So, I am not really a “bucket list” person, but I thought it would be fun to put down everything I’d like to do this summer. As the kids get older I am very aware of the limited opportunities for summer fun together. I also thought that by getting some of these goals down, it may make them more concrete and therefore actually happen!
I stole the idea from my friend Jean at So Not Organized – since I’m trying to blog more, she suggested I check out 30 Days of Summer on her blog, and I do think if you’re stuck for topic ideas, you’ll definitely find some inspiration!
Here in the Hudson Valley, the kids don’t go back to school until after Labor Day, so we still have two whole months ahead! I wonder how many of these goals I’ll check off at summer’s end?
Go to a drive-in movie
Take a family photo
Attend the Dutchess County Fair
Eat dinner on the deck
Hike someplace new
Swimming at the pond
Enjoy outdoor movie nights with friends
Entertain “just because”
Home & Garden
Repaint the dry sink
Pull up and replant the cotoneaster
Completely declutter the master bedroom
Replace old pots, pans, and towels
Knit/crochet new dishcloths
Read three books that are not work-related
Revamp my blog (design, broken links, broken images)
Practice self-care Sunday
Cooking & Crafting
Make homemade ice cream
Can jam and/or fresh summer fruit
Make frozen lemonade pie
Enjoy fresh, local tomatoes sprinkled with salt and basil
Get menu plans organized for the fall
Update and reorganize recipe planner
Make frozen margaritas
Finish my Atlanticus blanket
Finish my River Rock blanket
Organize knitting & crochet patterns
Well, it’s been four days and I’ve been good about sticking to my workout regimen. I’ve been doing yoga each night as intended, and D. is interested in trying it out, too (!) I wasn’t sure if it would appeal to his masculine sensabilities, but Unfortunately, I will miss tonight because we ate dinner late and I don’t think it would be a great idea to do all that stretching while I’m stuffed. (Eeek.) I already feel better (perhaps it’s mind over matter), and I actually am kind of sad I’m missing it tonight. I’ve also been keeping up as best as I can with cardio in the morning. The first day was rough and I was pretty sore after (OK, really sore), but I pushed through and after my workout this morning, I could feel my muscles, but in a good way. It’s definitely a motivator!
These are all the silly, selfish little goals that I’d like to meet in 2011. The world won’t end if I give up on any of these, but they also are the most fun to think about.
- Read more books. Unless you count cookbooks, I didn’t do a whole lot of reading last year. Yes, I read my monthly comic books, but I need to start reading more. I’m not going to set down a specific number. Instead, I plan to keep track of the books I’ve read here on the blog. Again — by writing it down, I’m holding myself accountable.
- Give myself a weekly manicure. My hands and nails look horrible on a daily basis. Something has to be done about this embarrassing situation.
- Use up the yarn stash. I have a lot of yarn. No, it’s not as much as a lot of knitters I know, but for me it’s quite a lot. So I’d like to use up the bits and pieces in a “stash-ghan” and finish up some other projects that I’ve printed out and stare at on a daily basis.
- See old friends. Time passes really fast when you have kids. Before you know it, five or six years go by without seeing close friends. It’s such a shame and I hope I can make plans to make it right!
And so, those are the areas where I want to concentrate. If I end the year keeping up with just a few of them, I’ll be really happy!
I’ll bet that losing weight and “getting healthy” are the most popular new year’s resolutions out there. Last year I actually met my goal weight (thanks to the discovery of my thyroid disease). Over the holidays a few pounds have found their way back onto my body (I blame the cookies), so I need to focus of getting back down to where I was just before Thanksgiving.
Here are some of the things I want to focus on, not just for me but for my whole family:
- Eat more veggies. My two boys willingly try almost any vegetable and eat quite a variety (although Noah still runs in terror whenever I even suggest green beans). They both eat salad, which is great, but I want to expand their horizons when it comes to vegetables. The first thing I’m doing is going back to the farm share program we participated in a few years ago. I will be filling out the CSA application and sending in my check this week. Last summer we ate nowhere near as many fresh vegetables as the two years prior. I also am setting a goal of one meatless meal per week to start, with the hope of ramping it up to two or three as the spring and summer approach and the veggies become a lot more tempting.
- Drink more water. During the summer months, this isn’t a problem for me. But when it’s 20 degrees outside, chugging cold water isn’t that appealing. Nevertheless, it’s something I need to do.
- Exercise. I’m not sure if chasing my 19 month-old around counts as cardio (though I wish it did). Quite simply: I need to tone up after having lost weight. I have a copy of Jillian Michael’s 30-Day Shred. I just need to pop it in and start doing it. I also want to get back to a regular yoga program. I started doing yoga last February and loved it, but at some point my routine fell by the wayside. Even if I don’t do anything else, I want to start doing yoga again.
Pretty simple goals that I should be able to meet, right? Let’s hope so!
Last year I feel like I made some good progress with my freelance “career.” I use quotes because I’m not persuing it full-time; right now I am just trying to keep my toes wet. With that said, however, I did land a couple new clients and that was very exciting. This year I want to take things up another level.
- Write an average of five articles per week for Demand Studios. I wrote many articles for them last year, but I got lazy.
- Continue writing interesting stories about Hudson Valley businesses and people. I currently write for both a local paper and an HV-focused online magazine and cover all aspects of life here, from finding Hudson Valley lighting boutiques to great real estate agents to reviewing local restaurants. I love writing about where I live and the people I meet.
- Write more informative posts on my blog. I’ve been writing this blog for 10 years now. It hasn’t changed much and last year I found myself in quite a rut. I think that approaching my posts as mini-articles will be beneficial for everyone. I’m excited about the changes and I hope you will be, too!
- Give myself the freedom to write fiction again. This is what I always thought I’d be doing. In fact, when I met Drew I was taking graduate-level classes at Emerson College, planning to earn an MFA in creative writing. Things change, of course, and also — fiction writing doesn’t pay so well. The editorial path I ultimately chose was much more lucrative. It’s hard to write fiction when I’ve been writing nothing but non-fiction for years now. But I’ve got some ideas brewing and I want to give myself the creative license to just let go and see what happens.
These will be the hardest goals to meet. My children are my priorities, so everything else (yes, including writing) has to fit into the pieces of free time I can squirrel away throughout the day. As Laura gets a little older, I think it will be easier to set a schedule for myself, but for now this is a start.
Every January, many people write out their lists of new year’s resolutions — those things they plan to do in their lives to improve something. I do it, too, and like everyone else my best intentions don’t always make those resolutions become habits.
Well, now that the holidays are over and I’ve had time to catch my breath, I’ve been thinking a lot about what I’d like to do to improve my life, and just generally make things run more smoothly at Chez Carol.
I’ve categorized my goals for the year and I’m going to focus on one set every day this week. Feel free to join in on your own blog! Often writing things down makes you more accountable because you see your words right there in black and white. Whether you want to get yourself into shape or get your act together, now is a great time to focus on meeting your personal goals.
But it’s important to remember that life happens. We’re not going to meet every single goal or keep all of our resolutions. But as Tom Waits says, “If it’s worth the going, it’s worth the ride.” And making the effort is what’s important.
I decided that we needed to start the new year with a big breakfast, so I made a fritatta with smoked ham, potatoes, tomatoes, and onions as well as pancakes (served with the cherry preserves I canned back in July) and sausage. And I’d be remiss not to mention the giant cup of coffee. Not that we were out drinking until the wee hours of the morning. Actually, we didn’t even crack open the champagne last night. I had a cup of tea, a few Rolos, and we watched “The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo.” (Amazing and highly recommended movie!).
As much as I dislike New Year’s Eve, I just love New Year’s Day! Time to start fresh, get back into healthy habits, a schedule, and get things back into order.
I also have plans for some new blog features this year, and I’m excited about that. I also plan on journalling a line a day (more about that soon), and taking a photo a day to document the year. I’m feeling pretty ambitious, so we’ll see how it all goes!