Jungle Resolutions: 2019 Edition

Happy New Year!

Hopefully, you had a lovely holiday season filled with the Goldilocks amount of family, cookies, and booze.  If that’s not how the past few weeks went down for you, then I’m sorry and your silver lining is that it’s over now.

A resolution is really just a fancy way of saying goal as far as I’m concerned, but no one talks about resolutions in the middle of the year.  Since it’s January we’ll call them resolutions, and in a few months, we’ll call them goals.  As long as they’re written and published for the world to see (read: for accountability) it’s all the same to me.

Kayla’s 2019 Resolutions/Goals

1. Get better at balance and working from home

Little Lyon Cub is home with me all the time, and we’re going to add another one to the mix soon.  I get up early and stay up late and do my best to maximize her nap times to get all the things done. Housework, working on this blog, being the chief home officer, managing our lives in general.

I like to think I do a decent job, but I’ve also decided that the next time I’ll feel like I’ve really got my sh*t together is probably when all of our kids are in college.  Or maybe at least half way when they’re all in school. Years.

As she gets older she’s more in tune with what I’m doing and pays a lot of attention to things.  She also LOVES my computer and always wants to help me, so even if I wanted to strategically ignore her (with love, of course) to knock out some work while she’s playing nicely in a safe environment, that rarely lasts long.  She’s normally crawling all over me as soon as the lid to my laptop opens.

Let me be clear: I am NOT complaining about that at all.  I feel very fortunate that I can stay home with her and love watching her grow and learn.  I love reading her books and playing and engaging her little, extremely rapidly growing brain.

My point is, I need to figure out how to get all the dirty work done, find time to do what I want for my own personal fulfillment (ie: run this website) outside of her, and still maximize my time with her because I know it’s fleeting.  I want to be present with her, especially as she becomes more aware.  After all, that’s a huge part of why we’re on this financial independence journey, to begin with!

If anyone has any suggestions around being a work at home parent, please please please comment below and let me know!

2. Meal Plan

2019 is the year of the meal plan for the Lyons.  I’m terrible at it.  Chris & I together are terrible at it.  We’ve tried a few times and fall off the wagon after about 3 days.  We learn a little from each attempt and are slowly figuring out ways to help us help ourselves.

This is important to me for three reasons:

  • reduce stress
  • lower grocery/food spending
  • decrease/eliminate food waste

If I’m being perfectly honest, the main reason is the stress part.  I’m not one of those people who flutters into the kitchen at 5 pm, takes a gander in the fridge, has a brilliant idea, and at 6 pm is serving her family a healthy, balanced, home-cooked meal that everyone loves while the kitchen sparkles in the background.  In fact, I’m about as far from that as you can get.  I simultaneously hate and am insanely jealous of those people.  If I’m being perfectly honest.

Obviously lowering our grocery bill would be lovely.  I don’t think our food spending is particularly high or out of control.  However, I am sure that if we became more efficient in the kitchen our grocery bill would go down a little bit.  I’ll take it.

Lowering our food waste would also be awesome.  Who doesn’t want to waste less?  Its good for our wallets, its good for the environment, it makes me generally feel better about our habits.  Wins all around.  I’ll take that too.

I wish this was me. Sadly, it is not even close. Photo by Kay

3. Grow this blog

I won’t bore you with the specific numbers and metrics I have written on a post-it note on my desk because they’re well, boring.  But, I do want to focus on growing this blog and reaching more people.  I want to hone my craft, if you will.  My overarching goal for this website, in addition to tracking our progress and holding ourselves accountable, is to help other people as well.

It’s no secret that Americans live in a materialistic society driven by mass consumption.  55% of Americans are living paycheck to paycheck OR WORSE!  I truly believe that if we as a nation had a fundamental culture shift and the vast majority started to spend less than they earned, instead of spending more than they earned, we could solve, or at the very least put a serious dent in, several of the major issues we face as a society.  

The gravity of this ask is not lost on me.

I’m not arrogant enough to think that little ole me can change our entire country.  That being said, if I can help one or two people become more financially secure, all of the time and effort I put into this blog (which is a lot, I assure you) will have been totally worth it.

So that’s my real goal.  To raise kids who aren’t a**holes, and help some other people improve their lives, too.  Wish me luck.

Other things

A few other things I suppose…

We have a baby coming, shortly followed by a cross country move, so I’d like to survive that both physically and mentally.

I’d like to keep two kids under two alive at the same time while not having a catastrophic event take place, ie: the house burning down.

I know there are millions of people who have successfully achieved both of said tasks already so I’m hoping the odds are in my favor there.

I’d like to maintain a greater than a 50% savings rate for the year.  We averaged about 45% in 2018 and were in the 40%s for most months of the year.  There were greater fluctuations than I thought there would be and I want to try and smooth it out a bit.  However, I guess if the unpredictable were predictable then it wouldn’t be called unpredictable now would it…..

Well, there you have it.  A few things rattling around in my brain, hoping to provide direction for the next 12 months for us.

Are you a resolution person or not so much?  What are some things you hope to focus on and achieve this year?  Do you know the secret sauce to help me with one of my goals?

Leave your comments below, or send me an email (team@lyonmoneyjungle.com).  I’d love to hear from you!

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Written by Kayla

12/31/2018

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