Thursday, January 5, 2012

Let's do this, 2012.

Happy January, friends! Excuse my absence over the last few days as I've taken time to refresh and reflect. 2011 was pretty awesome. I started the year out as an engaged woman and then I got married! I shared some of the best experiences of my life with Steven during our honeymoon to Mexico and saw crystal clear water for the FIRST time. I quickly started turning Steven's bachelor pad into a place that we can both call home. I have jumped into blogging. We started a budget. I successfully screwed up the budget. I started a new job and switched roles into a better busier position. I've learned new things about marriage, about myself, and about Steven. Both good and bad things on all accounts. We found a church we both like (praise the Lord..this was no easy feat). I painted my first piece of furniture. We hosted the best Chili Cookoff to date! I spent my first Christmas morning away from my parent's house. I celebrated Christmas as a Harrington.We've both been striving to make a real effort with our faith in God so He can work in our hearts so our marriage can be even better. (Sidebar-it's true- first year of marriage- definitely tough!)  Steven and I have really reflected on how we'd like to improve everything and really it boils down to living with intention.

After our wedding, we were both starting new jobs/roles at work and, wouldn't you know it, life continues. We did not slow down. As a new married couple, we felt pulled in many different directions to see family, friends, attend more weddings, to go here, to go there, and to decorate the house in record time.Whew! Don't get me wrong, being busy and having a full life of family and friends and travel is something I'm extremely grateful for, but it certainly caused us to just "go through the motions" most days. (i.e.-Wake up unrested. Get ready. Rush to work. Run errands. Brave traffic. Get home. Plop down on couch. Zone out. Get sucked into Pinterest or blogs (why are they like crack?) Cook with Steven if I was lucky, or grab take out. Watch TV. Go to bed entirely too late. Rinse. Repeat) I think it's so easy get into this funk and you just have to find motivation to refocus and not loose sight of your goals and your time. We're taking a different approach this year. Thank God Steven is on board :)
We didn't so much set "new year's resolutions", but we do have goals in mind that really break down to monthly/weekly/daily tasks that will just enable us to evolve into getting us where we'd really like to be.

1. Declutter. This past weekend and next, we're focused on cleaning. We took a trip to the Container Store and loaded up on bins and took inventory so we can get a hold on different areas that tend to be straight up disaster zones (mail, bathroom, closet). I realize this will take more than two weekends, money, time, and effort. We'll be keeping the The Container Store in business.

2. Switch our daily routine. We're committing to short, upbeat workouts 4x/week. Eating healthy meals and planning them out at the start of the week (we've been doing this and so far it's been working alright, but we could be better). I'm starting the day with breakfast and getting to work on time with my make up on my face, rather than all over my clothes because I applied it in traffic. Rather than getting sucked into Pinterest or TV once I get home, I'll be striving to focus on a work out then hopefully cooking with Steven. Then we'll eat at the table and review our Bible Study or budget or upcoming plans. Only after all that are we watching TV or getting on blogs/etc. Picking up behind ourselves daily is key & being in bed by 9:30/10pm ensures rest. I love my sleep.
3. Get out of debt. Aside from our mortgage, right now (if we're not given a student loan from my parents) we're on track to be out of debt by March! Luckily, our only debt is my car & our spiffy new AC unit. THAT was fun. The second we returned from Mexico, ours kerplunked. Hello, drained emergency fund (and cue mom & dad to save the day for the newlyweds)...we follow Dave Ramsey's plan and it has definitely been (overall) successful for us. We live within or below our means and we're big savers so we can pay for big things in cash. We've definitely been focused on Dave's principals because we want to Live Like No One Else so we can GIVE Like No One Else. Now that we're towards the end of our debt, though, I'm pumped up to think about where that money could be going (savings for a new car?! maybe a pair of adorable wedges to reward myself? A weekend getaway?) To help with the shopping budget "issue" I tend to have, we're switching to the envelope cash system for everything but online purchases & gas so when the cash is gone, you're done spending until the next month. (Sidebar-somewhere I read today claimed that 45% of all dollars that you've owned have been in a stripper's g-string at some point SO I guess I will be breaking out the hand sanitizer like a mad woman this year, too. GROSS. This is a serious stride on my part bc I'd sooo much rather use my debit card) We're also breaking down the monthly spending budget to a weekly budget so I don't do things like purchase, say, a dresser at the first of the month leaving us with next to nothing for the other 28 days. Sorry, Steven...

4. Grow professionally. This is one of my personal goals and actually has little to do with my current job.  This is the year to start making my own dreams come true. I'm focused on learning, researching, and creating a real plan so I can transcend my day job into something I actually enjoy. Enough is enough. 

I know 2012 is going to be even better than 2011 because we have so many exciting things to look forward to! I had THREE lovely girlfriends get engaged over the Holidays, and there are 4 other couples we're close with who are all getting married soon, too! My friend Mere's baby, Pearson, is well on his way into this world and our sweet little niece, Snorah is going to require visits as much as possible! We're also planning one of my dream vacations for this fall to celebrate our anniversary. We would like to put down hard wood floors and I just got the greenlight to decorate our Master Bedroom! HOORAY!
 Obviously all these plans are wonderful and something to certainly strive for each day, but we just want to live with intention in between events and projects. We want to be more grateful for all that we have. More purposeful with the relationships that require our energy. More in tune with each other. We want to give more, complain less, and we want to spend our time & money wisely. The words above are words to live by. We're by no means perfect.
Your encouragement & thoughts are appreciated! Let me know your goals so I can cheer you on as well :)

Happy New Year, Y'all!


Em said...

Love this post, my friend! Are you perhaps planning to visit Nantucket around a certain wedding in September?!

Josh said...

Great Post Meg! It's Steph btw...on Josh's login:) Last year was a great year for us both! I'm excited to make even more memories together in 2012!