I read once that most people have completely given up on their New Year’s resolutions by the end of February. Which means that Lori, Kristen, Barbara and I should be closing the door on our resolutions in just a few days. While it’s true that we’ve each met some challenges, we’re not giving up hope just yet.
Lori’s resolution: Reducing debt
Maybe it is a symptom of the times, or maybe it is our own fault; but we just keep getting hit with unexpected bills. The latest of which is our taxes. Yikes! Who has over $3,000 to pay the tax man? Certainly not us.
With this setback, we made two decisions. One, the most obvious, was to take a look at what deductions affect our take-home salaries. Hopefully, this will prevent us being in the same boat next year. The other was that we would do a debt-consolidation loan. I was not really comfortable with this, as it seemed to be a step in the wrong direction, but it does seem to be the long-term answer. We have been successful in not using our credit cards, so if we keep that up we should stay on track to reduce our debt load considerably. I guess it is better to move ahead slowly than to not move ahead at all!
Kristen’s resolution: Cutting cable
I am a miserable excuse for a New Year’s resolutioner. I vowed to give up cable TV. Then, football playoffs were on. I know, they are usually on network television, but you know how ESPN has all those heartwarming stories? I couldn’t miss those. Then, I convinced myself (over the course of a few days) that I had no time to call the cable company. As if I hadn’t found enough lame excuses, Lance Loves Michael was scheduled to come on E!, and being a die-hard NSYNC and Lance Bass fan, I couldn’t miss that.
I have finally told myself that I will do it first thing on Monday morning. Except … the women’s basketball game versus UConn is on Monday night. See, pathetic excuse for a resolutioner.
Not sure I’ll ever be brave enough to actually pull that plug, but I keep telling myself I’m just building up the courage — next month.
Barbara’s resolution: Losing weight
My first weigh-in of the year, I had gained 0.8 pounds. I know that New Year’s celebrations threw me off. I am happy to say that I have recorded a loss every week since then … even if the loss was only 0.2 pounds. What changed? The first thing that happened was I had some blood work done at my endocrinologist’s office, and my blood glucose result was 127. It should be below 100. That number was enough to scare me into looking at ways to prevent a Type 2 diabetes diagnosis. Since synthetic growth hormone (which I take for my growth hormone deficiency) can exacerbate diabetes, I want to be proactive in managing my blood sugar. That fear of a looming diabetes diagnosis caused the second change: I put myself on a low-carb diet. For the most part, counting carbs has made me better about tracking my food in my iPhone for Weight Watchers, and I have held myself accountable.
Food is a difficult addiction to break, because you can’t quit it cold turkey. Learning a new way to eat, so that you are satisfying hunger but not overindulging, is a true lifestyle change. I’ve tried to wrap my head around this for the past four years, since I joined Weight Watchers in July 2010. I’ve gone to meetings almost every week (except while pregnant), and it never really sunk in until I saw that glucose rise out of normal range. It’s no longer about fitting in to skinny jeans or a dress, or not being the fat mom. If I don’t lose the weight, I will die as a result of complications related to my obesity. I will die of being fat. I have far too much living left to do to allow that to happen.
My resolution: Charting a path back to full-time work
My goal for the year: to figure out a long-term plan for going back to work full time. I was giving myself plenty of time to figure this out, as I really wasn’t prepared to go back to work until after my son started kindergarten in August. My freelance work — part-time hours, from home — is enough of a challenge for now.
And then in mid-January I got an email from a recruiter. Who wanted to talk to me about a full-time job in an office. That would start immediately. Gulp.
I felt I had to at least consider the job, even though the timing wasn’t ideal, so I jumped into action, trying to figure out child-care options and getting my resume together. I talked to the recruiter and sent her my materials, and then … I waited. And waited. And waited. I’m still waiting. Word to the wise: When someone gets in touch with you via LinkedIn, maybe don’t take it too seriously right away.
Though I’m a bit embarrassed at how quickly I fell into a Chicken Little routine, the experience was valuable: I learned that I’m really not ready to be back in an office just yet. Maybe by fall I will be; or maybe I need to embrace the flexibility that full-time freelancing would offer me. Either way, I need to take the time I have and really explore all my options. Which means my next step is finally doing something I’ve been planning to do for years: finally finishing a professional website so I can market myself as a freelance writer and editor. Stay tuned!
If you made a New Year’s resolution this year, how is it going? Share your story in the comments.