Resolution Check-In

Well, it’s April now. I guess this whole 2016 thing is actually happening?

Since we’re somehow a quarter through the year, I thought I’d check in with myself (and you guys, I guess) and see how I was doing on my resolutions. And it’s pretty hit or miss.

2016 Resolutions | Shades of Sarah

♦ Eat more veggies: Well, I at least (usually) have frozen broccoli on hand, so that’s a start. The hardest part about this is that I have the taste buds of an elementary school kid, and just do not like vegetables. I do what I can with broccoli and zucchini but meh. Why can’t fruit just cover all the nutrients I need?

♦ Save $30/month: Check! In some personal news, I started a new job earlier this year and while I’m still adjusting, I am much happier! I also finally have direct deposit, which makes meeting my savings goals a lot easier since I’m not tempted to keep extra money in my checking account. Direct deposit is such a game changer.

♦ Evaluate my shopping habits: I’ll touch on this a bit more in my March shopping budget (post coming next week!), but this is a work in progress for sure (it’s a vague goal for a reason).  The local Big Brothers/Big Sisters did pick up some donations from me this morning, and it’s increasingly obvious that I have enough stuff. I just don’t know if it’s stuff I really enjoy enough.

♦ Less lunch breaks at the computer: This is a big fat fail. That new job? My office is closer to home, but I’m no longer in Center City, which is super walkable. Maybe now that it’s warming up I’ll be more motivated to at least step outside and walk around the block.

♦ Volunteer at least once a month: So far so good! I walk dogs at my local PAWS, which is the same rescue where we adopted Arya, our second pittie, from.

♦ Read a book a month: Still don’t have a library card. I did read The Life-changing Magic of Tidying Up in January because I’m a cliche.

Anyone else even thinking about their resolutions anymore?

~ Sarah

If I Won The Lottery

Okay, fine, I didn’t win the Powerball jackpot — if I did, I would’ve disappeared from social media and holed up with a lawyer somewhere. Instead, here I am…blogging about what I would’ve done if I had won. (Seriously, Universe, I would’ve settled for like a $100 million.)

♦Pay off all my student loans. And Nick’s student loans. And maybe my brother’s, if he was nice.
♦Pay off our cars.
♦Buy nice apartments in all of my favorite cities (Miami, New York, Philadelphia…)
♦New furniture (especially giant mattresses) and wood flooring everywhere.
♦Actually buy something from Everlane.
♦Travel…pretty much everywhere. First up would have to be London, Cuba or Thailand.
♦Donate to some of my favorite organizations.
♦Hire a personal trainer and nutritionist so I could indulge in my favorite meals the rest of the time.
♦Try to convince Nick that we need a third dog since we can afford an on-call dogsitter.
♦Save some (ugh, boring) and share some (yay!).

Anyone else still have big lottery dreams?

~ Sarah

Driving Lessons & Resolutions

It’s been a long time since I’ve come up with concrete resolutions. Last spring, I chose to focus on two words for 2015: push and trust. Even though I didn’t accomplish everything I wanted to last year (which is fine — not everything is in my control), I think I ended the year more confidently than I began it.

The biggest change? I’m a licensed driver now! Living in New York, I felt like I had so much freedom — I could hop on the bus or subway and basically go anywhere. I lost that when I moved to Philadelphia; the public transit here is not up to par, especially in the neighborhood where I live. Driving is an unfortunate necessity, and a skill I never learned. In high school, I was in two minor car accidents (one in which a driver ran a red light and hit our car in an intersection, the other in which I hit a mailbox when trying to pull into a driveway). Afterwards, I took drivers’ ed, but if anything that made more scared of driving. 2015 was the year I was finally ready to change that. I signed up for one-on-one driving lessons (not cheap, but worth it) and was ready to take the test. I was practicing on the actual morning of my drivers test when I totaled Nick’s carliterally outside the testing center. Everyone was okay, thankfully, but the car was not.

Why am I writing about this lowlight on the Internet? Well, instead of curling up in a ball and being scared to go near a car, I knew I had to start practicing again immediately. Granted, I had more issues to work on (both mental and technical — the accident happened because I didn’t break fast enough), but I knew I had to get to work. After having a learner’s permit for 9 years (that’s 2006!), I finally passed my driving test, parallel parking and all. It wasn’t easy, and I’m still learning a lot even though I drive to the subway everyday, but I had to trust my ability and push myself to actually get it done.

If learning to drive was the only thing I accomplished in 2015, I’d be happy. But other awesome stuff happened too!

(Also, I’m really glad I blog, because I couldn’t remember all of those off the top of my head!)

That being said, I think it’s time I get back to more concrete goals. After some reflection, this is what I’ve come up with for this year:

2016 Resolutions | Shades of Sarah

I think these are all pretty self-explanatory, but I’m actually excited about them! I also think they’re generally pretty doable — sure, “spending less lunches at my desk” might be vague, but it’s something I want to work on. Care to share any of yours? Or do you go for mantras instead?

~ Sarah