Ah, the new year. There is nothing like a fresh, shiny new year to make me want to take another stab at living more intentionally.
This year I learned a little something about goals. In 2012 I made a whole list of things I really wanted to accomplish around my house. I love working on house stuff – I mean I have a whole blog about it after all! So I figured it would be no sweat. Umm, not so much. Pretty much the whole list got derailed by a surprise (but oh so welcome) pregnancy and a whole host of other stuff we’ll throw into the category of real life. Turns out making a gigantic to-do list at the beginning of the year isn’t the best idea. Because in the course of a year a lot can change – including your priorities. By April, all of the stuff on that list of goals just really didn’t seem all that important anymore.
Then 2013 came along. One major lesson I learned in 2012 was that your whole life can’t center around one thing. No matter how much you love to craft or DIY or decorate or create, it cannot be your everything. In 2013 I was ready for some balance in my life. When I made my list of goals for 2013, it wasn’t about my house at all. It was about the things that really matter to me. The things that decide if I end the day feeling content and satisfied or unsettled and lacking. My family. My sense of self. These were things that were really important to me – not just things I thought should be important. They weren’t even necessarily things I needed to change, some of them were going along just fine. But they were the parts of my life I really wanted to focus on in the new year. I wasn’t writing a to-do list; I was deciding where I wanted to put my time and energy.
So what does this mean? Forget the to-do lists. Forget the things you think you should be better at. Focus on the things that really matter to you. Because if it really matters, you will make it happen if at all possible. And, yes, I am completely in favor of writing down what you hope to accomplish this year. Because if you don’t write it down – or at least think it through – it definitely won’t happen.
And, what do you know, I did meet most of my goals for 2013! Woo-hoo!
So here is what I had planned for 2013:
- Take risks. – Well…..I’m going to call this one not quite accomplished. I did definitely take some small steps toward doing things I normally let just pass me by. But there were still way too many days that passed in a flurry of working, laundry, dinner, bed with absolutely nothing intentional or noteworthy on the horizon. While I realize not everyday is going to be amazing and new, I think it is a huge missed opportunity not to at least try for amazing once in awhile.
- Really focus on showing my husband love in the way he best receives it. first, if you haven’t ever read The Five Love Languages, you really should. My husband’s love language is physical touch; mine is not. So how did I do with this one? Well, I figured he would be the best one to answer: “This has been one of the best years of our marriage. Carrie definitely focused more on me and It made me want to focus more on her. Even with the new guy taking up most of our time and a hectic work schedule the quality of our time together was much better than in years past. I give my wonderful wife an A+ for focusing on me and also being a pretty amazing mom, even though she didn’t ask that part.”
- Lose the baby weight – Nailed it! I may not be at my ‘dream weight’ but I am ten pounds lighter than when I got pregnant. And even had the guts to post my before and after pics online.
- Lose the clutter. After years of a bit too much thrifting and collecting, I have lightened the load a ton over the past two years. Case in point – I had my my second hoard-busting yard sale last summer. And even more importantly, I cut way back on my yard sale purchases, only buying things I really loved or truly needed. Alas, it seems like no matter how much I let go of, there is still just so much that needs to go.
- Figure out how to balance Lovely Etc. with my other responsibilities and priorities. This one took a few months to figure out, but things seem to be rolling along quite nicely now. Lovely Etc. is my ‘me’ space and that is pretty important to me to keep up, just not at the expense of my family of course.
- Take lots of pictures of my family. Done and done. I have not only taken tons of pics of our family, we also got professional family shots taken three times! (When Griff was newborn, on our beach vacation, and around his first birthday). This may seem strange for a cheapskate like me, but I love having some really high quality pictures of our family. And as the person who takes 99% of the photos in our family, I love having some great family pictures that I actually get to be in. (Plus they were stellar deals.)
- Take another crack at that list of home goals from last year. So, I didn’t finish everything on that list still. But I did do a ton of great stuff, especially considering I had a little guy underfoot. I installed hardwood floors in our kitchen and family room, de-wallpapered our bathroom, completed most of a master bedroom makeover, and painted our living and dining rooms. Not too shabby. This year I am definitely hoping to complete some more fun DIY projects – I’m getting a bit burned out on all the boring, behind the scenes projects.
- I’ve gotta tell you, I used to think New Year’s Resolutions were a huge waste of time. It turns out my resolutions just weren’t focused on the right things. Looking back on last year, I am so excited to see how far I’ve come and I’m even more excited to see what this next year brings.
- What about you – do you make resolutions? If so, what’s the best resolution you’ve ever made? And how did you do with last year’s goals?