It’s time to talk about goals and plans and things now that I’m back from holiday break. I’ve made and failed to keep lots of resolutions. Some I’ve kept and some I’ve had to modify as I realized I had bit off more than I could chew. Not wanting to repeat past repetitive mistakes, I came up with two guidelines for setting my New Year’s goals.
- If the goal fails to excite me, I don’t make it. I have made goals because I felt I should, because someone else told me I should, because it was supposed to be the spiritual thing to do if I wanted to grow in the coming year, because everyone else was, etc., etc. However, if I’m not getting excited, it means the goal probably isn’t for me. Prayer normally confirms this. And this year, I had the Norseman review my list as well and asked him to tell me if he felt I had committed to more than I could handle, or if he felt anything needed to be changed. My hubby is very wise and discerning and I use him often as my main sounding board for ventures big and small. If you don’t have a hubby, a trusted friend, sister, brother, or mentor could do the reviewing.
- The goal needs to be defined and specific – and I need to make up my mind that it will happen. So the language I write it in will reflect these three facets. For example, I knew that I wanted to learn more about cooking & preserving this year. As I considered what new skill to focus on, we were also researching on how to eat even healthier. We discovered that fermented foods do so many amazing things for one’s health, and that became my goal: I will learn more about fermenting and do the fermenting on a regular cycle.
Because I got detailed this year, I’ve got a long list of goals: 28 to be exact. Many look more like to-do’s, and really are. They will require a one-time action, while the others will be accomplished over time. So I think it is okay that I have such a long list this year.
Here they are in, in no particular order.
- Regain my previous fitness level by September. I need to be back into pre-pregancy, pre-ridiculously-insane-music-performance-college major-schedule shape, for my health and as a job requirement.
- Learn and do more fermenting on a regular cycle. Ever since I discovered I had Hyperemesis Gravidarum while I was pregnant, we’ve been researching like mad trying to find out why and how to heal up my body so that it will be more manageable for the next pregnancy as well as for my overall health. We’ve since learned that fermented foods do amazing things for your gut microbiome. I suspect that HG has a lot to do with an unhealthy gut – or is at least made much more intense. That was enough to convince me that it needed to be my new learned “cooking” skill for this year. Oh, and the Norseman asked me to learn how. He is very sweet and very hard to turn down.
- Have scheduled laundry & cleaning days. I’ve never really done this since I moved out of my mom’s house years ago. I really never had to. But now, with an infant and a husband and a blog and other things it seems wise to actually be more intentional and schedule things to get done. Plus running out of unmentionables at the worst times and staring at mold in the shower (eek!) are both great motivators to get things on a schedule.
- Move my grocery shopping and food prep days. So right now I take Prima to pick up groceries on Mondays during the day. And then I attempt to get food semi-prepped for the week ahead later that afternoon and evening. However, we prefer to have our evenings to spend as a family and not engaged in lots of cleanup. And we have been doing a Whole30/Paleo/Primal sort of diet recently and it requires lots of prepping ingredients if you want to keep your sanity and not end up cooking all day long, all week long. We talked it over and will probably be moving my shopping day to Friday mornings, and then Norseman will help with food prep on Saturday mornings. The food we prepare will be for Sunday – Sunday.
- Develop a menu plan that is easy and versatile. You can’t do lots of new meals every day or week with our aforementioned diet. Well, you could if you had an unlimited grocery budget and a private chef. But we have neither, and a baby. Babies make it very challenging to do lots of new recipes on a regular basis. I have a menu planner spreadsheet in Google Drive that was working great pre-diet change, but now is super clunky. I think I may have already satisfactorily addressed this goal this past week, but I’ll see if it needs some refining over these next few months.
- Have a “want to read” list and assign books to each month. Make the time to get them read. I’m the sort of person that sees fifteen really interesting books at the library, and then attempts to read them all in the two week check out period – which never, ever actually gets accomplished, by the way. Life and emails and Facebook and Instagram and blogs manage to keep me from reading like I used to. Hence, this goal which will address this problem head-on and in a very adult manner.
- Begin piano lessons. Before I got pregnant this past year, I was a music performance major. I was learning how to play the piano and being classically trained as a vocalist. As you might imagine, being so nauseous that you can’t even sit up makes it very difficult to do either of those things. I dropped out of the Spring 15 semester and decided to wait until after Prima’s arrival before making any further decisions. I would love, love, love to finish my music degree, but I am also loving my life as a mama. I talked it over at length with the Norseman, who left the final decision with me. And so, I have decided to take private piano and voice lessons, but to not continue my degree. Music Performance is a suuuuper time-consuming and stressful major, and that is not something I am willing to put Prima or the Norseman through.
- Refresh my sewing skills, starting with the basics using YouTube and Craftsy courses, with the ultimate objective of being able to sew my own wardrobe, as well as clothing for the Norseman and Prima. This is a goal that does not end in 2016. It will be waaay ongoing, and so I will be taking it extra slow, and setting it aside as needed to get other things done. I’m starting with basic pieces like t-shirts and A-line skirts made from high-quality fabrics. I want to learn everything I can about proper fit and shaping for each garment before moving on to the next kind.
- Create a gift idea list of clothing sizes, favorite colors, hobbies, preferences, foods, etc. for my immediate family and close friends. I found printables for this here.
- Collect Christmas and birthday gifts all year long, not forgetting about members in our Sunday School classes, and church ministry members & spouses. I’ve been meaning to do this since forever, but never got around to it. No longer!
- Plan and address Christmas cards in the beginning of November and mail them to arrive right after Thanksgiving. I’m thinking the first week of December would be great. I read recently that is proper Southern etiquette to get cards out this early, and I want to give it a go. I also didn’t think about mailing cards until almost too late this past year, and decided to forgo them entirely rather than hand them out late.
- Collect Operation Christmas Child items all year. Our church did this and we meant to bring in boxes and then forgot to do it until the deadline had passed. Forgetfulness was a theme for a lot of 2015. Even if my brain fog doesn’t clear up as much as I hope this year, I will be doing things like this to get ahead of it so that it won’t matter.
- Get stationary with my initials on it. Another thing that is supposed to be something Southern women like to have. As many monogrammed and personalized things as I see, I can’t argue. It will be fun to have and to use, while fitting in just a teeny bit better into my newly adopted culture.
- Get an address stamp. Someone used an address stamp to send us a wedding card. And I thought, “What a great idea! It is even easier than a label!” I’ve got a really pretty one picked out on Amazon and looking forward to ordering it!
- Have a list of people to call/text/email/write once a month at minimum. I am one of the most introverted people you could get to know. I hate, I dread, phone calls. Text is okay, and email is even better. Letter writing is so much fun and so nostalgic. I am also very bad at keeping in touch with people on a regular basis, whom I don’t see every week or every day. I want to do so much better at building intentional relationships this year, and this will help me to remember to do so!
- Start using a prayer journal again. It was so nice to see answered prayers, as well as to have a list to keep me focused while praying. My mind tends to wander when I least want it to, and then I can’t remember who or what I was praying for.
- Find prayer prompts for the Norseman and Prima. This is so that I can pray Scripturally for them. I found 31 day prayer challenges here and will be going through them once a month this year.
- Estimate big expenses by month. This might also be called “planning your sinking funds.” It will be helpful for Norseman, who does the budgeting, to know what big expenses to forecast each month, so he can pre-adjust that category accordingly.
- Print car maintenance logs, update them, and create maintenance binders for the cars. We have these maintenance record binders for vehicles at work. I love it because you can record problems when you first notice them, track routine maintenance, and see how much things like oil changes and tire rotations cost the last time you had it done. I was doing this for my own car before I got married, and then got lazy. With two older cars and no plans to go into debt to get a new one anytime soon, we need to stay on top of maintenance so that these ones stay working as long as possible.
- Spend time with _____ and build up a better friendship. This is a girl we know whom I would really like to get to know better. I won’t give any more details in respect to her privacy. We both enjoy her company a lot, so this will be a fun one.
- Take Henry (the dog) and Prima on more walks. Because that little Jack Russell Terror needs it, and we want Prima to be accustomed to going on regular walks.
- Be more social/present with people in person and less so online. Schedule time on social media rather than browsing it whenever. Set up a “social” calendar that plans nights to visit/have people over regularly.
- Start an Etsy shop. I want to help pay down our combined debts faster and get some experience running a small, at-home business, among other things. That’s all I can say about this one except that the photos in this post are related to this goal. Sorry, no more hints until next week.
- Be open to starting college in the fall. No, not for Music Performance. This would be to finish my other degree in Business/Finance. I’m not sure yet if fall will be a good time to start back up, so I’m going to keep assessing that possibility throughout the year.
- Make a plan for rotating the outdoor flowers & potted herbs seasonally. Basically, figure out what I want to grow each season, then do it during the first few weeks, based on weather.
- Start a yard sale/thrift store wish list. Pray to find those things on it. I did this some last year, and we saved so much money on baby items. I also prayed for very specific items, and was able to find those exact brands or styles at the price I was willing to pay.
- Scan important papers & get a system in place to go paperless. This will be for almost all papers, except the most important ones. There are some things I am just not comfortable with not having a hard copy of. I will be blogging about this process, so you’ll hear more about it this year.
- Find a way to publish a post later to Instagram. I think there is an app for this, but I’d like to do it from a social media manager instead. I don’t know if this is possible yet. But it would be sooo helpful at times, especially for some of my longer Instagram posts.
There you have it. My goals are mainly centered around these broader themes: intentional relationships, home management & organization, fitness, and homemaking skills. Hopefully this will help you to take your own broad goals and narrow them down for this coming year.