For the past few months (okay, more like an entire year), I have shied away from setting goals. Around this time last year, Erik and I had just started looking for apartments, which quickly turned into picking one and moving in. The rest of the year was also spent settling in while also dealing with a fairly busy schedule. It wasn't in the cards to set up any kind of goals other than remember to go grocery shopping before you have no healthy food in the apartment or don't wait to clean the bathroom until you can't remember the LAST time you cleaned the bathroom. Yeah, there might've been a huge adjustment period here.
That being said, I think I'm finally okay to set some (tiny) goals for the month of February. I have yet to complete my Holiday Council work - I am on the last week, which is goal-setting and action steps, aka my nemeses - but I didn't want that to prevent me from attempting to get my life in order. I have two overarching goals this month: start making doctor's appointments and get my finances in check.
I am notorious for avoiding doctor's offices because it fills me with anxiety. The last time I was at a non-routine doctor's appointment, I was as nervous as if I was speaking in front of a crowd as I sat in the waiting room. My heart was pounding, I was rehearsing everything (symptoms, health history, etc.) in my head, and I wanted to melt into the floor.
Even routine visits give me just enough anxiety that I keep putting it off until, whoops!, several months/years have gone by. The only doctor I've seen regularly is my gynecologist and, only recently, my dentist. I am way, way past due to see a primary care doctor - in fact, the last doctor I saw other than urgent care was my pediatrician. When I was 18. SO LIKE TEN YEARS AGO. Embarrassing.
My checklist is as follows:
- Find a primary care physician that takes my insurance and schedule a physical
- Go in for my semi-annual teeth cleaning
- Go to the eye doctor
- Find a new gynecologist
I also eventually want to see a dermatologist and a gastroenterologist, but I'm trying not to overload myself (or my wallet, because having shitty insurance and paying a lot out-of-pocket is going to suuuuuck).
I am generally good about saving money and not spending too much. However, moving into a new apartment - my first real living space that wasn't my bedroom or my dorm, which is essentially another bedroom - got me into the bad habit of just dropping money on whatever "thing" we "needed" to have. Some of them were legitimate, but then I got used to justifying things and I went a teeny bit overboard. I also got way off track with making and bringing my lunch to work instead of buying it, mainly during the holiday season when I felt too busy to make lunch every day.
I started curbing my spending at the tail end of January, but I'm taking this goal very seriously in February. I refuse to go shopping unless absolutely necessary and have been avoiding all of the promotional e-mails in my inbox (or, surprisingly, talking myself out of most impulse purchases I've wanted to make).
Additionally, I started tracking everything I spend by breaking it into categories. I have always tracked the purchases I make on my credit card so that I could tie it out to my statements, but I never recorded categorically what I was spending. I know there are tools out there, but I am a perfectionist and I dislike a lot of the categories/classifications used by websites. I'd much rather spend the time tediously typing them out in the hopes that it makes me that much more aware of where my money goes. Like oh, I'm copying over the fifth line that says I bought lunch at Quick Chek this week, maaaaybe I should stop?
The other thing I'm doing this month is something I picked up while dipping my toes into the world of bullet journaling. The idea of bullet journaling makes me light up like twinkle lights inside, but I know I'm too much of a perfectionist to give it a try right now. Maybe next year. But! I was inspired by the idea of a habit tracker, which is basically a grid you make for the month and shade in as you complete small, daily goals (for example, getting in bed by 11:30pm). It's like a gold-star chart, but miniaturized! Plus, it gives me a reason to use my planner more, which is nice because it's just been a pretty paperweight thus far in the year.
I have confidence in my abilities to tackle these goals. I mean, I'm finally feeling awful enough that I need to go see a doctor about my issues (isn't that the most pitiful statement ever?), so it has to happen whether I like it or not. Finances are always important, especially since I'm choosing to stick with my job for at least the next year and I don't make the best money in the world. Besides, it feels nice to focus my energy back on myself, even if these are not-so-fun tasks. I kind of missed goal setting, I guess!