Since resolutions are no good without some type of accountability/follow-up, here’s an update as to how the first two months of 2011 went.
- Stick to a monthly budget – Throughout January, I was still trying to figure out exactly how I was spending my money, so I was assessing where my money was going while crafting a future monthly budget. Consequently, January ended up as a bit of a wash. February was pretty solid, though, and I even rolled over extra money into March. Who knew that was possible?! One area to improve upon, though, is to stick to my limits in each area. While I had an overall surplus, I spent more than I intended in certain budget categories.
- Put at least 20% of my income this year towards savings – Check! Surprisingly easy if you do this at the beginning of the month as opposed to the end.
- Blog once a week – Yes and no. I believe in both months I averaged a post per week, though that I didn’t actually write on a weekly basis.
- Learn how to knit – I started to! Lucy and I had a brunch/knitting date a couple weeks ago, so this is a work in progress.
- Actually learn how to play the guitar, which I started to do two years ago but sort of forgot about after a few months – Not yet.
- Run my first marathon (hopefully NYC!) – I’m registered for the NYC Marathon in November, though this was true before I set this goal. I won’t know until late April whether or not I qualify, but in the meantime, I’ve been researching alternate options – front runners so far are the Richmond Marathon in November, and the Long Beach Marathon in October.
- Run 9 New York Road Runner races so that I gain automatic entry for the 2012 NYC Marathon – I’ll be running my first of nine races at the end of March. From there, I’ve mapped out about a race per month.
- Apply to a graduate program for social work – Not yet; this is more of a summer/fall deadline.
- Take better advantage of New York City – go to a lecture, live theatre performance, concert, or museum at least once a month – In January, Motorcycle Ben and I had the chance to check out the Brain exhibit at the American Museum of Natural History, which frankly left a little to be desired. In February, I went to the Brooklyn Museum (admittedly for work), where I was completely enthralled by the Norman Rockwell exhibit. I’m hoping to make it back before the exhibit closes in April.
- Read two books a month (this number feels shamefully low, but hey, it’s a start; I devoured books up through college, but fell out of practice once I started working full time) – Shamefully, I failed miserably here. In January I finished Zadie Smith’s White Teeth, and in February I read (and was disappointed by) Barbara Ehrenreich’s Nickeled and Dimed. March’s reading list includes Fitzgerald’s This Side of Paradise(one of his few works I haven’t read) and Mark Halperin’s Game Change.
- Travel to one location outside the United States (when I went to Paris in the fall of 2009 I said I’d do this once a year then totally dropped the ball in 2010 – Booked a flight to Costa Rica for the end of June! I’m renting a house with 7 other friends, which should be fantastic! More details and pictures of the house to come.
- Watch at least 2 movies on my Netflix queue each month – Rocked this in January! Watched The Ghost Writer, Once, and SherryBaby. In February, the only movie I watched was Precious: Based on the Novel Push by Sapphire, but I also saw the first two discs of Breaking Bad.
- Finish turning the corner of my bedroom space into a reading nook – Bought a side table. Next up, rugs and art, followed by (maybe) a small bookcase.
- Install Elfa shelves on the living room wall – Check! Pictures forthcoming.
- Get furniture for the balcony – Haven’t done this.
- Start a gardening project on the balcony – Nope.
- Come up with some type of art/design scheme for the bedroom wall, since there’s so much dead space there right now – Not yet.
- Give the kitchen and bathroom a mini-remodel – Negative.
All in all, I’m feeling pretty good about the things I’ve accomplished, particularly those in the finance sector. As for the projects I’ve not yet started on – that’s why you give yourself 12 months for some of these, right?