Abraham, Rachel, Soren and Liam. Our life together in Smalltown, Idaho.

Thursday, January 02, 2014

Old Year/New Year

I love the New Year.  I heard someone comment once that they thought New Year's Resolutions were dumb because it was such an arbitrary time to set goals.  I disagree.  I mean yes, if you think about it, it's arbitrarily picked-- but because it's a time that we're all aware of, the New Year provides a great marker for stopping to review progress and regroup and move forward.  It's nice to be able to look over the year and say, "At the beginning of this year I set out to do this and this and this....and maybe I didn't do all of that, but look at the progress I did make in those areas.  I'm better than I was a year ago.  And I can be better in a year than I am today.  Go team!"

2013 has been a good year for me.   My New Year's resolution was to figure out why I was so tired all the dang time and fix it.  I did make a solid effort in that direction and, while I identified neither a definite cause nor a dramatic solution I would say that my energy levels have increased somewhat.  It's not such an increase that I've given up my 3-hour-long Saturday and Sunday naps.  But I do feel less draggy overall.  And!  I made some other gains in 2013.

Here are some of my/our achievements from the past year:
  • Abe and I paid off our student loan!  Now all we have left, debt-wise, is our mortgage. 
  • Also, we started saving for retirement!  Abe completed the year-long waiting period to be eligible for the 401K plan through his job, so we've finally started to invest some money every month.      
  • I got a job doing what I love.  Yippee!    
  • I was really, really brave and threw a neighborhood party at my house.  I invited all the people who live on my street (including the ones I don't know and the ones I'm scared of) to our house for chili, cider, and cookies.  Not very many people actually came, but I still considered it a rousing success for courage.   
  • We became a diaper and pull-up free household in 2013.  Thank the Lord.  
  • We refrained from selling either of the children on eBay.
  • I attended Mid-week Relief Society meeting like 6 times. (That's about 5 more times than I did last year.)
  • We started recycling.  
  • I kept our lawn alive all the way through September.  And mowed it pretty much every week.  
  • I made some peace with God and have praying more regularly than I have in a very long time.  I can sometimes even read the scriptures without too much angst and hair-tearing.  
  • I exercised regularly (three times a week) through the entire year. 
  •  I've spent a lot of time thinking about what I would like to achieve over the next year.
There are a million ways in which I would like to improve this year, but, noting that my energy levels haven't exactly skyrocketed, I'm going to try and prioritize.  Here are my biggies:

1) Love better.  Spend more time with the people who matter the most.  Focus on giving rather than receiving love.  Be a better wife.  Be a better mother.  (I've established a whole 'nother blog to tackle this one)

2) Be more positive.  Refrain from thinking Debbie Downer thought, such as "I'm so tired, I'm going to die."  Post uplifting quotes throughout the house.  Remember to be thankful for opportunities to grow and, per Jillian Michael's instructions, to be comfortable with being uncomfortable.  Remember that fear sees problems and love sees solutions.

3) Prettify the house.  Specifically:  refinish the hardwood floor, paint the kitchen cupboards, paint the kitchen table and island and dresser, refurnish the front room, install baseboards in the kitchen.

4) Write that dang novel.  I can do it.  I can do it!

5) Eat more healthfully.  Cut out sugar and white flour.  Increase fruits and vegetables.

6) Get over my phone phobia.  Answer the phone even if I don't want to.  Call people even when I'd really rather just text them.

7) Play the organ better.  Buy organ shoes.  Actually practice once a week.

8) Track household spending more carefully.

9) Read scriptures at least 3 times a week.

10) Continue exercising at least 3 times a week.  Be able to do 50 man push-ups in a row.

11) Continue praying at least 3 times a week.

12) Learn how to blow dry my hair with a round brush.

13) Teach Soren how to ride a bike without training wheels.

14) Plan and cook healthy, nutritious dinners 3-4 times a week.

15) Improve our family's food storage/emergency preparedness.  Make awesome 72 hour kits, first aid kits, and car emergency kits.

I've discovered I do best when I break down my goals into bite-sized pieces and use some sort of tracking system to ensure I'm making progress.  I'll be sitting down at the beginning of each month and making a plan for working towards these goals during the month.  Each Sunday I'll review my progress and make a plan for the following week.

I've decided to make peace with the fact that I will mess up and fall off the bandwagon from time to time, but that if I keep getting back up, dusting off, and trying again, I'll be able to achieve good things.

Yay for good things!

1 comment:

Cathy and Tim Hanson said...

You are amazing Rachel! I love reading your blog, you always inspire me.


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