My Goals for 2018

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My goals for 2018

Happy New Year!  My family is literally celebrating every day in 2018.  Today, we decided to celebrate the new year by setting goals for ourselves. {Click here for a simple, kid-friendly goal setting chart)

In true blogger fashion, I wanted to share my goals with you, because they will be a regular part of my blog posting throughout the year. So let’s just get right to it:

BECOME A ONCE-A-MONTH GROCERY SHOPPER

Shortly after finishing cancer treatment, as I pulled out a blank notebook for the weekly meal plan and grocery list like I did every Saturday, I had an epiphany. I have gone through so much in an effort to extend my life, why am I spending so much of it in the grocery store?!

I have gotten into a rut of grocery shopping once a week because “that’s just what we do.”  And I’m tired of it!  Here’s what I’m hoping to gain by making this transition:

  • Save Time – This is the main drive for this change.  I hope that by meal planning and shopping only once per month, I will be saving time that I can enjoy in some other way.
  • Save Money – Every time I step in the store, I am guaranteed to spend at least $20 more than I had planned.  The money might as well float out of my purse when I walk through the doors of the store.  By decreasing the number of times I expose myself to the possibility of impulse buying, I hope to decrease the money I am spending every month.
  • Reduce Waste – Food (and money) waste drives me crazy.  When I step into the store once (or more) per week, I end up buying extra produce we don’t need (and often waste).  When I try to lengthen the amount of time between grocery trips, we make do with what we have in the house and end up wasting much less food.
  • Reduce Irritation – I have become pretty zen about most things since going through cancer treatment; life is too short to be annoyed by everything!  HOWEVER, the grocery store is one place where I can still feel irritation brewing.  The crowded parking lot, the even-more-crowded aisles, squeaky grocery cart wheels, etc.  Why am I opening that door to annoyance once (or more) every week?!
  • Increase Preparedness – During this summer and fall of wildfires and other natural disasters, I realized that I am ill-prepared to hunker down if there was an emergency that impacted my ability to get to the store.  By grocery shopping once a week, I am always only a few days away from needing to go to the grocery store.  Yes, I have some “food storage”, but I almost always have to run to the store for some perishable staple or another.  By becoming a once-a-month grocery shopper, I would feel so much better about possible emergencies (either natural or financial) because I would be in the habit of having a full month of staples and perishables in the house at once.

This goal is going to be a gradual one.  I’m not going to become a once-a-month grocery shopper overnight, but I DO have a plan.  I will be setting a smaller focus every month that will help me reach my goal of only going to the grocery store once a month.  Are you interested in giving it a try?  Follow along with me!  Are you already a once-a-month grocery shopper?  I’d love to hear your tips!  Are you wondering what I’m going to do about produce?  Me, too! That leads to my next goal:

GROW A GARDEN IN TWENTY MINUTES A DAY

Since fresh produce is one of those things that I’m most concerned about with the whole once-a-month grocery shopping thing, I want to make sure that I get a garden planted this year.  Here’s the thing, though.  I LOVE working outside, and I tend to jump from thing to thing because I’m in no rush to get back inside.  Since “working outside” ends up being such a time commitment, I often skip over my outdoor chores when they are on my to-do list because “I don’t have time” to putter around the backyard like I love to do.  (This is the same reasoning behind why I am a reader who never reads.  I have trouble pacing myself.)  So I decided to try something different this year and give myself a time limit.  Apparently I’m a weirdo who needs a minimum some days and a maximum other days.

You might be wondering:  Why 20 minutes??

The main reason is that 20 minutes, six days a week, worked out to a nice total of 2 hours.  Another reason is that I can work on something for about 20 minutes before Ladybug starts getting into trouble.  Also, since I live in the land of rain now, I will often be at the mercy of the weather.  Even on a rainy day, I will usually be able to find a 20 minute, rain-free chunk of time to work outside.  BUT, I am treating this 20 minutes a day as an average, so if we end up having two days of crazy rain and I can’t work in the garden, I can still stay on target by working outside for an hour on the following day.  Or, if I need to take care of a big project, I will save up all of my daily time for the week and spend two hours outside on Mr. Blue Eyes’ day off.

For the most part, though, I am really curious to see what I can accomplish out in my little garden plot with twenty minutes a day.  I think it would be awesome to do square foot gardening for real, but I’m not sure if I can swing it in 20 minutes a day.  Either way, I’m excited!

KONMARI MY HOUSE

{Can KonMari be a name AND a verb?  You know…like Google?  I say yes.}

The premise behind this blog is how to save time on the mundane.  I don’t know about you, but one of the mundane things that takes the MOST of my time is tidying up the house, which is basically just moving junk from one spot to another.So, I was intrigued by the title of Marie Kondo’s book The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up.  (Sound familiar?  This is the decluttering method where you touch each of your belongings to see if they spark joy.)  I read this book while I was going through cancer treatment and all of my belongings were in storage, so I couldn’t really put any of it into practice.  Now that I have all of my stuff back, along with a new perspective on life, I am itching to start the KonMari tidying process (I like how she calls it “tidying” instead of “purging.” It makes me feel much less like a hoarder).

This should be a very interesting process…I plan on sharing before and after shots with you as I go!

Speaking of before and after shots, here is my last goal for 2018:

DITCH THE CANCER WEIGHT

Sorry, folks.  I had to do it.  I HAD to have the token “lose weight and feel great” goal for the year.  But it goes WAY beyond numbers on a scale for me.  Here’s why I really need to whip myself back into shape:

  • I am supposed to be watching for cancer recurrence, and one of the major signs of recurrence is new aches and pains.  Right now, I am feeling all kinds of achy, but it’s just from carrying extra weight and being out of shape.  I want to get back to feeling strong and healthy so that any aches and pains of recurrence would be easy to recognize. Preparing for the worst, but hoping for the best.
  • There are several aspects to my diet that are not ideal for a cancer survivor.  I have already quit sugar once since my diagnosis, but fell off the wagon quickly.  Let’s get real…I will probably never be able to quit sugar altogether (life’s too short to never eat a Reese’s again), but I want to seriously decrease my intake because it is one of cancer’s favorite things to snack on.
  • My particular cancer type also feeds on hormones.  I had my ovaries removed to help my body limit the amount of estrogen it produced, and I am also taking a hormone suppressant to help take care of the other estrogen my body produces.  Did you know that body fat produces estrogen?  I figured that cutting fat can only help my body’s battle against hormones.
  • I am tired of feeling fatigued!  I want to have more energy to keep up with my kiddos.
  • And last, but definitely not least, is that I haven’t felt truly comfortable in my own skin since my mastectomy.  I feel like a stranger in my own body and the fact that I am the heaviest I have ever been just adds to that feeling.  I think it would do wonders for me if the rest of my body could look a little more like it did before my diagnosis, even if my boobs never will.

Let’s get real, I just need to drop some weight so that, come implant time, my beautiful new boobs can take center stage on my torso and not get upstaged by belly fat! 🙂

post mastectomy profile four

This image is from the summer and I was REALLY sucking in my gut for this picture….I have gained even more weight since then.  Yikes.

In all seriousness, though…this is going to be a gradual process.  I will probably have one goal for myself each month to break old, unhealthy habits and form new, healthy ones.  Here’s to a healthier year!

So there you have it.  My goals for 2018.  It feels like a lot when I write it all out, but I will never know what I can accomplish until I TRY.  My game plan is to share with you a weekly update on my goals.  I will address a different goal each week, so that by the end of the month you’ve had an update on all four of them.

Do you set goals at the new year?  What goals have you set for yourself?  Would you be willing to share with us?  Leave a comment below!