Posts tagged resolutions
When thinking about my goals for April and looking at some of the items I tentatively had on my list for May, I realized that my 6 goals can be pretty easily separated into 6 categories: house & home, crafty, Emma-related, health & wellness, something I’ve been putting off, and a freebie. With that in mind, it was pretty easy to finalize May’s list, and I think those categories will serve me well in the future!
Clean up the rest of my office. I shared a photo yesterday of how lovely my desk looks now that it’s clean. But the photo above shows the area BEHIND my chair. And believe it or not, 95% of that stuff was already there and in that disatrous state BEFORE I cleaned off my desk. (In other words, I didn’t just dump stuff from my desk onto the floor!)
Make a wedding photo album. Our 4th anniversary is approaching and I have yet to actually do anything with our wedding photos other than print two — one that hangs as part of a gallery wall in Emma’s room, and one that sits in a frame on our TV console. Ridiculous! If you have suggestions on a good place to get a high quality book done, let me know.
Write Emma’s birth story. I have rough notes that I want to actually put together into more of a narrative. And I need to do this before I forget everything. The little details are already starting to get hazy, 9 months later…
Schedule a regular cleaning service. Coming home to a clean house is awesome, but the act of cleaning itself is just so far down my list right now. I’ve hired a cleaning service twice now, both for a one-time cleaning. It was WONDERFUL. I’m ready to finally hire someone who can come on a regular basis, probably every 2-3 weeks.
Complete M.A. project outline. Baby steps!
Finish decorating the guest room. Remember how I planned to makeover the guest room before Emma was born? Hahahaha! I’m hilarious. The room is in a perfectly good state, but I still have the giant roll of fabric that I planned to turn into a wall curtain. This month I’d like to finish that, clean out a bit of post-baby clutter that has accumulated, and call the room done.
May goals are coming tomorrow. In the meantime, here’s how I did with my April goals.
Go to bed by 10:30 on weeknights. I tracked this goal using the “Way of Life” app on my phone, which shows that I was in bed by 10:30 on ~30% of “school nights” last month. That doesn’t sound great, but I’m calling this a partial success because my rate for March was more like 10%. Setting the goal was still useful because it made me more conscious each night of trying to be in bed at a more reasonable time, and of trying to get a little more sleep.
Make a Harry Potter paper-pieced quilt/blanket for Baby V. I’ll post the details of this in a few days, but this was the secret project that I didn’t give the full details of last month because it was a gift for my friends Katie and Andrew’s new son, Robert! He was born on April 15 and I think this gift may have actually arrived while they were still in the hospital! It’s a taggie blanket that I hope he enjoy as he gets a little bigger and learns how to grab at things. Too bad they live in Ohio; Robert would be another great little friend for Emma.
Let Emma play outside. We did a pretty good job of getting fresh air last month! We took several family walks, the weather in North Carolina was great, and now we’re doing swimming class! While Jose and I were on our “vacation within a vacation,” my mom even took Emma down to the park in Charlotte for her first time in a swing! She looks kinda skeptical, but I’m told that she enjoyed it!
Identify and scope my M.A. project FOR REAL. I did some quality thinking about this, and THEN I got an email from the department announcing a new option for completing the degree’s capstone requirement. Given the extreme difficulty/laziness I’ve had trying to get this project done, the new option may work out much, much better for me. More to come on that!
Clean up the surface of my desk in my office. I purposefully chose to clean just the desk surface because I thought it would be a more manageable first step, and it was. The entire surface was COVERED before, and now I have all kinds of space to spread out whatever I happen to be working on. On the left are all my cute photos and trinkets, then obviously my computer (and my work laptop is open in front because I had to finish up a presentation on Tuesday night when I took this photo). I turned two magazine holders I already had on their sides to serve as files for the stuff I need to take action on and they work ok, although I’ll pick up something a little more functional at Target the next time I’m there. AND I finally took my Silhouette machine out of the box! I ordered this as a present to myself last summer but didn’t get a chance to set it up before Emma was born. I still need to plug it in and install the software and figure out how it works, but at least it’s out!
Find a beach rental in Port Aransas for June. I looked some more but still haven’t reserved anything. I didn’t anticipate it being quite this much of a challenge!
First I had yearly resolutions. Then I switched to quarterly goals. That worked better, but I think for these to be most effective, I need an even shorter time scale. So instead of posting goals for April through June, I’m going to try setting some proactive (but also achievable!) goals just for April. To make it a little more fun — and to put them somewhere besides my blog in order to see them on a daily basis — I made a chart based on this cute post-it goal list from Cornflower Blue Studio and pinned it to the bulletin board next to my desk at home.
Go to bed by 10:30 on weeknights. This was an unwritten goal I had back in January, and I was successfully going to bed at a decent hour at least 3 or 4 nights a week. But then February and March were unexpectedly busy and I fell off the wagon. I’m so much happier and more zen about life in general when I’m well-rested. I’ve known this about myself for years, and yet sleep is the first thing I let go when things get hectic when it should be something I prioritize no matter what. That’s pretty typical of most people, I think. But I’d like to spend April getting back into the 10:30 bedtime habit.
Make a XXX paper-pieced quilt/blanket for XXX. I blurred out identifying details, but I have a project on the docket this month to be given as a gift. I don’t think the person in question reads my blog, but I erased it just in case. Paper-piecing is a quilting technique that allows you to make some really intricate blocks and I’ve been wanting to try it for a while — and I found the perfect block to give it a go.
Let Emma play outside. The way I wrote that sounds pretty funny, as if I actively confine her to the house or something. What I really mean is that I just want to make sure Emma is getting some time outdoors to sit on a blanket in the grass, feel the sun on her face and the wind in her hair, etc. We only have another month of so before it starts to get oppressively hot, so we need to take advantage of the weather now!
Identify and scope my M.A. project FOR REAL. This needs to be broken down into smaller bits if I have any hope of getting it done. By the end of April, at a minimum, I want to have my M.A. project 1) identified and 2) well-defined with an outline and timeline of work to come to finish by the end of 2013.
Clean up the surface of my desk in my office. This refers to my home office, which is a continual disaster area. I’ll go through a week or two where I start cleaning it up, but I never fully finish and stuff begins to pile up again. In April, my goal is to clean up the desk itself. If I can get that done, it’ll be a good start.
Find a beach rental in Port Aransas for June. We want to spend a week in Port Aransas or North Padre Island this summer to give us both a nice vacation and plenty of time with Jose’s family in nearby Corpus. We’ve done a little looking, and the prices are a lot more than I had anticipated! I think part of the problem is that most rental homes are set up to sleep 8, 10, or even 12 people — and $3000 for a week is a steal if you’re splitting it 10 ways. But we need something that sleeps maybe 4. With a price to match. They exist, but I need to set aside some more time to look.
And that’s that! My goals for April, along with a visible reminder of the six things I’ve chosen to work on this month!
And how’d I do for first quarter of 2013? Not too bad, actually.
Find a workout schedule that works — and stick to it. This goal led directly to buying a treadmill. Since then, I’ve run or walked at least 1 mile every day and plan to continue through at least mid-May. Realistically, my I know that my “streak” won’t last forever, but for now I’ve found a schedule that works to at least get me a modest bit of activity each day.
Make progress my M.A. project. Not so much. Hence breaking it into smaller chunks in a last-ditch effort to be successful.
Sew a clothing item with my serger. I made a diaper cover (blog entry to come soon) to match the smocked dress my mom made for Emma! And I’m still working my way through a Craftsy class that teaches basic serger skills to increase my confidence.
Read 5 books. Done! Woohoo! And I added a Goodreads widget to the sidebar to show my progress towards reading 20 books this year.
Take a “Mommy & Me” swim class with Emma. I decided to wait until a little farther into spring to start these, but I’m going to sign Emma up for classes at a local swim “academy” for the month of May.
Outsource undesirable tasks — and be ok with that. I get over any lingering guilt about not being able to maintain my own home every time I outsource something. Because they do it better! We now have a regular lawn guy, and have had the house cleaned a few times. We also scheduled a landscaper for next week to re-do our big front flower bed.
Paint my fingernails once a week. I was successful with this for the first month or so and then stopped because my nails got really brittle and kept breaking — and I am STILL having issues with breakage. I’ve never had strong fingernails, but this is different. Maybe my nails aren’t meant to be painted on a regular basis??
Last year instead of making resolutions for the whole year, I came up with smaller lists of goals for each quarter. I like that approach a little better than “resolutions” so I intend to continue it this year! So by the end of March, I’d like to:
Find a workout schedule that works — and stick to it. I HUGELY underestimated the amount of time I would have to run once I went back to work, especially with the sun going down so early since it’s winter. If I want to work out, I now realize that it has to be one of my top 2 or 3 weekday priorities — basically the first thing on my list after my family and my job. I’m 15 pounds above my pre-pregnancy weight, and those pounds are going nowhere until I get back in the habit of exercising.
Make progress my M.A. project. How many times can I list this as a goal before I give up? We’ll find out, I guess. Jose is tentatively planning to take a class this semester, and since he’ll be gone one night per week doing that, we’ve agreed that I get one night per week for my stuff. And by my stuff, I mean my SCHOOL stuff. I don’t want to tell Emma someday that I was one project away from a second Master’s degree and never finished because I got lazy.
Sew a clothing item with my serger. Jose gave me a serger for Christmas! I’d been eyeing one for a while but hadn’t been able to convince myself to pull the trigger. It’s a different kind of sewing machine that sews with 2, 3 or 4 threads to make stitches like those you see on a lot of clothes and store-bought decor items. In other words, it’ll make my sewing sturdier and look more professional. (It doesn’t replace my old machine thought; the two machines have different purposes.) I want to use it to make several things, including at least one decent clothing item for myself or Emma.
Read 5 books. I’m going to take another shot at reading 20 books this year, so hopefully I can get 5 read between now and the end of March. Like I’ve said before, I really do enjoy reading, but I too often let other things take priority. Part of the issue is that if I start reading something and don’t really get into it, I just stop entirely instead of just picking a different book and moving on. I know, it’s weird.
Take a “Mommy & Me” swim class with Emma. This is more for me than her, because I just think it’ll be fun! My local YMCA does parent/child classes starting at 6 month. Emma will be 6 months old in February, and they’ve got a session starting in March!
Outsource undesirable tasks — and be ok with that. There are a ton of housekeeping and home maintenance things that frustrate me when they don’t get done promptly, yet neither I or Jose has much time to do them. On top of that, let’s face it — they’re not always fun tasks. Still, I’ve always felt guilty about the idea of having someone else clean my house or mow my lawn. They just seem like tasks I should be able to handle. But this fall I got over some of that and hired a lawn guy — and guess what? The yard looked fantastic. Then the Friday before Christmas, I hired a cleaning service to do a detail house clean. Guess what? The house looked GREAT. It’s time to get over the guilt, thank my lucky stars that we have the resources to hire someone else, and outsource the stuff that I don’t want to have to spend my own time doing. (Next item on the list? Getting someone else to dig up the dead bushes in our front beds and re-plant.)
Paint my fingernails once a week. A nice, easy, self-indulgent goal! Painting my fingernails keeps me from picking at them, which helps them grow a little longer and makes them look nicer.
So that’s a pretty good start to 2013 I think!
And how’d I do for the last quarter of 2012? Read. My goal for 2012 was to read 20 books. I fell just short with 18, and 3 or 4 of those are baby books that I read in bits and pieces as needed instead of all at once. I did no reading — other than the baby stuff — for the first two months after Emma was born, but I rebounded and finished 5 books between October and December! Make Emma a Halloween costume and a Christmas stocking. Emma was an adorable Piglet for Halloween, and her cross-stitched Christmas stocking is underway, so I consider this goal accomplished! Train for the Houston Half Marathon? I wasn’t doing well, but was at least covering the bare minimum for a while. But then I injured myself at the beginning of December. My calf muscle seems to have recovered, but then I missed the opportunity for a weekend run when Jose and I both got sick. UGH. The half marathon is two weeks away. I have to decide whether I’m going to go, run a couple miles, and walk the rest…or whether I’m just going to skip it. Get our finances in order. We made really good progress on this. The only big thing we still need to do is make a will.
Get ready for baby? I didn’t quite finish the nursery before Emma’s arrival (it’s still not done, but oh-so-close), but all in all I think we were as ready as was reasonably possible! (Is anyone ever REALLY ready for their first baby?) Read 6.5 books? My goal is still to finish 20 for the year, but I’m going to have to do a lot of reading in the next few months to make that happen. Start training for the Houston Half Marathon? In progress! I’ve been back to running for a few weeks now and it’s going pretty well. I’ll be doing the Space City 10-Miler on October 14 as a relay, which I’m excited about even though I will be slooooow. Finish the guest room makeover? This didn’t happen, not surprisingly. Ah well.
I go back to work in 3 weeks and obviously have a small baby now, so I doubt I’ll get too much accomplished by the end of the year. Still, here are a few goals to close out 2012:
Read. I really do want to have read 20 books by the end of the year. I know it’s an arbitrary goal, but it helps me remember that I do like reading — it’s just that I too often let other things take priority when I have down time. I’ve read 9 full books (and am almost done with the 10th) and large portions of several baby-related books. I’m not quite sure how to count the baby books, since I’ve been using them more like references. I don’t read them cover-to-cover, but I do read the portions I need! There are 4 main books in my current rotation, which would put me at 14 for the year if I count those. And since 14 is closer to 20 than 9, I just decided that guess what — they count! Ha.
Make Emma 1) a Halloween costume and 2) a Christmas stocking. The Halloween costume is for fun, because hey — I realize I only get 2, maaaybe 3 years before Emma will have an opinion about what she wants to be for the holiday. The Christmas stocking is because I don’t want her to have some plain store-bought stocking. My siblings and I all have beautiful cross-stitched stockings that my grandmother made for us, and I want Emma to have something similarly sentimental. Cross stitch takes forever, and stockings have a ton of stitching, so a better goal might be to have it ready for 2013 — but I can at least get started.
Train for the Houston Half Marathon. I use the word “train” very loosely here — really I just want to be ready enough to put forth a decent effort. It’s highly possible it will be my slowest half marathon ever and I’m totally ok with that. I know it will be hard to find time to run this fall, especially once I’m back at work. But I want to be able to do more than just walk the whole thing!
Get our finances in order. Now that Emma’s here, there are several things that need to be done — some small, some big. We need to review our budget now that it includes daycare and the increased premium of a family health insurance plan. We’re in the process of setting up a college fund. And now, more than ever, we need to get around to writing wills and making sure we have a reasonable amount of life insurance. There’s a little girl who needs to be taken care of!
I think that’s a pretty good list for the next 3 months!
Get ready for baby. Still in progress, but we’re in good shape to make it! As long as she doesn’t come too early…hear that, baby? Sew another quilt. Done! I made one for Erin’s baby boy and I’m finishing up another blanket for Kelly. Read 5 books. I managed 3.5. Time for some catch up! Keep exercising. We’ll call this a partial success. The hot weather has not made this easy in recent weeks. Time to pick it up for the next month. Complete my M.A. project. I don’t even know what to say on this one anymore. It may be time to just accept that I will never do this. That makes me sad, but obviously I haven’t considered this a high enough priority to make it happen in the last 3 years.
Time for goals for now through September! This will be a fairly short list:
Get ready for baby! Finish the to-do list. The biggest items still remaining are finding a pediatrician and choosing a daycare. We also need to finish the nursery, although we’re waiting on the dresser to be delivered to store all the great things we’ve been given for baby girl.
Read 6.5 books. That would get me back on track to finish 20 this year. I have no clue whether this is realistic in the next 3 months. On one hand, it seems possible that reading will be a good activity to do while feeding the baby? I’ve heard of several people who play on their phones or watch TV while feeding — and definitely while pumping. But maybe not. We’ll see, I guess. I should probably try to just read as much as possible in the next few weeks before baby arrives.
Start training for the Houston Half Marathon. I entered the lottery with a bunch of my coworkers and we got in! I get excited when I think about getting back out to the races, since I’ve really missed it this year. Realistically, I won’t be able to start running again until the beginning of October (~6 weeks postpartum if she arrives close to her due date) but I want to do what I can in the next 3 months. I hope baby likes the stroller because I plan to take her on lots of walks until I’m cleared to run!
Finish the guest room makeover. This really needs to happen in the next 2-3 weeks if I want to make sure it happens at all!
That’s it for now. I can think of several other things I’d like to accomplish, but with baby due to arrive in a mere 5-ish weeks (holy crap), the “get ready for baby” category really covers it all.
Back in January, I posted some goals for the first quarter of the year. Let’s see how I did…
Complete my M.A. project? It’s not done, but the actual goal wasn’t to have it done by March. I’ve made some progress. Read 4 books? I read 5! Woo! (This was drastically aided by the Hunger Games trilogy.) Sew myself a skirt? Done! I haven’t posted about it yet because it wasn’t a complete success, but I sewed myself one of these easy maternity skirts. The sewing part itself was fine, but it’s not the most flattering cut for me — it looks a little bulky at the top. I want to try again with a pattern that is more of an a-line. Declutter/clean up the study? I actually made great progress on this through the end of February by setting a timer for 30 minutes and doing what I could…and then totally backslid through March when I was spending a lot of time in there working on the Miss Houston pageant program.
So I figure it’s time for some goals for now through June! This may be the last quarter I get anything done anyway, since baby will be here in August to upend our lives forever. (Yay! But scary!) Here we go:
Get ready for baby! Um, I have a VERY long list of things to do before baby arrives. It includes everything from buying a new (or new-to-us) car to putting together the baby’s room. And a WHOLE LOT of other stuff, obviously.
Sew another quilt. Recipient TBD. (Although of course, yes, I do want to make one for my own baby!)
Read 5 books. Goodreads had a little “yearly challenge” thing that I signed up for in January, and I said I’d read 20 books. I’m on track through the end of March and should be able to continue.
Keep exercising. I know this won’t be entirely in my control, but barring something unforeseen, I do hope to be able to continue walking or swimming through the summer even as I get larger.
Complete my M.A. project. I need to make serious progress on this. Baby is providing such a convenient deadline for everything, isn’t she?
That sounds like a pretty good list. Heck, “get ready for baby” will be enough of an accomplishment!
(Old school Soviet space/Happy New Year posters from Roscosmos’s FB page)
I’m not going to review last year’s resolutions because I failed pretty miserably at most of them. I failed pretty bad at my 12 by 2012 too. Ah well. I’m not bothered. I like to set goals, and it’s good to have something to work towards.
I think the main problem with listing them here on my blog is that I forget about them after I post! So after I write down this list, I’m going to print it out and stick it somewhere that I’ll see it. I’m also going to go by quarters this year. Instead of year-long goals, for now I’m going to think about what I want to get done between now and the end of March:
Complete my M.A. project. Because seriously, it’s never going to get done if I don’t do it this year. I won’t complete it by March, obviously, but I need to make significant progress. This should take top priority.
Read 4 books. Reading is pretty much the only resolution I completed 100% last year.
Sew myself a skirt. I’ve found a few patterns that should work well for me but I keep putting this one off because I have a couple other projects to finish. But this is the one I really want to do, so why not just do it?
Declutter/clean up the study. It’s a big task. I do a little bit, and then give up for a while because it never seems like I make any headway. This is one of those things that would probably benefit from the “30 minutes a day” strategy. Do a little bit every day.
That seems like a good start for 2012!
I mentioned yesterday that when I’m wallowing, I get the urge to start checking things off random lists. Last week I took a look at my goals for 2011, since we’re now halfway through the year. I’m not doing very well, so it’s nice that I still have six months to go! I think I’ll print out this list and put it above my computer at home so that I’m reminded every time I’m in the office.
Finish my M.A. in Digital Media Studies. I’m technically halfway done in the sense that I registered for the class last semester and started work on my project. I’ll register for the second half this fall. But in terms of actual work done, I’m definitely behind. I’ve had some communication issues with my professor but hopefully those are now in the past. I’ve got a lot left to do, but I’m confident I can make it happen.
Make a budget. I started one, but didn’t get very far before I got distracted. No reason I can’t dig it up and finish it.
Around the house. I haven’t done the four things I listed, but we have done a number of other minor “home improvement” tasks so I’m going to give myself partial credit…for now.
Make our wedding album. No action here. The Digital Media Master’s project takes priority, so I honestly don’t know if I’ll get this done this year. We’ll see.
Read 18 books this year. I’ve already read 10! I’m ahead of schedule! Woot! My Kindle is helping, but it’s really just that I’m consciously trying to read more. I like to read but so often it gets shuffled to the bottom of the priority list.
Run 625 miles. I’m way behind on this due to a combination of reasons, some legitimate and some not. I totaled 194.4 miles through the end of June, with some biking and a few bouts of swimming thrown in. Trying to catch up would be a tall order, so I’m going to reset this goal starting now. New goal is to run 312.5 miles — fine, 313 to make it an even number — by the end of the year. It’s been SO freaking hot that I basically never want to run outside. Thankfully the treadmill still counts as running, although last night when I got to the Y, all 16 treadmills were occupied. Fifteen people were walking. Only one person was running. I guess it’s too hot even for walking.
Hello 2011! It’s nice to meet you!
The Reverb10 prompts I answered during December pretty much took the place of a 2010 recap, and it was fun to reflect on all the fun things I did last year and some of the things I wanted to do but didn’t. (Although I have to say that a lot of the prompts seemed to be asking the same thing in different words, especially towards the end of the month. Defining moments, achievements, wonder, moments when you felt most alive — were there people who really had vastly different answers for all of those things?)
Without further ado, some of my goals for 2011:
Finish my M.A. in Digital Media Studies. I covered this one pretty well in my Reverb10 post for “Beyond Avoidance.“ Feel free to go there if you missed it the first time.
Make a budget. A resolution for 2010 that I did not accomplish. I have no excuse, and still want to do it, so it stays on the list! We are fortunate enough to have a reliable source of a comfortable income, but I want to better understand where our money is going so that we can more effectively plan for the future.
Around the house:
- Paint the master bedroom.
- Finish cleaning out the garage. (This is 75% done.)
- Make the third bedroom usable (i.e. stop using it as a junk room).
- Look into replacing the family room carpet with hardwood flooring.
Make our wedding album. Another carryover from last year, only now it’s been even longer and we still don’t have an album! I’ve done a bunch of research into it, and can never decide where I want to order from so I never make any real headway. Any album would be better than no album at this point, so I need to just make a decision and most forward.
Read 18 books this year. One more carryover from 2010. I read 12 books last year, which is not the same as 18, but it’s more than I’d read in many previous years so I’m chalking it up as a win. And with the Kindle I got for Christmas from my awesome husband, this year I’m hoping to make the full 18! That’s 12 for book club and at least 6 additional books of my choice.
Run 625 miles. My mom walked 1064 miles in 2010! I only ran 498.3 — and if I’d known before today that I was that close to 500, I would have run more yesterday! I’d like to be more consistent in my running in 2011, which means running more like I did in the past few months than what I did earlier in the year. I’m going to start small with a goal of averaging 12 miles per week, which is 624 miles in 1 year. That sounds low, but like I said, I want to start small — plus I have to keep in mind that I’ll be swimming and running as well.
Happy New Year to all!