Okay, yes I realize we are already a week into 2015, and I’m finally getting around to posting after my almost 6 month blogging break. (Yikes! Was it really that long?!) Oh, it it so good to be back! I have so much to talk to ya’ll about!
First of all, how are your New Year’s goals and resolutions going so far? You know, I used to think that I HAD to have all of my goals and resolutions set by January 1st and if I didn’t then I had already missed the boat. I thought that if I didn’t start first thing on Jan. 1st, then it wasn’t worth starting at all.
Now that I’m a little older and I hope a little wiser, I’ve learned that for me, the New Year lasts for pretty much the whole month of January. I love new beginnings, so I like to let the excitement of New Year’s overflow to the rest of them month.
I love taking time to think about things that I’m interested in and want to pursue, talk about things with my hubs and kids, read about how other people are setting their goals and what kinds of goals they’re setting, and kinda slowly work my way into thinking about my goals for the year and how I want to accomplish them.
I’ve learned that when I set New Year’s goals, I need to hold them pretty loosely. Not that I don’t want to achieve goals I’ve established for myself, but sometimes my January-self bites off a little more than my whole-year-self can chew, if you know what I mean. I think that’s a pretty common problem of my ENFP personality type.
I’ve also realized that I prefer to make shorter term goals. I really like making monthly goals, but I don’t always do it very well. So this year I’m going to try out setting quarterly goals. This gives me a little more time to work on and reach my goals, but not so long that I’ll get distracted and forget what I’m supposed to be working on. That’s important for me!
So I wanted to share a little bit about what I’ve been up to during my break, and also share five personal goals I’ve set for myself for this first quarter of 2015.
1. Start Training for a Half Marathon in June
One thing I have NOT done well during my break from blogging and working is take good care of myself. We had a crazy busy fall as a family, and my hubs ran his first marathon in October – I was super proud of him! But what happened was that he spent A LOT of time running, and I spent a lot of time not running or exercising in any way because I was hanging out with the kiddos. Of course, this was not his fault and is not really an excuse, but if you are the spouse of someone who has trained for a marathon you can probably understand what I mean.
And so, I’m out of shape. Really, really out of shape. Ugh! I’m not feeling great about it, and I know I need to make exercise a priority in my life again. I ran a half-marathon two years ago and it was a good experience, unless you ask my sister how I felt at mile 11! I think this time Jer and I are going to plan to run together, so that should be fun. I need to start regular running and training now so I can make sure I’m in shape for the race at the beginning of June.
2. Continue Reading and Listening to Audiobooks
One thing I absolutely loved during my break was having a lot more time to read. I read a ton and also got in the habit of listening to audiobooks regularly. Can I just tell you how much this has changed my life?! I used to listen to podcasts while doing housework, but I decided to sign up for Audible and listen to audiobooks and it is just amazing! I listen to exclusively non-fiction books, and I’ve been able to listen to so many amazing books – expanding my knowledge so much more than if I had to find the time to read all of those books.
Now, while I’m cleaning the kitchen, washing dishes, folding laundry, driving my kids to and from school, or whatever other mundane tasks I’m doing, I can be learning and growing and expanding my mind. I want to be a life long learner, and reading is such an important part of that for me. My goal for this first quarter is to read one book a month and listen to one book. That puts me at 2 books for the month and 24 books for the year, which is not a bad number for me. I may be able to read and listen to more, but I really don’t want to set too high of a goal for myself in this area.
I’ll share next week my favorite books I read in 2014!
3. Simplify Our Stuff
You guys, this one kills me, because I feel like it’s this never-ending quest I’m on: to simplify our stuff. But I just recently came across the book The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: the Japanese art of decluttering and organizing and for the very first time, I think I finally understand why. Because I don’t do it all at one time.
According to the author, “When people revert to clutter no matter how much they tidy, it is not their room or their belongings but their way of thinking that is at fault. Even if they are initially inspired, they can’t stay motivated and their efforts peter out. The root cause lies in the fact that they can’t see the results or feel the effects. This is precisely why success depends on experiencing tangible results immediately. If you use the right method and concentrate your efforts on eliminating clutter thoroughly and completely within a short span of time, you’ll see instant results that will empower you to keep your space in order ever after.”
We have never completely finished decluttering. It’s always been something that we do in different areas of our home, but never our whole entire house at the same time. This is a totally new way of looking at it for us, and I’m excited to dive in. We worked on cleaning out our bedroom after Christmas, so that we can really enjoy the amazing new furniture my hubs made and our beautiful new bedding. Now on to the rest of the house! This time we are going to get it done!
4. Keep Fresh Flowers
Okay, this one is pretty simple and easy, but makes a HUGE difference in how I feel during this time of year! When it’s a -20°F frozen tundra outside and the polar vortex is swirling around us, it’s nice to have a little bit of beauty and color inside our home. So I like to keep fresh flowers on our dinning room table until spring finally arrives and we can enjoy the beauty of flowers blooming outside in our flower beds!
5. Dates with My Family
Of course, the thing I enjoyed the most about my blogging break was time I got to spend with my family. We had some awesome vacations, great family time, and hubs and I have gone on more dates in the past 6 months than probably in the previous 6-7 years combined! And I don’t want that to stop just because I’m focusing some of my time and energy back into my work.
In fact, one thing I learned about myself during this break is that I really need this work and this place, this creative outlet and this place that is mine to work on and grow. It is life-giving and fulfilling to me, and makes me a better wife and mother. So I’ll have my time to work and write, and I’ll have my dedicated time with my family.
This will mean continuing to go on regular date nights with Jer, but also informal dates with my kids, making little things fun and exciting, game nights at home with the family, just generally enjoying each other’s company. I’ll continue to be intentional about spending lots of quality time with my people. They are always the best parts of my day.
So those are my personal quarterly goals for January, February, and March of 2015. Nothing life-shattering, but just exactly what I need right now. And of course, I have work and writing goals too – one of which is to be here on a consistent basis. I’m planning to post twice a week, on Tuesday and Fridays, along with starting up my weekly community newsletter again, which you can get by signing up here.
So I’m curious, how do you plan for your New Year’s goals and resolutions? Do you do them before the 1st or take your time throughout the month? And I’d love to hear your Myers-Briggs personality type and how you approach following-through with your goals? Of course, as an ENFP follow through is one of my biggest struggles!
What would you like to read next?
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