Friday, January 3, 2014

2014 Resolutions

Last year I purposely wrote measurable, documentable, and (seemingly) attainable New Year's Resolutions in an attempt to 1) hold myself accountable and 2) hopefully end the year on a note of achievement.

As we all know, that plan didn't lead to greater success than any other New Year's Resolution plan I've tried.

So this year, instead of focusing on resolutions that cause stress by setting me up for failure (or at least partial failure), I'm focusing on resolutions that promise to positively impact my and/or my family's physical health, emotional well-being, financial stability, or overall quality of life.

Here's what I came up with:
  • Eat cleaner. Specifically, I'd like to bake my own bread and granola bars. If you have a recipe for an easy, tasty, and nut-free granola bar, please share!
  • Spend less. I don't spend frivolously, but in the coming year I plan to keep better track of where our dollars go and purchase only what we really need.
  • Streamline my volunteer efforts. This will occur naturally come fall, when both Will and Hallie attend the same school, but I can expedite the process by simply waiting to say "yes" to volunteer requests until I've had the opportunity to evaluate whether or not the nature of and time commitment for the request make sense for me and my family. 
  • Date my husband. Traditional weekend evening dates don't always for us, both because of our vastly different schedules and because paying for good childcare (which we are extraordinarily blessed to have) makes child-free activities cost twice as much, so our plan is to trend toward lunch dates, coffee shop "work" dates, and at-home-after-the-kids-fall-asleep dates.    
  • Stop feeling guilty. About eating a brownie two brownies for dessert, drinking a Blue Moon on a Tuesday evening, reading a book instead of writing or researching while the kids are at school, and focusing my energy on people who build me up (instead of on those who weigh me down, which I admit to doing in the not-so-distant past).
  • Teach Hallie to read and tie her shoes. Though teaching Hallie to read made it onto my 2013 list, she just wasn't ready last year. Now that Hallie's both academically and mentally rearing to go, I plan to help her reach her goal. And along the way I'll teach her to tie her shoes, because just like parents reach a point when they're ready to be done changing diapers, parents also reach a point when they're ready to be done tying shoes. I'm there.   
  • Finalize our will. Though we've made arrangements for our children should something unfortunate happen to us, Tom and I MUST finalize this document before the end of 2014.  
  • Paint my front door. Red? Green? Black? I'm conflicted.
  • Learn American history. I recently realized how little I know about American history. My fifth grade teacher spent 30 minutes a day covering the Revolutionary War through the Civil War, but after I graduated from Mrs. Nowakowski's class I never saw another American history text book. Not in middle school, high school, or college. As an educated adult and the parent of a school-aged child who will soon embark on his own journey to learn about the history of our country, I find this gaping hole in my education appalling, so much so that I'd like to begin filling the gap. To be clear, my goal isn't to become a history buff. My goal is to understand a bit more about who we are and where we came from…and to be able to hold my own should I ever appear on the game show "Are you Smarter than a 5th Grader?". 
  • Learn Texas history. What better time to learn about the history of my current home state than while I'm already learning about the history of my home country? I hope these history "lessons" turn out to be educational, yes, but also fun and something Will (and maybe Hallie, in some cases) and I can enjoy together. 
  • Read books and watch movies. It seems silly to include reading and movie watching on a New Year's Resolution list, but because I have trouble finding the time to do both, onto the list they go.

I think that's it for this year. I'll check in at the end of June, hopefully with news of success and growth!

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