I tend to get so wrapped up in other things (ahem, life) that I forget to check in on my monthly goals. Checkng it definitely helps me stay focused & in some cases remember what I'm working on & why. Here's a quick look at where I am with about a third of the month to go.
1) No shopping for clothes, shoes, or makeup for myself. Also, no shopping for the kids unless I've already checked their closets & it's something they need (no impulse shopping). - So far, so good. I even returned a few pair of extra pajamas that we got over the holidays & made an itemized list of what the boys need in the next few sizes. I used the store credit to only buy items they needed. I have done zero shopping for myself (since the end of November) & it feels good. A little strange (which is probably a sad commentary on how much I used to shop), but I'm actually enjoying it. I am finding that I'm rediscovering items in my own closet & getting much more variety in my outifts. I like it!
2) Keep variable monthly expenses to $1750. I think this will be, by far, the hardest of all of our goals, but the most important. It's challenging because the billing cycles don't add up to months & that's how I originally configured this, so I'm having to manually track a bunch of stuff. I definitely need to take a second look at the goal & see if I can make the numbers match the billing cycle rather than the month. We currently have $145 left to spend until the 21st. Another challenge is that we actively tried to track this/follow our plan starting Jan 21st, but I didnt' realize we were 1/3 of the way through our billing cycle by then. So, I'm hopeful that next month will be better on this one. Either way, tracking our progress against our budget categories has been very helpful.
3) Save all extra money in my 401K payoff fund. By the end of January, have $3500 in my 401K snowball fund. So far, there hasn't been anything to report here. I think I have a rebate check of $3.99 or something that I discovered when I was cleaning out a bag, but I don't want to make a trip to the bank for that. I'm planning on taking all of our change to the bank in the next few weeks, so that will help. I also have two items to list on ebay. I need to consider additional ways to make extra income in January.
4) Log 400 minutes of cardio workouts in January. This should be easy with my ski lessons. Doing great on this one. I am very happy that I reworked my fitness goals - I'm highly motivated my length of workout now, rather than just marking 30 minutes on the elliptical machine. I think this is going to yield serious fitness results this year. I've done 281 minutes so far, & the month is 1/3 over, so definitely on track.
5) Log 150 minutes of strength training in January. Super excited that I have this goal to track, because I can tell that I would not focus on it otherwise. And, I need to. I have bird wings going on & need to tone up my upper body in a major way. This is going to be something I need to really work on to hit my goal. I'm at 12 minutes so far this month.
6) Log 100 minutes of stretching in January. I've enjoyed the stretching component more than I expected, & have logged 15 minutes so far this month. I did purchase a pilaes/yoga card for the gym, so I'm hoping to complete several classes a month to hit this goal.
*** Just wanted to call out that I've also lost 2.2 lbs since the month started, which feels great! ***
7) Organize the master bathroom, including going through/cleaning out all of my makeup, hair products, toiletries, etc. Achieved! My bathroom feels so manageable & it is about a million times easier to find what I'm looking for. I'm extremely proud of this, because I got rid of a bunch of junk & cleaned everything. I still need to do a couple of things (find a basket or liner for under my sink & devise something that will hold my mini drawer organizers in place so they're not constantly sliding around), but overall, this is done. I'm going to move on the project I originally slated for February - the closet! I'd also like to inventory my shoes, clothes & bags while I'm there, so that project will be a big one. Good thing I can get started now. :-)
8) Have one date with M. - We had a date at the very first of the month, and it wasn't an evening thing, but it was fabulous, so I'm going to count it. We also have a sitter coming this week & have a work dinner event, so that's a mini date as well.
9) Get together with two friends. - This hasn't happened yet, but I have a few events on the calendar for the month.
10) Create a list of 10 favorite meals. Exceeded - I am currently at 12!
11) Complete a 2010 family photo album. Not even started. I need to get on this!
12) Read two books. I've exceeded this goal. I've read 4 books (love the free Kindle books!) & am started on a 5th. I think I need to raise the bar on this goal.
13) Only buy lunch 1x this month. I think I'm on track with this one, but do need to confess that I used a free coupon from my gym to buy lunch last week. My intent when setting the goal was to save money, so I think I'm doing fine. This one may be hard because I have lunch plans with a couple of friends later in the month. I'll have to see if I can get creative. :-)
14) Track all spending. - So far, so good. Mostly because we haven't purchased much. This is a hard one to do consistently over time, but is important.