Yesterday, my amazing friend Stef posted her list of goals for 2012. I was seriously inspired. So, while the house was relatively calm this morning, I sat down and thought about the changes I was willing to work to make happen in my life. These aren't pie-in-the-sky, wouldn't-it-be-cool-if goals - those are dreams, and have their own important place in my life. But these are concrete, measurable, and specific - I will easily be able to tell at the end of the year whether or not each goal was met.
So, away we go!
#1. Take a photography classI love taking pictures, and with the volume that I shoot, I occasionally get a good one. I want to improve my skills and knowledge of photography so I can get more shots that I love. Fortunately, this goal has been started for me - my parents enrolled me in an online photography class through our local community college, and it starts January 18th! I am so excited for this one!
#2. Exercise twice a weekOf course I know that exercising twice a week isn't enough. And when I am in good habits, I average 4 times a week. But sometimes what stops me from starting is feeling like it is an all-or-nothing thing. Twice a week is easy to fit in - no excuses. And when I do more? Well, great! I have other exercise-related ideas for the year, but I'm not quite ready to commit to moving them from the dream to goal category. Our new motherboard for our treadmill comes this week, and I am also checking out the gym that I have wanted to join so that I can start swimming...
#3. Donate blood at least four times this yearMedical donation has been on my mind a lot lately. I have a dear friend of 25 years that is awaiting a double lung transplant as a result of Cystic Fibrosis. And while I can't donate lungs, I can donate blood. And rather easily, too. But I have gotten out of the habit, and made too many excuses (lots of denials for low iron, managing the boys while I donate). I was able to donate right before Christmas (thanks, kale, broccoli, and a good multi-vitamin), and am scheduled to go again in February as soon as I am eligible. A person is eligible every 8 weeks, so even if I get turned down twice, I can still get my 4 donations in.
#4. Have dinner with friends at least once a monthBy nature, Dan and I are fairly introverted. Quiet evenings at home are great for us. But this tendency also limits the amount of time we spend with people who are important to us. We work a little harder at getting together with family, but realized as Christmas cards rolled in that there are a lot of people in our lives we just don't see as often as we would like. We are going to work to remedy that this year by making the effort to get together with friends at least once a month for a meal. Don't be surprised if you get a call (or two!).
#5. Enjoy a Girls' Weekend (or two)For the last couple of years, some dear mama friends and I have gone to the beach for a weekend of relaxation and rejuvenation. We eat junk food, giggle, stay up late, and talk about those things that are deep within our hearts. More than just about anything else I do during the year, this is what my heart and soul crave. And I hope these girls are up for another go-round! I also have some wonderful online mama friends that I am desperate to see. Or a meet-up with my sister, if we can fit it in before baby #3! These times away from home to just be me are so valuable, and I will do what it takes to make it happen.
#6. Finish Luke's First Year AlbumYeah, neglected second child and all that. Max's album was done when he was 15 months old. Luke is 4 YEARS old. I'm about 40% done. This is the year I finish it.
#7. Weekly crafty time with the boysSometimes I get lazy. I love crafting with the boys, but some days it feels like too much work. But once we get started, I NEVER regret it. I need to remember that there are times for intense, complicated projects, and times for simple "Family Draw Nights" (or 15 minutes, as the case may be). Playdough and writing stories and sewing and block building all qualify. And to hold myself accountable, I will blog our crafty adventures right here. Pinterest, here I come!
#8. Go on a date with my husband every monthFor the first time in 4-5 months, Dan and I went on a date on Tuesday. It was our typical (and very much enjoyed) dinner and a movie. But it was wonderful - time together, time to do what we love, time to step away from taking care of business and start dreaming and talking and discussing those things we often run out of time for. Just like time with my girlfriends and our family friends matters, I also need to protect and support time for my marriage. Once a month. We can do it!
#9. Take a hike or bike ride. At least once a month. Hopefully more.Yeah, another monthly goal. What can I say? It's a time period that works for me. Our family is getting to the time when getting out for a hike or bike ride is much easier than it used to be. We have always had a goal of being an active family, but it isn't automatic for us yet. The boys NEED to move for their best behavior, never mind their health. And a weekend of being inside, while cozy and lovely for Dan and I, brings out the worst in our kiddos. If only once a month we got out for a great hike or bike ride, we'd be doing well. Using geocaching as a way to get out helps distract the kids from the actual hiking, and we need to remember to invite friends along more often. Heck - we could bring a picnic, and I could check two items of my list at once!
#10. Be intentional with my timeI'll admit - I web-surf FAR more than I like. Sometimes I find myself just sitting and checking facebook or Pinterest for the 27th time, annoyed that nothing new has been posted. I'm just wasting time. Time when I could be doing things that fulfill me. I could be reading or sewing or knitting or taking a bubble bath or whatever - but just killing time isn't making me any happier, and I don't leave that time feeling satisfied. That isn't to say I'm going off the grid - it just means that I want to use the computer (or tv or whatever) as a tool - something to help me accomplish a set goal. Build relationships, enrich my mind, find a new craft to do with the boys. But not just as a way to keep me from doing things that I would find more satisfying. By far, this is the toughest of my goals, which probably makes it the most important.
So, there you have it. I will be adding these in a sidebar to help hold myself accountable, along with my word of the year (stay tuned for more on that). I'd love to hear your goals for the year - leave 'em in the comments!