Happy Wednesday, friends!
I read in the newspaper—the free one they hand you when you hop on the Metro—that this past Sunday was the halfway point of the meteorological summer, which runs from June 1 to August 31. Though I know we’re more halfway through the year, it’s this time of year—halfway through summer—that feels most like the halfway point to me. So, I thought I’d check in with my 2017 goals to see how I’m doing.
PUT MY FINANCES IN ORDER /
Well, I thought I had my finances in order until the Nordstrom Sale came along…
My main goal for the rest of the year is to continue to build up my emergency fund, so I have six months of pay on hand should anything happen to my salary. On the topic of savings, I did recently increase my 401(K) contribution by 1%—the first time since I started my job four years ago!—and my goal is to increase it by another 1% before year-end. And I’d love to continue the trend of increasing it by 2% annually from here on out.
I think the thing I struggle with most is balancing long-term savings goals with short-term wants. I have a really hard time saying no to buying new workout clothes, that sweetgreen salad on my walk home, one last drink at the bar. It really adds up, and when I first got on the LearnVest plan, I was much more strict with myself. After going on a few vacations this summer, I think my spending has gotten a little off the rails, so now that I’ve stocked up for fall at the aforementioned sale, I’m hoping I can stick to the basics for a while to rebuild my fixed expenses savings and get back in the swing of enforcing my weekly budget so I’m not “borrowing” against future paychecks—I’m sure a few of you can relate!
I think my finances are in for a whirlwind as I move into my own apartment (!) next month which means more expensive rent and utilities. I’ll keep y’all posted.
WORK ON MY FITNESS /
Y’all, I am really proud of the work I’ve done so far this year on my fitness. It took me a while to really kick this into high gear, but one day in March, randomly, I decided to book a class at a spin studio I discovered through Class Pass a few years ago. I was lucky in that I found two amazing instructors right off the bat, and started buying 10-class passes. At first, I’d go twice a week, then I upped it to three times a week. Spin is so much fun for me because it’s always a different workout and I love the music my favorite instructors play.
After getting into a solid cardio routine, at the end of May, I decided to take the plunge and try the free Orange Theory Fitness they offer you as a first-timer. As much as I loved my spin classes, I knew I needed to get some weight-bearing exercise into my routine. I was really intimidated by my first class, but I am so glad I went because it is a such a great workout. And, since you wear a heart rate monitor, you have a concrete way to track your progress. When I first started going to OTF, I definitely preferred my spin classes more, but now that I’ve found my favorite instructors at my home studio, I almost look forward to going to OTF more.
When reflecting on this process, I think there are two things that really helped me stick to a weekly exercise routine. First, I picked gyms that are right on my way home from work. I know myself. I am never going to get out of bed early before work to work out. I am a night owl, so I will hit snooze every single time. And by picking studios that line up with my commute, it’s super easy for me to just stop off on my way home and workout for an hour—then I’m free to go about whatever else I need to do that evening. Second, I found coaches that motivate me. Clearly, I wasn’t motivating myself anymore—I needed the right people to push me to work harder and push myself every single workout.
Now that I’ve found what works for me, I try to workout at least four times a week—I generally go to two spin classes and two Orange Theory classes. It’s a good balance and it keeps things interesting.
Now that I am in a good place with my workout routine, I would really like to spend the back half of the year cleaning up my act in the kitchen. I am proud that I’ve pretty much kicked my diet soda addiction—though I do treat myself from time to time—and that one act has also decreased my sugar cravings and increased my water intake. But, I’d like to be better about cooking meals at home—I hate, hate to cook, so this might be a struggle, drinking less, and being more conscious about stopping when I’m full. I want my diet to help all those strides I’m making in the gym!
FIGURE OUT MY NEXT STEPS /
Well, on the DC front, I think I’m here for the foreseeable future—especially considering that I just signed a 13-month lease. Talk to me again when it’s cold outside as I’m sure I’ll be hammering to leave.
On the creative front, I launched my Etsy Shop back in the spring, which has been a goal of mine for a while—and turned out to be really fun.
The blog is still my primary outlet though, and since we last spoke in January, I’ve been doing a lot of maintenance on the backend. I moved hosting companies, added a more comprehensive site backup solution, re-organized all my categories and tags, updated my overall blog SEO, pulled out what I believe my strongest categories to be to the main menu, added a “read more” button to every post, hidden some posts that should have never seen the light of day, re-designed my media kit, updated my About Me & Contact pages, updated my business email signature—the list goes on. Next up, I’d love to add some fresh photography to any of my older posts that still drive a ton of traffic to my site. (And obviously, keep creating content you want to read!)
I’d love to know how you’re doing on your 2017 goals, or if you’ve added any new ones since January! I’m in the camp that we can set new goals anytime, not just at the beginning of the year.