Tuesday, January 7, 2014

2014 Goals

Is it too late to write New Years resolutions?? Are you sick of reading everyone's posts about them?

Regardless of how you answered the above, today I'm sharing my goals for the new year.

(Read about how I did with my 2013 ones here.)

I'm keeping it concise this year. Just some goals that are top of mind now.

1. Make our house work for us.
After flirting with the idea for a while of trying to sell our house and find one a little larger, we decided to scrap that plan. Assuming we could actually sell without having to bring money to closing (thanks to the lackluster market, foreclosures, etc. dragging our value down), even a marginally bigger mortgage payment for a bigger place would leave us with a little less financial margin than we would like. So, that means we will be staying here for a while, likely a few years. Sure, my dreams of a playroom or a usable backyard are a bit sad, but we really do have a great house that has plenty of space.

However, there are definitely changes we can do to make our house work for us more efficiently, and to make it a happier place to be - a home we can continue loving. Some of these things we've talked about for years, but never wanted to commit to if we would soon be leaving. We plan to spend a little money (more than we would usually spend but still nothing crazy) to make the changes that will make our space livable and lovable. If we are going to be here for a while, we are gonna make it great.

2. Focus on family
We do a really great job on this already, I feel like I can honestly say. We do have a luxury of time that many don't necessarily have, yet I do think we appreciate our time we have together. Yet as our lives get busier, I want to make sure we keep that as the focus. Our family is most important - all outside stuff is second.

Now that Harper is older I want to be more intentional about us doing fun things as a family and making memories. I want Tony and I to be more intentional about our time together too - less couch/device staring and more connection. I want us to go on dates and maybe even take a trip together.  So, Family Fun times.

3. Keep fit
Well, keep working towards fitness. Don't want to mislead any of you into thinking I am fit currently. :) I want to keep eating real food whenever possible, as it clearly helped me lose weight before and we felt so good. I also want to keep at walking, with friends, Tony, solo, doesn't matter- just gotta keep at it.

4. Finally (finally!) learn how to use my camera and editing software.
I've had my camera for two years and keep swearing I will learn how to stray from automatic. Yet... I haven't. Tony got me basic photoshop for Christmas, which is equal parts awesome and daunting. I want to learn how to use both, not to impress anyone or to try to make something out of it, but simply to be better able to take good photos of our family, something I love to do.

So there we go.  4 goals - some abstract, some specific.  I think these will help us stay focused with our time, energy, and money over the next year.  Here's to a great one!

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

2013 Goals Revisited - I Did Pretty Good!

Happy New Year!  We spent a fun (non-late) evening with our small group, with an ingenious 2013 pictionary game invented by Kim and lots of food.  Then Tony and I spent New Years Day with a pilgrimage to the Atlanta Ikea (cinnamon rolls!) and lounging in stretchy pants.  Actually, just me in the stretchy pants.  Tony is actually out with Harper while I type this, because he is awesome.

I wanted to revisit the Goals I made for 2013 one short year ago.  

In the past, I've made all kinds of different goals lists.  One year, I had one phrase.  Two years, I had a list of 50 things I wanted to do (2010, 2011).  Last year I went with 8 things.  You can read that full post if you are so inclined, but here's a little breakdown on how I did (hint: not too bad!)

1.  Be Happy - January of last year hit me at a time when Harper was 6 months old and I had come out of the newborn cave, blinked into the sunlight, and was left stumped as to who I was and what my life was now all about.  I had lots of "groundhog days."  I wasn't very happy.  I just hadn't found my stride, my groove.  Happy to say that I added things to my plate, mentally rectified where I stood as a person and a wife and a mother, and made peace with it.  I figured myself out and got out of my slump.  I got happier, for sure! 

2.  Try Harder - I think I can cross this one off too!  Um, I pretty much got nothing accomplished at home in terms of cleaning or fun stuff when Harper was a baby.  What was I thinking???  I had so much time then!!!  She napped for like, 5 hours a day!  And I didn't work!  And she didn't move! Hindsight, amirite??  Again, adding things to my plate and making the most out of my time helped me check this baby off!  Our house is still a mess, let's be honest, but at least I'm making a genuine effort!

3.  Read Read - eh, I'm going to half check this off.  I did read a lot of books, however, they were mostly elementary level ones I was reading with my tutoring students.  I read some of my own books for pleasure, but not as much as I would have liked to.  At the end of the day when I do have time, I'm more likely to zombie-stare at the tv then go right to bed.  Maybe I'll work on that.... maybe not...

4.  Get Hired - Ha!  Well, this one gets checked off, but certainly not in the way I thought it would!  When I wrote these goals, I still planned on getting a teaching job in the fall.  Turns out, that didn't happen - read here  as to why.  I did get all my stuff in order, applied, got calls for interviews, all that fun stuff.  But I am meant to be home with my family right now.  

However, I did get a job - two in fact!  I tutor, which fills the teaching void and keeps me somewhat current with that world, and my work-from-home, 15 hrs a week job that allows me to bring in some money for extra expenses and feel like a productive human!  Neither of these jobs is the perfect teaching job I envisioned getting, but it works for me and where I am now.  I have less free time, certainly, but this has actually forced me to be more productive with the time I do have (see above).  I like that I can help our bottom line a bit while still being home with Harper.  It's an imperfect balance that works for me!

5.  Be Honest - I tried to do this.  I think I somewhat succeeded.  I probably did better at this on the blog than in real life (this post and this post).  I liked it.  More to come.

6.  Get Fitter - Well, I'm going to cross this one off, even if the month of December is a bad example of this... I started walking more and more throughout the year, with Kacy and Kim before they got super pregnant, then alone while they recovered.  After we did the Whole30, I lost nearly 20 pounds and felt great!  We continued to eat really clean - until the "holidays" hit and we nose-dived.  This is probably a good place to start with my 2014 goals....

7.  Be Creative - Eh, not a lot on this front.  I did some creative things, but not as much as I would have liked...

8.  Show Love - This was tied in with #1, as I wasn't happy and I was taking it out on Tony.  I'd certainly say I got better at being a nice partner as the year went on - hopefully he'd agree!  This is always an area I can improve in, though - being intentional with gratitude and love and thanks and appreciation.  


So there you go - I'd say one of my most successful years in terms of goals yet!  It was a good year, one that got better and better as it went.  Babies are hard, right?  I'd say this year stretched us as spouses and parents and individuals - but we are growing into our roles and finding joy there.  

Here's to 2014! (and 2014 goals later this week!)

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