Here are my goals for 2011. They are long and ambitious.
1. Blog more- I’m hoping this will be easy. Alann and I aren’t playing our online game anymore, so that frees up a lot of online time. I’m sure I can find something to blog about in 10-15 minute increments. I’m shooting for twice a week, but more would be great. I just tend to want to post everything at once and that takes a long time. It's the same problem I have with journaling. I feel like I have to get everything completely caught up which is overwhelming so I fall more and more behind. I'm trying to overcome this feeling.
2. Lose 30 lbs- I’m hoping to do this without adding exercise, because I don’t do well with exercise at night, which means getting up before the kids. Not a fan. But we will see. We have made some dietary changes and I’m giving that a week or two to see what happens. (Lost 3 pounds the first week! Of course, I also weaned Alex, so that may have something to do with it.) I’ll post more about that later. My goal weight is 150. That’s my “easy” weight. It’s easy for me to sit there. It’s still “overweight” according to the BMI, but let’s face it- I’ve had two kids, I’ve always had big hips and curves anyway, and I haven’t weighed the medically suggested 130 since freshman year- of high school. I’m happy with 150. So I am shooting for 140 (you can do the math yourself to find out what I weigh now. That’s between me, Alann, and Wii to know) and then will balance out to 150. Since I’m not nursing anymore, I’m hoping the last few Alex pounds will shed themselves. Then it’s just the Claire poundage.
3. Keep a journal, okay, several journals. I have journals for Alex and Claire. I intended to journal about them periodically to help remember what they are doing. I packed Alex’s into a box by accident when we redid the old office, so I never even wrote in it. Claire I wrote in when she was 1, and haven’t touched since. So I would like to write for each of the kids, maybe once a week or month. And then a journal for myself. Sheesh. I’ve got a lot going on.
4. Picture a day- I want to keep this going. I’m shooting for a few days a week this year. I didn’t make every day last year, but that’s fine. I definitely did better than Claire’s first year.
5. Learn to make soap- specifically liquid soap. I’ve got everything but the lye. I’m just waiting to get some other projects done first.
6. Speaking of projects- I will not pick up any more projects until I finish some. I seriously have a mountain of fabric in my sewing room that I need to go through- some is business, some is personal. I have so many projects to do- Alann's blanket, couch cushion covers, aprons, shopping bags, cloth napkins (using washcloths now and that works well). I have a post-it note army somewhere of all my projects. I need to pull it out again and look it over. I FINALLY finished Alex's second blanket. He was getting to the point where he knows if it is his or not, so I toughed it up and finished the second. Actually only took about 90 minutes of work. Some things that are catching my eye right now that I will NOT take up- quilting (why, I don’t know. Nobody I know quilts. Alann's blanket has been on my mind a lot and it is basically quilting, so maybe that is it), a better homeschool/preschool/teaching regimen for Claire. (Any pointers on teaching almost 2 year olds? She does play a lot, and read a lot, and I try to vary her activities, but I want to be more intentional about the time I am spending with her, about the things I am teaching her. She surprised me today. She can say about half the alphabet. Not in order, or without prompting, but she can actually say the letters. She can count to two on her own. She can say numbers up to six. AND!! She is starting to call me mom. A little. Every now and then. The other day at church, her nursery class walked by our open door, and she saw me. She said “mom mom mom!” until I looked at her. It took me a minute to realize it was her and not her friend whose mom was sitting next to me.)
1. Scripture- I’m being ambitious. I want to read both the Book of Mormon and the Bible. I’ve never read the Bible all the way through. I haven’t finished the Book of Mormon in oh, about 2 years now. I’ve had a really hard time finding time for these things. I have found a breakdown of “how to read the bible in one year” that I printed off. It is both old and new testament. I picked the chronological breakdown, because it seriously confuses me when the time changes back and forth. I’ve read the Book of Mormon at least 5 times now, and I have just recently figured out the historical context of some passages and how certain groups of people relate to others. I’ve decided to start taking a lunch break. I’ll eat with the kiddos, but then once they go to bed, I take my lunch break and study my scriptures for 20 minutes or so. I think this will really help me out in the long run.
2. Personal progress- I really want to finish my personal progress this year. This is for the Young Women in the church, but when I was in the stake leadership, I was encouraged to do it, and I still feel like I need to get it done. It will help me relate to my young women that I teach if I have done it and can help them or tell them how I got it done.
3. Temple- every month. Go and do. It’s harder now. It's farther away and now I have two babies to leave with people. I also have several families who have offered to babysit. It’s just getting Alann
4. FHE- Claire is at the age that she would probably really like Family Home Evening with a lesson and everything. I think it may be easier if we did it not on Monday, just because Sunday we have church and Tuesday we have playgroup. So maybe Thursday would be better just to kind of space out the “fun” stuff. I’ll have to talk to Alann about it.
1. A new item 2x a week- this really means posting a new item twice a week, not necessarily creating a new offering or product line. It’s important in etsy to keep your listings at the top by posting frequently.
2. Alann's goal for my business is for me to have fun doing it. My goal for my business is to be able to pay for my upfront materials, and then maybe make a little profit. So far, I have paid my "business" credit card every month with sales since I have been open. I count that a blessing on my business so far.
3. Get the business aspect all up and running- LLC, business accounting, business taxes. I assume I am not going to make enough to get taxed on it, but I don't even know that. I really need to talk to a real small business expert in the financial field.
1. Schedule schedule schedule- I need to keep up with my schedule. I have a housework schedule worked out that should work, I hope. So far, it seems to. The schedule thing has really worked well for me in the past, as long as I keep up on it. I’ve learned to just let it go if I don’t hit something, unless it is REALLY important like vacuuming the mountain of dog hair off the couch. The schedule I have means I hit all the important stuff often enough for the house to be decent. I’ve hit a few cleaning breakthroughs lately. Mainly, I bought a stick vac for the hard floors. Honestly, in our UT house, I rarely used the broom. Yes, it was all hardwood. But, there was a big rug in the middle of the living room, which meant vacuuming. And the house was so small that I could easily just vacuum up all the dog tumbleweeds roaming the corners and crevices of the house. Really, I could reach from one end of the house to the other with the vacuum plugged into the same outlet. My vacuum does have a decent length cord on it, but still, it wasn’t that far. I would get out the broom when the floor was crumby, and once a week or so, but I vacuumed up tumbleweeds two or three times a week. Our new house is LONG. The cord on the vacuum on the main floor- not so much. (Yes, I have multiple vacuums thanks to my generous in-laws who left some.) So, the tumbleweeds were really piling up. It was just SUCH a hassle to sweep that much and sweeping dog hair doesn’t really work well. (and don't get me started on swiffer. My dog hair LAUGHS at swiffers.) But using the vacuum meant replugging in three or more different places (and all the undoing of child prevention plugs and drawing attention to the cord and outlets that that entails). So I bought a stick vac, and it’s great. I’ve had it just a few days, and already Alex is MUCH less hairy when I pick him up after he has been crawling around. He will never be completely clean, because I just can’t vacuum in front of him no matter where he goes, but it is a significant improvement. This thing picks up the dog hair, the baby’s food, the crumbs, pretty much everything I could hope for. It’s cordless with a rechargeable battery and has a power brush on it. So far, the battery life is great. And the handle comes off so I can use it on the stairs. I bought a stick vac for two reasons- dog hair and the stairs. Two flights of stairs people- no vacuum small enough to use on them. And the dogs like to hang out on the stairs for some unknown reason. So you can imagine the state of the stairs. Much better now. My second main improvement: I’ve started keeping a clean kitchen. I know, I should always do that, but I just hate doing dishes. Something in it just makes me cringe. So I kept a perpetually dirty kitchen. But for the last week or so, I’ve been making an effort to clean the kitchen throughout the day and make sure it is clean, as in counters wiped, floors vacuumed, before bed. It has made a huge difference. I didn’t do it one night after doing it for a few nights in a row and it took me almost 3 times as long the next day with the kids interrupting. So that is a definite win. I will definitely be working on keeping that as one of my habits. And I am continually trying to improve my “while cooking” skills. I try to clean or set the table while I am in downtime parts of recipes. That helps too. I made soup and by the time we sat down to eat, the only thing left to clean was the pot. I’m also unloading the dishwasher first thing in the morning and loading dishes all day. I know a lot of this isn’t revolutionary, and most of you probably think I am gross for not doing these things before, but really, I just hate dishes. If I had a maid, she would clean the bathrooms first and do any dishes second. Also on my schedule- laundry throughout the week instead of all together; and planning specific days for outings.
2. Speaking of being more intentional: A house binder- I’m working on creating a house binder. This is basically going to be all the important stuff- my cleaning schedule, menu, grocery list (maybe), daily schedules for me and the kids, and my scripture study materials/schedule. A lot of people keep them and I’ve never tried it. I have just a few pages put together and it really makes it simple to know where to look for things. I’m also going back to once a week or every other week grocery shopping. This fits in with the daily schedules thing. I have too many outings lately and not enough home time. It’s not good for the kids and it’s not good for the house. Now, not being a waster of resources by nature, I’ve figured out a way to not have to print new pages all the time. I printed a blank menu page (just two weeks of days with spots for breakfast, lunch and dinner) and put it in a super-clear page protector. I can write on it with dry erase marker. It doesn’t come off too easily (works more like wet erase actually), but I can reuse the same page many many many times without waste.
3. Finances- I’ve let my financial upkeep fall by the wayside. I’m trying to fix this with a “financial hour” every week. This way, I can settle the accounts a few times a month instead of oh, 6 weeks later. I’ve been late with a bunch of my mortgage payments lately by just a day or two (luckily no actual late fees), and it’s just starting to get annoying. The mortgage company gets really concerned when you don’t make on-time payments several months in a row. I would get 5 calls a day from them until the payment went through. Part of my problem is not knowing where the money is (fixing that by getting a joint savings account) and not knowing how much we have or will have coming in (no real way to fix that yet). Alann’s work situation is hopefully changing for the better soon (he hasn’t really talked about it, so I won’t either), and that will require a different set of financial tools I think. So I am bracing and preparing for that.
So yeah, those are my goals for the year. A bit ambitious, maybe, but I am currently motivated to get them done. I’ll try to remember to revisit them throughout the year too. Oh, and a copy of my goals are going in my binder.