Here we are at the end of January. To be perfectly honest this has been the most controlled and productive January that I have ever had. Possibly the most controlled and productive month I’ve had in a very long time. When I laid out my goals for January, I set them with the best possible intentions given the information that I had at the time. And now, coming back and assessing my results, I am doing it with complete honesty, no fudge factor. The wins are blue, the fails are red and the cancelled goals are marked in purple with an explanation. Is there more red on the page than I had hoped to see? Yes, for sure. Obviously when I set the goals I’d hoped to achieve them all successfully. But where the red is and the impact of those fails, overall, is not awful and gives me a foundation with which to plan and measure February. Here’s how January played out.
Food Budget: I chose this as a goal because it’s one of our major expenditures although I really had no idea just how major, I’d never tracked it before. Having said that, picking “$130/week” as the total was pretty much just me throwing a dart into the abyss. We failed massively on this one. Sort of. In reviewing the entire month as a whole, we ate every single meal and snack at home (or on the go but was prepared at home) and the amount of waste we had was nearly none. Total of groceries that got tossed out was one serving of turkey soup, half a head of cabbage, two bunches of parsley and three servings of squash soup that we really tried to like but didn’t. So for our rather high expenditure, we either ate everything or prepared and froze for future. February I have taken our total from January, averaged it by day and then reduced it by around 20%. It’s possible we won’t be able to achieve it but that’s the point of a goal….to try.
Eating Out: This one, while appearing small on the goals list, was actually HUGE for us and was a complete, 100% success. We didn’t purchase so much as a snack on the “outside”. Everything we ate, with the exception of our one meal, came from home. For February Ray asked that we have two eat out meals in the month because we really enjoy a breakfast out and he didn’t think we should have to choose between breakfast and dinner. I agreed with that and so in February our goal is to limit eating out to one dinner and one breakfast.
No Spend: This one chalks up as a failure on paper, I spent money on things that were not critical to our survival. However, coming in at a total of $56 for the entire month is amazing for me, a complete change from my past habits. Further, I should point out that the bulk of the total, the $31 at Gourmet Warehouse and the $18 at David’s Tea were spent in the first 5 days of January and to be perfectly honest, I completely forgot that not spending any money was one of my goals. Habits, right?! In February we’ve agreed to give ourselves each $50 (which will be doled out in cash) for “stuff” and beyond that, no spending!
Once again, this one is technically not a complete success….but a HUGE win in our household! Beyond the “dinners” that I logged for my goals, we ate most weekend lunches and a couple of weekend breakfasts at the table. This one was a bit of a struggle and, I suspect, will continue to be a struggle from time to time. February has the same goal. (of note, I did not have to “lead by example” as I thought I might, Ray was right on board all month)
Community Run: this one was a bit of a false goal because I’d already registered for the Chilly Chase in mid December. But, registering is not the same as actually doing it, so it got marked down as a goal. 100% success! February does not have a community/charity run in it but March does…so February has some interesting and fun training goals.
Video Blog: 90 Seconds of Real has had a pretty good first month, we’ve had some awesome videos, new followers and a good number of site views. What we don’t really have is participation from anyone other than the contributors and I’m struggling with finding the magic answer to get people engaged. February doesn’t have this as a goal but I’ll keep on promoting and plugging and we’ll reassess in another month.
Limit fruit: this goal was designed as a carb-limiting goal and ended up crashing and burning in the first third of January. While I did terminate the goal for sanity reasons, I have tried to keep an eye on the amount of fruit I’m consuming and I’m avoiding turning to fruit as an easy fallback. But…the navel oranges are gorgeous right now and they make me happy.
Exclude dairy, grains, sugar: I consider this goal failed. Not because I went off the rails, I didn’t. I consider it failed because I quite easily could have avoided the things I had and I chose not to. I didn’t need to bite the krispy square, I could have used arrowroot in the stew, the soup didn’t have to have sour cream and saying no thank you to ice cream is perfectly acceptable. February has the same goal. I would not consider this one a success with anything less than 100% compliance.
Limit alcohol: This one was a total success, my alcohol consumption went down dramatically and in a couple cases, on my approved days I asked myself if I really even wanted wine and the answer was no. When I did indulge, it was lovely. That’s where I wanted to get back to and I did. February has the same goal.
Gym Dates: This one is a fail. I had 75% success with this goal and I’m not sure how I feel about that. In trying to live intuitively, I sort of feel like I did enough for my body; combined with Century, I stayed reasonably active in January. I’m torn on what to do for February, I have the same goal, 3/week but I also have 4 five kilometer runs, one bicycle ride to work and home (uphill!!) and one Coquitlam Crunch (a milder Grouse Grind). That’s 18 “fitness events” in a 28 day month. I’m going to leave February that way although I do expect to miss hitting 100% success. February’s motto is “dig deep”, so we’ll see. I will set my March goals based on an assessment of January and February.
Weigh in at 179#: This goal was terminated in late January after personal assessment and support from Tara, Lana & my sister. The scale is bullshit and I refuse to stand on it. I am quasi-content with where my body is right now. I would LOVE to be the size I was 6 years ago. Is that possible? Of course. Is it probable? Not in the slightest. I was 29 then, I’m 35 now and shit has gone down in life. I can’t simply discard all of that and force myself back into the past. That 158# body was also created on a severe calorie restriction and a shit-tonne of cardio. Since I am not willing to do that again, I have to respect where I am now and work with it. There will be no scale or measurement goal in February, just a general statement that I should be working to reduce fat and build muscle. I’ll know if I succeeded or not.
Make Decisions Consciously: this was a bullshit goal right off the start, those words don’t mean anything and there was no thought behind it save for the fact I though my goals list was too…er….selfish & materialistic. LOL, so silly.
So where do I go in February? A lot of January’s goals get to travel into February; some stay the same, some get some minor changes. And then there are some brand new goals that surround fitness, personal care and home care. Two that I’m really excited about are:
- One “no TV” Friday night
- No handheld technology after 6pm
Having these monthly road maps laid out has brought me a sense of direction and peace that I have never had before. It’s a sense of really living my life as fully as possible and knowing what I expect of myself. It’s actively watching and taking notice of patterns, both good and bad and capitalizing on that information in order to build a balanced and content life.
Welcome February, I’m ready for you!
I’m very proud of you for making ‘goals’ and for also knowing that they can be modified/cancelled at any point when you realize that they aren’t working for you. Goals aren’t a prison, they’re something to aim for… so when you don’t meet it, you modify… or you realize that meeting it will take a bit more practice and you keep at them.
I really liked this post. Loved reading your assessment of your goals and really liked your honesty about things that didn’t go as you had hope – also your willingness to reassess things that weren’t working. Congratulations on all that you achieved in January. Good luck in February!