Are you a goal-setter? I've been writing my goals down for years–both personal and our family's financial goals–and I've learned that writing them down helps me stay accountable to myself. I've also learned over the years to not set too many (because then I can't achieve them), similar to how I do my to-do lists for the week and each day. Back in January (mid-January to be exact, because I am all about the procrastination), I shared my Personal Goals for 2015. Now it's time for an update!
Feeding my Family Healthy Meals
I set the goal of cooking 6 out of every 7 nights of the week (with that last night either being leftovers, a convenience food (like a frozen meal) or eating out (which we rarely do). My method for accountability was publishing my bi-weekly menu plans here on the blog, and that really helped me stick to it. We definitely had a couple of periods during the year where we went off the plan and ate out (usually when I'm sick and my husband is in charge of dinner), but overall I feel like this was very successful. I also included the kids more in the menu planning, which helped them stay excited about eating at home and save the eating out for special occasions like birthday celebrations.
Staying on Budget
As I mentioned in our Quarter 4 Financial Goals Update, we didn't do a great job of staying on budget, but we didn't end up losing money because I pushed myself to earn more this year. The kids enjoyed our Halloween this year, where the whole family went to a big thrift store to find parts to make their Halloween costumes. We had fun working together on a tight budget.
And last but not least, my Tolkien Elf. We used a green sheet from @savers_thrift to make the cloak, painted the vest (she's wearing it backward as a tunic), and made the crown from foam. Great find on the boots at Goodwill, too! #happyhalloween #frugal #diyhalloweencostume #diycostumes #thriftstore
Enjoying my Family
I set this as a goal specifically because we really enjoyed our 2014 activities of in-home activities like board games and movie nights along with outings and trips. We didn't do much traveling this year, but we did get to see several live theater shows and enjoyed a lot of new-to-us board games (more on Instagram!). Next year, our goals is a LOT of travel, so we spent a lot of time at home this year saving up for those trips. I did make a little progress on my photo goal for the year, getting the kids involved and buying myself a new camera (finally!), but I did not make any progress on photo albums. I'll need to think about that for 2016.
Enjoying our Home
Our family goal was to revamp our basement from a little-kid space with a train table to a big-kid space. We decorated the walls with superheroes, put in a used couch (bought from the neighborhood FB group), and added a TV. It's been a great spot for my son and his friends to hang out and make as much noise as they want. I didn't do as many DIY projects as I would have liked, but I did repaint an ugly bathroom and update it (which has been enjoyed by everyone), add a canvas print to the wall, and redo my dining room chair seats. This will go back on the 2016 list, and I'll need to think of more specific goals to make it happen.
My original goal was to get into the habit of writing daily–whether it's for work, journaling, sending cards, etc. I certainly didn't do it daily, but I did find that I need to “get into it” and set time aside certain days of the week to write. So I'm glad I made the effort because I learned that about myself, and while my sending-love-through-snail-mail waned towards the end of the year, I did send a lot of cheer out into the world and I would like to continue doing it.
My goal for the year was to read 75 books, and I accomplished it! I actually read more than that–if you count the 10-12 books I started and then quit. I've decided that in my old age (ha ha) I don't have time to sludge through a book I'm not enjoying. So sometimes I start and make a decision by about 1/4 of the way in. My favorites for the year were The Secret History of Wonder Woman (non-fiction) and The Boston Girl (fiction).
One of the ways I incorporated these goals into the year was reviewing them once a quarter. I'll definitely do that again next year, and while I haven't figured out my plans for 2016 yet, it's on my to-do list before New Year's Eve.