Tag Archives: new year

2022 Goals: Consistency

31 Jan

Wait, what is this? A blog post that isn’t an update about a child? Yes!

With the turn of the calendar to a new year, I have felt God enabling me to do more than just survive. Because that’s what I have been doing since Neola was born last May—simply surviving. Part of doing more than surviving for me is reconnecting with the things that bring me joy. My husband and kids bring me joy for sure. But writing… writing has always been the thing that gives me the “I was made to do this” vibe.

So here I am. I have dreams of coming to this space (still, after starting this little ole blog back in 2008!) from a coffee shop table with a hot caramel latte, complete and coherent thoughts whirling from my fingers to screen via full-size keyboard. But in reality, I’m chicken-pecking and constantly recorrecting it on my phone while nursing a baby with a lukewarm cup of home brew, and my other 3 kids are watching screens. Because that’s my reality right now.

And that’s what I’m learning: to make my dreams, goals, desires work with MY life, with my REALITY.

It seemed that no sooner had I written down my goals than they were jeopardized by lack of sleep or a baby who wouldn’t go to sleep when she normally does. And I was reminded of why I haven’t made goals for many years. Really, since laying down my dream of writing a book.

Because I am not in charge of my own time. My family owns it right now. And truth be told, having goals or plans outside of being a mom and wife often leads me to resenting the fact that I am a mom and wife. I’m sure most moms have had the experience of planning to turn over a new leaf of getting up before the kids only to have them in turn randomly wake up earlier than normal.

I don’t, however, think the antidote to that uncanny conundrum is to just give up trying to do things. That’s what I had been doing, and also why I was burned out. And when I’m burned out, I hold on to my husband’s free time with a death grip. He has been trying to do more than survive for several months, and I pretty much told him that I just wanted him to acknowledge the ship was sinking, and to go down with it (and me) instead of trying to rise above. How ridiculous is that?? But when you’re underwater, breathing through a straw, you just. can’t.

I see in myself this pendulum, swinging from the extreme of determination on one end to the other end of giving up. I desire consistency, but it can so easily become a measuring post for failure. Like so many other things in the Christian life, only God can enable me to live in the middle, to hold it all in gracious balance. To pursue those things that give me life, but to not despair, wallow, or get angry when life happens. To hold desires in my heart, but not let them despotically rule my will.

What does that look like practically? One of several things I’ve learned from a mom on Instagram named Phylicia Masonheimer has been to have several slots during the day or week when something can be done. If Neola doesn’t go to bed until 9:00 on the night I was supposed to do the budget, it can slide to a different night that week, because I only have 2-3 things to do each week after the kids go to bed (instead of allotting a different thing each night so that if life happens, the wrench thrown in is a big one). (The other things I learned are: when you’re making a routine for your family, don’t add new stuff in, just arrange the stuff you’re already doing; and instead of following a schedule based on the clock, follow a routine — an order in which you do things.)

I also just read two great books by Dana K. White called How to Manage Your Home Without Losing Your Mind and Decluttering at the Speed of Life. I’ve always been an organized person, and have done quite a bit of purging, but over the last year or two, I’ve let the things coming into our home greatly outpace the things leaving our home. Dana writes that anything that I can’t keep under control is clutter, and that habits are the way of routinely keeping that clutter under control.

We’ve had a good system down for dishes and laundry, and right now we hire a cleaning lady. But the areas in our house/lives that routinely get cluttered/neglected are: the kitchen counter (specifically, the paperwork that I shove into a big pile so that it doesn’t appear messy); the wall cubby/shelf area in our master bedroom (it’s out of the reach of the kids so it ends up being a dumping ground); our budget; and our photo memories. So far, I’ve determined to do the budget or work on a photo book once a week (alternating every other), and to sort through paperwork once a week.

And when life happens (like it did this week), I will type out blog posts on my phone, in the dark while waiting for my kids to fall asleep, which is what I’m doing now (nursing the baby only lasted for about half this post).

I will end this blog post with a thought I’ve had about why people like the feeling of a new year and resolutions. There’s just something about the feeling of a clean slate, right? God created us this way, to thrive on being made new, and experiencing His new mercies every morning:

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.” (2 Corinthians 5:17)

“The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases, His mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness.” (Lamentations 3:22-23)

“[See] that you have put off the old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator.” (Colossians 3:9-10)

Even if the goals and plans I typed out here lose steam or morph over the course of this year, I am thanking God for a constructive, motivated start to 2022. ❤️

Looking Back and Ahead

31 Dec

I don’t really do resolutions but I do like how the new year prompts a look back and a look ahead, and I like setting goals. So here ’tis the obligatory New Years post…

In 2011, I…

…ran 276 miles (from May to December – I didn’t keep track before that. Stupid!)

…biked 458 miles.

…swam 16.4 miles.

…raced in 3 sprint triathlons, 1 Olympic, and a 5k.

…started a new job.

…started writing a nonfiction book.

…read 26 books (beat my goal of 25!)

…combined my running and spiritual blogs into Life, Really

…went on my first trail run and loved it.

…adopted a new dog, Charlie, found on an Indian reservation in New Mexico.

 

It was a very good year – like I mentioned in my Best of 2011, this year could be summed up as Busy, but Fun.

 

In 2012, I hope to: 

…get pregnant.

…run 700 miles.

…finish writing my nonfiction book.

…read 50 books.

…consistently track my workouts so I have accurate totals on 12/31/12!

…grow in being a loving, supportive wive to my amazing husband.

…accept who God created me to be.

 

And because I like cheese, here are 12 more goals for 2012, one for every month:

  1. January – Forego sweets for an entire month.
  2. February – Read or listen to the entire Harry Potter book series.
  3. March – Try Bikram Yoga.
  4. April – Finish a memory book about our first 5 years of marriage.
  5. May – Make a time capsule for our 5-year wedding anniversary.
  6. June – Run a marathon… in Alaska (more on this coming soon, hopefully!)
  7. July – Bike 50 miles in one ride.
  8. August – Climb a 14er.
  9. September – Complete at least one big home project in preparation for moving in 2013.
  10. October – Make Pull-Apart Cinnamon Sugar Pumpkin Bread with Buttered Rum Glaze
  11. November – Make our own Christmas stockings.
  12. December – Watch the movie classic, It’s a Wonderful Life

I will try to do those goals in order but the Harry Potter series might take me longer than a month to get through. I have already requested the first audio book from the library though!

I also posted these goals on my new page, 2012 Goals.

 

I am excited for 2012. Bring it on!

Let’s try this again…

3 Jan

Several months ago, I created a daily plan for the spiritual and physical disciplines. It was great for a little while but ultimately, it fizzled out.

This is one of my biggest personal tug-of-wars: I would love to be disciplined. I envy those who are. I try to be disciplined. I create schedules and plans and task lists. But my personality just isn’t disciplined. I don’t naturally lean toward rules, structure, plans. What usually ends up happening is that my spontaneity and “what I want to do” in that moment trumps whatever I had “planned on doing.”

But doggoneit, I’m going to try it again, as one of my New Year’s Goals is to strengthen my relationship with the Lord. This time around, I’m going to be more realistic than ambitious. I won’t bore you with the minute details but this is the summary of my spiritual plan:

  • Read the Bible and journal my thoughts/observations everyday (I am going to go through all of the epistles, starting with Romans).
  • Pray everyday.
  • Memorize one verse a week (and recite them on Sunday morning).
  • Listen to one sermon a week (not including church on Sunday).

I think that that plan is doable. And let’s be honest, I find plenty of time to watch TV and read magazines…so why can’t I find time to do these things? There is no reason why I can’t.

As for the physical discipline, I am more consistent but I still haven’t really followed a schedule. But here’s my new weekly rundown:

Sunday: REST

Monday: Pilates or Yoga

Tuesday: 30-45 min cardio

Wednesday: aerobics class (at 5:30 AM!)

Thursday: 30-45 min cardio or REST

Friday: aerobics class (at 5:30 AM)

Saturday: Pilates or Yoga

This schedule may change if/when I decide to start training for a race (once it starts getting nice again outside…which should be happening in about February 🙂 ).

Of course, this exercise schedule is a complement to eating healthy. I’m shooting for 50% carbs, 25% fat, 25% protein. I’ve been tracking my food for about a month and I’m surprisingly close to that everyday. I’m hoping that soon, I can stop tracking…it’s kind of a nuisance. I keep telling myself that it’s about being healthy and treating my body with respect because it is a temple of the Holy Spirit–that means not feeding it high-cal, high-fat foods or feeding it too much/too little food. If I fuel my body correctly, it will run correctly and I will live a long, happy life (God willing).

So this is my attempt at being disciplined. Maybe I should set up a reward system…like a bulletin board that I get to put stars on for every week that I achieve my goals 🙂

That was actually supposed to be a joke, but now I’m seriously thinking about it. That could be a good motivator… 

Just want to wish everyone good luck with any New Year’s Resolutions Goals that they’re making! I’ll continue to update with my victories and losses–let me know yours too!

Happy New Year!

1 Jan

Since it is January 1st, I thought it would be fitting to write a post reflecting on 2008 and hoping for 2009. So here goes…

On 2008

What was the best thing that happened?

We bought our first house. I absolutely love having our own place.

What was the worst thing that happened?

Well, in comparision to other people, nothing majorly bad happened. I would say that the hardest part of the year, though, was when Travis and I were going through a rough time during the first few months of the year.

What is one thing you are happy to have done?

I’m glad that I ran a half marathon in May. I’m also glad to have taken 2 week-long vacations back to Minnesota to see friends and family. (Whoops, that’s 2 things…)

What is one thing that you regret doing?

Being mean and disrespectful to my husband (this is an ongoing battle).

What is one thing you wished you would have done but didn’t do?

Travel more, even if would just be in the state of Colorado.

Did you accomplish all of your goals for 2008?

I’m pretty sure I didn’t, even though I didn’t have any specific “New Year’s Resolutions” per se. But I know that I had wanted to be more intentional and thorough with my study of the Bible. Even though I read the whole Bible in a year, I didn’t really study it, if you know what I mean.

If you had to describe 2008 in one word, what would it be?

Bittersweet. Parts of the year were rough but other parts of the year were extremely blessed.

On 2009

What are you most looking forward to about 2009?

I have a lot of things I’m looking forward to: spending another year with my wonderful husband (and celebrating our 2-year anniversary in May), going to Mexico with my family in March, hiking and backpacking in the mountains, going skiing, reading good books, running some more races (a full marathon?), writing my memoir, and spending warm summer nights sitting in our new patio furniture, sipping some alcoholic beverages.

What are your goals for 2009?

In order of significance,

1. Grow my relationship with the Lord through daily Bible study and memorizing one verse a week.

2. Write my memoir and seek out publication avenues.

3. Be consistent in my healthy eating and exercising habits.

4. Become a more respectful wife by building Travis up through my words instead of calling him names and saying nasty things when I’m mad (things that I am not proud of doing!)

5. Learn contentment in my work, regardless of what I’m doing.

6. Go hiking, camping, and/or backpacking at least once a month (weather permitting!)

7. Travel more. Travis and I want to go see the Grand Canyon…possibly for our wedding anniversary.

8. Start and complete these house projects: landscaping in our backyard, installing new windows, and get new front door (one with windows).

This is the first time that I’ve actually ever made goals and written them down…we’ll see in 2010 how it goes I guess! Well, now I’m off to watch the Nebraska v. Clemson game at one of our friends’ house.

Happy New Year!