We’re going to start the January challenge with four areas that rank high in New Years Resolutions every year, and has for many decades! Yes, decades! We’ll be taking baby steps in moving forward with Saving Money, Getting Organized, Getting in Shape and Getting Healthier. This month is super simple, and then with each coming month of the challenge, I’ll share a free printable with new goals and suggestions.
We’ll be accomplishing more and making lots of progress towards our goals.
Thinking ahead about future content this past few days for Haphazard Homemaker, I feel most of the content will be (or can be adjusted) to fall right in line with our goals and intentions.
Moderation my Friend! Moderation
Time got away from me through the holidays, and I neglected to put pen to paper with all the ideas floating around my brain about starting this series on Monthly Challenges. Be assured, there will be plenty! I’m going to dig out an empty binder, so I can save the printable information sheet each month, and then at the end of each month, I’ll add the printable Monthly Challenge Sheet to the binder, so that I can reflect back on my successes and accomplishments at the end of the year.
I already do these things, but not as consistently as I
should need to. One thing I have learned through the years is that I’m most successful, when I can share my accomplishments. Since I know so many others feel the same way, I figured we could work together, share our successes and high-five our participants.
Whenever you find our Monthly Challenges, just jump right in at that point. Feel free to catch up with the Money and Organization Goals, if you can.
Bookmark Haphazard Homemaker, so you can come back to easily access the exercise links.
January Monthly Challenge
The printables are at the bottom of this page.
Money: Start Filling A Money Jar
Here are a few painless ways to save a little Pin Money to help pay for gifts, special occasions, holidays, etc. In the old days, it was money that the house wife earned in a part-time job for those extras.
- Money Jar – Take a quart jar (or larger) and decorate it to give you incentive to toss ALL of your loose change in EVERY. SINGLE. NIGHT. Cut a strip of pretty scrapbook or wrapping paper to fit around the jar and secure it with a piece of tape. Maybe tie a ribbon around the jar neck. Choose a cool name for your new Money Jar, such as My Mad Money or maybe Vacation Fund, etc. If you are out of the house most days of the week and venturing into any stores, you can easily save $25 – $30 a month. Do it every month for a year, and your jar could be close to $250 at year’s end.
- While shopping, when you get $1 bills in your change, save them for your Money Jar. You could easily save about $30 a month, or $360 for the entire year!
- If you are mostly a cash spender, save all of the $5 bills you get back in change for the month, and you will probably collect about $40 for the month. At the end of a full 12 months, you could possibly save over $400.
- Save a flat $20 a week to save $80 a month, for a grand total of $1, 040 at the end of 12 months.
See how easy that is? You aren’t going to miss the money, if you add it a little bit at a time. We’re only doing this for one month at a time, but it adds up when you figure the possibility for a full year!
Water: Drink 8 Glasses Daily
Shoot for 8 glasses of water per day. If you don’t like water, add a little squirt of lemon juice, or keep a bag of frozen mixed fruit in the freezer, and add three or four pieces to each glass. You will get added vitamins, they will chill the water and improve the flavor. Here’s a list of a few things water can do for you….
- Hydrates body
- Lubricates joints and cartilage
- Flush out toxins
- Improve digestion
- Keeps you feeling full
- Improves complexion
- Relieves constipation
- Reduces risk of colon cancer
You don’t have to give up your favorite drinks, but water is proven to be a healthier choice, and if you’re drinking 8 glasses of water every day, you won’t be drinking so much of the other drinks.
Plus, it will help keep us feeling not so hungry, so we aren’t grabbing a snack every time we turn around.
We’ll work on healthier meal options starting next month.
Organize: 1 Drawer/Shelf/Cupboard Daily
I was bad at
shoving stashing stuff behind closed doors or in drawers. I discovered if I spent 15 minutes once a day on any one drawer, shelf or cupboard that needs a little attention, it doesn’t take that long to make the rounds through the whole house. If you do just one a day, that’s a total of 31 drawers, shelves or cupboards this month.
Be sure to keep a large trash bag or box available to collect the pieces of clothing or other items that you’ll be removing while straightening the contents (you know, that you won’t wear or use again) to donate at the end of the month. Why keep stuff you aren’t going to use?
Now…with all that being said….from this point on, when you put things in those drawers, on that shelf or in the cupboard, do it neatly!
It’s so much easier to break projects down into small increments. Remember – we are doing this in Baby Steps!
Fitness: Walk/Yoga 15 Minutes Daily
Now this goal/intention is assuming you are starting from scratch with exercise. Even if you aren’t capable of doing 15 minutes a day (due to physical limitations, or stamina abilities), do as much as you can. Even if it is only 2 -3 minutes. Do 2 -3 minutes three times a day and you are about halfway to your intention of 15 minutes of exercise a day. Then every other day add another minute.
By the end of the month, you will be up to 15 minutes. If you are already on a fitness journey, maybe increase your time this month.
Here are a few suggestions for 15 minute exercise sessions:
- Walking is a wonderful way to start
- Do 15 minutes worth of these easy exercises
- Follow this short 10 minute chair yoga video, then do a few more stretches for a total of 15 minutes. This one is good to start with, because it has a couple of capability levels.
- Do some of these wonderful exercises you can easily do in your own home, demonstrated by Denise Austin.
Disconnect Tech: 30 Minutes Before Bedtime
There are many benefits from disconnecting from technology just before bed. I like these the best, because they pertain to all of us!
- Relax the mind a bit! My brain goes haywire after shutting down digital stuff at night, so 30 minutes is a good start to calming the mind.
- Reconnect with family members. Read bedtime stories or have bedside chats with the kids. If you live alone, set aside time to write a handwritten note card or two, to mail to a distant family member or friend. Do it even if they live nearby!
- Improve relationships. Although Hubby is my biggest fan and encourages me constantly, I need to give him some of my undivided attention to show him how important he is to me!
- Get some reading time in. I’ve linked to a couple of books below that you might like.
- Improves sleep. I need all the help I can get with this one!
See how easy this is?
Time spent daily:
- Money: you’re not even going to notice the few seconds this takes.
- Water: no time involved in switching over to water.
- Organization: 15 minutes, unless you get ambitious. (Brownie points if you do!)
- Fitness: 15 minutes. You CAN do this!
- Disconnect Tech: 0 time. Reconnecting with family & friends….priceless!
How to Use Your Challenge Tracker
Here’s a diagram of some ways you might keep track of your daily accomplishments and successes. In this example for January 3rd, divide the date square with a large PLUS sign.
- The top left corner is for Money. If you added money to your jar, add a dollar sign. Or write the amount of the money deposit.
- The top right corner is Water. Add a dot for each glass of water you drank.
- Bottom left corner is for Organization. A smiley face is perfect!
- Bottom right corner is Fitness. A check mark is good, or maybe the number of minutes you exercised.
- Finally, if you hit the Disconnect Tech 30 Minute Before Bedtime mark, circle the date number.
Now stick the tracker on your fridge door keep track of your daily accomplishments and as a constant reminder to keep moving forward!
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- In this post, I wrote about the book The Gentle Art of Swedish Death Cleaning: How to Free Yourself and Your Family from a Lifetime of Clutter, released in December of 2017, the writer Margareta Magnusson explains in detail what it is and how to do it. It’s a great read, if you are overwhelmed with stuff.
- In this post, I wrote about this wonderful woman. I found Mary Carson Breckinridge’s autobiography Wide Neighborhoods: A Story of the Frontier Nursing Service extremely inspiring!
Be sure to follow me for Monthly Challenge updates and new posts! Let me know in the comments if you have an area in your life that needs special attention.