New Years Goals for 2008 And Dale’s Lab Update

First for those of you that have been keeping up – Dale’s labs continue to be good. His white count was a little high which can be an indication of infection but it could also be a false reading so they will recheck and we will watch for fever. He has no other signs and everything else looked good except his cholesterol so they will start him back on his cholesterol medicine. They are finally listening to him about the stomach pain and trying him on a different medicine. The cellcept has been a problem for him all along and even with a daily pepcid he has had almost constant problems. It turns out that there is a newer alternative with less side effects. The hospital automatically puts you on the cellcept right now because they have a contract. When that contract runs out they will most likely switch to the Myfortic. The pharmacy has it ordered and unfortunately won’t have it till Monday afternoon so he will have to hang in there for the weekend. Myfortic basically does the same thing but is coated so it won’t be so hard on your tummy.


I’m thinking a lot about goals for the new year. I realize I may be a little late as most people try to make resolutions on the actual first of the year but things have been a bit busy here and I have never really been able to keep a resolution. After reading a few posts that talked about setting goals instead of making resolutions I decided that was the better path to take. I can work towards a goal and even if I don’t reach it I can at least see some progress so here goes.

I resolved last year to become more organized and therefore more productive. I read books and articles on GTD and bought file folders and tried setting up contexts in files on my computer. I just couldn’t seem to fit what I do into they system or for that matter take the time to get it set up and then keep up with it. I think that GTD sold books (it did to me) and ads and entire communities have grown up around the principles, organizers, templates and software but it just seems too labor intensive without the labor saving outcome for me.
I find myself spending more time trying to figure out how to be more productive than it takes me to actually be uh…productive. The best things for me seem to be:

  1. a large spiral notebook I keep on my desk near my phone and every morning I start with the days date. I copy anything unfinished from the previous day to the new day’s list and then check email and add anything appropriate to my list. I add to the list throughout the day and cross things off as they are completed. I store old notebooks so I can refer back to them if I need to.
  2. a small notebook I can carry in my pocket to write things down when I am away from my desk. (I have started being intentional about putting the dates in them as well so I can refer back) If it is important it can be transferred to the big spiral or a 4×6 card when I get back to my desk.
  3. my 4×6 card file. I have a small coupon keeper for portablility, a wooden box for permanent storage, and a small wooden easel for working cards. I created a template in Word that creates two cards on a page so I can copy and paste or type whatever I want on the cards. I keep a stack of cardstock in my drawer to print these homemade cards on and I also have a supply of colored cards to hand write on when I need to.

I use for email and a plugin lets me tag posts with keywords. I also have a mail folder just named “done” so I can drag things that are completed into the folder and get them out of my inbox. My goal is to find ways to get everything ELSE out of my inbox. I am not entirely happy with and not sure if it would be worth the trouble to make a switch or for that matter what I would switch to.
It was progress for me to get to this point so the resolution from last year hasn’t been a total bust. The things I still need to work on are organization of files on my computer and a system for deleting things that I no longer need instead of letting them pile up and clutter up and become a nagging problem. The same problem exists for my desk drawers and my closet. I really want to simplify and so those are the areas I have set as goals for the next year. There are a lot of keepsakes and pictures that I want to go through and distribute to other family members and get them off my mind and out of my home.

Dale and I stayed at a small apartment in Dallas for a month and I had the bare minimum as far as clothing, makeup, books, and kitchen tools. The only place I ever really missed something was in the kitchen. In every other area it was actually very freeing which was an important lesson. The problem for me now is finding the time and figuring out what to let go of and what to do with it so it will not be wasted. I managed in the week we were home during the holiday to clean out several junk drawers and baskets of paperwork.

My first goal is to continue to whittle down the piles, both in real life and virtually. This year has been more stressful than normal and unfinished tasks and clutter add to stress which adds to health problems which starts a cycle I want to break.
My second goal is something I have already started on. My brother was recently diagnosed with diabetes and while we were still in Dallas I checked mine a few times with Dales meter just to see since my brother is about ten years younger than me. My sugar was kind of high both times so I went to the doctor last week and she gave me my own glucometer and I will be checking for the next two weeks. So far it has been ok and it may have just been stress and not eating or exercising. It was a wake-up call though so I have been eating better and trying to squeeze some exercise in too. I had already made a lot of adjustments in my diet because Dale has to check his sugar right now and occasionally give himself insulin so I was just eating what he was eating.

I have discovered that you can get a “skinny” Cinnamon Dulce Latte at Starbucks so I think I can survive. I’m not sure what I’ll do about chocolate though. I have already been taking my lunch this year instead of buying cafeteria food and it has saved me money. Now it will help me make better choices as to what I eat. This may not be an organizational goal but I know if I work on a healthier lifestyle I will feel better and that will make me more productive.

I “gifted” myself with a good Wolfgang Puck saucepan with steamer insert (via ebay) and every trip to the doctor in Dallas means a stop at the Wholefoods Market. I’m switching us over to whole grains and brown rice and we are eating a lot more fruits and vegetables. I stopped drinking anything carbonated at the beginning of the school year and haven’t missed it at all. We have started taking re-usable bags with us and another goal for this year is to take those bags to more stores and to encourage those stores to start selling their own. Our local Krogers already does this and by using these bags you can cut down on clutter (all those thousands of plastic bags!) as well as be nice to the earth.

These are a few of my goals for the year – what are you working on?

2 thoughts on “New Years Goals for 2008 And Dale’s Lab Update

  1. Frances

    It’s so good to hear how well Dale is doing! I know that you are responsible for a lot of his well-being, and I’m sure he’s thankful for your support.

    Your goals for the year are very similar to mine in a lot of ways! I’m working on clutter here at home, and I’m planning to start listing stuff on eBay that I can’t donate or sell fast in a garage sale. We’re also trying to eat better this year – more fresh foods, less red meat (although, unlike Tony, I’m just not willing to give it up completely!), and more whole grains.

    I’ve been using reusable bags for several months now, and I love it! The cashiers at Walmart are almost used to it by now, although I do get a few “you’re one of those hippies aren’t you?” looks. I use string bags for groceries, but Home Depot sells these terrific bags that have clips on the sides that hook over the sides of a shopping cart, and they are GREAT! I use those for going to Home Depot, or Sam’s, or places like that. James actually took one back to college, and reported that they work well in Target carts also. I’m tickled that he’s adopted my “no plastic bags” pledge! And Amanda said that she found Seventh Generation laundry liquid and dishwasher liquid at Publix in Tuscaloosa, so she’s started buying that! I’m proud of them both!

    Didn’t mean for this to be so long! Hope to see you soon!

  2. Annette Thomas

    Hey, I read your post and I have also decided to set some goals. One of which is to start my blogging again. So you can go there to see my other goals. I’m glad to hear all is well with ya’ll. Mark is doing great too. His sugar is staying below 150 most of the time and even under 120 some!!WOO HOO!!! Love ya’ll.

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