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March Monthly Meet Up

I’m letting go of February’s goal.  I was planning on keeping this up through April, but my work is done here.

Me: Are you going to hit your PE goal this week?  Because I was just looking at something completely irrational that I want and I was wondering if I can plan on buying it this week.

D: Nooooo!

Me: I don’t remember asking your permission

D: I wasn’t even thinking that! How long have you known me? I’m just not going to be the reason that you rationalize buying something ridiculous this time.

My belligerent spending when D slacks off has gotten him in the right studying for this certification that will make him a lot more money mindset and I no longer need to be involved.  It’s just a matter of studying the right material now, not whether or not he finds time to look at it.

As for March, I’m testing the waters for an international position. I’m too superstitious to call it a goal, so I’ll have to leave it at that for now.  More to come in April.

February monthly goal meet up

You may have heard that I am hanging tight with my professional progress.  I’m not setting out to change my situation (for once!), I am enjoying where I am right now and focusing on what’s in front of me.  I’ve found a professional goal that I can still go after.  The catch is: I can’t do it, my husband has to do it.  He’s an engineer and recently eligible to become a professional engineer (PE).  To become a PE, you need a 4 year degree from a recognized university (check), 4+ years working as an engineer (check), and to pass a very difficult exam that is only given twice year.  The consulting firm where he works offers a very enticing bonus and raise to PE holders, since they can charge a higher billable rate for their work. He wants to it for job security, possibility of more latitude and plum projects at work, as well as for the raise.

He signed up for the April exam last November, and I noticed that he hadn’t studied much.  So, I let the dust from the flurry of year work projects and family parties and travel settle.  On new years day, while we all nursed hangovers and made resolutions, I took out my calculator.

I calculated the amount of the raise between his test and next available test + the bonus.  That’s the 2010 money at risk if he doesn’t study. Then, I divided the money at risk by the number of weeks between today and the test.  That is the money wasted by not studying that week.  For arithmetic simplicity, let’s say it a $500 bonus and $5000 raise.  The bonus won’t change if he needs to take the exam again, but passing the first exam makes the raise is worth $2500 more because the next test is available in 6 months.

($500 + $2500) / 15 weeks until the exam = $167 wasted if not studying over a certain week

He set out a plan of what he needs to cover and how many hours he’ll need to study in a given week to be prepared.  In weeks that he hits the goal, I’ll cut him a $167 check and he can watch that money accumulate or do whatever he wants with it.  In weeks that he doesn’t study that amount, I will waste the same amount of money that “effectively wasted” by not studying.  So he doesn’t look for a silver lining I’ve assured him that I won’t put it toward anything practical or worthy.

It’s a dissonant feeling for me to set something as a goal that I’m supporting, not personally accomplishing.   I’m following this road, because it will lead to dollars in my pocket and hopefully to satisfaction.  I’ll keep you posted.

Once more, here is what I’m up to in January/February –

1. Enjoying this moment

2. Supporting (and enforcing) my husband’s test prep

Falling off the Goal Wagon

You may have read my November monthly meet up goal, and wondered how I fared, or what I was vowing to do in December and resolving to do in January.  Isn’t it funny how a decision made in January is a “resolution” but nothing decided the rest of the year is given such a lofty term?

I’m working on life coaching, which I know will be a partial source of income if I want to continue to pay my bills.  Blending with my current job works out well when my day job is not “busy.”  Busy can mean different things to different people – busy for me means overtime at unpredictable times.  Unpredictability is not something I want to embody when coaching someone to be accountable to that whatever they’re striving for, and quite inconvenient when I have an appointment.

Meanwhile, what I was striving towards was applying to grad school. In November, I needed to pick a program that fit what I wanted to learn and could qualify me to be a independent counselor.  Nothing fit.  Instead of hustling toward a goal I’m not even excited about during the honeymoon phase (the honeymoon phase is what I call the high after deciding on an action), I decided to throw on the brakes and focus on the moment I’m in now.  It may not be that fantastic or enviable, but I worked very, very hard to be where I am right now.  I spent a lot of time and effort and gave up some things in order to break into my industry, be trusted to work autonomously, to afford living a walkable distance to my office so I don’t show up with a short fuse from my nasty commute.  Its easy to look at people with cool jobs, and say what am I doing wrong that I’m not you?  But if I knew all the details of these admired strangers’ lives, I bet I’m doing quite a bit right that I’m not them.

Coaching, which is not counseling, fits everywhere but financially.  So, I’m keeping my day job.

This all sounds very relaxing as I write it down, but believe me: it isn’t.  It’s easy to just jump on a goal because it is an action.  Indecision is uncomfortable, so Indecision loves action because it feels like a decision, just without the buyer’s remorse.  Holding out for the right action is hard.

November Monthly Goal Meet-Up

At the gentle and not-even-specific-to-me urging of an old college friend, I’m setting goals by month and publishing them on my blog. This might sound a like what 43things.com does, and it is a bit of an overlap. But the kicker is, I’m logging in again in one month to own up, publicly, about whether or not I did it. Yipes.

Without further ado, here is what I’m up to in November –

1. Make a full list of schools that I will apply to. Write down their application deadlines.

2. Make a full list of documents needed to apply.

3. Prepare a timeline and game plan to get each document ready in time.

4. Evaluate my budget (i.e. what I’m actually spending/saving, not what I could be spending/saving), then slim it down. Starting with alcohol.

Find your heroes where you can

Julie and Julia: 365 Days, 524 Recipes, 1 Tiny Apartment Kitchen Julie and Julia: 365 Days, 524 Recipes, 1 Tiny Apartment Kitchen by Julie Powell

My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I found this book to be really inspiring. I love that this was a romantic comedy that didn’t end when the couple got together or start when a marriage deteriorated. Married people have hopes and dreams and problems, besides JUST their marriage! Yes, they do!

And, I love that the author found inspiration in Julia Child, a woman who just seemed so totally off the wall and inaccessible to me when I watched her PBS show.

Find your heroes wherever you can.

View all my reviews >>