January 29, 2012

Challenge for the week—Money Saving Mom’s Budget and Removing Clutter

Update from last week--

A few weeks ago I started writing about how I set weekly goals for myself, and thus far, posting about the progress has been a great way for me to stay accountable and keep on track with my goals.  Not sure if anyone else is getting anything out of this, but I hope so.

Last week, I wrote the goal to exercise using the 30 Day Shred DVD daily for a full week:

I started a new exercise regimen that is a lot more fast paced for me.  Normally I do a little yoga here and there, some walking with jogging mixed in, and stay active in our yard.  I’d been reading from other bloggers the progress that they had made with Jillian Michael’s 30 Day Shred, and I decided that it was worth trying.  I started the daily DVD a week ago.  The first exercise practice kicked my tushie.  I have worked out with trainers before, and they have pushed me but never like this.  I was so sore after the first day and then pulled a muscle the third day.  If it hadn’t been for the support of my Hubby also using the DVD daily, I might not have lasted.  I have stuck with it, and I’m starting to see some positive changes.  My legs and arms are feeling stronger and more toned, and I notice that I have a little more energy. 

I want to keep the momentum going because I know that if I stop for a day then one day will become three and eventually the DVD will have dust on it.  As part of my goals for the week, I’m planning to:

1.  Make sure that each day on my calendar includes “workout” listed on it as a priority.  All too often I’ll plan a day packed full of activities, chores, and other priorities without ever thinking about exercise.  If I don’t prioritize it, it won’t happen.

2.  I want to workout using the DVD every day this week.  Yep, every day—no days off.  If I can find a way to adapt to the exercises after a pulled muscle then I can find a way to do them even when I  have a packed day or am “too tired”.  If I allow myself an excuse, guess what?  I’ll use it.

How did I do?  I did really well for a full week.  I worked out daily, even when I didn’t feel like it.  I was always happy when I completed the workout and felt better for having done it.  Then, I caught a bout of bronchitis and that set me back for a bit.  (Hence the lapse in my posts this last week).   I was out 3 days, and when I started back, I wasn’t at full force.  Coughing and not being able to breathe really well definitely impacts how well you can do cardio!  Even though I’m still coughing a bit, I am finally feeling like I’m back to enjoying the workouts. 

What did I learn from this?  I think that the biggest challenge in any kind of goal work is what to do when you have an outside (or in this case very internal!) force that impedes your progress.  Had I been working out alone, I’m not entirely sure if I would be back to my daily routine.  Having my husband working out daily with me and someone to talk to about the progress and challenges has been inspiring.  His encouragement helped me to jump back on the exercising train. 

In a way, you readers have also been a sort of accountability partner for me.  Even though I’m not entirely sure anyone is actually reading these posts, posting these goals and then writing the follow up helps me stick with the goals that I set. 

Goals for this week--

msm I recently purchased the new book Money $aving Mom’s Budget by one of my favorite bloggers.  I still remember the day that I heard Nancy Twigg, local author and savvy saver, on a local news station talking about Money Saving Mom.  It was as if the sky had parted and angels were singing.  I never even knew that coupon bloggers existed, and when I learned about these things called “matchups” I was hooked. 

I’ve been reading her blog for years now, and I was thrilled when I learned about her new book.  I purchased a copy, even earning a free Dayspring platter for doing so, and I’ve started reading it this week.  Chapter 2 of the book focuses on reducing clutter in your home and life. She talks about how reducing clutter not only saves you time and energy, but it also saves you money.  How true!

While our home isn’t terribly cluttered, I can definitely do better with organizing, and I’ve decided to focus my goal for this week on doing just that.  I realized that even before I read this chapter, we have been in the mindset of cleaning out clutter for a few weeks.  As I have said before, the first of the year tends to be the time when we do more spring cleaning in our home.  I had decided to clean out our daughter’s closet, removing any clothes that she had outgrown.  This began a cleaning frenzy, mostly initiated by her, in her room. When we finished, I looked at the piles of toys, games, and such and realized we might have enough to host a garage sale in the spring.  That momentum kept rolling, and in the next few days I cleaned out my coupon files, a filing cabinet, the office shelves, and two of the bathroom drawers, adding even more to the pile.  I want to keep up the progress in hopes that not only will I notice less clutter, but it will also help to streamline our lives a bit.  When I’m not fighting with all of the lids in the pots and pans cabinet, the suppertime routine becomes easier and more enjoyable.  When I have my closet better organized, it makes my morning routine easier—you get the picture.

This week, as part of organizing, adding to the yard sale stash, and de-cluttering our home, I will:

  • Go through all of the storage areas for dishes, silverware, pots and pans, and glasses. 
  • Spend at least 30 minutes organizing the linens and removing any that we do not need.  (Side note here—KARM is in need of twin sized blankets and sheets.  I’ll be donating any that I find to them.)
  • Spend another 30 minutes going through the house and looking for items out of place.  If they aren’t needed or wanted, I’ll find another home for them or add them to the  yard sale pile.

If you haven’t yet picked up a copy of Money $aving Mom’s Budget, I recommend you give it a read.  Because I’ve been couponing for a while, I wasn’t sure how much I would get out of it.  Yet, as an inspirational tool alone, it has been well worth the purchase. 

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