Goals Update – Week 1 – Lesson: Don’t get discouraged, small achievements still count.

To be honest I am not all that enthused about writing this update. I should be, I have started making progress on several of my goals but I guess the ones I wanted to see the most advancement on haven’t really met my expectations.

I only lost 200g this week. I must say here that I am not at all surprised and I have no excuses, I really didn’t try very hard and made no effort at all to make any changes to my diet. I am not really sure what I was expecting, that maybe having declared that I am going to lose weight my body would be oh so cooperative and secretly ditch the kilos by stashing them subtly behind a shrub or down the storm drain as I walk around the neighbourhood. It didn’t, as I know it can’t, yet I somehow still feel let down just a little. I did however get in three workouts over the week which is about a 300% improvement on the week before so it is not all doom and gloom, though I have yet to bust out my Pilates DVDs. Frankly I think I should just be grateful I didn’t put on weight, last I checked twice baked smashed potatoes and chocolate brownies are not diet food. I am paying myself $1 for every 15 mins of workout I manage to fit in. I need the incentive and I think a shopping spree for a new wardrobe will not only be most welcome at the end of the year but also, most likely, necessary, as I won’t have many clothes left that fit if I make my goal.

I have had more luck with my debt clearing efforts however and have sold quite a few items online. After auction success fees and keeping aside some to pay myself for workouts completed I have managed to pay $160 off my credit card. Not bad for week one I reckon! I intend to list at least as many , if not more, items this week. I would like to double that figure next week… wish me luck.

I have had to put aside my Home Management Folder project. I have searched a long time for exactly the right gift for my sister for her birthday and having had no luck at all I have started to make it myself. I would love to post a photo of it so far but as she reads my blog it might be a bit of a spoiler for her. Considering her birthday was back in March and it is now nearly May I think she deserves to see her gift in all its finished glory and not the deconstructed, half-finished thing it is now. I am seeing her this coming weekend so am attempting to fit what would normally be a months worth of crafting into a week, though with Hubby away for most of the week I have nights to fill. I am confident it will be done. I will share photos when it is firmly in my sister’s possession. I can however show you the card I made for my baby girl who turns one tomorrow!
Cupcake Card

I will post pics of her cake after I make it for the little family party we are having this weekend.

My new recipe for the week was kind of a backwards adventure this time in that, for the first time, I followed the recipe for the above mentioned brownies. I have made these several times but as I am what I call an “experimental baker” I have never (ever) followed the recipe as it is in the book! I have always changed ingredients, added extras and/or cooked it differently. It was nice, not nearly as exciting as my usual concoctions, but nice even so. After making my sweet girl’s cake this week I will however (sigh) be hanging up my bakers hat (metaphorically – I don’t actually own or wear one) in favour of lean cooking from now, for the foreseeable future at least. In the next couple of days I will create a recipes page on here if you are interested in trying any of my culinary adventures yourself.

Oh and “whats for dinner?” – no longer an issue! I made a 6 week (yes a whole 42 days worth with no two dinners the same) of meal plans. For the next 6 weeks I will try to follow the menu I have written and see if it makes a difference to my dinner time stress levels. Fingers crossed…

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Sock, Sock, wherefore art thou missing Sock?

I went sock-less today. Search as I might I simply couldn’t find a matching pair. They go into the washing machine in pairs, I hang them on the line in pairs, yet there is never a pair in the drawer. This is not a new phenomena but a regular occurrence in our house, well for me anyway. My husband always has his socks in pairs, lots of pairs, but it is not hard to make pairs when every sock you own is army issue green. I would be willing to put money on him having a sneaky stray single sock hiding in the back of his drawer, it can’t be just me, surely?

My home most definitely reflects my state of mind. When I am feeling low or having trouble concentrating my house is a mirror of the inner chaos. I can’t find anything, it seems everything we own is dirty, used, empty, in the washing machine or in a pile on the couch/chair/bed/floor. Then there are those very (very) rare times when I am focused, organised and feeling good and the house shows that too. The laundry is clean, dry, folded and put away, the dishes washed, dinner cooking and plenty of teaspoons in the drawer (we make a lot of tea in this house). My husband would probably try to tell you that this never happens but I maintain that it does (if infrequently) and I am sticking to that (actually clinging desperately, in the hope that I am not a lost cause).

I mentioned in my first post here that I wanted to find a system that works for me so I have done some (a lot of) research. I have found a whole bunch of websites dedicated to helping S.H.E.’s (sidetracked home executives) like me by helping them out of their C.H.A.O.S. (can’t have anyone over syndrome) and teaching them to F.L.Y. (finally love yourself) – see I am even learning a whole new language with this, it must be good! A while back I found FLYLady and thought she was good but didn’t really do anything about it. I have decided that her system is the one I will attempt to follow as she makes sense to me and doesn’t assume that my house is in any way close to where I want it. She assures me I am not behind, I don’t need to catch up and recommends just starting where I am – Hooray! So many of these dedicated sites give great long to do lists that would be impossible for anyone but a childless stay-at-home spinster who is perfectly organised and does nothing but clean, but I can’t reach that window to clean it, there is a pile of laundry in the way!

FLYLady recommends creating a Control Journal for your home, as do most of the similar sites and I have decided (there is that word again!) to do this, to create a home management folder to help me keep on top of the cleaning chores, household expenditure, bills, birthdays, shopping lists, contact lists, appointments, knowing exactly what that is in the back of the freezer etc that keep overwhelming me. This will be my craft project for the month of April as well. Multitasking, I am so clever! I will post pics when it is done.

Decisions

Decisiveness is not one of my strong points. If you continue to follow my blog I am sure this will become quite obvious. Don’t get me wrong, I can make decisions, it is just not often that I am adamant about the decision I have made. Case in point – I toyed with the idea of a blog for over a year before I started this, once decided it took me three weeks to decide which blog site would host it, several hours to decide what it would look like and then another 3 days to decide what the first post would be about. Yes I do see the irony that I decided to make my first post about my struggle to make decisions.

I never used to be so flaky. Once upon a time, in a former life as a store manager, I was a champion decision maker. I had no trouble instructing my staff on the when, where, how and who’s that the store required to be successful, and it was. Now, when my decisions really matter (two little lives are governed by them), I can’t even decide what is for dinner!

So… I decided (I promise that is the last time I will use that word in this post) it was time to really think about what I want next in life now that the major (having my babies) has been achieved. Over the last   three years leaving my job, raising said babies, moving house and having my husband deployed 3 times has left my life feeling somewhat chaotic and out of control. It is time for action! I sat down (not very active I know) did some hard thinking and have set down some goals for me to work towards and hopefully achieve. Here they are in no particular order:

I give myself one year to…

  1. Post a new message on this blog at least once a week – more if I can find the time and have something worthwhile to post.
  2. Lose 26kg – I have it there to lose and I can honestly say I won’t miss it!
  3. Improve my fitness – I am nowhere near ready for a zombie apocalypse and I have two babies to look after, I will need stamina.
  4. Make it through an entire Pilates workout on the advanced level – I have never made it past the intermediate level and having not done it for so long I am back to beginner, I am sure touching my own toes should not be such a struggle.
  5. Kick my sugar habit – seriously I rely far too heavily on sugar to get me through the day! I am not going to give it up totally but I would like to get rid of the refined sugar at least.
  6. Try one new recipe every week – even if it is just a new version of an old favourite.
  7. Complete a craft project every month – I really wanted to make this one a week but realistically most days I am lucky if I can fit 10 mins into the routine.
  8. Find and join (or start) a play group for my children – this I will make time for! There are a lot of children in the army housing but the only family my kids played with moved away so it is time to find new playmates.
  9. Find a housework system that works for me and stick to it – I am much better at housekeeping since moving to a bigger house but I still have a long way to go to keep the house “company ready” all of the time.
  10. Graduate – this needs some explaining. I completed a Bachelor of Business degree in Marketing and a Diploma in Advertising many years ago. Somehow I managed to do my entire final semester without my student loan paying for the papers I was sitting and as a result I was not allowed to graduate until I had paid for it (and fair enough too). It took me a year to pay it off (no longer being eligible to put it on my loan as I wasn’t a student anymore) and by the time I had done it I forgot all about applying to actually graduate. Now many years later (and not even sure if I can anymore) I thought it would be quite nice to see the certificates on my office wall.
  11. Sell all my excess stuff – I have so much stuff cluttering my life and house it is time to get rid of it. I will donate some but to achieve the following two goals I will need to make some money…
  12. Clear my credit card – my balance is not high (under a thousand isn’t too bad is it?) but with no income of my own it is a bit of a challenge to get rid of it. I want to do this without eating into our family savings or impacting on our budget at all. All of the items purchased on it were for the family (mostly nappies and baby gear) but I still want to do this myself.
  13. Save for a holiday – destination to be determined by how much I manage to sell/save over and above clearing the credit card, luckily I have LOTS to sell. I have had only one overseas holiday as an adult and that was only three days and far too busy to be relaxing. It is time for a tropical island get-away I think, well in a year anyway.
  14. Find a free online or correspondence course to do – I don’t want to work in advertising or marketing when my children go to school so I want to earn some new qualifications even if they are just certificates. At the moment I am thinking event management but who knows… I may find something else that inspires me more.

Phew, long post for my first one but now that I have put it all down in writing and made it visible to the world I feel accountable. I guess there is only one thing left to do… okay GO!