and also links to another blog, Organizing Your Way, where Mindy is planning to offer tips entitles 31 Days of Organizing to a Better 2010.

Count me in! I haven't finished reading all of this 100% but I plan to this evening and start with a list of things I hope to accomplish and be as specific as possible to be better able to keep my self from freaking-out over the giant tasks that will make up the process of getting organized! The 3 main areas of concern: financial organization, a calendar/planner, a decluttered home!
2) Emotional Stability- The overall goal here is to grow, nuture, and maintain all my important personal relationships with family, friends, and the most wonderful man I have ever had come into my life. I want to become dependable, trustworthy and an all-around better person to the most important people in my life. I want to become more independent, reliable, and self-sufficient...I think I can, I think I can!
3) Physical Stability- I HAVE TO DO SOMETHING ABOUT MY WEIGHT!! This year HAS to be different. I have tried to stick to a diet for the past 2 years, and obviously had NOT BEEN WORKING!! I have to find the drive, ambition, and GUTS to stick to it. No cheating, no excuses. Oh, and I am going to start hitting the gym again. I was doing so well over the summer, then I quit. I need to get re-addicted and get back to not just working on my body, but also my health. I do have a wonderful little boy to think about, ya know?!
Well, so far, that is the broad plan, but we will dig into even mroe nitty-gritty, dirty details soon enough! Happy Planning, Y'all!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Financial Panic...

It all happened today after lunch...

I was trying to be proactive with finances today, since I get paid tomorrow. As you may have read below one of my goals for the year is to gain and maintain finacial stability, so I decided to start with this paycheck with focusing on only the essential spending. You know...bills, Austin's before and after care, car maintenence, etc. So what did I do next? I looked at my paystub to see what I have to work with.

I then discovered the impact my decision to be responsible and forward-thinking by establishing both a medical spending flex account, as well as a dependant-care flex account. I now, as of this paycheck, am having approximately $300 more dollars taken from each check and put into the before-mentioned accounts. YIKES!

In the spirit of becoming financially stable I started a electronic version of a register to track the incoming and outgoing spending. I also plan to to keep a hand-written register (yes, Mom, you read that right!) and do what most financially responsible adults do! So, anyways....I did that and guess what? Once the bills and other payments are complete, these is VERY LITTLE paycheck left...YUCK! I guess it's time to start living extremely tight! But I am hoping by doing so, I will be able to start gaining a savings, and find a way to better live within my means.

Wish me luck! And I leave you with a quote I got in an email today, that reminds me to begin with the end in mind, like I learned in my 7 Habits training. Provided by a great motivational speaker, Judy Moreo, "The journey becomes clear when the destination is known."

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

All Alone...

Today proved to be alot harder than I anticipated. Today Jarrod went home, and after a wonderful 2 weeks of having the man of my dreams here in my everyday life, it was hard to watch him drive away and know he wouldn't be coming back in a few minutes or even in a few hours. I wanted to clean my house, I wanted to get the Christmas things torn down and put away. Did I? NO. I left the house and went to see my mom, have lunch and run errands with her. I had to get out of the house. With Austin in school, Jarrod and the puppy gone, the house was eerily quiet and I had no desire to be alone. Shopping and lunch with Mom helped and finding a killer deal on a super cute pair of black jeans with rhinestone detailing didn't hurt either...SCORE!

And once I picked up Austin, it totally helped me. However, now that he is in bed, I have had to keep myself occupied redo-ing my blog layout to make me forget how quiet and lonely I feel. Is it weird that having Jarrod around my home, even for 2 weeks, has turned my world sideways? I am completely smitten and having this time together has shown me that happiness is possible. Who knew, right?!

Well Jarrod and I have been discussing how we had not even ONE picture of us together, and in the course of the 2 weeks together, we have made some great ones. So I leave you guys with these...

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Focus word for 2010...

I was reading through a couple other of my regular blogs and many others are following Ali Edwards in her quest for a single word to help in shaping the upcoming year. I spent the better part of yesterday trying to figure out if I did this too, what my word would be. Then last night I had decided on one I think fits me best and the goals I want to accomplish in 2010, then I discussed it with Jarrod and he agreed this would be a great word for me! And the word is...(drum roll please)...

I chose this word, because over the course of the latter part of last year, I was trying to work towards a more stable lifestyle, but I obviously need more time to get to the place I want to be. The goal for 2010 is to reach a place of overall stability. I want to become stable financially and make sound money choices. I want to create a stable home environment for my son and myself. I want stability in my personal relationships. I have come a long way by finding the perfect man for me, but I also want to work on being a more stable and consistent daughter and friend as well. I want to become more stable in my physical appearance and by that I mean, LOSE WEIGHT and get healthy with diet and exercise. I want to get myself to a place where I can hit the gym 3 times a week and feel better about myself and my appearance. I want to have a balanced schedule and not cram everything I have to do at the last minute, which means I need to stop procrastinating and do jobs and chores when they are small rather than putting it off until it is a HUGE undertaking!

So this is going to be the word I put into the back of my mind with the choices I make to try and gain the stability I am striving to acheive. Do you have a word you would use to help shape this year? Please share it with me if you do. I would love to hear what others out there want their year to be like!

Friday, January 1, 2010

New Year's Eve...

I hope you all had a wonderful and safe New Year's Eve. Since Jarrod and I had Austin, we went to Ruster's Roost for dinner, which sits on top of South Mountain as part of Arizona Grand Resort. It overlooks all the city lights and and is super yummy! By the time we got home Jarrod had a killer headache and I sent him to bed. I played with Tabitha and ended up in bed by 11:15. We didn't make it till midnight but managed to ring in the twenty-ten this morning with yummy breakfast and the Tournament of Roses Parade.

There is a blog I recently stated following, (In)Courage that had a really good list of questions that helped you to reflect on the past year's events, while looking forward to the year ahead. I decided I want to participate in the reflection of the past year of my life...

Reflection Questions for 2009

1. What was the single best thing that happened this past year?

A: I think the best thing that has happened to me this year is meeting my boyfriend, Jarrod, and having him become a part of my life. He makes me happier than I can ever remember being at anytime in my life.

2. What was the single most challenging thing that happened?

A: I think the toughest challange for me has been figuring out how to deal with my ex-husband's illness and how to help my son, Austin understand what his dad is going through.

3. What was an unexpected joy this past year?

A: I would have to say the most unexpected joy this year again is meeting Jarrod, but even more than that meeting his kids and his family, as well as having my family welcome him with open arms and for them to see how happy he makes me and how much he enhances my life!

4. What was an unexpected obstacle?

A: I think most people would say the financial situation in the U.S. today is an obstacle, but I think my own personal obstacle would be finding a way to show I have moved on and and ready to move forward with my future.

5. Pick three words to describe 2009.

A: Unexpected, Wonderful, Challanging

6. Pick three words your boyfriend would use to describe your 2009 (don’t ask them; guess based on how you think your boyfriend sees you).

A: Wonderful, Tough, Happy

7. Pick three words your boyfriend would use to describe their 2009 (again, without asking).

A: Unexpected, Happy-ending, Struggle

8. What were the best books you read this year?

A: All of the Debbie Macomber books I've read, all of the Nicholas Sparks books, And Vision in White by Nora Roberts

9. With whom were your most valuable relationships?

A: My mom, Jarrod, My best friend, Shay

10. What was your biggest personal change from January to December of this past year?

A: Turning myself around financially and meeting the man of my dreams!

11. In what way(s) did you grow emotionally?

A: For some reason, in the last year I feel like I have grown up ALOT and I feel more like an adult. I suppose this is a good thng since I am 6 weeks away from the big 3-0!

12. In what way(s) did you grow spiritually?

A: I think I am more at peace with myself and ok with where I am in my life. I feel like I am not always sweating the small stuff and going with the flow more...which is definately a good thing!

13. In what way(s) did you grow physically?

A: Well physically, I grew out! Hahahaha! We will work on this in 2010 andd maybe I will answer this one next with me growing "In"!

14. In what way(s) did you grow in your relationships with others?

A: I feel like I am taking a more grown up approach to life rather than being impulsive. This has helped my growth in my relationships as I am able to prove I am more dependable and trustworthy!

15. What was the most enjoyable area of managing your home?

A: Something about housework is supposed to be enjoyable? I guess I feel the best about when it's all done...and then not so much when it needs to be dne again! Actually, my favorite part of being at home is cooking and baking for those I love.

16. What was your most challenging area of home management?

A:No suprise here...LAUNDRY! Without a doubt, laundry is my least favorite chore because it take a long time to do and I tend for forget to change the loads out when they dryer buzzer goes off. OH THE TOURTURE!

17. What was your single biggest time waster in your life this past year?

A: Hmmm...I guess procrastination or getting lost in a book.

18. What was the best way you used your time this past year?

A: Making lists. They kep me on task and keeping a calendar to better manage my time each day!

19. What was the biggest thing you learned this past year?

A: Sometimes you have to be mean to make your point even when it hurts to be a B^$#h.

20. Create a phrase or statement that describes 2009 for you.

Over, thank God!