I do love to plan. And I was all set to run through a laundry list of things I want to get done in the month of December. But just now I realized I want to set some real goals for myself--some challenges, similar to the one I'm completing this evening with my final entry in the 30-Day Writing Challenge. I want to do more than just check things off my list. I want to accomplish something.
So here they are three goals I have for the next 30 days.
Stay under budget:
The single biggest challenge to our budget is our grocery bill. We consistently overspend on food, more than on anything else. So my goal is to find myself under my food budget at the end of the next 30 days. This will be difficult, particularly because I am starting out behind. My new budget for the month of December begins on Friday, and I've already spent some of it. On top of that, I'm cooking for the next 3 Sabbaths and those are always expensive because I like to make special dishes that often require more or more expensive ingredients. I'm sure I'll also be contributing to the holiday cooking when we're at my mom's in Florida and that can add up too, especially since I'll be cooking for a crowd! Babs and I split our food budget, so I won't force her into the challenge. This will only apply to my portion of the food budget, not too our household as whole. But I promise not to "cheat" by asking Barbara to buy things for me on her budget.
Read a book.
I love to read, but it's hard to find the time. This last vacation I really didn't read as much as I would have liked. So over the next 30 days, I'd like to challenge myself to read a whole book. If my time wasn't at such a premium this would be no challenge at all. But I don't think I've read a whole book this entire year so far. I'm hoping to read The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt. Her novel The Secret History was the first "real" contemporary novel I ever read, so I think it would be appropriate and rewarding to read her Pulitzer prize-winning latest novel. But if I can't get a hold of that book (I'd prefer not to buy it), then I'll find something else.
In an earlier entry I talked about how I feel like I could have a richer, more relaxing Sabbath experience if I stayed off my phone (or laptop) during those 24 hours. So I've decided to challenge myself to take a break from all phone related activities (other than making or receiving calls or texts--imagine only doing that with a phone. Weird, right?) from sundown Friday to sundown Saturday. I'll do the same with my laptop (though I will preserve our traditional Sabbath afternoon Skype sessions with my family in Florida). I'm not sure how I'll feel. Will I be counting the minutes until sundown like I did as a kid so that I can get back online? Or will I relish the break from constant connectivity? We shall see.
I'm kind of like this whole concept of challenges. Let's see how it goes!