Life By Kristen

Go, and embrace your liberty. And see what wonderful things come of it. – Little Women

Reflecting on 2013

With all that’s going on right now, I’m just trying to adjust to the ‘new normal’ of my life. Even though 2013 ended tragically, it was actually a good year up to that point. I found love, went on a trip of a lifetime, had successes at work, and made improvements at home and in life that have brought me happiness.

I made a lot of goals at the beginning of 2013, with some success and some failures, but overall, it was a good year. Here’s a recap:


– Switch over all retirement stuff to one firm- This was so ridiculously easy, it was almost shameful that I didn’t do it sooner.

– Knock out 5% of debt- HAHA. Funny. I clearly have math problems because 5% of my debt is A LOT OF MONEY. I was successful in barely using credit for anything other than my trip to Holland and a few gas and grocery purchases.

-One Month No Buy Challenge- Did 2! One in May following my Holland trip, another in September.

– Continue to grow my emergency fund- Didn’t grow as much as I’d wanted, but was able to put aside a bit from each paycheck.


-Do more walking and start weight training at home with kettlebell- I’d say I was about 75% successful with this. My man and I love going for walks so from April through October or so, we walked almost every day, on the beach, through my neighborhood, and at local parks. Now that the cold months have set in, we’ve now set up a mini gym area in the basement and are using it together about once a week, but both of us want to improve our health for 2014 so this will continue on this year ( and frankly, is a lifestyle change not a goal).

-Eat breakfast everyday- Somewhat successful. I am in the habit now of making sure I have a piece of fruit or something before I leave the house and try to eat some yogurt when I get to the office, but this is something I’m trying to be better about. For a few months, my guy was making delicious omelettes when he had time in the morning, but schedules are constantly changing so this hasn’t happened as much in the past few months. Again lifestyle change, not just a goal.


– Set up a working office/reading/painting room- Done in the sense that all these things exist in the same space and I set it up, but it’s still become the room in the house where a lot of things land, so it’s not a super effective space at the moment. I still have yet to hang things on the wall in there too.

– Get new blinds for the entire house & new privacy sheers for front door & sunroom- 25% achieved since I only did the front door.

– Paint front door inside&out, scrape/paint interior of sunroom- 75% achieved. Front and side door, bulkhead outside were done and 3 interior windows in sunroom were completed.

-Clean up and prettify backyard including new back fence- DONE! With my 2012 tax return, I had a nice back fence installed and then had some landscapers come and take away a lot of the gross nastiness in my backyard, took out a few bushes, and planted a bigger garden. This spring I’m planning on doing some major trimming and weeding, hopefully grow some more grass, and plant more flowers.

– Larger summer/fall vegetable garden- See above! Had the most success with tomatoes, least success with green peppers.

– Research remodeling attic- Done and the decision is to not do it. For the amount of work and pricing, it would be comparable to just moving to a slightly bigger place.


– Be more social: Yes! I went out more with friends, started dating again and found the love of my life in the spring.

– Have friends& family over for dinner at least once a month: I was good about this a few times, but didn’t have friends over enough.

-Read 50 books: Completed.

-Get with it with the blog- I posted more and took a few breaks, but posted every day in October which was fun.

-Disciplined with freelance writing: No progress here.

– Scan and organize career portfolio of media articles, exhibit reviews, work achievements, etc.- They all sit in one pile in the unorganized office awaiting their scanning fate.

-Get out of house more to do the things I love: Success though by the summer time, I just wanted to be in my ( or my parent’s) backyard.


Overall, it was a good, successful year! Stay tuned for 2014 goals!

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One thought on “Reflecting on 2013

  1. You accomplished so much! Home ownership sounds so daunting to me and landscaping and gardening are two big chunks of what makes it seem overwhelming. Kudos!

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