Efficiency: Tackling Problems from Two Angles

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Chain Reaction Afghan (full size) from Interweave Crochet

I have two separate, mostly unrelated self improvement goals for the year.  I want to lose weight (specifically, I want to end the year weighing about 130 lbs, which is thirty pounds down), and I want to pay down all of my debt except student loans and my mortgage to zero (this includes significant medical debt, the unavoidable tax debt from having to close out my 401k due to having to support ourselves while Husband has been unable to work, and some moderate credit card debt).

Both of these goals are amenable to the “do less” solution: I can lose weight by eating less food, and I can reduce my debt by spending less.

More importantly, however, both goals are amenable to the “do more” solution as well. Husband will be (tentatively) back to work in the first or second week of May, which will raise our income back up just in time for his summer busy season, and I have one or two ideas for a little extra income that I’m playing with. In terms of losing weight, my semi- regular gym routine has had (so far) the result of building a lot of muscle and stamina, and causing me to lose a little weight.

These goals are, of course, in addition to my creative goal of completing one knit or crochet object every two weeks (which, I suppose, I have met so far this year, if you count each separate 12″ granny square for the baby blanket I’m making now as a separate project (as it’s from Interweave Crochet’s Chain Reaction Afghan, I’d say there’s a good argument for it).

So, here’s a tentative plan:

  • Keep working out between 3-4 days per week (I’d like to do more, and might, eventually, if I get the time/energy)
  • Keep track of how much junk food I eat. My sweet tooth is my nemesis
  • Start selling my books and other miscellaneous collections on Craigslist/Ebay/Amazon/yard sale to raise money from things I own and don’t need.
  • Create an ebook of Ruana designs for knit and crochet for people who want a dramatic, versatile garment
  • Create and publish more Cat Confederation short stories and publish them in ebook format
  • Blog more (the pennies of AdSense do add up after awhile)
  • Make and sell small knit/crochet/sewn accessories such as headbands and scarves on
  • Write ebooks about professional issues such as ‘Things they don’t teach you during your MSW program”, “Customer Service for Helping Professionals”, “Time Management for Helping Professionals”, and “Being the Change Agent: Improving Your Organization’s Services”
  • Design and sell other knitting/crochet patterns
  • Maintain my garden well enough that *most* of my vegetables and herbs from May through October come from my own garden.
  • Cancel or reduce my cable and supplement from Netflix/Hulu

Other ideas would be a great help. And If I inspired you, as well, bonus!

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