Friday, January 6, 2012

Welcome, 2012!

I have all sorts of fun photos to post from our family Christmas at my parents’ home this previous weekend. But first, I want to start the new year off right (Nope, not on January 1, but close – we are still in the first week of January!) by looking ahead to 2012. I’ve never really been the type to make an annual list of resolutions. I have friends who are great at it, and probably are equally as wonderful at the “following through” portion. In fact, I have a friend who is very successful in her business and personal life that has a list of things she wishes to accomplish on her bathroom mirror, so it is right in front of her each morning and evening. And she is undoubtedly one of those who does make things happen! I’m not that concrete about my resolutions or goals, I guess. I do think I could benefit from that approach, probably in some areas more than others. But if I look back over the past year, I have done pretty okay with things, even without a written plan, AND with some unexpected turns.

In 2011, I accomplished some things in several areas of my life, including:

  • Continuing to acclimate and grow in my new job – definitely feeling more comfortable in my skin at work, after a year and a half in my position.
  •  Paying off debt and staying within my budget (for the most part)
  • Learning how to scuba dive and taking a trip to Honduras to do my final part of the certification… loved it!
  • Coping with the breakup of my marriage – enough said.
  • Taking an 8 week photography class so that I could learn how to take better photos and start using many of the features on my new camera. I forgot how much I enjoyed being in a classroom setting, and learning new things!
  • Improving my communication with Jace’s dad, to better work together on parenting Jace. Working in the same building and on some projects has helped us to better communicate, which is a plus for Jace.
  • Getting back into church after my divorce, and reconnecting with God and my spiritual self. I didn’t go to church for a couple of months after Dave and I split up – I was afraid I would break down during the music, AND I was embarrassed to have folks find out that I was going through my second divorce. But I went back, and I’m so, so glad I did.

Would I have liked to have accomplished more this past year? Absolutely. I had planned on starting the process to achieve a certification related to my new job field. I would have liked to have worked out more regularly and been in better shape throughout the year (I did jumpstart my 10+ pound weight loss via the “Divorce Diet”, as I like to call my stress-induced non-eating – AND I’ve kept some of that weight off, even being happy again!). On the home front, I have some home improvement projects that came to a screeching halt back in July. (Is it bad that the painters’ tape is STILL around the ceiling in the hall bath, after we had the ceiling retextured back in April!?)

But hey – overall, I had a good year, all things considering.

And I’m looking forward to the starting of a new year. So glad 2012 is finally here! It feels like a fresh start, and another step in the right direction of putting my life back together and moving on. I do have some goals in mind for the upcoming year….

  1. Financial – I will get back to, and maintain, my weekly system of using cash for groceries, gas, lunch and social activities. One of the successes that I had with the Dave Ramsey program was that I minimized the number of debit transactions in my checking account by using cash for those everyday purchases. Using cash made it much more tangible – if I didn’t have the cash, then I didn’t purchase the item. It cut down on a lot of the impulse buying, which can really rack up quickly. I’ve gotten out of that mode over the last few months, especially with gift buying and the holidays. Although I’m still doing fairly well on my budgeting, I need to get back to the cash method. My January budget is complete, and I started with the cash envelopes again last Friday – starting the New Year out right.
  2. Career - Starting on my AMCPE certification – the annual MGMA (Medical Group Management Association) meeting is in May, and I would like to have the first part of the certification process completed by then, when I see some of my colleagues at the meeting. We all talked about it last May, and I’d like to have the process underway when I see them again.
  3. Family – I have an awesome 13-year-old (of course I may be a teensy bit biased), and I love that he still wants to spend time with me. So I need to take advantage of our time together and continue our communication. One thing that has been a positive has been a change in our schedule. Since he is now with me on Sunday nights, he has been going to the Sunday night youth events at my church. Although it does take away from some of our time together, I think it is a great experience for him. He is involved at church with his dad where he goes each week, but the Catholic church doesn’t have as much for youth, so I am glad he is getting involved with the youth group at Schweitzer.
  4. Health – Ahh, the annual speech I give myself about keeping a regular routine of working out and eating better. I have ups and downs throughout the year on this goal – it is much easier for me when the weather is nice and I can be outside. As well, I sometimes find myself slacking off because of other commitments in my life- when work or my social calendar get too hectic. But I’ve recently changed fitness centers, and have two good friends who go to this one, so I hope that will help me be more motivated during the winter months.
  5. Self- I am planning on taking another photography class this spring, just a half-day Saturday, and also a Photo Shop class – AND, I would love to take a cooking class. We’ll see how what my time and budget allows.

I don't know that I will get everything done this year - but I think it is a pretty manageable list.  So bring it on, 2012. I’m ready for you!   What about you, my family and friends that keep up with things on here?  What did you decide that you would do this year, and how are you going about accomplishing it?  Some of the best tricks and tips for things are those that I glean from others... would love to hear about your's!

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