2017 Goals: Mid Year Update of My Self Improvement Journey

2017 Goals

2017 Goals: My Why

Let’s look at 2017 Goals. It’s July which means we are officially halfway through 2017! It’s crazy how fast the year has gone by, and looking back my life has changed so drastically over the last six months. At the beginning of this year I was set to make it a great one. I wanted to work on improving my outlook on life and I also wanted to improve myself.

The first and biggest change is that I started putting myself out there and it has worked. I moved to a new city where I didn’t know anyone and I spent the last half of 2016 alone and bored. Then in February I decided to start this blog and it has changed my life. Not only has it given me joy and purpose, but it also eventually led me to meeting my friend Chloe from Just a Girl in this World. In a cheesy sort of way I believe that this all stemmed from my change in attitude at the beginning of this year. At the beginning of 2017 I decided I wanted to change my life so I did.

Which brings me to the purpose of this website. My blog is about having a better life. I focus a lot on budgeting and saving money because I know that it can be a stressor for many people in my age group and generation. I think if you are really wise and intentional with your money you will start to feel happier.

Since I talk so much about improving yourself and having goals I wanted to hold myself accountable by sharing what I plan to work on for the second half of 2017. At the end of the year I can come back and share my progress and hopefully share with you some things that have been working well in my life that you can use too.

2017 Goals Overview:

In short, my 2017 goals are:

  • Improve My Morning Routine
  • Create and Implement a Weekly Cleaning Schedule
  • Plan Meals Ahead of Time
  • Cut Expenses/Save More Money

2017 Goals: Mid Year Update

Improve Morning Routine

morning routine

In college I went through the transition of being a night owl to a morning person, and it was not always easy. But I made the transition and you can too. I love my mornings now. They are the most productive part of my day.

You might also like: How to Become a Morning Person (and Not Dread Waking Up)

As much as I love the morning time, I am still always trying to improve my routine to get the most out of my limited time. I would like to make them even more happy and productive. About a month ago I started doing yoga every morning and that has helped quite a bit. Even though I love mornings, I don’t always love waking up and sometimes still feel a little groggy after waking up. Yoga helps to energize my body and wake it up a little bit. So even if I don’t feel like doing my yoga I still do it, and I always feel better after. If you are looking for a great way to get moving in the morning this is a great option. At the very least start your morning in child’s pose. It feels so great to stretch first thing in the morning.

Other than my yoga, I like to spend some of my morning planning my day and writing in my journal. I recently purchased a Day Designer planner and I love it. I spend the mornings writing down my to do’s for the day and tracking a few other things. I also like to write in my One Line a Day Journal. Each morning I write down my entry for the day before. I enjoy this journal because it is so simple and I know I can commit to filling that small space every day. Another feature I like is that you can see up to five years’ worth of entries on one page. I started it in January of this year, and I can’t wait until 2018 to be able to see what happened each day exactly a year ago. My goal is to use my planner more and continue to write every day in my journal.

Weekly Cleaning Schedule

Weekly Cleaning Schedule

So this is a big one: I want to create (and stick to) a cleaning schedule. I am terrible when it comes to tidying up. I tend to make a mess and not clean it up right away like I know I am supposed to. I’ve been that way for as long as I can remember and it is a habit I am trying so hard to break.

To combat this I would like to schedule time every day to do one room of the house.

  • Monday: Kitchen
  • Tuesday: Bathroom
  • Wednesday: Bedroom
  • Thursday: Living Room

Then I spend the weekend doing other tasks like laundry or catching up on a day that I maybe had to skip that particular week.

The first week I tried this is worked so well. I was motivated and determined to stick to it and I did. The weeks after that? Not so much. I’m working on it. Taking the time to clean is really hard for me but it is a habit I want to break immediately. If you have tips I would love to hear them. Otherwise I am just going to continue to make myself do it.

Saving

Part of the reason I started this blog was to share my money saving ideas with others. So of course I am always trying to improve my own journey to save and budget wisely. This month marks one year since my move to a new city and being self-sufficient.

It hasn’t always been easy. In fact there a lot of things I wish I would have known after graduation. And while it has certainly gotten easier and my budgeting has gotten better, I still think there are things I can do to improve how much money I am saving. My newest saving goal is to have three months’ worth of expenses saved up. This is just a great cushion for emergencies or in case something ever happened with my full time job. Also I would like to switch to a higher yield savings account so I can earn more on interest every year.

But to save more money you either have to be making more or spending less. I’m working on a combination of both. To make more money I have been trying to focus more on my freelance writing business as well as working overtime at my job. To save more I have been watching what I spend on groceries and using coupons and Ibotta. For the most part I cook my own meals and eat out only a few times a month. I have also been trying hard to not spend money on things I don’t need and taking the time to consider my purchases before I make them.

You might also like: The Simple Tip You Can Use to Spend Less Money Each Month

Meal Planning

Meal Plan

In addition to being terrible at keeping a tidy apartment, I am not the best when it comes to planning out my meals. I tend to be a more spontaneous cook. While fun at times, it leads to unused produce and wasted money. I keep track of my budget and categorize where all of my money goes each month. I found out I was spending way too much money at the grocery store so as I mentioned above I decided to cut back on expenses here.

My goal is to plan out each week’s meals then go to the store and only buy what I need. This is another thing I use my Day Designer for, there is a space for dinner each day and I use that to keep me on track. I also keep a journal of what meals I want to eat that week and what ingredients it will take then from that I make a list of what I need from the store. I’m currently researching different ways to save money at the grocery store, so if you have some recommendations please let me know in the comments!

The Bottom Line

New Year’s resolutions are fun but far too often we forget to check up on how we are doing with our goals once the year gets started. This post is a great way for me to keep myself accountable with my goals as well as share with you all the things that I am working on in my life that I hope to turn into upcoming posts.

What are some goals that you are focusing on for the last half of 2017?

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How to Find Stylish & Affordable Furniture for Any Budget

Affordable Furniture

Ever since getting my first apartment by myself, home decor has been my thing. One place I love is West Elm. But West Elm is like my dream home at nightmare prices. I love it so much but it can get pretty pricey, and it was definitely out of my recent-college-graduate budget.

Finding affordable furniture can be tough. So I started saving inspiration from places like West Elm and other mid century modern styles but buying from stores with more affordable furniture.

So far I have been so happy with the way my apartment is coming together. I love the way everything looks, and get compliments all the time. Here are the tips I have to getting affordable furniture that fits your style.

Know Exactly What You Want

Going in with a vague idea (or worse, no idea at all) of what you want will set you up for failure. Instead, look for inspiration ahead of time. This will help you to see things that you want, and you are less likely to get overwhelmed when shopping.

Where to Find Inspiration

I tend to find my inspiration from two places: Pinterest and Instagram. You can follow individuals or companies (or both). Both places you can save images you like so that you may refer back to them frequently. I tend to favor Pinterest since you can create separate boards and search more easily. However, Instagram’s new save feature has made it a lot easier to save and store images.

Research Stores in Your Price Range

Next, you are going to have to do a bit of research to see what stores are within your style and price range. Here, I encourage you to keep an open mind. Some places you might not consider “glamorous”, but they have nice pieces.

Stores with Stylish & Affordable Furniture

This is where I get the majority of my affordable furniture. Another place to try? Those discount furniture stores that you have probably seen all over town, but would never want to go in. I get it. That was me. They just didn’t seem my style. But when my grandma dragged me into one, I was surprised. They actually had some great stuff, and for good prices. When trying to find affordable furniture on tight budget, remember that it might take time and research but it will be worth the money you save.

Building Over Time

Of course, another trick to finding affordable furniture is building over time. If you want a nice, cohesive home it is not going to happen overnight. Do not settle because you think you need something right now. Take your time in finding and purchasing pieces. If you can justify a more expensive piece, then save up and buy it! In my first apartment I had a completely empty living room for two weeks. My tv sat on two cardboard boxes for five months. Then one day I found a tv stand that I loved and it happened to be on sale. The wait was completely worth it, and I am glad I didn’t buy something because I felt I had to.

The Bottom Line

Do your research, figure out your style, find places within your price range, and slowly build the pieces in your home or apartment. Do not feel pressured to buy something just because you think you must have that particular piece of furniture right now. Finding affordable furniture you love takes time, so don’t rush. You will prevent buyer’s remorse and be happier with what you have.

What is one piece of affordable furniture you are eyeing right now? I’d love to see what you guys have found on your hunt!

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