Resolutions. Goals for the New Year. Wishes for a better future. Whatever you call them, these are my goals for 2019. Warning: text-heavy post ahead!!
Publish one post per week. While reviewing what I posted last year, I noticed how irregular and unplanned my posts seemed to be and how the overall blog seemed to lack focal points. During this past week of my long winter break I have been creating an outline for the coming year. I've decided to focus on my lifestyle, restaurants and places to visit in Milwaukee, a little bit of travel, and a few nerdy Harry Potter posts. Lifestyle posts will encompass more information on my life as a college student, healthy eating on a budget (~$30 a week), and quick, efficient workouts (some of which can be done at home while watching Netflix). Right now I share a little about the city I live in, but I want to make enough individual posts to have a dedicated Milwaukee tab in my navigation bar full of my favorite places that others can use as a guide if they ever plan on visiting the city. As for travel, I do have a couple trips planned for this year that will get their own separate posts. However, they will not be a huge focus due to college, two jobs, and no car. And, lastly, some Harry Potter fun posts. I am a HUGE Harry Potter fan (I'm currently on the fifth book of my fourteenth read through the series) and I found a bunch of themed recipes and blog tags I thought I would share on the blog since it is a big part of my life.
Minimal Spending Challenge. My goal for this semester is to save as much of my income as possible. To kick start this goal, I'm limiting what I spend money on. There are some unavoidable expenses that I will make exceptions for this month, including rent, utility bills, my minimum credit card payment, course materials for school, and groceries (max of $30 a week). I also have two pre-planned purchases I will make using money I had already saved for a trip with my sister that has since been canceled: an anniversary present for Ryan and a plane ticket for spring break my roommate and I have been anticipating for months but for which we were waiting for a good deal on. Things I will not be spending money on this month and semester include: drinks from coffee shops (I will use my at-home latte maker more instead), "treat yo-self" purchases at the drugstore (last semester I would go to the store and spend $30+ on unneeded face masks, chocolate, etc.), random groceries (I will now make lists and set budgets instead of shopping on a whim), and online shopping. My goal is to plan spending out ahead of time at the start of each month for things such as date nights, outings with friends, and thrift store shopping to build up my professional wardrobe. I also have a $100 cash "fun/coffee" budget from a side hustle over winter break to spend throughout the semester as I please.
Decrease Sugar Consumption. Something that has been weighing on my mind is that my favorite coffee creamers have 5 grams of added sugar per tablespoon. I use 1 tablespoon per cup...and drink anywhere between 2 and 6 cups of coffee per day. Not to mention the amount of sugar in coffee syrups when I buy drinks from cafes! To help remedy this, I am making the switch to half n' half and plain lattes. This has been an adjustment, but I'm getting there. 1 tablespoon of half n' half is enough to cut the bitterness to drinkable and only has 0.5 grams of sugar. This is a huge improvement over my coffee creamers! Now I just need to keep an eye on the nutrition label for sugar when buying non-dairy milks to use for at-home coffee drinks.
Meal Prep and Portion Control. I made myself a meal plan to follow while I am in Milwaukee. My plan is vegetable heavy and has rotating dinner plans and flexible weekend allowances to keep it interesting. I don't mind eating the same plan for days in a row, which is good since I typically cook for just myself! I also ordered a kitchen scale in December to use so I can measure my portions accurately and get a better visual idea of serving sizes for when I don't use the scale. I'll be sharing my meal plan once I've cycled through the four dinners so I have photos of each recipe.
Follow the Physical Activity Guidelines. As a kinesiology major, I am very familiar with the physical activity recommendations. However, this does not mean I follow them. I should practice what I'm be preaching, so it is my goal to reach the recommendations this year. This means at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic exercise each week, along with working all the major muscle groups 2 times each week. While visiting my parents I am using my mom's elliptical and walking, but once back in Milwaukee I will hit the gym to execute some of the workouts I have been planning. For strength, I have designed a 30-minute body weight and dumbbell routine that hits all of the major muscle groups. I'm planning a separate post dedicated to this workout that includes images of each move.
Complete the 30-Day Minimalism Game: Each day, get rid of one more item than the day before. On January 1st, 1 item. The 2nd, 2 items. On the 30th day, 30 items. In total, this challenge would have me eliminate 495 items! I want to say I don't even own that many items, but that's probably a false statement. I will complete the challenge to the best of my ability and have started counting while sorting through my childhood bedroom. The challenge will wrap up in Milwaukee, and should assist me for my upcoming apartment move at the end of the semester!
Adopt a "one in, one out" rule when purchasing new items: Every time buy something that’s not a consumable (food, shampoo, etc.), I donate or get rid of one I do not need or use. For example, if I buy a new sweater, when I get home I look through my existing sweaters and donate one I no longer wear. As a new one comes in, an old one goes out. I will start enforcing this rule after completing the 30-Day Minimalism Game.
This concludes my main resolutions! So far, so good, other than one sugary coffee drink slip-up my family got for me on our drive back to Milwaukee this week. I hope I'm not getting too far ahead of myself, but since all I am doing next week is training for one of my jobs and working remotely for the other, I am putting together materials for three more blog posts by the end of January. One is my first Harry Potter post, the second my strength workout guide, and the last is my first Milwaukee restaurant spotlight post. I really think having my whole outline for the year will help me stay on track. Thanks for reading!
Hi my name is Emilee and these are my adventures as a young adult living in Milwaukee. Here I will share my experiences as I navigate through college. Thanks for stopping by!