I’m not one to make New Year’s Resolutions. A resolution is too scary, too enormous. I’m too practical to commit to a permanent change. I know how easily I slide back into old habits and the same old routine. I find it easier to make yearly goals instead. These are smaller, more achievable tasks that can be crossed off a list (you know how that makes my heart go pitter-patter). My hubby and I have decided to make a list of family goals we want to accomplish each year. We did this last year, and found that it helped us be more intentional and keep from getting bogged down in the day-to-day ruts life can sometimes turn into. I definitely believe that having some common goals and things to look forward to makes our marriage stronger, and we want Charlotte to grow up in a family that manages our resources (time, talents, and money) well so that we can serve others and have lots of adventures together. We sat down New Year’s Day to look at our list from last year and make goals for this year. Some of the things we planned are to pay off the car, take a family trip, take a class at church together, and visit the zoo.
I also have some personal goals. I’m trying not to be too ambitious, since once I make a list I tend to become single-minded in my drive to complete each item, sometimes to the detriment of my relationships and mental well-being (for example, I drive myself crazy trying to organize my craft closet, so distracted by my task that I almost let my darling daughter roll off the bed onto a pile of cardboard boxes). But there are some tasks that I want to accomplish, and some new habits I want to develop, so I thought maybe if I write them down here it will help me be more accountable. This is not nearly as extensive as my “30 at 30” list, but it is the same idea:
1. Journal daily
It may surprise you to know that I rarely journal. I know, I know, this blog is a kind of journal. But I mean handwritten thoughts penned into an elegant, cloth-bound book…I haven’t done that sort of journaling for years. I’m too tired at the end of the day to write pages of summary and reflection. It’s not that my life is that exciting right now anyway. On the other hand, I don’t want the days to meld so much together that I forget the funny, strange, exciting, exasperating moments that do happen. I’ve seen a couple of variations of more purposeful journaling, and have decided to try a combination – a one-line thankfulness mommy journal. I know I will probably not be able to stick to one line, but this will hopefully keep me from rambling on like I’m doing right now. I’ll write a sentence (or two) about something that happened that day that I’m thankful for, and another line or so detailing a funny mommy moment, something new Charlotte did, or just venting frustration if it was an especially trying day. I really like this way of summarizing my day. It helps me put things out of my mind before I sleep, and turns my heart toward God as I reflect on His blessings that day. It only takes me five or ten minutes, and I keep the journal right by my bed so I will (hopefully) remember to do it. I’ve already missed a day, but hey, habits take time to form, right?
2. Organize and simplify our belongings
Confession: I am not always content in our house. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a wonderful house and perfect for a newly-wed couple, or even a small family. But I still find myself sighing longingly at Pinterest pictures of playrooms and kitchens with islands and built-in desks, or building castles in the air as we drive by up-scale neighborhoods, playing “wouldn’t it be nice” in my head as I plan my dream home. None of this does my contentment level any good. Our house is perfectly adequate for our needs, and I wouldn’t really want to clean a bigger house anyway. I’m hoping that as I go through and pair down what we really need, I will become more thankful for all the things we have been blessed with. I know in my head that more space to fill and decorate won’t make me any happier…I’m hoping this exercise will help my heart know it too. I know this goal is fairly general, but I plan on dividing the house into “zones” (a la the fly lady) and tackling each one. We’ve already almost finished the kitchen…details to come! 🙂
3. Write a blog post weekly (or even twice a week!)
I love blogging, and so appreciate all you loyal readers and your sweet comments. I’m toying with the idea of becoming more serious with my blogging, and I know the first step is to blog more often! I have a tentative schedule planned out and everything – Mommy Mondays, where I’ll post about a lesson learned or just some general thoughts on mommyhood or my personal development (like this post) and DIY or Organizing Wednesdays, where I’ll give directions on how to make or organize something (like the loopy bow I posted about last week). I know there’s no way I will be able to stick to this schedule all the time, but I’m hoping it will at least help me be more consistent with my posts. Please let me know if you, dear reader, have any comments or suggestions! It is so helpful and encouraging when you let me know if you enjoyed a post too!
4. Read 5 non-fiction books about God, parenting, and/or spiritual development
Another confession – my taste in books has seriously atrophied since I stopped being a reading teacher. These days my go-to book is a formulaic murder mystery, preferably one featuring a lady librarian or baker who solves crimes in her small town while being told to “stay out of the way” by a hunky police detective or P.I. Not exactly literature, but it’s something I can pick up and put down easily, since Little Britches complains when I spend hours reading without paying her any attention. Still, I know it does my brain and heart good when I read something that has a bit more substance. My first pick is For Women Only by Shaunti Feldhahn, which I’ll be reading for my Tuesday morning Bible study. I also would like to read Parenting with Love and Logic by Foster Cline, since we’re getting closer to the time when we will have to (gasp!) discipline Charlotte somehow. If any of you have other suggestions, I will gladly take them!
5. Lose the baby weight
I had high hopes to have accomplished this goal by December (9 months after having Charlotte) but, though I’d made good progress, I wasn’t quite there yet. Then the holidays happened, and you know how dieting goes then…out the window. I decided to borrow the philosophy of a new friend I made at MOPS, that this was a “feasting season” and I would enjoy it to the fullest without feeling guilty. But now the holidays are officially over and it’s back on the wagon I go. My hopeful goal is to be back to pre-baby weight by Charlotte’s birthday at the end of April…we shall see.
So there you have it, five goals to accomplish by the end of 2013. I will keep you posted (ha! :)).