three more 2016 goals - The Dainty Squid

three more 2016 goals

Monday, February 08, 2016

poo to do notepad by Kodiak Milly
 
The problem with new year's goals for me isn't that I don't accomplish them, it's that a week or two into the new year I think of fifteen more things I wish I had added to that list. I guess I really just like making goals (and lists!) This year feels promising. 2015 wasn't bad, I just feel like maybe I could have done a better job...? I felt like my emotions were all over the place, and I let anxiety dictate my decisions more than I'd like to admit.

In January I decided to pay more attention to myself, and how I was feeling. Identifying what made me happy, what kept my anxieties away, and making sure to focus on those things. From those things I made a list of three more goals I want to work on this year, along with the fifty seven thousand other ones I already made - which you can read here.

Three more goals for 2016...
Save money. Last year was the first year I really focused on my savings account... and then my car died and I had to buy a new one. Needless to say using a chunk of savings stressed me out. I know that's why it's important to save money, so that when bad things happen you can just roll with it which is what I did. But spending some of my savings in my mind translated to "oh no, now I won't be able to travel this year." which is exactly true.

Going hand in hand with saving money is taking a hard look at what I purchase. Pretty sure y'all know how hard it is to get out of Target with your bank account unscathed but when it comes down to it going on a road trip is going to make me a lot happier than any little knick knack. 2016 is the year of making responsible money decisions... at least most of the time. I want to save my money so I can spend it seeing new places, and things.

potatoes, and chicken cooked in this killer ginger lemon sriracha spice blend I picked up at Home Goods. It ain't pretty but dang, it was good!

Cook a real meal at least once a week. In this last month I've learned that cooking makes me happy... like really, really happy. I never ever thought I'd say that. I've been living alone for just under two years now and honestly, looking back I have no idea how I survived. Microwave pizza, and macaroni and cheese? For some reason the urge to cook hit me like a ton of bricks at the beginning of the year, and guess what, I'm not half bad in the kitchen! I've found that cooking is beyond relaxing, and having my apartment smell like the dinner I just made makes it feel like home.

I know, I feel kind of dumb being like "hey guys, I'm twenty-five, and I'm just now learning to cook! wahoo!" and I'm kind of kicking myself for not wanting to make this a priority sooner but there's a right time for everything. I think half of my issue was that I was such a picky eater experimenting in the kitchen would be a disaster no matter what because I more than likely wouldn't have liked what I made. Now I'm basically down to try anything. I'm finding recipes for things I've never even heard of, thinking they sound good, and enjoying the heck out of them. It's awesome. Speaking of, if you have a favorite food you like to make regularly I wanna hear about it. Bonus points if its something that tastes good reheated because I LOVE having leftovers.

Can I also just say that food photography is a mystery to me? I'm all proud of what I make, and go to take a picture but always end up deleting it because it looks gross. So far I'm only getting the hang of making tasty food, not pretty food. Maybe someday I'll get there! 

No dishes in the sink at the end of the night. I read this one on someone's blog sometime at the beginning of the year and thought "Well, dang! That's a great idea!" I've been doing my best to always wash dishes before bed now and it feels SO AWESOME to wake up to a clean house. I tweeted a few weeks ago "This is so boring, but I think cleaning might be my favorite hobby. Having a clean organized space is seriously the best feeling." and I stand by that. Having a clean house makes me feel good!

When I'm feeling anxious, and I can't work it can usually be solved by straightening up the house or at least some part of it. I guess this goal extends further than just no dirty dished in the sink and is a reminder that having a tidy home makes me feel relaxed.


So far, so good on all these goals. My house is clean, I'm heading to the grocery store in a bit to pick up ingredients for dinner, and after paying all my bills I moved the majority of remaining money to savings. Here's to keeping up the momentum. Have you made any new goals for the not so new year? I LOVE hearing about other folk's goals.
xoxo

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41 thoughts

  1. We have a house rule that neither myself or my boyfriend can start a new meal until the sink is cleaned out. Stuff sits overnight, but it's really helped us keep on top of dishes.

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    1. That's a great goal!

      I don't have much kitchen stuff so generally I abide by that rule accidentally since if it's dirty I can't cook with it anyway. :P

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  2. One of my big goals for 2016 is to save money as well. I'm trying to move into my own place this year - so saving is something I REALLY need to focus on.

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  3. Great goals! I feel the exact same way about a clean home! I cannot focus if there are things out of place! I've got to straighten and fluff all of the pillows on the couch before I go to bed! And waking up to a clean kitchen is such a great way to start the day. Seeing piles of dirty dishes just kind of starts the morning off with a blah. I just recently started a budget to save for a down payment on a house next year. I used the Numbers app on the MacBook and did a budget with projections each month until next year to see just how much I could save if I tried really hard and stuck with it! And bonus-I got to use a binder with sticky notes and highlighters, because I'm weird and I LOVE office supplies!! haha!! :D But it's such an awesome feeling, having a binder that I can pull out and check off when specific bills are paid and then see how much savings I start with at the beginning of each month. Also, I'm not sure if you eat "faux meat" or not, but I have a recipe that's a family favorite. I'm a vegetarian, so I use meatless crumbles, but you could certainly use any kind of ground turkey, of beef. We call it a skillet meal. It's basically like a grown up version of hamburger helper but with veggies added in! I cook all of this at the same time, and it's super easy and delicious and you can modify it however you like and it will always work! I start with the Morningstar crumbles in a deep skillet (that's the skillet that everything ends up in, so it needs to be big) and I add seasonings like garlic powder, onion powder, oregano, salt and pepper. Then in another pot, I boil water and cook some Cavatappi noodles (found at Kroger, if you have those near you) and then in a plastic steamer, I take a bag of frozen California Blend veggies and steam them in the microwave. And you can use any frozen veggie starter bags if you prefer Asian blends or Stir Fry starters. And that's just the easy way out. You could certainly use fresh veggies too! :) Once everything is cooked, I dump it altogether in with the "meat" and shred some mozzarella or pepper jack cheese and just mix it altogether. It is SO delicious! And it makes the BEST leftovers! It's awesome re-heated! The whole thing takes maybe 15-20 minutes or so and it will make a big pot of food that will last you several meals!! Delicious with some garlic bread also! :)

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    1. That sounds awesome, I'll have to try that! Thank you so much!! :)

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  4. Congratulations for starting to cook! I LOVE cooking and do it every day (I'm French and where I'm from, there is no way around it: you want to eat, you have to cook first!).
    I think one nice piece of equipment to buy is a slow-cooker (I know: one of your goals is to save money and here I am telling you to buy something, but you can find one at Goodwill for sure!). Slow cookers are a thing that I discovered when moving to the US and it's one of my favorite tool in the kitchen. Usually, recipes are easy and fast to put together, you let it cook for a few hours (talk about your house smelling like a home afterwards!) and you're ready to eat. Bonus point: it can never be too cooked, so that's great for leftovers! There are tons of yummy recipes all over the internet. Please, give it a try and I'm sure you'll love to cook even more!

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    1. I got a slow-cooker for Christmas. I LOVE LOVE LOVE it so much. That thing is probably half the reason I'm learning to love to cook.

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    2. Awesome! I hope you'll post some of your favorite recipes soon on the blog. I'm always looking for inspiration.

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  5. If you're looking to cook more and save money, I highly recommend Budget Bytes (http://www.budgetbytes.com/). I'm not affiliated, but I'm a huge fan of her site and cookbook. She has a lot of great tips and awesome recipes.

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  6. A good way for me to accomplish my goals is making them as specific as possible, so if I wanted to save money, I'd write down "save $1000"! I find that I'm more likely to achieve my goals if they're concrete.

    I'm totally the same with cooking! It wasn't until late last year that I've been in such a cooking mood~ In college, I literally survived on doritos and my friends' leftovers LOL, but now, it's like I opened the door to Narnia! Just with food!

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    1. I'm the same way. The thing with this money goal though is I don't have a specific amount I want to save, I just want to remember that saving is important, and that saving money to travel makes me happier than buying random things.

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  7. That notepad is so awesome! Hah.
    Saving money is definitely one of my goals this year.

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  8. I'm definitely a believer in "clean house, clear mind". Or however it goes. Also, I've found there's no better feeling than getting into a freshly made bed at the end of the day. Yay for adult-ing!

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  9. haha, I'm always doing this! I have added a few more things to my list of goals as well - it's good to keeping rolling with it! The dishes thing is a great idea, I'm terrible for it!!! Good luck with cooking; it's a love of mine. nothing makes me happier than cooking after I get home from work; total stress relief! [plus the bonus of eating afterwards!] - Sam

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  10. I'm EXACTLY the same! I have a goals list pad I got from paperchase, and it's my favourite stationary staple yet- I love being able to mark off each goal that I've achieved, it's such a great feeling.

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  11. My roommates and I have started doing a community Sunday dinner every week. It's a nice way to unwind, make sure we eat an actual meal, and have leftovers for the start of the week! One of my recent favourites is quinoa stuffed sweet potatoes- they are super easy and filling, and the leftovers taste good hot or cold! The recipe came from the Minimalist Baker blog, which has a ton of super easy to follow and delicious recipes! http://minimalistbaker.com/quinoa-stuffed-sweet-potatoes/

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    1. A community dinner is a super awesome idea. I should try to get all my friends together for something like that.

      And thank you for the recipe! That looks insanely delicious! :)

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  12. I'm 28, have lived completely on my own for over 5 years, and I still haven't gotten the hang of cooking for myself. I just don't enjoy it! I've been trying to figure out some healthy, filling low-effort dishes.

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    1. I feel ya. I didn't enjoy it either, and I don't know why all of a sudden now I do.

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  13. Not letting the dishes sit for more than 24 hours was on my resolutions list and I have failed miserably! I've been working a lot and when I get home doing the dishes is the last thing I want to do. Haha, maybe I'll give myself a dollar for every day I stay on track. That'll motivate me! Good luck to you!

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    1. Haha, that's a great idea. Nothing wrong with giving yourself a little incentive to do something you don't enjoy.

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  14. the sink rule is a good one! i have been doing ours every morning while making breakfast, but it is kind of a bummer way to start the day! i should do it at night.
    our joint goal is to scoop the litter boxes every day! we have three (for our three cats) and sometimes wait longer than we mean too. we have been doing it for 8 days and stuck with it so far!

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    1. Wahooo! Good luck on that goal! I hate cleaning litter, I wish they'd just go in the toilet.

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  15. This is my favorite recipe!
    http://allrecipes.com/recipe/232554/slow-cooker-chicken-tinga/

    Super easy to make and I had a weeks worth of food and sooooooo delicious! I didn't add jalpenos cause it would be too spicy but I just put it on a corn tortilla, some cojita cheese, and cilantro with lime and was good to go. Probably one of my favorite things to make!

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    1. Okay, that sounds amazing and I love using my slow cooker! Thank you!!

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  16. I love making a piece of yummy fish (like tilapia) and laying it on top of a huge pile of cooked zucchini, cauliflower, cherry tomatoes, and sweet peppers all sliced and diced. It only take about 15 minutes!

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    1. I'm still a little weirded out by fish but I'll keep this in mind in case I ever get over it. :P

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  17. I've been realizing this year how much tidying and cleaning is important for me as well!

    I have loved and enjoyed both Marie Kondo books already, and really like to read them now, that I already finished my journey through the KonMari process. The way she writes it's soothing and a lot of wise stuff in it. Highly recommended!

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    1. I've been debating picking up her book (didn't realize she had multiples?!) for a while now! Guess I should finally pick it up! :)

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  18. Years ago I started a separate bank account for travel. I try to put 100-200 dollars per month in it. Then when I'm ready to take a trip, the money is already there. Some months it doesn't grow, other months, it gets a little extra. But since it's separate from the other savings, I don't feel bad about spending it for its intended purpose. This technique has definitely increased both my willingness and desire to travel.

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    1. I've been meaning to do that! I think that comment might be the push I needed to finally get to the bank and do that.
      Thank you!

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  19. When you're cooking you could make 2 different meals at the same time, 2-4 servings of each, put lots of it in the freezer and have enough food for a week :) and not the same kind every day.

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  20. Don't feel bad about not cooking till now! I have tons of friends who don't cook, or adults who still don't cook often. I hear my bosses (60 & early 70s) and they say how expensive restaurants are, and they go once or twice a week, and my brain is just like "wuuuuuut?! you don't cook every night?!" But I know I grew up in a house that cooked almost every night, so when my friends seemed stumped on how I find time to cook every night, I am equally stumped on what the eat every night.

    If you like leftovers, I suggest making curries, chilis, and soups. They always taste best the next day. In particular with curries/dals, I always make double the rice than what I need. Then the next few days for lunch I take some of the curry/dal and rice and a slice or Daiya Cheese (regular cheese for you) and make a little indian burrito. They are actually pretty good to take on trips too, if you dal is nice and thick.

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    1. I grew up in a house where we ate home made meals every night. Cooking just wasn't something that interested me until now though. I think that's probably why I'm enjoying it so much because those home cooked meals feel like home.

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