one month in


We're officially over a month into 2016, so it's time to evaluate. How are your goals looking? I'm excited to say I'm still pretty focused and determined to accomplish (at least some of) mine. Allow me to give you the deets.  


1Make time for daily prayer and Bible reading, even if it's only 5 minutes.

I downloaded the YouVersion app on my iPhone and have been using it to follow daily devotional plans. Here's a screenshot of the plans I've completed since January 1st:



I'm really wanting to dig deeper into the Bible than these plans go, though, so I'm making new Bible study plans for February. I'll keep doing these plans on my phone in the mornings, but in the evenings, I want to get out my actual Bible and a notebook and do some more serious personal reading. 

Also, the area of prayer needs more improvement. I found this journal for $4 at Marshall's yesterday:


It seemed like the perfect prayer journal for this worrying woman. Starting this month, I'm going to write down my prayer requests, use it to pray daily, and update it regularly as needed. 

2. Make a real effort to visit and attend church as regularly as work allows, with or without my husband.

I'm so excited to share that, on both of my two Sundays off in January, Matt took the days off as well and went with me to the non-denominational church we first visited back in November. Though he has a few issues with the place (primarily the contemporary worship music and the replacement of KJV with ESV), I'm happy there so far. The pastor is an excellent teacher, and he's been doing a really great series on Jesus's sermon on the mount. 

I'm off this Sunday as well, and Matt is, once again, planning to take off and join me at church!

3. Read at least one Christian living classic.

DONE! Check it out:


I finished Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis two weeks into the month! Though I wouldn't say it was an easy read by any means, there were a lot of insightful, thought-provoking ideas shared in the text. I enjoyed it. 

4. Increase exposure to worship music, Christian radio, and sermon videos/podcasts.

For my birthday, I gave Matt a list of things I wanted (per his request). Things on the list included albums from Matt Redman, Chris Tomlin, and...dcTalk. Matt surprised me by getting all three! 

Also, on one of my Sunday workdays, I listened to a sermon podcast from the church we've been visiting since I wasn't able to attend that morning. That was pretty neat.

5. Write out and post a verse each week.

Though this is probably the easiest goal on my entire list, I haven't done it since week one. I've gotta get on it this month. 


 1. Eliminate sugar, breads, and pasta. Severely restrict rice and beans. 

YES! I did really, really well with this last month. I didn't have any bread, sugar, or pasta, and it showed up on the scale:


WOOHOO!!!! 5.8 POUNDS DOWN! So thrilled to be getting, officially, back on track. 

2. Don't eat (or drink) anything I wouldn't if I were pregnant.

Been doing better with this, too, though I'm not taking it quite as seriously as I should. I had eggs and bacon at work one morning (they definitely weren't grass-fed...), and I wouldn't have done that if I actually were pregnant. But as far as the obvious stuff goes, like coffee or sodas, we're good. 

3. Bike, run, walk, do yoga, dance, just move three times each week.

My goal starting out was to do one yoga session and one cardio session each week. So far, so good. I wanna bump it up to two of each this month, so we'll see how that goes!

Here's a nice lil' collage of my healthy homemade food choices, yoga time, and cardio (...Just Dance vids on YouTube):


Did I mention how much better I feel?!? Eating foods like these make my body so happy. 


1. Write down three things I'm thankful for daily.

I've done this every single day so far, and wow, it makes such a difference in my state of mind at the end of what I'd just considered a crappy day. Even when I come home from work exhausted, in tears, and hangry, only to find that Annie pooped in the floor and pulled the stuffing out of our brand new couch, there are always multiple things for which I find myself deeply grateful. 

2. Light candles, do yoga, do facial masks, take lavender-infused showers as needed.

We just talked briefly about yoga, but the goal on this one is to do a few self-indulgent things to make my days a little brighter. One thing I did recently with this goal in mind was the purchase of this journal to use at work:


I was using a tiny, plain $0.88 notebook from Walmart to keep track of all my daily blood glucose checks, vital signs, PRN meds administered, and all those other nurse notes we have to make all day to keep from losing it. I thought I'd splurge a little and get a nice one that I'd enjoy writing in. 

Also, the message on the front encourages me to be a light to the people I'm caring for each day; the lonely elderly/disabled people who are stuck spending their days in a long-term care facility. 

The little things do help.


1. Continue preparing a monthly cash budget and planning for all spending.

Please see here. :)

2. Find some kind of "side gig" to really ramp up the debt snowball.

I actually applied for an online, work-from-home job captioning videos on YouTube. Sadly, I ended up having to stay so late at the nursing home on the day of my first non-paid assignment (kind of an orientation type thing) that I missed my first deadline. Pretty horrible, I know. I'll keep looking though.

3. Save up and pay cash for an anniversary weekend getaway.

We've been budgeting $50 each for Matt's personal money and Jen's personal money each month. That's our money to do whatever we want to do, guilt-free and accountability-free. I'm proud to announce that I saved $20 of my personal money this month for this.

4. Save up and pay cash for another trip for just the two of us.

One trip at a time, man. 

1. Call/write/text/mail a card to someone back home every week. Make a true effort to stay in touch with family/friends.

With the exception of last week (when I ended up staying late at work almost everyday because of state inspection and just getting behind because of too many assigned tasks), I've been doing pretty well with this. I called my mom, my sister, and my aunt a few times, and of course, I've been texting regularly in between phone calls. 

I really want to get better at this. I'd like to send cards, too. Maybe for Valentine's Day. 


1. Pursue a job opportunity that will make use of my bachelor's in English.

I've updated my resume and I'm checking job postings almost daily. So far, no luck. But I'm not giving up yet. 

2. Stick it out in this position until at least March 2016.

I made it through another month. And it was one of the worst ones yet. So. Yay.

3. Post monthly blog updates about debt, diet/fitness, and weigh-ins.

:) :) :)

4. WRITE SOMETHING.

Welllllllll...I just haven't made the time for this one yet. Maybe I'll give creative writing a go this month. 


So, that's where I am so far in 2016. I'm definitely making progress in some areas and quite obviously slacking in others. How about you? Share in the comments!

2 comments

Regine Karpel said...

Great job

Anonymous said...

Wow, great update! I'm so proud of all your efforts. It would have been sooooo easy to blame your job for lack of progress on your weight/eating, Bible and church time, etc. But instead you made January a month to really be proud of. And surely working all those overtime hours counts as something that will help with the debt snowball. Speaking of which, I didn't get a chance to comment on your previous post, but your progress in that area is amazing as well! Congrats!

I'm extremely happy that you've been able to go to church together on your off days. I'm gonna keep praying for you and for all the challenges you've been facing. Miss you lots!

AMPS