Love ‘em, or hate ‘em, I believe—if done well—making goals for the new year can do a person good. Personally, I love having the calendar turn and embracing all that it represents: a fresh start, blank slate, new beginning. You know all the clichés? I love them.
For many years I’ve been naming the year ahead. I spend time thinking and praying about it and then I name it. This helps to give me focus for the year, and reminds me when things are difficult, that there is purpose and a bigger picture.
My word last year was peace. It was the Year of Peace – very interesting considering all that we went through during my pregnancy with Judah.
In years past I’ve had other words like “joy” or “faith”… So imagine how awesome it is to have landed on this year and feel that my new year word should be “discipline”?!
The Year of Discipline. Sounds thrilling, doesn’t it?
But really, I think it will be.
The reason I want to find more discipline in my life is actually because I’m tired of feeling overwhelmed and I want to simplify. And I think that to simplify, I need to take charge of certain areas and be more proactive instead of just reactive.
This will be hard. But I know I can do it.
And I know that in doing so my more disciplined life will lead to a more simplified life.
So, here are my ten for 2012:
Planning. Specifically, menu planning. I want to have two, two-week menu plans that I can rotate for a while. Even if we swap meals around during the week, the food is bought and I won’t find myself stuck. (By the way, if I were rich I’d hire a cook. Making daily meals is soooo not something I enjoy. Just wanted to put this one in context, because it’s kind-of a big deal for me.)
Reading. Curious George doesn’t count. And neither do parenting books or blogs (which I almost always manage to find time for). I love reading and used to read all the time, but it’s one thing that I’ve seriously let fall by the wayside since having kids. I’m not going to put a number on it, but I do want to read (or finish reading) several books that I already have, and a few that are on my “wish list” of books to read. (Namely novels, biographies, and spiritual development books.) I’ve already started reading a little each night before bed and I think this will be the way to make it happen more consistently.
Writing. Already this year I’ve started writing for (strictly) five minutes a day on my new blog. This is good for me – it’s keeping my creative juices flowing. It’s also taking a lot of self-control to stop at five minutes! (Yup, more discipline.)
Blogging. I’m still working out my specific blogging goals for 2012 but in general I’ll just say that I want to spend more time writing (which is contingent upon being more disciplined in other areas!). I also want to spend a little more time improving things about the look and feel and functionality of the Memos. And finally, I want to cull my RSS reader and focus more on supporting other bloggers that I genuinely love.
Romancing. This Christmas I gave my husband an envelope of “12 months of date nites” (he gets to choose which one to use which month) and I really want to be more disciplined about going out as a couple. This year we found that far too often we let 3-4 months slip between dates. Not good.
Moving. I want to go for walks at least twice a week. I know it doesn’t sound like much, but when you’re dealing with the sort of heat and humidity we have here, it’s hard to be motivated to go outside unless it’s for swimming or sanity trips to the park because the toddler will otherwise implode!! I’ve got some mommy friends I’m hoping will join me so we can have stroller races together. (Or just nice, leisurely walks. Whatever.)
Sleeping. The goal here is to not see the clock move past 10:30pm on most nights (or midnight every now and then – but only for good reason) unless I’m up with one of my children. And perhaps I can even move this forward to 10:00pm eventually… but for now, baby steps for this night owl. *breathe* I can do it.
Waking. I’d like to quit using my kids as an alarm clock. This means dragging myself out of bed before them so that I can have some time to order my day alone and kick it off to a good start – even if it’s just thirty minutes. I think this one in particular will help me to feel more proactive instead of reactive!!
Praying. I really desire to pray more this year. I already pray a lot in the day-to-day mix of things, but I’d like to try and have more uninterrupted (deliberate) prayer time. (I need to nail my “waking” goal to accomplish this.)
Playing. And finally, I want to play more – with my boys, with my husband, with my friends, and even on my own. As for the boys, I play a lot with them as it is, but I’m often watching the clock, thinking about The List, or even sometimes multi-tasking (stack a few blocks, fold a few towels, stack a few more blocks…). I want to focus more on the playing while I’m playing.
Dear friends, many bloggers are publishing “12 for 12” (resolutions/goals) for this year… but I’m limiting mine to ten. I’ve tried to form them in a way that I think is reasonable and not too lofty for me to actually achieve… We shall see. And how about you? Do you have any goals for the new year? Feel free to link-up a post in the comments if you’ve published them on your own blog – I’d love to read and be inspired!