2014 = my best year yet

Like most of you, I want 2014 to be my best year yet. In the past, I’ve set goals that were too ambitious or unsustainable for me (run a marathon, go vegan). And while I can appreciate SMART goals, this year, I want to focus on smaller changes with bigger, more lasting impact. I will revisit my goals each month, here on the blog (eek! terrified of going public with this), in hopes of holding myself accountable. It’s a long list, but I know myself, and I know that I’m better when I have more (over less) to work on. One of my favorite teachers, Mrs. Patsy Slade, said something along the lines of “the less you do, the lazier you become,” and it’s always been true for me.

  1. Get up early. This is my number one goal this year. I think it’s also the key to achieving a few of the other goals on my list too.
  2. Have date nights. Eric and I never make time for ourselves as a couple, but we are realizing that, with children, date nights need to be a priority.
  3. Find a new church home and attend regularly.
  4. Achieve higher levels of fitness. Let’s break this one out into two categories – physical and mental.
    • Physical. This one is a bit tricky, as I would love to be blessed by another pregnancy and am trying to conceive. I’m still 8-10 pounds heavier than I was pre-pregnancy, and my diet is at an all time low. I’m very active, walking and playing a lot with my boys, but I’m the most physically untoned I can remember being. So, I want to lose weight or gain less I did in previous pregnancies (40 & 50 pounds), clean up my diet, and start a more regular exercise routine that I can sustain even during a potential pregnancy. More water, more leafy greens, and actually taking my vitamins are also part of the plan.
    • Mental. I’ve struggled with post-partum depression and anger after both pregnancies, and to be honest, as happy as I am to be at home with the boys, I’ve struggled mentally since leaving a satisfying sales job. It’s so hard to put this stuff “out there”. Anyway, I need more time alone, away from my kids and husband to recharge my batteries. Eric travels 2-3 nights a week with work, the boys are not in any type of school or daycare, and we have no family in town. So, it’s often just me with the boys, and I’ve noticed I get a little cabin fever. In 2014, I want to volunteer at least once a month for a cause I’m passionate about. This should help fill some of the void from leaving my job and also provide a break from being Mommy. I always feel renewed after a few hours of alone time at Barnes and Noble or a dinner with a close girlfriend. I’m going to try to take at least one break a week, just for me.
  5. Read more books. I’m such a bookworm, but lately I’ve been spending more time surfing the web than doing actual reading. I want to read more books this year. My goal areas are classic Southern literature and Jane Austen, but I don’t plan to limit myself to these genres. Send any great book suggestions my way.
  6. Make this new house a home. We bought a new house in August, and after a couple of years in rentals, it’s so nice to have a house that is ours to make a home. Here, I want to:
    • Decorate one room at a time. In the past, I’ve tended to buy things that I liked, as I found them. That haphazard approach has helped me find some great pieces, but it has resulted in more unfinished than complete rooms. My first focus is going to be my dining room.
    • Incorporate more Feng Shui. I’m fascinated by the practice of Feng Shui. When we moved in, I cleansed the space with a sage stick and immediately purchased a rubber plant. As we continue to purchase and arrange things make this house ours, I want to be sure that I am mindful of the flow of energy.
    • Include more Montessori elements for the boys. When we thought I would go back to work full-time, we began looking for new childcare. We loved Harrison’s little school, but they didn’t accept infant, and I wanted both boys to be at the same place. In our search, we fell in love with a little Montessori school. Our tour of the school was not only enchanting, it was also very informative. I learned about the philosophy founded by Maria Montessori, and so much of it resonated with me on a real gut level. Many of her principles were the things of my own mothering intuition, were things I was thinking or doing naturally, and I want to try to intentionally include more of her ideas into our home.
    • Carve out a designated area for me and for Eric. Each of us needs a little space that is truly “mine”.
  7. Financial. I want to pay off the small amount of credit card debt we incurred while travelling over the holidays, pay off at least one of my student loans, save ahead for Christmas gifts, and rebuild our savings account after buying a new house and car this past year. I also want to find a way to bring in income myself, while still keeping the boys as my main focus.
  8. Set up a schedule. I’ve resisted this one for so long, relishing in the days with my boys, priding myself on spontaneous playdates and impromptu visits to the museum or library. But, alas, I’m just a planner at heart. I mean, I can’t remember a time when I didn’t have a paper planner, even in the midst of this “unplanning”. Also, this approach (or lack of one) has really only served to create anxiety, a messier house, and unproductive days with the boys (much less handprint art than I’d planned). I need a better balance here, and I think setting up a loose daily and weekly schedule will help with that.
  9. Curate. I want to collect our family photographs and recipes in a way that is more meaningful.
  10. Blog regularly, but be true to myself. I’d like to amp of the frequency of my posts, but I want to be sure that as I do so, I’m staying true to the things that I like and am passionate about.
  11. Keep Christmas all year. Christmas spirit, Christmas cheer, Christmas giving, Christmas magic. My one word for this year is “Christmas”.

Here’s to making 2014 the best year ever!


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