Back to the grind of another week.  Did everyone enjoy their weekend?

In case you weren’t blog reading this weekend, here’s what you missed:

What’s up for today?

I’m finally sharing my goals for 2012 with all of you!  A couple of weeks ago I shared my advice on how to Nix New Year’s Resolutions and set SMART goals instead.  I’ve also been writing a lot about different things that you can do this year, such as:

Well enough preaching from me!  I want to do a lot in 2012, and I’m excited to have a public forum this year that will force me to hold myself accountable.  Like I mentioned, I don’t like to start immediately on January 1st.  I found that this past week was a huge get back into the swing of things week.  I’m excited that today marks the beginning of the first full “back at it” week, so here we go!


Get in a Better Financial Place
In order to do this, I’ve made a few specific and action based items for myself.  Remember, if you set goals that are too broad, you don’t feel a sense of urgency or have a realistic plan to get you to our outcome!

  • Save money at the grocery store.  I will do this by:
    1.  Evaluating what I have in my apartment ahead of time.  When I don’t do this, I end up forgetting if I already have an item once I’m at the store.  This results in a lot of unnecessary spending and wasted food if the item goes bad or unused.
    2.  Price compare between grocery stores.  The other day I spent my lunch break when working from home comparing the weekly specials at Shaws versus the weekly specials at Stop & Shop.  Based on what I know I needed this week, Stop & Shop won!
    3.  Plan meals ahead of time.  Let the ingredients needed for the week’s meals drive the grocery list.  Also, I’m going to try to plan my meals based on the weekly specials.  For example, yesterday Tim and I went shopping and planned three dinners this week based on the circulars.  Stay tuned for recipes for healthy eggplant parm, quesadillas, and a Greek soup!
    4.  Start cutting coupons.  I love coupons, but I don’t really use them a lot at the grocery store!  This I need tips on.  Anyone have any advice for me?  Where is the best place to get coupons?  Any strategies?
    5.  Make grocery shopping a weekly event.  Together, Tim and I are going to try to go grocery shopping and make sure to follow all the above!  We believe this will let us avoid unnecessary grocery store trips during the week that may tempt us to buy even more.  We are also going to try to grill chicken and make hard-boiled eggs ahead of time – having these on head for meals and for a snack throughout the week will help with unnecessary spending on more groceries or going out to eat.  We did this for both Sundays in January already, and it’s already saved me some moolah!
  • Increase the amount I put in my savings each month.  Check!  I actually just upped this one last week.  After my company bonus at the end of January, I will re-evaluate and see if I can afford putting away even more.
  • Open an IRA account.  And actually understand it!  I’ve put this off for some time.
  • Consider buying stock in my company, and decide if this will financially benefit me in the long run.
  • Realize it’s okay to say NO!  I don’t always have to attend every social outing.  This is hard for me, but this year I am really going to try to pick and choose what is necessary in my mind.

I don’t consider myself a very messy or dirty person.  My room is usually fairly clean, and I think I’m pretty good about keeping the kitchen and common areas presentable for my roommates.  But sometimes I just feel like I have a lot of STUFF.  And when it gets disorganized in my drawers, closets, and storage space, I feel a bit antsy.  (I’m realizing I’m starting to sound really OCD?)  As long as things stay on track I know I have another move ahead of me this September, and I don’t want to have to sift through all my stuff the month before the move and feel stressed and overwhelmed!

Action item?

  • Starting at the beginning of January, at least every other week, I am going to pick one “space” or one “area” and clean it.  This will include both organizing and tossing things that can go!  I’ve already started – last week, I completely cleaned out my bathroom shelf.  I got rid of so many expired OTC medications, and made a rule that if I haven’t used a lotion or body spray in the past year, that I would throw it away.  I also organized all my things into different storage spaces:  lotions and sprays in one, travel items, makeup, health related, hair stuff, etc.  This week I am going to tackle my underwear drawer!  Thrilling, I know.

Improve Mental Health
I’m not going to get into too much detail on this one for privacy reasons, but this year I really want to learn how to “take a step back” more and just breathe.  I think the serenity prayer will help me do this, so one of my action items will be:

  • When things are getting out of hand, stop, take a step back, and say to myself:  “God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.”  


  • Distance myself from those who bring stress and anxiety to my life.  I cannot change anyone’s behavior or anyone’s way of thinking, but I can certainly choose to distance myself from actions I do not agree with.  In lieu of these folks, I will also spend more time around people who make me laugh and smile.
  • Use all my gift cards to spas that I’ve accumulated over the years.  I have so many just sitting in my drawer.  Maybe it will help me relax if I actually go use them.
  • Go to church more often.  This is one I set for myself last year and failed miserably at.  Even just a few more times will make me feel a lot better.

Finish Uncompleted Projects
This includes my workout binder, my recipe binder, and music for classes organization!


Drink More Water
I am going to make a conscious effort to drink more water throughout the day.  Usually in the morning, I start with one cup of coffee and then don’t get another drink until maybe late morning or even lunch.  I’ve already started filling up my water along with my coffee, and I’m trying to replace late afternoon soda choices (sometimes I just can’t resist diet coke or ginger ale) with more water.  I think making a rule that I can treat myself to one soda during the workweek will help – and once I drink that one, no more!

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Consume Less Cheese
I really just love cheese.  So there is no way I will be able to stop eating cheese.  But I am going to start eliminating cheese from the salads that I bring to work.  If I don’t have it on there when I bring it, then I won’t eat it.  I usually opt for the part skim mozzarella (I think that’s the healthiest you can go?) but I am going to try to replace cheese toppings with sprouts, even hummus, or a nut.  We’ll see!   Note:  If I order salad at a restaurant, sorry – I’m still having cheese.

Take (and pass) the ACSM Personal Trainer Certification Exam by Spring 2012.
I have my date set, but I don’t want to tell anyone when it is – that is setting myself up for failure if for some reason I don’t pass!

Successfully Complete the Wellcoaches Coach Training Program
Yes, I signed up!  Starting in March, I will be starting a new class (and not teaching a fitness class, taking a class!)  I just want to see how I like it and get even more experience/knowledge.  I couldn’t be more excited – and nervous – for this program!  Along with this goal, I’m hoping to take and pass the Wellcoaches Certification Exam by Summer 2012.  Eeeeek lots of tests!

Take Ballet Classes
Awhile ago I bought an online deal for the Jose Mateo Dance Studio in Harvard Square.  These classes never expire, but I haven’t used them yet.  This year, I will bring more dance back into my life.

Train My First Real Personal Training Client
This is dependent on the third goal in this section, but I will do it!

Try at Least One New Type of Group Exercise Class or Fitness Program
Any suggestions?!


Increase blog readership
I know this will happen by nature, but I want to double all my current stats at minimum.  I know that seems like a lot, but you guys can help me out by spreading the word about Fitness & Feta!  So that means that by the end of 2012, I want to have a minimum of:

  • 47,000 total page views
  • 950 total followers (all types)
  • 186 email / WordPress followers:  You can do this by subscribing to get my posts to your inbox on the left hand side of my page!
  • 542 Facebook followers:  You can do this by clicking here for my Facebook page, and clicking the Like button!
  • 170 Twitter followers:  You can do this by clicking here for my Twitter account, and clicking the Follow button!

Monetize the blog
Even if it is minimal, I want this step to at least start in 2012.  This includes possible ads on the blog?  Any tips?

Learn more about self hosting and decide if I want to take that step
Anyone have any good resources or advice for this? 

Take a space upgrade
I take a lot of pictures and am going to run out of space!  End of story. 

If YOU guys have any suggestions about how I can improve Fitness & Feta in 2012, please let me know!  My main reason for writing every day is because of YOU!

What are your goals for 2012?  How are you doing with them?