Sunday, January 23, 2011


In an effort to put off working on our taxes, I've decided to blather on about my 101 Goals status.  It's been amazing to me how motivating having that list has been.  Granted, it doesn't look like much is getting done but that's because many of my goals are a bit too open ended.  At least here on the blog.  In real life, my goals are a bit more detailed as to what constitutes completion, but for here on the blog, those details are too wordy.  For example, the goal of "learn more about the computer."  Technically, I could go ahead & check that off now.   I have learned more.  But I haven't begun to learn all I want to learn.  And honestly, I don't even know what I don't know so I do know that this goal will be on going for quite a while.  One of the things I'm doing is reading a book called Switching to the Mac which is teaching me all kinds of cool tricks.

But to get back to the motivation...  I find I'm much more motivated to complete a definite task than to work on something on-going.  I do enjoy checking things off the list!  And I'm realizing that instead of having "read Switching to the Mac" as a sub-goal, I should write down each chapter in my goals notebook.  Then, I could check off the chapters as I read them.  I'd be much more motivated to read the book.

On the other hand, I do have all 90+ books that I own & have never read written down and as I read them, I check them off.  It's going to take me a lifetime to read all those books, but I'm determined to get through them.  Unfortunately, the majority of the books are non-fiction, which is not exactly my favorite thing to read.   Give me a good thriller, mystery or romance novel & I'll skip meals and stay up all night to finish the book.  But give me a biography about "some old guy" (as my kids always phrase it) and I'm snoozing before I get to the second paragraph.  It's taking some true effort on my part to read a few of these books, but I'm motivated.  For several reasons.  For one, another of my goals is to learn more about history and since many of the books on my list are historical .....  and of course, there's the 'I get to check it off the list' factor.

There are also a few things on my goals list that I'm pretty surprised I haven't tackled yet.  I could easily get them done in a day and be able to get that satisfaction of checking them off.  But no, I procrastinate.  And why do I procrastinate?  Well, in some cases, it's a money issue, for some it's a weather issue and for some, it's just pure laziness.

And then there's the money issue.  How am I supposed to go to all those restaurants & museums, buy all that jewelry, buy the stuff to "pretty up" my house, hire attorneys to write wills, and get medical insurance all while becoming debt free?  Or does the answer to that question fall under the goal of setting up a budget & sticking to it?  Unfortunately, that goal will probably be the very last one to get checked off.

I am pretty excited about being able to check off updating the car insurance.  Our old company, Progressive, told us that we had to add Zack to the policy before he could start learning to drive.  All of our friends' policies allowed their kids to drive with a learner's permit without being added.  So, we checked around, switched companies and will be saving a ton of money.  Our new policy is almost half what we'd been paying and we have better coverage.  Much better coverage.   Better coverage for less money.  I'm on my way to becoming debt free.  :)

Oh, and on a side note, totally off topic, but the car insurance reminded me.  Zack has a bowling tournament in Los Vegas next summer.  He refuses to fly.  His solution is that since he will have had his drivers license for a month or two by then, he thinks he and his buddy, who just got his license last month, will drive together.  Did I mention that we live on the east coast?  Does Zack really think that his over-protective parents are going to let two 16 year olds, neither of which have had their license for a full year, drive across the country for a bowling tournament?  Apparently he does because he thinks it's a great solution.  I think I need a drink!  And a valium or two.  Sheesh.

As for the cooking goals...  Honestly, I'm not sure how to report those.  The Eat Clean 90% of the Time goal, well....  I do eat clean during the day, but at night, after dinner, and mostly after everyone else goes to bed....   I tend to snack.  And I rarely snack on raw fruits & vegetables.  Technically, I probably am eating clean 90% of the time, since I'm only eating junk for an hour or so each day but what I'd really meant for that goal to say was for me to eat clean for a 24 hour period, 90% of my days.   Guess I need to work on that one a bit more.

And then there's the goal to try 101 new recipes.  What exactly constitutes a recipe?  Does switching ingredients, leaving something out or adding something extra count as a new recipe?  If so, I'm a lot closer to my goal than I thought.  But I'd intended "recipe" to mean an actual recipe.  I have about ten gazillion cookbooks.  The goal was to try out 101 recipes from them.  In that case, I'm failing miserably. But hey, I still have 30 months to try 90 recipes.  Three a month.  Shouldn't be That hard to do.

I've thought about doing that Julia & Julia thing and picking a cookbook & working my way through it.  It wouldn't be a Julia Child's cookbook though.  French food doesn't really do it for me.  Italian might work though.  Or that new Southern Living cookbook I spent about 3 hours reading the last time we were at the bookstore.  Now, that one looked doable!  Except there was an awful lot of meat recipes and Sarah & I are doing the vegetarian thing these days.  I could do it with one of the vegetarian cookbooks I already own, but then I might be forced to eat tofu.  Or maybe I could use one of the baking cookbooks I have.  Those are mostly breads & deserts.  Neither the meat eaters nor the vegetarians in the family would be offended by those recipes.  Of course, it probably would not help me reach my other goal of loosing weight.

See, I'm struggling because my goals all conflict with each other.  Spend money & become debt free.  Cook myself silly while becoming skinny.  Read a gazillion books while I train for & run a marathon.  There's just way too much conflict.  But then, one thing having 101 goals was supposed to do was to teach me to have balance in my life.  I never discussed that part of the project here because it seemed that my goals were spread out.  But in the original instructions, you were supposed to make sure your goals were varied.  They weren't all supposed to be about money or weight issues or knitting or what ever your passion happens to be.  The idea was to spread your goals out into different fields so that you did have balance, or at least you'd would by the time your 1001 days are up.  So, maybe all these conflicting goals is a good thing.  Working on all of them will teach me to balance spending with saving, cooking with eating, eating with eating healthily....

All that balance sounds like a lot of work.  And if I'm going to have to work so hard, I may as well go work on our taxes.  Ick.

1 comment:

  1. First off, leave your taxes for a while! They aren't due until the 18th of April, so you have time (says the little devil on your shoulder)

    Your list is great and it isn't in conflict with itself - instead think of it as a visual demonstration of your wide-ranging interests. You still have two years to get it completed, so there is time to get it all done. Or at least to get most of it done and then have the rest on a path towards completion.

    Depending on how complicated your wills would be, you can always get the forms to do them online. (that's how I did mine - cost was like $40....from Dave Ramsey's website)

    And tell Zach he can drive to Vegas when he is 18 and using his own car and gas money. Silly boy, thinking he can drive to Vegas from VA! How about a train? It will take about the same amount of time, but you can stretch out, bring your computer, and relax.

    You call it balance, I call it mindfulness, but we both mean the same think - a little peace in our lives. Contentment with who and where we are. And no more self-induced stress. Here's to crossing off everything on that list!