Monday, April 5, 2010

April Challenge

I’ve been writing down monthly goals for the past few months now, though I did forget to do them for March. I usually make about five big goals that I want to attain that month and usually end up completing 2-3 of them. So I want to focus on making smaller goals and also bring in my New Years resolutions to them. If you remember, I made three resolutions and all pretty big ones. But I figured that if I can get these three areas of my life squared away, it will have been a successful 2010.

Resolution: Become a healthier person.
While I’m well on my way to this resolution, I do employ a lot of unhealthy habits in my daily life. My goal for my first month of Weight Watchers was to simply eat within my Points range, track, exercise regularly, and drink more water. And I did that. So now it’s time to focus on what I’m eating – and drinking. And what I’m drinking is a whole lot of soda. I’ve talked before about my soda addiction. It’s gotten a whole lot better since I started Weight Watchers but I really want to kick this addiction!

Even though we’re not Catholic, my mom gave up cookies, brownies, and cake for Lent. And she succeeded! She did awesome, even when faced with tons and tons of temptation – and tons of bad days where baking cookies would “make her feel better.” (But would it?) She wanted to do another challenge so she’s going to give up Diet Coke for 30 days, from April 8th-May 8th. I decided to join her.

So I will be giving up Coke for 30 days. While I’m hoping this will help me lose a little extra poundage, I really want to see if I can do this. It's going to be so tough but with both of us doing it, I think we’ll succeed. I’m going to have to find other drinks to have. I don’t like tea and there are very few fruit juices I can handle. Honestly, the only one is orange juice. I don’t want something too sugary. Do you guys have any suggestions for what to drink? (Obviously, I’ll be drinking a whole lot of water but I need other options as that can get old fast!)

Resolution: Become a godlier woman.
I have to be honest: I haven’t done much prayer-wise, Bible reading-wise, or worship-wise. The only time I open my Bible is for church. I only pray when I need something from God. I talk a big game, but don’t do much about it. I want to change that. I want God to be a more active part of my life and I know the reason I feel like my life is so out-of-control 95% of the time is because God is not the center of it. I’m not laying all my stress and troubles at God’s feet.

I don’t have time to do quiet time for a long time every day. My days are so go-go-go and are going to become even more so during this last month of school that it’s just not physically possible. My goal for this month is that I start conversating with God more. I start making Him a bigger part of my life that’s more than just a “God help me” when life gets too stressful. I want to pray to God and feel His presence in my life. I don’t right now. Once school is over with, I’ll have more time to devote to establishing a quiet time and better prayer life. Right now, I just want to have an active prayer life.

Resolution: Get in control of my finances.
While my finances are still in quite a mess, I have managed to pay over my minimum amount for two of my credit cards and aside from two times where I had to use them (At Subway, when my debit card wasn’t going through for some reason.) I haven’t used them at all. I’m about $200 away from paying off Target completely, and then I’m getting rid of it. I’m hoping to get this one done with by late June. My second card, which is my bank credit card, is the one I want to keep. It has a $500 limit, which is the perfect amount for me.

The one I’ve been conveniently forgetting about it my Old Navy credit card, which is now with a collection agency. It makes me cringe to even think about that! But I need to call this company and set something up. Because I need to get serious about paying this off.

But that’s not my resolution. My resolution this month is one of my “101” goals which is to start tracking my spending. I really don’t drop a lot of cash in one place. It’s just a whole lot of little things adding up to a lot. I want to start to see where my money is going. I also need to figure out how much money I do have a month to devote to paying off my credit cards. Aside from little things here and there, I don’t have any bills to pay for. Since we downsized, my mom has been able to pay all our bills – and still have money left over! (What a concept!)

So, those are my goals. Just three small things that will hopefully add up to achieving my resolutions at the end of the year. It’ll be interesting to see how I do, especially with the crazy month that’s ahead of me. The good news is, I’m in the home stretch! This insane semester is almost over with – now we just have to see if I pass all my classes. ;)


  1. Good luck on the Coke giving up! I thoroughly enjoyed my Reese's peanut butter egg last night-mmmmm!!!

  2. I gave up diet soda as a daily ritual about a year ago. I'm amazed at how my grocery bills have dropped! I drink one occasionally, but I don't crave it anymore.

    Getting in charge of finances is so empowering. I recommend putting everything in an Excel sheet. It'll keep you honest.

  3. You go girl! You're going to kick the coke haha! For meals, I drink crystal light (or some WAY cheaper walmart brand) in raspberry or cherry. It's a good way to get water in and it gives it flavor. It does have artificial sweeteners in it, which I would like to cut out...but it's all about choices and I can live with it.

    Are you using anything special to track your finances? I have microsoft money on my computer so I've used that and it's awesome. However, if you don't have that...there is a new site called (which is run by Spark People which I can't say enough good things about) and you can put in your income, bills, and then track howm uch you spend on different things. I've tried it out and it's def. promising.

    Also, there are sites like to track your spending but you need to enter your account info and I don't feel comfortable doing that..but people say it's a great site.

  4. dearest stephany,
    for financial tracking I highly recommend the free You can list ALL your debt and bank accounts through it and they keep it all listed in one place. they also send you alerts if you are about to miss a deadline or get charged a fee. plus it is online so no downloads. i'm techy resistant and HATE downloading.

    oh and i just glanced to see Rachael already rec'd it. damnit.

    i think i need to be more healthy in terms of food intake too :( sometimes i go months not eating anything that has color. except for brown.

  5. Crystal Light single/on-the-go mixes have been a huge help for me. They have ones with caffeine if you need a pick me up, but there are so many flavors that it's hard to get bored. I switched to diet soda last year and then stopped drinking soda as often by using Crystal Light

  6. Good luck with all of that and, though none of that sounds easy, I think the Coke part would be the hardest for me! Again, good luck!

  7. Inspiring! These monthly goals seem like such a good idea! I have no doubt that you will be meeting your goals love.


    Hannah Katy

  8. These are all things I'm dealing with right now. It's good to know I'm not the only one!

    One time, I didn't drink a sip of soda for 364 days! (ManFriend peer pressured me into a Mountain Dew on New Year's Eve. And it didn't even taste good.) Unfortunately, I drink way too much soda now. I need to go a year again.

    Definitely call the collection agency. Figure out what 30% is, tell them that's what you have ... and they'll usually let you pay that amount to pay off your card!

    PS. We need to have a Skype date soon! :)

  9. Oops .. I also meant to tell you (but forgot) that Crystal light is what I drink ALL the time. Five calories for the whole pitcher! And it's good ... and no sugar necessary! Try it!

  10. Crystal Light is amazing --- they have a new one that's called Pure Fitness and it's got no artifical sweeteners, which is usually what causes problems with soda. Also, I'm a huge fan of flavored bubbly water --- orange, lime, berry, etc. by Crystal Geyser. I like the sweet and the carbonation.

    Good luck!

  11. Good luck with your goals this month love. And funny you mentioned Lent - I'm not Catholic either, but I do try and give something up each year for Lent - this year I did ALL sweets, desserts, chocolate... it was tough at first (especially at family dinners or birthdays!), but it got easier, and I eventually lost the craving completely. I found that being accountable to God was incredible for keeping me on track - once you declare "I'm going to resits this temptation for you" it's amazing how much power it has in keeping you in check!

  12. Try Coke's really not much different but has 0 calories.

  13. I 2nd everyone with the Crystal Light packets, those are great. Also, combo juices like Orange, Passion Mango juice. They are great and you can buy them in to-go sizes and always have some.

    For tracking your spending, I suggest You can sync your bank account, credit cards and even a car loan (not sure if you have one). You can set goals, track your spending and income and much more. I use it and love, I have really cut down on spending.

    Good luck!!

  14. Those are some pretty fantastic goals lady! I've been trying to come up with some goals myself. I think it's so much easier when you write things down, especially on a blog, so you can stay accountable.

  15. Hello- I'm a new reader, love your blog so far!
    Great April goals!! I think giving up Coke is a great decision. I gave up soda for lent a couple of years ago and after the 40 days I had a soda and I didn't even like it anymore, it actually even made me feel a little sick! I've never really gone back, and its amazing how much better I feel!

  16. Awesome! I think it's absolutely wonderful that you are making a list of goals again for this month—I might have to take your many things I'd like to accomplish!

    As far as a drink idea is concerned, I know others have suggested Crystal Light—that's good. Something else I like to do is have a slice or two of lemon in my water—that really freshens it up without adding too much.

  17. I want to start tracking my spending too! Literally, from my mind to your blog. I'm terrible about spending little amounts here and there. I just assume it won't make a difference in the long run. But it really does in the long run, doesn't it? Your blog just reminded me how important it is to keep on top of those things.

  18. Good luck on all your goals - I know you'll get there! Tracking your spending will be a real eye opener, I'm sure.

    I'm not very religious, but...I don't see prayer as necessarily requiring 'quiet time'...but also as a conversation. Just having a talk to him as you go about your day.

  19. Good luck on all your goals - I know you'll get there! Tracking your spending will be a real eye opener, I'm sure.

    I'm not very religious, but...I don't see prayer as necessarily requiring 'quiet time'...but also as a conversation. Just having a talk to him as you go about your day.

  20. I really need to adopt your goals, here. Lol. Good luck, I hope you're able to accomplish them. I'll be praying for you!

    P.S.: How did you do your navigation bar at the top? I tried to do one through a Blogger App, but couldn't figure it out.


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