I realize this post should have come along earlier in the year, but hey, it is still January.
I have been thinking about my 2014 goals since October, and I’m finally ready to share them with you all. I’m just going to be put it all out there. I know you all love my honesty, so here it goes.
As you might have read, I am ready to begin preparing for a baby… on my own. When I was in my teens and early twenties, I knew I wanted to get married by 24 and get pregnant with my first child by 27. Well, we know that didn’t work out as planned. I spent my early and mid-twenties in a serious relationship, and when that ended, I was left again in the cruel world of dating again. I met several nice men and lots of men with only one agenda, if you know what I mean. None of the men I met ever stood out to me as having husband and father potential. Those men seem to be a rare breed these days, and if you have one these men, thank your lucky stars.
Just a few months ago, I decided I had my fill of the dating scene and realized that even if I did meet a guy now, I still wouldn’t be married and ready to conceive for a few more years.
I knew that what I wanted most in this world was a child of my own. I had thought about adoption and even received a lot of pamphlets, DVDs, etc from adoption agencies abroad. But what I kept coming back to was… I wanted to carry my own child. I want to know what it feels like to have my own child growing inside of me.
(photo source- inamood on Etsy)
Now, conceiving my own child on my own is going to come with some difficulties and heartbreak. I know it will. When I was 18, I found out at my first ob/gyn appointment that I have PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome), which affects 5-10% of all women of the reproductive age. It can cause anovulation (irregular periods or lack of a cycle whatsoever), an increase in androgenic (masculinizing) hormones, infertility, cystic ovaries (mine look like they’ve been bedazzled with a pearl necklace), and can increase one’s likelihood of Type 2 diabetes, high cholesterol, and obesity. When I was diagnosed, I really thought it was a death sentence for my uterus. I couldn’t even watch TLC’s A Baby Story anymore. But over the years, I’ve read a lot of stories of women who have conceived with PCOS through the help of medications and weight loss, and it’s helped ease my mind about conceiving my own child in time.
So now that I’m 32 years old, I’m really feeling the clock ticking. Yes, all I ever wanted was to do this the traditional way- marriage and then baby. But as time moves on and my likelihood of conceiving decreases, it’s time to start thinking about doing things the non-traditional way. And if I do find a man along the way, the right one will accept my dreams and goals. Right? And I don’t want to be 65 and look back and know I missed my window.
Now that you know my #1 goal, let’s talk about how I’m going to get there.
Financial Goals: I’m not going to lie to you. I have a lot of credit card debt. A lot. When I got out of college and interned at Disney World with the College Program and then subsequently returned to the company as a part-time server, there were months when I had to use my credit card to pay rent. This was during 2004 and 2005 when Florida was hit by several hurricanes, and therefore, there were months when Disney could only fit me in for three shifts the whole month. I also had a shopping problem. I knew full well what I was doing. I was spending someone else’s money. But at the time, I thought I was eventually going to get a full-time serving position at Disney (which can make $$$), or I would land a career in the banking industry, and then I could easily pay it all back. Well, I haven’t been too successful in my attempts to pay them off. But this year, I have a plan in place to “snowball” my debt. Next week, I’m paying off 2 credit cards and another large bill. I’m going to take the monthly minimum payments I would have made on those bills and apply them to the next card I want to pay off.
There are differing opinions on whether you should pay off the higher interest rate credit cards first or the lower balance cards first. For me, I want to see real progress being made, so I’m going to pay off the lower balance cards first. It will also make “snowballing” the payments easier.
By the end of the year, I’d like to only be left with my largest balance card and my student loan, which only has a few more years left. I’m hoping that with most of my debt paid off, my debt-to-income ratio will be low enough for me to be able to purchase my first home. My goal is to purchase a 3 bedroom/2 bath home with a fenced in backyard for Molly to play in. Molly has a tendency to need a walk in the middle of the night, and I’d really prefer to not walk her when there’s a newborn I’d also have to take out with me, so a backyard is necessary.
Physical Goals: I’ve been saying for the last few years that I’m finally ready to lose the weight for good. I just wouldn’t stick with it long enough. Instead of going back to Weight Watchers (even though they’re offering an amazing 6-month deal at 50% off), I’m going to do this on my own. Right now, I’m focusing on 3 things each day:
*Do one plank each day
*Track everything I eat
*Do at least 20 minutes of activity
If I complete these, I get a sticker!
(It’s amazing how much motivation I get out of something so small.)
It’s not much, but I’m trying to live by a new mantra- “You don’t have to do it all. This is not ‘all or nothing’.” Once I get these habits down, I’ll add more.
Back in 2009 and 2010 when I lost 25 pounds, I was using the Lose It! app and tracked all of my food and activity. Since that seems to be the only thing that works for me, I’ve gone back to it. They’ve upgraded the app so now all you have to do is scan the barcode of the item. Easy enough!
My first goal is to get back to 175, where I was in 2010. Once I get there, I’ll re-evaluate if I want to lose more weight.
Home: If you’ve known me personally for any amount of time, you know I’m not the tidiest domestic diva, so I’m really trying to instill good housekeeping skills in myself. For now, I’ve made it a goal to do the following every day to keep up with organization and home cleaning:
*Wet swiffer the floors (my dog leaks)
*Fold all of the laundry
*Make sure nothing is in the sink before going to bed.
*Shine the sink
*Throw away or put away 27 things around the house (otherwise known as FlyLady’s 27 Fling Boogie)
*Organize all emails in my gmail account so there’s zero in my inbox.
I’m also doing several loads of laundry and dishes every day, but these are the extra things I am trying to do every single day. Once I make them habits, I’ll move on to more. I realize this isn’t much, and a 32-year old woman should be doing more in her home, but like I said, I’ve never declared to be a domestic goddess. Martha Stewart would frown upon my home.
Maybe I should start giving myself stickers for this stuff too!
Preparing for Baby: I’ve outlined all of the above goals as ways I can prepare for a new baby. I know it will be a difficult, lonely road, but if I prepare my finances, my body, and my home, I’ll be ready for a baby (or as ready as I can be).
It will be a long road, but my plan is to start trying to conceive (TTC) early next year via IUI (Intrauterine insemination). I know it will take multiple attempts. But in the meantime, I have the support of my family, my friends, and a really awesome message board on the Single Mothers By Choice website.
If you read this far, thank you for reading about my dreams and my goals!
What is motivating you this year to make changes in your life?