I hope everybody had a great New Year’s! Mike worked New Year’s Eve, so I ended up taking the kids to the zoo and Chick-fil-A. It was my first attempt at going to the zoo without another adult to help me with the kids and I have to say I was impressed – the little people were exceptionally well-behaved. Jackson was on a mission to find the “Black Mamba” snake and was ecstatic once we located him.
At this point in my life I have zero desire to ring in the New Year. But my neighbors don’t feel the same way. Since their partying included an extended timeframe of fireworks…I made the most of the situation and watched Netflix and enjoyed the alone time (I’m a true introvert – I enjoy being alone).
As I watched Grace of Monaco (an excellent movie, by the way), I kept brainstorming my goals for the year…trying to make sure they are realistic. Here are a few of the main goals I’m focusing on this year:
- Read a book per week (yes, very ambitious for this stage of life but I’m going to try)
- Blog 2-3 times per week and develop my writing style
- Journal daily. I used to journal regularly and want to capture many of the moments I’m currently experiencing. My memory of many things over the past few years is a blur. I want to remember these fleeting years.
- Clean less. Ok, so confession: I can be quite obsessive about my home being clean. I have a new plan in place that should help me to still have a relatively clean home with less day-to-day cleaning.
- Spend less time on social media. Because I want to read more I’m avoiding mindlessly scrolling through Instagram or Facebook. The past few days I’ve enjoyed checking my social media at night after the kids go to bed. Not only have I read much more than usual, I’ve found I enjoy the time on social media since it’s limited.
- Grow closer to God through the She Reads Truth App. Reading before the kids are awake (preferably with a cup of coffee). Meditating every night. I love the idea of being still at the end of the day and using meditation to help me relax. It’s not going so well (being honest here!) but I’m going to keep trying. A friend sent some info. to me last night that hopefully will help. Being still for more than 30 seconds is so challenging for me!
- Stay focused on our financial goals, which include a new roof and hopefully a new bathroom as we begin renovating the upstairs.
- Train Jackson and Kate to Help More. With the pregnancy and having a baby I kinda dropped the ball on having Jackson and Kate help with chores. So we’re back with having them help with laundry, dishes, light cleaning, etc.
- Weekly date nights with Mike. Since he works 2 jobs that involve 24 hour shifts, it is quite challenging for us to make the time for a weekly date night. We were so good with weekly date nights, though, the first few years we were married and it’s something we’ve decided to prioritize this year.
When I shared about Setting Goals, I was still debating my “word for the year.” I have two words: Happy and Healthy. They are the two words that summarize so many of the goals I want to accomplish. Of course, the irony of beginning the new year with a sick child is not lost on me. Jackson missed the first day back at school because he’s recovering from a virus.
Happy because I want to create a “house of happy memories.” I want to do more of what makes me happy. I’ve always loved reading, but last year I discovered I love writing too. So I plan to continue blogging. This year I want to focus on doing what I can to promote the happiness of my family. Invest in Mike, Jackson, Kate, Lynleigh and a few key friendships.
Healthy because I can best care for my family and others when I am caring for myself. The past few years have been full of major life changes- good things. But somehow between 3 moves, caring for my husband and sweet babies, finishing my degree and being pregnant with Lynleigh and recovering from a 3rd C-section …my health has suffered. Oh, nothing serious. But little things like constantly feeling exhausted, having to go to the doctor every time I have a sniffle because it drags on and on for weeks, etc. Since I buy the food I feel responsible to teach my kids to enjoy foods that are good for them. Eating healthier, exercising consistently and sleeping more than 4-5 hours a night are part of the plan.
A few days ago I was reminded that, “There’s this beautiful thing called imperfect progress…slow steps of progress wrapped in grace” (Lysa TerKeurst). As we begin 2016 I am choosing to extend grace to myself. My progress will be imperfect. There will be bumps along the road and possible detours. But I will focus on steady, consistent progress. And I hope, by the end of the year, to be happier and healthier because I chose to take each step, however slow.