2013 Theme Year: Understanding

year description pages 2013

Understanding will be my focus for 2013 and is the title word for my Theme Year. Each month I’ll focus on one main topic of interest help increase my understanding in that area.

  • January: Technology (Blogs, Blackboard, Outlook). I can use each of these, but I really want to understand the programs.
  • February: Nutrition & Healthy Eating. I’m well-versed in this topic, but I’m interested in new research and familiar reminders.–sidetracked this month by finding Organization books that I want to read.
  • March: Nutrition & Healthy Eating part 2. I’m well-versed in this topic, but I’m interested in new research and familiar reminders. (Found books of interest; reserving them at local Library)–sidetracked this month by reading Organization books I found. Started my Pinterest account this month.
  • April: I finally finished all of the organization books I’ve checked out from the library.  Now I really can move on to Nutrition & Healthy eating beginning next month.
  • May: Nutrition & Healthy eating part 3.  I need to find more healthy alternatives to the healthy food we’ve been eating.  I’ll be looking for creative substitutions and trying to change my thinking about what we’re really eating.
  • June: I’m taking this month off to try the new ideas I’ve been finding.  Buying dry beans, cooking lentils, making banana-based cookies.
  • July: Working these healthy-living & eating ideas into my regular routine is taking a while–but the effort has been worth it.  I’ve made lentils (no thanks), brown rice (yum), dry beans (awesome), bulgur (good) and steel cut oats (my new favorite).  This month, I’ll be trying slow cooker sweet potatoes, barley and other dry beans.
  • August: I’m lucky to survive this month. Busy everywhere!
  • September:  Made homemade laundry soap and homemade DW detergent using my Pinterest Natural Solutions page.
  • October: Planning to make Pinterest Christmas Gifts, should be ready to start next month.
  • November: Work started to get the best of me, needed to relax during my personal time.
  • December: Made it my goal to expand my blog’s reach.  Have successfully incorporated Pinterest, HootSuite and now working on BlogLovin’

There are seven key focus areas in life and I’ve listed my annual goals in each of these areas. Many relate to my theme year, but some are independent goals.

Career: Get involved in campus/community projects that matter and help others, send Outlook calendar invites for all meetings.

  • January: Continuing on Student Employee Professional Development Committee, Outlook calendar invites on track
  • February: Researching Grant Writing for department, coordinated Student Employee Appreciation Week events
  • March: Work was so busy, I don’t remember anything about this whirlwind month.  Not good.
  • April: Realized my limitations and began planning for summer (our office’s slow time).  It may be a early, but I need it.
  • May: Started my summer task list with organizing the office.  We’re changing systems to make our department more effective, less people-dependent and more process-dependent.  It’s going to be a lot of work–but worth it in the end.
  • June: Our office will be re-focusing on the fundamentals.  Looking at what everyone is doing and making sure we’re only doing things that matter–not time-wasters.
  • July: Set up one day per week as a “business day” with no meetings, only time for uninterrupted projects and required business tasks.  Has decreased my stress-load significantly.
  • August: Maintained business day “no meetings” rule. Finished student employee manual, developed weekly training plan for staff.  Finished Professional Staff Training Manual.  Productive month!
  • September: Maintained effective plan for training student employees, need to develop second semester training materials and enhance support of Professional Staff Training.
  • October: Reaping the benefits of my “no meetings” business day rule.  I’ve never gotten more done – and I’ve never been busier! Working to find a new online task management system, ours is expiring in 2014 (trying not to get stressed out about this one).
  • November: Loaded with work projects, trying to stay afloat and systematically making lists & plans for future progress. Slow moving, but made progress.
  • December: Spent hours scheduling 2014 meetings through outlook  and setting up staff/team meetings.  My schedule has never been so organized – I’m energized for 2014!

Family: Date with my husband each month, individual hour with my kids per week, personal/family projects task list completed by December 2013.

  • January: Date night with husband was church potluck, B time Chutes & Ladders and walks to school, b time was Candy Land game and baking, made personal/family project task list and completed 3/19 items
  • February: Date night with husband was Dinner & Movie (Red Robin & Warm Bodies), B time was freeze dance and writing, b time was “flying” and baking, completed 1/19 items on personal/family project task list
  • March: Date night with husband was Dinner & Bed Movie (Chili’s & James Bond) and weekend in Louisville for Drury Panthers D2 Elite Eight & Final Four. B & b Zoo time together. Completed 1/19 items on personal/family project task list.
  • April: Date night with husband was Kai (using gift cards!) and Life of Pi (bed movie, my favorite!). Completed 0/19 items on personal/family project task list–but did re-write list and make spaces for more projects.
  • May: Date night with husband was Frisbee Formal, family day in Silver Dollar City theme park. Completed 0/19 items on personal/family project list.  Ready to get started next month!
  • June: Anniversary trip with husband, hiking and bed movies.  Family Vacation in Arkansas.  Redid personal/family project list.  Have 5 projects ready to go–waiting for funds to finish.
  • July: Family & Kids White Water trip, b baking time.
  • August: We barely see each other this month.  Took family to local water park. Had b’s birthday–glow bowling!
  • September: Set up weekly date time with husband. Tuesday is the day! Took family to Hot Air Balloon trip in Ark – loved it!
  • October: Date Night and special Movie night with b. We’ve been sick this month – so mostly bed movies for us.
  • November: Birthday lunch. Freezing family day at local theme park. 0 personal projects completed (but made a plan for December).
  • December: Hobbit movie date night. Maintained our weekly lunch or evening date schedule – great idea! Family out of school for 2 weeks and making the most of our time. Rewrote entire task list – now more than 2 full pages of lists.  Making huge progress getting everything done.

Financial: Save $2000 with grocery store price matching, spend 17.5% less on groceries & household items in 2013 than our family’s annual spending average.

  • January: $82.97 smart grocery savings with price match/store sales, spent 67.8% less ($262 monthly groceries/$722 monthly ave)
  • February: $182.00 smart grocery savings, spent 36.2% less ($460.32 groceries/$722 average)
  • March: $106.20 smart grocery savings, spent 60.2% less ($287.52 groceries/$722 average)
  • April: $105.47 smart grocery savings, spent 72% less ($205.06 groceries/$722 average)
  • May: $179.46 smart grocery savings, spent 7% less ($669.89 groceries/$722 average)
  • June: $111.00 smart grocery savings, spent 59% less ($297.01 groceries/$722 average)
  • Half-Year update: $863.25 smart grocery savings, spend 49% less ($2593.59 cum groceries/$5055.19 cum average)
  • July: $96.42 smart grocery savings, spent 31% less ($497.23 groceries/$722 average)
  • August: $226.24 smart grocery savings, spent 50.4% less ($358.37 groceries/$722 average)
  • September: $234.52 smart grocery savings, spent 39.7% less ($435.48/$722 average)
  • October: $309.08 smart grocery savings, spent 52.4% less ($343.62/$722 average)
  • November: $46.60 smart grocery savings, spent 55.5% less ($321.20/$722 average)
  • December:  $31.90 smart grocery savings, spent 64.8% less ($254.07/$722 average)
  • Year Total: $1754.89 smart grocery savings, spent 48.3% less  ($4476.56/$8666.04 average)

Mental: Read 2 fun books per month, research 1 topic of interest per month

  • January: 4 books (The Intelligencer, A Caribbean mystery, Why didn’t they ask Evans?, N or M?), topic of interest was technology (learning Outlook, WordPress and Blackboard)
  • February: 3 books (Black Coffee, Nemesis, Double Sin–All Agatha Christie), topic of interest was Nutrition (researched books to check out at Library)
  • March: Went overboard with library books, movies and CDs.  Had to renew twice to make it through everything.
  • April: Pretty sure I re-read some books from my Agatha Christie list.  Need to do a better job of marking this off when completed the first time.
  • May: Binge-watched The Glades Season 2 and re-watched Sherlock Season 2.  Worth it.
  • June: Overloaded my library book list.  Have read average of 1 book/week this summer. Delightful.
  • July: Same as June.  I [heart] summer.
  • August: Only had time to read a few books (Janet Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum Series and a Good Thief’s guide to . . . Berlin, Paris, Venice, Amsterdam, Vegas)
  • September: Overloaded myself with books and TV shows this month – have successfully binge watched Veronica Mars seasons 1 & 2.
  • October: Have J.K. Rowling’s new book, Cuckoo’s Calling (checked out from the local library – it was terrible) and Warehouse 13, Scandal and Bones to get me through this month.
  • November: Binge watched Castle. I love procedural crime dramas.
  • December: Got back into Janet Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum series (guilty pleasure).

Physical: Walk 4 million steps this year (equals 333,334 steps/month), Run 1000 miles this year (equals 83.3 miles/month), Participate in 3 workout classes each week as part of employer’s Wellness program.

  • January: Steps: 239,201 month & cumulative, Run: 70 miles/month & cumulative, Workout classes 3x week, 3/4 weeks.
  • February: Steps: 462,608 month & 701,809 cumulative, Run: 107.5 miles/month & 177.5 miles/cumulative, Workout classes 3x week for all weeks.
  • March: Steps: 317,417 month & 1,019,226 cumulative, Run: 100 miles/month & 277.5 miles/cumulative, Workout classes 3x week, except during Spring Break–gym closed (forced rest is harder for me than exercise goals, but needed).
  • April: Steps: 354,856 month & 1,373,812 cumulative, Run/Bike: 103.5 miles/month & 381 miles/cumulative. Workout classes–I don’t keep track anymore, but I schedule them in to my day and attend every one as scheduled.  Reorganized my Fridays to be double class + bike day=Trifecta. Mondays/Wednesdays are class and running.
  • May: Steps: 336,290 month & 1,710,102 cumulative.  Run/Bike: 30.25 miles/month & 411.25 miles/cumulative (boredom got me). Workout classes on track, spent end of month on break because of Workout class switch-over.
  • June: Steps: 343, 426 month & 2,053,528 cumulative. Run/Bike: 53.25 miles/month & 464.5 miles/cumulative (under 35.5 cum, need to add an extra 6 miles per week each month). Workout classes one week break as program switches over, on track with classes offered.
  • Half-Year update: Steps on track to reach 4 million, Run/Bike: need 6 extra miles per week each month to meet 1000 miles goal), workout classes on track.
  • July: Steps: 342,763 month & 2,396,291 cumulative. Run/Bike: Bad fall week 1 took me out for that week. 60 miles/month & 524.5 cumulative.  Workout classes 4/week, on track with classes offered.
  • August: Steps: 421, 861 month & 2,818,152 cumulative. Run/Bike: 65 miles/month & 591.25 cumulative. Workout classes 4/week, on track with classes offered.
  • September: 372,828 month & 3,190,980 cumulative. Run/Bike: 64.5 miles/month & 655.75 cumulative. Workout classes 4/week, on track with classes offered.
  • October: 339,358 month & 3,530,338 cumulative. Run/Bike: 74 miles/month & 729.75 cumulative. Workout classes 4/week, on track with classes offered.
  • November: 320,610 month & 3,850,948 cumulative. Run/Bike: 41.25 miles/month & 771 cumulative. Workout classes 4/week, on track with classes offered – missed 4 classes because of sickness and business :(.
  • December: 231,612 month & 4,082,560 cumulative. Run/Bike: 25 miles/month & 800 cumulative. Workout classes 4/week, on track with classes offered – classes ended 2 weeks before end of year because of semester end.
  • Year Total: 4,082,560 cumulative steps (made it), Run/Bike: 800 cumulative miles (missed it – but 800 miles isn’t too shabby), Workout classes 4/week (made it). Going to re-adjust these goals for next year, make them more realistic and simplify in 2014.

Social: Weekly blog post (average of 5/month), Invite group/friends to dinner each month, send birthday and “holiday” cards to friends & family each month

  • January: 10 blog posts, Bixby family for dinner, Holiday cards addressed and sent Feb 4.
  • February: 12 blog posts, Shipman and Hartman families for dinner
  • March: 15 blog posts, surprise Easter Lunch with Battaglia Family and Game night with Aikins Family. I’m not doing very well with birthday and holiday cards yet this year–new focus!
  • April: 10 blog posts, Attended first elementary school PTA meeting, volunteered for officer position.  Lots of ideas for improvements! Invited co-workers over for a game night.
  • May: 31 blog posts for 15-minutes a day idea. Attended graduation party and family reunion.
  • June: 5 blog posts. Family Vacation in Arkansas.
  • July: Family Holiday Party & Kimmons family at White Water.
  • August: First month I missed a week of blog posting.  And that’s OK.
  • September: On track for blog posts, Failed miserably at my birthday cards goal this year.
  • October: On track for blog posts – best month ever in viewing & stats.  Looking into blog affiliate programs to continue to grow this.
  • November: Great month for blog – people are really starting to notice and respond positively to this blog. Hosted Thanksgiving at our house
  • December: Great blog month and includes best stats week ever. Big family Christmas parties.

Spiritual: Attend weekly bible study, find & follow daily “bible verse” page (cool like a quote of the day site):

  • January: Bible study begins 2/17, set “Light of the Day” as computer home page.
  • February: Attended first bible study with new group
  • March: Attended one bible study this month, realized I need to re-assess these goals.
  • April: Attended church & greeted without Matt (I’m doing things by myself! Look at the bravery!)
  • May: Signed up to be small group leaders for summer.
  • June: Started small group at Church, held weekly meetings.
  • August: Small group at church ended on time, after 8 weeks.
  • September: Still following Light of the Day
  • October: Started our weekly church group, have had new friends + kids coming over weekly.
  • November: Kept strong with weekly church group, will continue through next year.
  • December: Took a month off of everything – it was delightful!

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