Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Resolutions & Goal-Setting: 2017 Version

Let's quickly recap how I did in 2016 before I start listing out my ideas for the changes & improvements I would like to see happen in 2017.

The Good:
  • Temple attendance - I didn't keep track but I'm pretty positive we made it to the temple every other month.
  • Learning to cook new foods - I didn't do this exactly how I had envisioned it, but I started a food blog and experimented a lot with cooking during the year.
  • FHE - still not as thought-out as I would like (most weeks we just grab the Friend and do a story or activity out of there and call it good) but the girls know what FHE is and how it is supposed to work and they love it, so I'm calling it a success.
  • Reading - I listened to tons of audiobooks & podcasts and we read "The Wizard of Oz" and "Little House in the Big Woods" with Clara.  
  • Photography - I definitely did NOT complete the photography goals I had set for myself, BUT I took a number of classes, attended a photography conference, and really improved my photography overall, I think.  Which was really the point, even if I am still not as skilled as I would like to be.
  • Camping - we went just once, to Lake Siskiyou.  Better than nothing, I guess.  
The Not-so-good: 

I'm not going to be too hard on myself.  I know I set big goals and I know they won't all be achieved.  I do it every year and I'm kind of okay with this approach.  Also, I did really well on a lot of goals like scripture study and keeping a tidy house for the first four months of the year until my jaw surgery, when everything sort of fell apart for me.  It took me a good 2 months just to get all the wires & splints off and start eating normally again, and even longer to feel like I was recovered.  I'm still dealing with quite a bit of jaw pain that I'm hoping goes away once I'm finally out of the rubber bands that the orthodontist has had me in.  Not that any of that should really be an excuse, but I never got back into a consistent mode after all that even though I had periods of trying to re-implement a lot of what had been working well early in the year.  But I'm still grateful for those four really consistent months.

So, on to 2017!

It's funny - as I have been talking with friends about our resolutions & goals for 2017, so many of us seem to have similar feelings about the things that definitely aren't working for us and that we would like to change this upcoming year.  A big one is technology/social media.  I have been way, way guilty of over use and abuse of this and my goals reflect some of my concerns in this area.

Spiritual: to draw closer to my Heavenly Father.  

I know it isn't measurable & specific, but I don't really think that is the way to approach this particular area of life.  There are, however, specific ways I plan to achieve this, and many of them are just reinstituting previous goals that go on my list of resolutions annually, so much that I should just copy & paste this portion.  Or actually DO THEM so that they become such a part of me that I don't feel a need to include them!
  • daily scripture study (personal & family)
  • daily prayer (personal & family - although daily prayer is one thing we have always been really good about)
  • monthly temple attendance (it's a big jump from last year's every-other-month approach but we did this the year before Clara was born and it was such a meaningful thing to me and really helped me feel close to my father in heaven and to Paul that I would love to attempt it again)
  • do the 30 days of conference challenge before each session of conference (I did this for the first time before October conference this past year and loved it)
  • improve my fasting (I'm a terrible faster and I want to approach it with gratitude to make it more meaningful)
  • make the Sabbath day more meaningful by keeping it holy (I have been unintentional about this and want to stop doing things like throwing in a load of laundry on Sundays - it seems like a small thing but it is one small thing I can easily change)
  • read the Ensign & the Friend cover-to-cover each month
  • do 2-4 Young Women's personal progress projects each month, while I am serving as Mia Maid advisor

Mental: this is always my biggest category and I probably use it a little too broadly & generously.  It's more of an umbrella, catch-all, this-is-stuff-I-want-to-implement-to-make-my-life-&-mental-health-better category.
  • no dirty dishes in the sink at night (there are no magical elves who will come wash them for me overnight.  Those dishes will still be there in the morning and I will be annoyed so I might as well just get it taken care of before bed)
  • no laundry left on the floor to be folded (same as above - the folding fairies have yet to make an appearance at my house and I loathe that I letting clean laundry pile up waiting to be folded the next day.  Or day or two after that.  Trust me, the dishes & the laundry goals are definitely for my mental sanity)
  • keep counters & flat surfaces clear of clutter (this goal is going to take some work - first I have to clear that clutter that is still gathering and find places for things.  It's sort of a work in progress that I hope to achieve throughout the year)
  • photography - this needs it's own subsets for the mental goal, but I would LOVE to 1. take at least one photography class this year, 2. take a photo of each of us each month, 3. do a day-in-the-life project (I did one last January and loved it - it would be awesome to do one a month but we shall see), 4. do a 365 or Project 52 (probably not going to happen but I think it's a great thing to strive for)
  • update our family blog once a week (I was terrible last year - I stopped taking photos of people pretty much after the surgery when I couldn't hold a camera to my face without terrible pain for a couple of months and then started my food blog and basically only photographed food for the last half of the year.  That really, really needs to change in 2017.  Not having photos meant I felt like I didn't have anything to blog about, which isn't true.  I miss having the record and journaling aspects of regular blogging and Facebook & Instagram don't cut it for me because I don't often scroll back through to check those the way I like to do with the blog)
  • go see 3-4 live performances/concerts (I guess we always accomplish this with summer concerts-in-the-park and the Nutcracker each year, but I would love to do more plays & things with Paul and the girls)
  • camping - at least twice, hopefully three times (this is for sure mental)
  • take the girls skiing at least 2-3 times (again, this is as much mental & relationship building as anything else)
  • read "Alice In Wonderland" with Clara

Physical: feel better in my own skin by improving my overall physical health through diet & exercise
  • complete a 2nd round of Whole30 (I got 19 days into one last January before I came down with a bad cold and finally called it quits, but I love how I feel when I make better food choices and Whole30 really helps me get my cravings under control, especially when it comes to sugar & breads, which are probably my two biggest weaknesses when it comes to having an unhealthy relationship with food)
  • get weight back to where I was in 2015 (I won't say what the weight loss goal was but I'm definitely not as fit and I'm feeling it) 

Social: connect with others by disconnecting myself from social media.

Social media is such a tricky thing for me because I use it so much for my food blog.  But that shouldn't be an excuse for failing to engage with others.  I hate that I whip out my phone in moments of boredom, or worse, as a way of avoiding or escaping social situations.  I'm definitely guilty of that behavior and I know it's rude and anti-social.  It's something I want to change in 2017.  
  • no checking phone at bedtime (in fact, I have decided not to even plug my phone in to charge in the bedroom anymore.  I plan to just leave it in the kitchen to charge overnight so I'm not tempted to check it during the middle of the night when the girls wake me up, which they still do almost every night)
  • no checking phone/computer/email/social media - anything - in the morning until after scriptures & prayers
  • no phone at the table, in the car, or at social events where I should be engaging with others (this includes church.  And since the temptation is just too great, I plan to just leave my phone at home during church, in my purse while in the car, etc.  I almost never get phone calls anyway and texts are never urgent so I don't know why I feel so attached to having the phone in my hand all the time)
I know these goals are lofty and not very narrowed down, but I'm just going to roll with them.  2017, I'm looking forward to you very much!

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