I'm trying something different for August. I wrote out a list of things I want to get done this month and prioritized them. I know this sounds pretty elementary, and it is what all the "experts" say you should do, but I've always just had a rough outline in my head for a week or month. Sure, I've written out long term goals for the year along with all my other bright ideas and I've made daily to-do lists, but never made a list of the steps for a medium amount of time to work towards the larger goal. I suspect in September I will look back at this as one of those aha moments.
1. Pay the bills and do the banking. Before we moved (yes, I'm aware that was over a year ago), I had a great system in place for bill paying and banking. My office was set up and in the main area of the house, my computer worked, everything was online and, most importantly, I had time alone in the house. I never quite fell into a new routine when we moved and most of our bills changed. This leads to me scrambling last minute to get stuff out on time or paying one bill at a time over the course of a week. Not good. This month I sat down and did what needed to be done. Of course, the dishes didn't get done, but you know you can't have it all.
2. Research new banking/savings options. I don't know enough about CDs, online accounts like ING and the like to move on this. But there's no way Nathan's savings account is going to grow any momentum if it stays a savings account. I'm a lazy banker. Stuff stays where it is because it's easier to not look at it. I know there are better options out there, I just need to spend a little time learning.
3. Nathan's room. In my endless attempt to have less clutter, I have to find a way to make Nathan's room a place that doesn't make me physically ill when I walk into it.
4. Pain the dining room wall. Now that the new door is in place, we need to repaint. It's one wall and there's a 5 foot door in the middle of it. This shouldn't take long. Of course, it takes forever if you don't actually go into the basement and get the paint.
5. Wellness Assessment. This one is done as of yesterday! Our insurance plan is offering $100 if you complete a 15 minute questionnaire about your health and another $100 if you sign up for a wellness program. No surprise I qualify for the weight loss program, so my Health Coach will be calling me shortly (or so I'm told) and I'll be getting $200.
6. Clean out the kitchen cabinets. After Nathan's room, the kitchen cabinets are the 2nd most cluttered place in the house. I have too many kitchen things, many of which I don't use. Partially because they aren't organized, partially because I just don't need them. Either way, something has to change.
7. Get to the gym at least 4 times. That's once per week. If I can't make start going weekly, I need to quit, so the rest of the year is a test for me. We'll see how it goes.
8. Track all expenditures to prepare a budget. On a daily basis I'm tracking all of our spending to see where our money goes. We have long term goals - we don't want to work for other people the rest of our lives (or at all for that matter), we want to move across the country, we want our family to have all it needs and a good amount of what it wants now and in the future. Financial irresponsibility is one way to make sure those things never happen. Not that we're irresponsible, but we have our moments that certainly don't fit into the big picture. I want to change that.
Some of these goals are easy, some just take some planning. None of them are inherently difficult. Let's hope this approach works!