Saturday, October 30, 2010

Goal Achieved, On to the Next One.

I can't believe it's been 40 days since I posted the financial challenge Don and I decided to take on a little more than a month ago. The specific challenge was to not eat out for breakfast or lunch for 40 days and only very sparingly for dinner. The challenge was quite a success! We weren't 100% perfect but at least 95% which is still a strong A. The most rewarding part of the process I think was just the feeling of taking on a challenge together, both being on the same page about it and working together to accomplish it. I mainly took responsibility for making sure we had lunch options in the house, Don made a commitment to come home for lunch rather than eating out, and if ever he had a busy day we tried to plan ahead so that he could take food with him or occasionally I brought lunch down to the office. It also had a nice side effect of getting to eat lunch together almost every day and forcing both of us to take a real quality break from our hectic work schedules.

I also feel like we have truly formed a new habit where we are mindful about not wasting money and resources at lunch time but eating quality food together and taking a real break. I feel like we'll be able to go out to lunch occasionally now as a conscious choice together without overspending and not because of poor planning or wastefulness. But for the most part, we'll continue this new lifestyle of eating together at home and making use of our leftovers.

We were so pleased with results, that we decided to come up with a new challenge for ourselves. A specific commitment that we could set, stick to, and that would improve the quality of our life for the better. This time, we decided to focus on fitness which is sorely lacking in our lives on any consistent basis. We wanted to take on something in the mornings. This way we would get our day off to a good start, which would hopefully spill over to a successful and focused work day, and would leave us free to relax and enjoy our evenings. To really formalize our commitment we wanted to invite other people to be a part of it also. We figured, if we were leading a group, there's no way we would be able to skip out. So we coordinated with another Meetup Group called Bellingham Fun and Fitness and are hosting a sunrise morning walking group at Lake Padden, Monday, Wednesday, and Friday mornings at 6:15 a.m. Yes, I know it's a crazy time of year to start outdoor activities, but that's what weather gear is for and the colder it is the more calories we'll burn. Plus this way we can include the dogs who also need their exercise (yes, they have rain coats too). Finally, in the ever increasing spirit of good financial resourcefulness, the activity doesn't cost us any expensive gym memberships and is something multiple people can do at multiple activity levels. We start Monday, November 1st and have decided to continue this one on up to Christmas week.

I'm looking forward to connecting with my husband through exercise, a hot cup of coffee in front of the fireplace after a cold morning walk, a quality shower before I start my work day instead of rolling out of bed and starting work in my pajamas, beautiful scenes of nature in the morning such as rain drops on the lake, foggy paths, and snow covered trees if we get so lucky, how good it will feel to sleep in on Tuesdays and Thursdays as if we have earned it, meeting more people and inspiring others to exercise, and discovering what new and unexpected delights come out of this just like the serendipitous surprises that came out of our last challenge together.

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