Tuesday, December 31, 2013

2013 Goals Recap

Well, it's New Year's Eve, so it's time for our annual goals!  Before we do that, though, I wanted to look back at the 5 goals we set for 2013 and see how we did.

1. No more plastic bags
I would give us about a B- on this one.  We started out the year great, but as the year progressed, we often forgot to grab our bags for Target trips or mall-type shopping.  For groceries, though, A+!  We have gotten into such a great routine of bringing them every time, and if we end up having a bigger trip, we get one extra paper bag to fit the difference.  I would like to keep this up, so I think I will make a couple more bags so we can each keep enough for a trip in our cars in the hopes that we won't be able to forget them then :)

2. Less processed food
Uh...C-/D+?  At best?  It turns out having a baby did not exactly do wonders for the amount of time and energy we have been able to put into our meals.  I would say passing, though, because we started buying much more of our produce at the local farmer's market, or at least we did through the fall when there was produce to be had.  I've also replaced vegetable/canola oil in all of my baking with coconut oil, and I think with the exception of a few weeks around the time of the baby, all of our bread has been homemade.  But then I made this Peppermint Crunch Ice Cream Pie, which has not one single real ingredient, so, you know.  There's obviously room for improvement here.

3. Less spending
Ha.  Now, I fully believe that I could have spent a lot more money this year, and on Lilly, and we did (mostly) successfully transition from two incomes to one. BUT.  We do shopping; it's our thing, and that hasn't changed.  Yes, we haven't racked up any credit card debt, but our savings could be more robust, and we could do with a few less Target trips (per week).  C for attaining the goal in general, but with much room for improvement.

4. Avoiding "busy"
I think we've done a great job with this--funny how a newborn will do that for you.  She's a built-in excuse!  "Oh, that event goes past 9:00 6:00?  Sorry, we have to put the baby to bed."  "I can't make it this weekend, I don't think I am Lilly is up for the drive."  No one who knows me is surprised by this, or thinks it actually has anything to do with the baby, but it has really helped me to feel less guilty about setting limits with our time.  Now, within a week of quitting my full-time teaching job, I had applied to teach SAT classes part time, so trust me that the impulse is still there.  But Kaplan has been amazing about letting me set the number of hours that I would like to work.  So...B+/A-

5. Give more
We kept up with 50/50 for a good chunk of the year, but adjusted midway as we signed up to do more monthly giving, such as sponsoring a child through Compassion and supporting our local chapter of Greek Intervarsity, and participating in as many charitable events put on by our church as possible (Caring Christmas Tree, food boxes for Thanksgiving, etc.).  I'm curious to see our final totals, because I think we're pretty close to even here.  Also B+/A-!

Overall, I am proud of the goals we set and the life changes we have made; some stuck, like waste (read more here), some didn't, like media, and some were a toss-up, like possessions.  Many of the major changes were based on the book 7: An Experimental Mutiny Against Excess and the new Member Book by Jen Hatmaker, and if you haven't read it, you are doing yourself a disservice.  She writes with such passion and humor and really challenges what it looks like to live like Christ.

So, cheers!  My bottle of champagne is much smaller than in years past, but at least I'm not pregnant and stuck with a water bottle this year!  We may stay up to watch the ball drop...on the East Coast, but then again, Lilly is in bed, so maybe not.  Some things never change...

Happy New Year!

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