I hesitate to use words like “resolutions” to describe my goals for the next year. But I do have some goals, and a fresh page of the calendar is as good a time as in to put them out into the universe so I can be held accountable. There are things we’re always trying to do – raise a genius, cook instead of ordering takeout, etc. – but these are the eight things I consciously want to focus on in the months ahead.
1. Be consistent with my exercise and diet.
I had a lot of success last year with losing weight and getting in shape. “But you had surgery!” people might say. “It was easier for you!” Yeah, no. “Easy” really isn’t what bariatric surgery is. My diet has changed drastically. I have to exercise or I can gain all the weight back – just like everyone else. After my half marathon, I took a break to recover. That break extended well past the two weeks my physical therapist recommended, all the way through the holidays, and right up to the present day. I’ve done some running, but not anything you’d call consistent training or part of a plan. And my eating has also been less of a focus; instead of planning my meals I’ve been more content to down whatever is in front of me (and I’m probably doing my band no favors with those attempts at eating french fries and pizza crust, two foods that have proven to be inedible for me now). I have two big weekends with a lot of running (and a lot of food temptations) coming up, and my lack of training is going to show. The best I can do now is get back into my routine – a routine I was comfortable maintaining for the bulk of last year – and lose the last twenty pounds that will get me to my goal weight.
2. Learn to draw.
This might seem random, but it’s something I’ve always wanted to do and have never taken the time to focus on. I have the type of personality that wants to learn and do everything (hence the name of my blog – my life is one big project at times), but for 2014, drawing and illustration is the thing I’ve picked to put some energy into. It also dovetails into some professional goals I have for myself, namely product development and dipping a toe back into the stationery world (only custom this time; inventory and its added expenses are not my friend). I’ve ordered a few books on Kawaii illustration, a simple and cute style from Japan, and am choosing to start there since it seems to be closest to what I envision my “style” being.
3. Stay crafty.
I’ve been in the process of cleaning out my huge craft stash (and you, my loyal readers, are going to benefit with a HUGE giveaway in the days ahead). But I’ve held on to a carefully curated selection of supplies and I would like to consistently find ways to use them. My husband wouldn’t mind either; he gives my stash the side-eye every time he enters a room in our house (mostly because my stuff is all over the place). This connects nicely to learning to draw, because things I’ve drawn can become templates or components in my crafts (or products). It also gives me lots of things to write about for the blog. Win-win!
4. Participate and document.
One thing I struggle with is how to be actively involved in what my family is doing while also making sure to grab photos and jot down memorable moments so we have a good record of our lives. I can be the “official photographer” and take photos all day, but I also need to be part of the action and even make it into some of the pictures. We’ve struggled with some losses in our families this year, and being present while capturing memories has become even more important to me, if for no other reason that to have a record of our lives to share after we’re gone.
5. Turn off the television.
We watch way too much TV. And it’s pretty much my fault; Jason will turn it off unless there’s something specific he wants to see. I, on the other hand, will binge-watch a show I don’t even like just to have my TV companion on. All those other things I want to accomplish will be easier to manage if I don’t have the TV on as a constant distraction. Which leads me to…
6. Proactively manage my time.
So much of our daily lives and the time we spend on things is reactionary. We make Evan’s lunch because he has to eat. We do laundry because we’re out of clothes. And so on. I’d like to focus on scheduling my day better (and in smaller chunks) and being able to see what’s ahead and plan for it rather than waiting until the last minute. And I suspect when my time is more organized, I’ll find I have more of it (so much time is “lost” on often meaningless things like iPad games or TV or social media).
7. Keep our house clean(er).
No lie – our house is constantly a mess. And instead of using our unexpected free moments to tidy up, we check our email or post to Facebook or watch a re-run of “The League.” We need to work on a daily and weekly routine that lets us spend a minimum amount of time on cleaning while keeping things presentable (and modeling good behavior to our kid). We might have also reached the tipping point where we stop talking about hiring someone to come in and clean every couple weeks and actually hire them. Two full-time jobs (plus projects on the side) and a messy toddler mean that the big, multi-hour deep cleanings rarely happen. Also, we’re just not good at cleaning.
8. Invest in friendships.
Lately I’ve been feeling like the “B-list” friend. The one who gets invited to parties and things but isn’t the first (or even the second) person who gets a call for the last-minute trips to the movies or mani-pedi salon. I see photos our friends post on Facebook, photos of them hanging out with some of our other friends, and I try not to let it get to me. But the exclusion stings a little, and I know there are things we could do better to be sociable and involved in our social group. We’re homebodies, and socially awkward ones at that, and we need to make more of an effort at cultivating and enriching the lives of people outside our little family unit. Keeping our house cleaner ties into this one, too; if our house were company-ready, we could invite people over more often.