It drives me crazy when people dismiss holidays because they are “cliche”. The couple that doesn’t celebrate Valentine’s Day because they believe in showing love every day, or in this case the individuals who don’t make New Year’s Resolutions because NY’s Resolutions are just made to be broken. But what if they’re not? What if these special days and the activities related to them are not just cliche’s, but rather opportunities? Opportunities to redirect ourselves to be better people. Reminders to ourselves that while we may believe in showing love every day, we don’t always DO it.
No. We don’t NEED these holidays to remind us to be better. We don’t NEED one day to tell us what to do, how to do it, when to do it. But it doesn’t hurt. And while WE may not need these annual reminders, some people do. So why not embrace these holidays?
So, in that spirit… let’s talk about New Year’s.
I love New Year’s. How completely awesome is it to go to bed in one year and wake up in the next? I know it sounds kinda silly, but in some weird way it feels like time travel. And New Year’s Day is the first blank page of a 365 page book. We can fill this book with anything. Shouldn’t it be great?
The start to greatness is taking a deep and meaningful look at ourselves and our lives and asking what can we do to make it great. I don’t know about you, but I’m all kinds of a hot mess so my room for improvement is fairly vast. There’s not many people I know that couldn’t use a little improvement. NY’s resolutions are a great opportunity to set some improvement goals.
For those Mary Poppins out there who are nearly perfect in every way, you could use NY’s resolutions to accomplish some things, an annual bucket list if you will. Maybe you’ve always wanted to see Mt. Rushmore or read Moby Dick or try chocolate covered ants. Whatever you’ve dreamed of doing, New Years is the perfect time to set the goal to making that dream a reality. You could set a list of small things to do over the course of the year, or one big thing to do by the end of the year.
Maybe you don’t want to improve yourself or accomplish anything and your NY’s resolution is just to keep on keeping on. I don’t see why that’s not ok too. We all inevitably change over the course of our lives so if your goal is to be the same ol’ you, that may actually entail not being affected by the world around you.
Whatever your reason, interests, or goals I think New Years is the perfect time to take a good look at yourself and really decide how you want your year’s book written.
So, what are mine?
Weight Loss- Yep. The number one cliche and it’s most definitely number one on my list. A big reason I have to have this on my list is for my health. My weight has been steadily increasing for the last few years and I’m at an age and point in my life when my weight is really affecting my health. Plus, I am unhappy with the way I look, the way my clothes fit, and the way I feel. We often underestimate how much feeling good about ourselves affects in our lives. So weight loss it is! How do I plan to accomplish this? Diet and exercise. I am well aware that my eating habits are way less than stellar. I have to cut out the sugar. Ugh. I LOVE sweets. But cutting sugar is an essential part of my diet plan. Dieting alone can certainly help me drop some weight, but for a longer, more effective weight loss I absolutely HAVE to get some exercise. I’ve tried the at-home exercise plans before and I am just not inspired to keep at it. No. I think this year I’m going to have to break down and shell out the cash for a gym membership. I think the social aspect of a gym and classes will keep me encouraged and motivated.
- Detach from my phone- Currently I can barely go a few minutes without picking up my phone to check Facebook, or see if I got a text, or a message from Snapchat, or an email. It sucks. I need a hardcore detox from this ridiculous addiction. I know that a lot of my problem lies in my very outgoing and social nature that is often confined to socializing with 3 kids all day. My phone is my connection to the world. My connection to real people. My connection to adults. But it’s taken over my life and that’s just not cool. So my goal for this year is to put my phone down, not have to check it every time I walk past. I want to stay off Facebook as much as possible. I’m bailing on my Snapchat friends (sorry guys). And email can be checked once a day. I may or may not respond quickly to texts and calls. That will depend on what I’m doing.
- Pinterest Projects- I’ve done this before, and it was fun. My love/hate relationship with Pinterest is mostly about all of these items pinned that I never get to. I currently have 3.9k pins and find more every time I log in. That’s a lot of pinned things that have caught my interest. So, my goal for this year is to accomplish a minimum of ONE Pinterest project per week, although ideally I would like to do 1 crochet/knitting project and 1 sewing project per week, 1 quilting project per month, and a vast number of the many school-related activities and crafts with the kids. Not only does this make Pinterest a lot more fun, but the kids and I actually <gasp> learn stuff. Lucky you, this is one thing I will be adding to my blog so you will all get to read about my successes and epic failures.
- Reading Challenge- this past year I set an over-the-top goal of reading 48 books in 2016. I suppose if I had counted the books I read to the kiddos I might have actually met that goal, but for personal reading I didn’t even come close. Plus, looking back, all of the books I read were pleasure reading- novels. Nothing to inspire me, teach me, help me grow. This year I am going to set a more realistic (for me) goal of 24 books and I am going to try to make at least 1/3 of them growth books. I have a stack of growth books sitting on my bedside table that friends have given to me, plus a wishlist filled with enjoyment novels so I’m certainly not short of ideas, but feel free to comment your recommendations. I still won’t include the books I read to the kids, but I do want to read more with them too.
- Be a better Homeschool Mom- I let things slip. I get caught up in other stuff, I get busy, and sometimes I’m just lazy. This year I really want to focus on moving away from our Vampire lifestyle, be more prepared for each day, include more fun stuff, and be more consistent. I will never be perfect, and honestly, I don’t really want to be, but I can do better. So, this year I am armed with my new school plan (which I rewrite about ever 3 months anyway) and I have some things already set up, so bring on this New Year.
- Focus on my Blog- I wrote more last year than any year prior. When I first started writing, I thought I would be writing about our journey through homesteading and homeschooling, but our journey has made changes and I have made changes and honestly, my blog just doesn’t seem to be about what I originally intended. But I love the changes it’s taken and I love writing and I love sharing my stories and my life with each of you. So, I am going to write more on what is in my heart and on my mind and not worry so much about my blog being about homesteading. I am currently in the market for a new domain name to transfer to, but I promise all of you dear readers that just like all of my life’s journeys, I will bring you along on this one. And most of all, I promise to continue to be open, honest, heartfelt, and genuinely me.
That’s what I’ve got. I may fail at some of these, or all, but I’m going to try. Because I want my book this year to be awesome. Ok. Maybe reading a book about my life with these goals won’t be a New York Times best seller or made into a major motion picture, but awesome for me. Awesome for my kids. Awesome for the people that get swept up in the orbit of Karmen connecting with my life and hopefully walking away feeling just a little bit better for it.
What are your goals for 2017?