You  may remember that at the start of this year, I jumped head first into a fresh look at goals and resolutions called 52×7 thanks to inspiration from one of my favorite bloggers, Jon Acuff. The plan was pretty simple: 365 days breaks down pretty nicely into seven 52-day chunks, and anyone can do anything for 52 days. So, I looked at different categories, or areas of life, and set one or two goals in each of those categories, with the plan of carrying out those goals for 52 days. At the end of 52 days, I’d keep the ones that worked well and throw out or adjust those that, well, didn’t work. Easy enough, right?

Here we are at the end of Phase Two, and tomorrow will start the third 52-day chunk of 2013.

So, how is it going? Did it work as well in Phase Two as it did in Phase One?

If I learned about any one thing during this second phase of the year, it was this: FOCUS. I was really dedicated to a few of my goals… awesome! I crushed some of them, and I am SUPER pumped about that! Then, there were others that I totally neglected, and a few that I rushed around this morning trying to catch up on or complete. (Nothing like waiting until the last minute, eh?)

Let’s take a look at those goals I set: If you’d like to see the simplified list, check out the original Phase Two Start post. Here are my thoughts on those goals over the past 52 days:

Financial: Evaluate our household budget at the end of the first quarter and adjust as needed. If there’s one thing that Scott and I have gotten really good at, and very consistent with, it’s maintaining and living within a budget. (Thanks, Dave Ramsey!) So, on March 31st, after enjoying the Easter holiday weekend with family, we sat down for a quarterly budget review. Generally, things have turned out as expected as far as the expenses of homeownership, and we just made a few tweaks (mostly shifting some money from our dining out budget to our grocery budget since we’ve been eating much healthier than we used to and, it turns out, that costs more money than eating crap). Success here!

Financial: File 2012 taxes and deposit any refunds directly into savings. Here’s the deal with this one. I don’t really do our taxes: Scott does. So, maybe this goal was kind of a cop-out. But, since we’re in this thing together, there were things I had to help out with. Plus, it turns out that now that I’m not in school anymore our refund isn’t nearly as, well, refund-y. So, we’ll call this complete. And, we’re not too far in the hole for what we owe. Happy Tax Day!

Physical: Track calorie intake and workouts using My Fitness Pal to raise awareness of living a healthy lifestyle. Let me just say this: I love this app! I have logged EVERYTHING eaten and worked off since the start of this phase, and it has definitely paid off. I find myself making healthier choices, actually wanting to work out more, and just plain living healthier. Plus, it’s paid off (as you’ll see below)!

Physical: Do a complete cycle of the Jillian Michaels 30 Day Shred workout DVD. Ok, so I didn’t do this workout religiously… after all, I had other fun (and more social) workouts in my rotation like Zumba! But, I did stick with Jillian pretty well for the majority of this phase, spending time in levels one and two of the DVD. I’ll definitely keep this in the rotation for workouts. Plus, my arm muscles are AWESOME thanks to Jillian!

Physical: Lose 5 lbs in the 52 days. This was by far my biggest focus during this phase. I wanted to crush this goal… especially after some disappointment in the weight loss goal department at the end of Phase One. So, thanks to encouragement from friends, the My Fitness Pal app, new Zumba! classes offered at my church, and a real focus on healthy lifestyle, I actually lost a total of 9.4 lbs in the last 52 days! That puts me down 12 lbs since January 1st!

Social: Write letters to two Spoke Folkers. Here’s one of those goals that almost didn’t happen. Not because I don’t love my Spoke Folk friends… it just wasn’t a goal that had a lot of “stay power” for me this time around. I did, however, complete this goal this morning. We’ll just leave it at that.

Social: Host a housewarming party. This one just didn’t happen. We’re still planning on this, but the timing didn’t work out and there were (and are) still a lot of little projects we wanted to wrap up around the house.

Mental: Update the blog at least once a week. This one obviously didn’t happen. It just wasn’t on my mind. I might revisit this one again later on, but I need to just let blogging happen naturally and organically first. (Neither of which happened in this phase.)

Career: Get our 6th graders off to a successful start in the Confirmation Program. This is another one that I’d say was crushed in this phase. I am so pumped for our incoming class of 23 students starting out their confirmation journey at Epiphany! We had a GREAT orientation, first learning event, and the lock-in this past weekend was a huge success! Hooray!

Career: Finish the development of the Children’s and Youth Ministry Volunteer Handbook. Just sent it on to the council president and senior pastor at the end of last week for approval at their next council meeting. So, at this point, my work on the project has wrapped up, and we will hopefully be ready to start using the handbook this summer as a tool for equipping volunteers working with children and youth as we head full steam ahead in our safety policies, background checking, etc. Yay for keeping kids safe!

Family: One date night per month with Scott. We’re pretty bad at having “date nights” at least in any formal sense of the word. But, I’d still call this one done. We had several wonderful dinners out, a few movie nights, and just a generally good time hanging out with each other. I kinda like this guy I get to spend my life with.

Family: Sort through and unpack or store the boxes in the living room and basement. I think we did this during the very first weekend of the phase. I have hardly thought about it since then. We’re definitely feeling pretty settled here at the Haligowski Homestead. I think all that’s left in the living room and basement is artwork (yet to be hung), and a few random items. We’ll call this mission: accomplished.

Spiritual: Read the next 52 days of the one year Bible plan. I’ll admit, I fell off the wagon on this one. I’m not exactly sure what the reason was, but I got hung up around day 83 or 84 at the end of March. So, I am about 21 days short on this goal. But, I’d like to get back on the bandwagon here… maybe a few weeks of two-a-days. This is an important goal to me.

Spiritual: Finish the Lenten Photo-a-Day Project. This was a really cool lenten discipline for me this year. You can see the whole journey over on my Tumblr. So, completed. And powerful.

Spiritual: Pick dates and contact camp for a springtime silent retreat in late April or early May. This just fell through the cracks. I totally forgot until today, and then this was one of those “let’s see if I can swing it today” goals. But, looking at my calendar, it just doesn’t look like late April or early May is going to work out for me. So, I’m going to push this goal off until the fall (after camp’s busy summer season wraps up) and see if I can work something out then.

So, there you have it. The summary of my second 52×7 phase for 2013. I am actually really digging this goal-setting method. It seems to be working. I’m learning a lot about myself, I’m making some really meaningful progress on some personal goals. Plus, it’s fun. My life continues to be enriched by the process, and I look forward to leaning deeper into life in another phase starting tomorrow. Stay tuned for the next set of goals!


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