Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Day 9 of this fun year of goals! What's Working & What Could Use Tweaking?

Begin where you are. But don't say where you are.
14,000 Quips

We're closing in on the ten day mark of our one year to an even better life, and I thought it would be a good idea to check in on what's working and what's not.


1. The nightly roundup for me has been hugely helpful. I feel each day like I've taken at least a small step on each of my goals and that's SUPER empowering. In days past, I might be on a "be a better mom" kick, but then be frustrated two weeks later when I thought about the fact that I'd done nothing with the other areas in my life. Now I feel each area is getting some care and is starting to sprout some new life.

2. I find myself more energetic than usual. It's kind of nice that there is little if any "what is the best use of my time now?" as I've always got these eight areas that keep me focused. And time spent on any of them never feels wasted. I go to bed with a sense of accomplishment and I awake knowing my main directions of the day. No longer am I wavering about whether the should I do this or should I just do that? And that lack of waffling my friends is spelled RELIEF!;-)

3. Lots and lots of positive messages around the house. I've got my hallway of posters, my refrigerator magnets, my dream poster in my bedroom, another motivational poster on my closet door, I read at least a few pages of some positive book each day, and listen, when possible, in the car to something that goes along with this year of goals. Right now it's an old Dennis Waitley tape that I picked up at a library sale.

4. My blog in general has been a wonderful catylist to jumpstart a lot of these goals. Thanks Greg for encouraging me to follow your idea on that. And thanks Blogspot for the free, awesome blog. Some experts say only one percent of the population writes down their exact goals and that writing them down is a very powerful momentum builder, to which I can attest. Both the book and nightlight idea have languished in the back of my head probably four years or so. And now, having them down on paper, if virtual paper, along with a nightly updates, is getting me there and I hope you're all following your dreams and taking those baby steps.

Not working:

1. The no spend days are not working. I'm zero for three so far. The goal was Saturday, Sunday, and Tuesday of this week. Saturday, I was visiting my mom and she asked if I would run into Staples to make a copy of a magazine article about weight. She was embarrassed to do so, so of course I said sure and didn't get into my no spend issue. So there was $1.50.
Sunday, Mom suggested we go to some antique shops as my dad had offered to watch the kids for a few hours. I could have said no. I don't think she would have minded, but I thought, "How fun!". And I could have gone and bought nothing, but when I saw the $25 green coat stand, the $10 garden plant holder, and the great $11 white coat rack, my great grandmother's admonishments of "Do you REALLY need that Eileen?" fell on deaf ears and $48.00 later, I was the proud owner of these three items.
Tuesday, I was out running errands and found I was starving and driving past my favorite bagel place, so I swung in and got myself a bagel and large iced tea for $3.85.
Clearly, I can use some real work in this area. One of the reasons I started the blog is that I'd seen our expenses creep up over the past five years or so and I wanted to get back to our more frugal habits. I really need to recommit to the no spend days, as there was not only monetary, but time costs here that could have been more wisely spent. I am going to try and tweak this and start with just two no spend days and see where I go from there.

2. Driving less - It ties back to the no-spend days. To spend, usually I am driving, so if I have fewer spend days, I will automatically drive less.

3. 30 Tops - Still haven't culled enough to reach this standard. Thinking I may start with 45 as a more reasonable number and tweak it that way.

What's working for you and what's not working? Wishing you a brisk wind to your sails, and just the right amount of tweaking to keep going in the direction you've chosen....



  1. Eileen, I have been having trouble keeping "well rounded" as well. Instead of no spend days, I have been earmarking a set amount of dollars on specific things (groceries, gas, girl scouts, high on our list) and decided to spend no yen as the exchange rate is VERY bad. I spent three dollars over on Girl Scouts, as I decided to become a co-leader and had to buy the book. I spent under on groceries, but will need more gas by Friday if I want to make my appointments. It's the rainy season, so walking is really out of the question.
    My nightly round up would include sewing, which is not going as well as I had hoped, as I didn't realize how huge my family sewing pile- mostly minor patching but also hemming (I am short) and minor alterations- has gotten.
    And I have been doing well with kids and marriage, but have had my moments of "not as good a mom as I'd like to be".

    Thanks for keeping us accountable, in the nicest most polite [chinese version] way.


  2. Hi Antoinette, I'm glad to see your comment and will hope it means you're feeling a bit better. I wondered too about using a set amount rather than no spend days. I'll try the first for four weeks, then may switch to the second. As I truly can barely sew a button, I admire your skill there. And I think your business idea is great! Even if it's 10 minutes a day, it's still progress. Heck, five minutes is still moving you where you want to go. And I can so relate about not always being the mom you want to be. I am determined to make "one happy memory" each day with the kids, which is usually the photo you see on the blog, but you can surely believe in between times someone is sobbing because he can't watch Thomas the Train for the fifth time, someone is angry that Mom cuts playtime short for baths, and Mom sometimes looks at the clock and wills it to speed ahead to bedtime;-). Eileen