Here we are, less than 12 hours from 2016. Holy crap. I can still remember when I was a kid and 2015 felt so far away, let alone ending it and going into 2016. This year I have managed to start the year and end it on such different terms, I find it really pretty amazing in some ways. With that said, I totally content to say good riddance to 2015. Not that it was a bad year or anything, over all, it truly wasn’t. It was just a much different year than I had planed for it to be. Which is fine, that is what life is, and I just trust God’s plan. I honestly am not complaining at all, but I am a very organized person, and I was not very organized this year at all. I tried to figure out what my issue was with this year, and I think that was it. So, I have decided to welcome 2016 a little different this year. We have no exciting plans here in the big city of St Louis. We could go out, but I honestly have no idea where to go or what to do. And, his sister and brother in law are coming for the weekend tomorrow, so we will have a fun weekend ahead anyways. Back to starting 2016 different….
One of my very close friends and also a coworker, Erin, and I tend to chat on our office messenger on and off everyday about everything. After working next to each other for a year and a half and spending a lot of time together outside of work, we have gotten pretty close. This has allowed both of us to vent to one another about life and issues coming up. Like me, Erin is extremely organized. However, this year, in some areas, she was not as organized as usual either. To make a long story short- we are tired of it. So, Erin, a master at excel, has created a couple of charts to help us get back on the organization bandwagon. Then, from the charts we basically are each others accountability partners to stay on track. For example, it never fails- if I find something I want online, I always message her on Jabber (the messenger program), and she recites what my priorities and goals are right now. I do the same for her. It truly helps the majority of the time to not make impulse buys, like I grew so used to doing for so long.
The first template is called “The Don’t-Ask-What’s-For-Dinner”. 🙂 There is one sure way to overwhelm both her and I during the day or when we get home- ask us what is for dinner. I cannot quite figure out why I hate that question so much, but, I do. So, in this template we have decided to implement a month long meal planning calendar. It lists breakfast and lunch and dinner. As you can see from the snip below, I don’t have much in the way for breakfast and lunch ever written in. However, I added in the note column on the right hand side and Purple says what dessert that I make for the week will be. Green states what the one lunch I prepare for the week will be. Adam usually takes leftovers, as do I, for lunch. So, often times I have realized there is one- MAYBE two- days of the week that we don’t have leftovers to take, that is when I will plan to make the lunch ahead of time for us. We also tend to make breakfast together on Sunday mornings, and dinner together on Sunday nights. I have come to really enjoy that time together. But, I don’t really make breakfast before work all that often. He doesn’t eat breakfast, I usually take a yogurt, eat some cereal or oatmeal, or something super quick like that so there is no need to plan for an extra grocery cost on breakfasts until I see that there is a need to really make breakfast more often.
The other thing to note, most of what we have on here, it is all Weight Watchers friendly. I did Weight Watchers last year and I actually really enjoyed it. Who knew I could enjoy dieting and healthy eating so much right?! But, I did. It is honestly the only thing I found that really worked for me but didn’t make me feel deprived or really set me back on what I ate. Maybe it is a mental thing, maybe it really is all the resources that they have out there for Weight Watchers. But, I figure it is time to jump back on that train too and go back to it. So, Adam will be doing it with me- to an extent. Obviously, he won’t be on the point system like me, and will eat larger portions etc. But, he will still eat what I eat most of the time. Now, keep in mind that it might not seem Weight Watchers friendly- but it is. I will use whole wheat noodles, throw in veggies, make lighter versions of things, use turkey instead of hamburger etc. But, if you are interested in anything you see listed on the calendar, I will have a recipe to give you! Or, if you know of anything healthy and easy to make, please send it my way! The other plus with this calendar is, we keep a running list off to the side, of what we need each and every week. This will allow me to know my grocery list ahead of time (hopefully stick to it too!) and buy when things are on sale if I see that I will need in the upcoming weeks.
Our next master excel plan is a bill plan. Since adding bills due to moving, adding bills do to getting older, and adding bills due to adding people in the household, managing money gets harder and harder with age. Man, do I wish I could go back to younger Lyndsay and prepare her a little differently. But, this excel template has everything we could want in bill planning processes. It has a balances tab to keep track of every debt we have, the amount of time to pay off, set ourselves goals, the minimum payments to meet goals, and general savings plan to try for fun…. everything! Then, on the actual month, you list your incomes, your bills, your bill amounts (by date) and it automatically computes it all. This is why, I thank my lucky stars I took an excel class in college. I hated it. I dread it. I would get so mad I am pretty sure I cried more than once over how dumb and time consuming it was. But man, I love it now. I understand how things work. And I always have Erin’s brain to pick too. 🙂
So, I know I previously mentioned in my last post I would discuss resolutions for 2016 in this post. But, I don’t think I want to think of them as resolutions. Because, I rarely set any for myself as I am pretty realistic that “losing weight” is too broad, “blog more” is also too general, and “spend less” doesn’t really restrict me. Instead, this year I am taking the approach of just 2016 goals! I am posting them here in hopes to keep myself accountable a little more. I am sure I will get off course from time to time, but my goal is to always come back to my goal and finish 2016 on a good note. I want to be healthier in that I consume less processed food and reduce eating out by at least half (currently we average about 2-3 meals a week out), I want to pay off certain bills, I want to determine x amount of blog posts to make and the topics and complete those (outside of my normal update), reaching a more concrete goal, I want to start saving for retirement on an actual plan and I want to save more money, I also want to stop impulse buying so much. These goals are a little different than my usual “travel more” fun type of goal that I am used to. And I would be lying if I didn’t admit that it does make me kind of sad to see that change happening, but I am determined to get organized this year! Besides, lets not kid ourselves- I will still take a trip or two SOMEWHERE, and I have always made it a goal to go one place each year that I have never been! 😉
Now that that is out of the way- a brief recap of our holiday and my week home last week! I enjoyed being home so much, I think it was more difficult to leave on Sunday than it was for me to move in October. What I would give to just have my family with me here. But, it was such a nice holiday. I was my mothers little elf, wrapping, cooking and baking away all week. We had two beautiful little helpers on sugar cookies, my nieces, who joined in the fun of baking. I was able to spend a little bit of time with a few friends, though not as much as I had hoped to. But,we had such a nice houseful on Christmas Eve and spent time with the family. My brother, my nephew Jonah, and I taught my other other nephew, Jalen, how to play Settlers (YAY!), the kids were just so enthralled with all of their gifts, and everyone was happy. What more could we ask for?! Adam’s family Christmas was just as nice, Kaci was able to be there this year and her face when she would open a present was priceless. The kids all ran around and enjoyed being together and it was so nice to be able to sit with the family all together for a little bit for once. It really was a wonderful first Christmas for Adam and I to spend together. ❤