Sunday, January 10, 2016

A "Savvy" New Year

If I could summarize 2015 in one word it would have to be “overwhelming.” It began with having a stressful year-end close after the company I work for had its busiest December ever – I am the accounting manager. Then the day after our year-end audit was completed one of my employees resigned. Her replacement didn’t work out, but of course we didn’t discover she was inept until after she had incorrectly posted a month and a half of payables. I spent most of the summer correcting her work, training a new hire, a summer intern and lastly a part-time employee. On my summer intern’s last day she told me she would never want a job like mine because it seemed - overwhelming.

The good news is after numerous meetings and discussions with my boss and company owners they authorized me to hire a part-time employee. She is awesome and for the first time in the 16-years I’ve been at this company I have someone to help me with “MY” work. So far, I am experiencing the easiest January I’ve ever had. There are rumors that we switching our business software in 2016, so this lull in my workload is most likely temporary. 

I started 2015 with the goal to live healthy on a budget. Living healthy quickly went awry as I began working eleven hour days. I stopped going to the gym and became a frequent visitor to the work candy bowl. Once work settled down, I cancelled my gym membership and joined Jazzercise which is a better fit for me. Their location and class schedule is more convenient and I find the classes more enjoyable and injury free.

But I didn’t get back to working out on a regular basis, until Jazzercise announced their holiday challenge. If I worked out 20 times between November 15 and December 24th, I would win a cosmetic bag:

I didn’t need or want the bag, but I enjoyed to process of signing in each night and working towards an achievable goal.  With one day to spare, I am happy to announce I took home the little bag.

There is a new challenge for February – attend 30 classes in 35 days and win a tank top.  I know this isn’t a doable challenge for me.  With my work schedule and other priorities I can't realistically attend more than 25 classes.  The Jazzercise owner seemed dejected when I told her so.  She wants everyone to succeed.

Which brings me to my birthday challenge - to become savvy at 53. Back in July I set a goal to read 200 nonfiction books in five years.  The premise is 200-500 books is the equivalent of one good mentor. To date I have read ten books:

1. The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America's Great Migration by Isabel Wilkerson

2. The Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You're Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are by Brene Brown

3. Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi

4. Stalin's Daughter: The Extraordinary and Tumultuous Life of Svetlana Alliluyeva by Rosemary Sullivan

5. Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide by Nicholas D. Kristof

6. I Am Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by the Talibanby Malala Yousafzai

7. The Only Woman in the Room: Why Science Is Still a Boys' Clubby Eileen Pollack

8. Into Thin Air: A Personal Account of the Mt. Everest Disaster by Jon Krakauer

9. Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates

10. Bad Feministby Roxane Gay

At this rate I’m not going to make my goal, but I don’t want to quit.  So instead I’m giving myself an attainable goal for 2016 - I plan to read 30 nonfiction books.   

Another piece to becoming savvy at 53 is to write down 10 ideas a day. I am happy to report I have kept up with this and have several post ideas I hope to share in the future. My ultimate goal is to bring back Ask Savvy which are my favorite blogging posts.

What are your goals for 2016?  Are they realistic and attainable?

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  1. Good idea to change your goal to make it more attainable. I hadn't thought that reading nonfic is like having a mentor. Interesting.

    1. Reading NF as a mentor seems like a long process every now and then. I let you know if I still think so after the project is completed.

  2. Congrats on your cosmetic bag ... i used mine this week and it worked out great. I love Jazzercize, but their 30 in 35 days challenge is not realistic for most people. I really need the weekends off to rest my joints! hope it continues to work for you. I've stuck with it for about 6 years now, and continue to enjoy the changing routines and the differences among instructors. hope 2016 is a good year for you.

    1. I agree about needing a rest. When I work-out too often I usually end up injured. I hope 2016 is great for you too.

  3. My friend gave me The 7 Minute Planner and, to be honest, it isn't a perfect fit. But to also be fair, nothing but something I created for myself could be a perfect fit and, since I am evolving, ever changing, even the perfect planner would never be a permanent fit. But this planner is giving me more focus. You start off figuring out what your priorities are based on your unique purpose and from there you create goals, break them down into smaller, more manageable pieces, and from there you plan out your day, with an eye to those things that really matter. This way the essential doesn't give way to the urgent. I've only just started using it. I'll probably write a review for it once I've finished it in 90 days.

    1. Interesting. I've never stuck with a planner, but like the concept of this one. Looking forward to your review.

  4. Aww Savvy, sounds like you did fantastic with the challenge and the year in general - you truly are doing an incredible job! I am so happy to see your posts when I pop over :) I love your goals for the year, too. Totally do-able. I have a number of goals for this year, but many of them changed as my family incurred a tragic event that's resulted in the separation and imminent divorce from my husband. SO, that means my blog will have a more homesteading for the single woman vibe, which will be fun. I hope. Just need to get over the heartbreak now so my posts aren't dripping with sadness! :)

    1. Jen,
      Sorry to hear about your marriage. Your posts have alluded to problems, but I don't sense too much sadness. Instead I read strength, perseverance and optimism for your future. You have a great list of goals for the year and from what I see you’ve sought out like-minded homesteaders that serve as a support group. There will be sad days though and sometimes we just need to give into them and have a good cry – especially when the kids are in bed or at school. I had a really bad breakup when I was younger and the biggest loss for me was our combined goals. I came out stronger and more independent. Even in my marriage now I constantly plan for worst case scenario and sometimes am a little too independent and don’t ask for help soon enough.

  5. I'm still thinking about goals for this year, ha ha. I should probably get on that :)

    1. I've read your post about being over the "one word" trend and agree completely. I love your goal to just keep swimming. I'm using it after I ran into an ice bank with my brand new vehicle this week...just keep swimming.