Monday, December 31, 2012

Here's the Deal, 2013...

Well, here we are.  The last day of 2012.  It's been a bit of a crazy day for me already, being that I didn't go to bed until 5am this morning and then slept until 12:30.  I was up with Jelly and realized that we had a pretty nasty leak in the back half of the living room - so I had to stay up to change towels and pans out to avoid some flooding problems.  I so want a new house.

But that's not what today is about.  Today is about making plans and preparations for 2013.  That word that crosses the lips of millions of people on this day... Resolutions.

I've been working on some resolutions for a while, now.  A quick Google search gave me a pretty generic picture that shows the top new year resolutions that are made each year.  Looking at those sticky notes brings back some memories... I've uttered most of those throughout my life.  How many have I kept?  Well, none.  I've made some great attempts, started off strong, but slowly fizzled out and ended up right back at square one.

Making open resolutions are worth about as much as the sticky notes they are written on.  Everyone has dreams and desires, plans to make them a better person, but unless there's any follow through - commitment - it's all just empty words and promises. 

Making my list this year, I decided to go with a multi-step list.  Rather than just plugging in the usual stuff, I came up with a couple of things to add under the major resolutions that will hopefully help me get to where I need to be. Stuff that takes just a little of effort on my part, but could have a major impact on my life.  So, here we go....

1.  Lose weight.  My list wouldn't be complete without this little gem sitting right on top.  Goodness, the amount of years I've put this resolution as number one.  Some years have been better than others at the success with this - but this year has been one epic fail.  I'm almost back to my original square one - and don't like it ONE BIT!  So, here's a few things I want to do to help me just a little:
  • Go for a walk at least 3 times a week for at least 15 minutes.  Nothing major, just a walk around the block a few times or a walk around the gym if the weather is bad.  My past has shown me that starting out slowly leads to more, but I don't want to set myself up for failure right out of the gate.
  • Drink more water!  I need to fill up my gallon jug of water each morning and actually drink from it.
  • Portion Control, Portion Control, Portion Control!  Yep.  It's back to the 3 meals a day, healthier choices, and eating for energy rather than comfort.
  • Don't obsess over my weight, but don't be lax either.  I know that losing weight is all about commitment.  If I don't commit, it won't happen.  Period.  But, I also know that if I spend every waking minute obsessing about it, I quickly become burnt out and over it.   I'm really going to have to focus on finding a good balance between being mindful of my decisions and focusing on how I feel and how I want to feel.
2.  Make the most of my time.  I'm pretty sure that if you open a dictionary and find the word "Procrastinator", my picture would be right next to it.  I'm the worst at procrastinating.  I work well under pressure, but then I put stress on myself for no reason...just because I didn't make myself do what I needed to do during the time I had to do it.  So, how do I use my time more effectively?
  • Finish my daily work each day BEFORE leaving work.  That's stuff like grading papers, making copies for the next day, enter grades in to the computer, stuff like that.  It really doesn't take much time to do it each day.  And the time and stress it would save me by not having to do it all on Thursday or Friday morning would be a big relief.
  • Use my planning time to plan.  Wow, there's a concept.  Use planning time to plan?  Who'd of thunked it.  I started doing this about two weeks before school got out for Christmas break, and I found that I actually got my weekends back.  I figure if I use Monday's planning time to plan for the following Monday, Tuesdays' for the next Tuesday and so on it would take me all of 10 minutes of my planning time and save me hours on the weekends.  
  • Get in to a routine for cleaning the house.  I'm the worst about wanting to spend my weekends doing fun stuff or working - if I've slacked off during the week.  Then, my house ends up going a few weeks without being properly cleaned.  Not good!  I need to use the lesson instilled in to me by my parents and the lesson I instill in to my own children.  No playing until chores are done.  There was a reason for that lesson growing up, and it needs to be instilled now.  Each weekend, I don't get to do anything else until I've finished cleaning.  Period.
3.  Become more financially responsible.  I want a new house?  I want my car to be maintained and taken care of by the dealership I bought it from?  I want to get my student loans paid off?  Well, in order to do that I need to start saving my pennies.  Easier said than done.. but very doable.
  •  Continue to budget every penny.  I am very proud of the accomplishments I've made with my budgeting.  A few months ago, there was just no way I could see being able to afford a brand new car and the responsibilities that came with it.  But, then I started running my numbers, seeing how much money I could save by cutting out a few things, and BAM - plenty of money for a new car.  
  • Start a rainy day fund.  My budgeting skills have become so good that there are several months I end up with money left over.  Now, a good little budgeter would just come up with a savings plan for those extra pennies here and there... but what do I do?  Use it for things I don't need.  Waste it, in other words.  After the mess I dealt with last night with our leaky roof, it became apparent how important it is to start saving those extra pennies here and there for emergencies... like needing a new roof.  If I'm blessed without having to use the fund, then I'm starting a nice down payment fund for when I get to buy my new house. 
  • Zero out my credit cards each month.  This is actually a freebee I'm giving myself, because this is something I've become a master of.  I'm going to take it one step further, though, and limit my credit card usage to one thing a month - something small like a tank of gas - and then pay that off.  And I only plan on doing that just so it keeps my credit score in good standing.  That will mean more money for the rainy day fund.  I am strict with my thinking that if I can't pay cash for something, I don't need it... but I have slacked off just a little with that in the past.  No more of that!
4.  Create more memories and traditions.  Being a better planner of time and money is great, but it often consumes my thoughts and makes me forget the important things I'm not paying enough attention to... like my family.  I have just 5 more years left before Peanut graduates high school, 6 years before it's Butter's turn.  The past 5 to 6 years have gone by in the blink of an eye, so I can imagine that those remaining years will do the same.   It's sad to think that I've spent the first big chunk of my oldest children's lives fulfilling my dreams.  If I had a dollar for every time I've uttered "I can't right now, Momma's busy" there would be no need for a rainy day fund.  And that makes me sad.  I get so caught up in the demands of work, that I sometimes forget that there's 3 precious angels that want nothing more than just a little time with me.  Not any more!
  • Start a family night.  Something so simple could mean the creation of so many memories.  By dragging out some board games, a video game, or some other activity each weekend is all it would take.  It's never too late to start a new family tradition, and this year will be the year.  No excuses, no other commitments, just the family sitting around and enjoying an hour or two of fun.  In fact, that's how we're celebrating the new year.  I've decided that New Years Eve will now be the night where the entire family sit around and try out all the new goodies from Christmas.  
  • Take more photos.  I always remember to take photos of holidays and important events, but I very seldom take candid shots of just my kids...or me with my kids for that matter.  And when I do take photos, they sit stored in my phone or on my computer.  It's time to start cataloging my photos, printing them, taking care of them, and making sure they are around forever.  It will be so great - years from now - to sit around with my grandkids and share the memories of times past.  Can't do that without some visual aids.  So I better get to making some.  Stat!
  • Listen, laugh, love.  Three simple words that carry a huge amount of happiness.  The communication door between my kids and me is currently a good one...and I need to keep it that way.  I need to listen when they need to talk.  And listen when they're just rambling on about their day.  I need to laugh at the small stuff, be free to make a fool of myself.  And love.  Love my kids in every way possible. 
5.  Be happy!  Such easy words to say, but often the hardest words to live by.  Each year, I've thought about the dreams and desires I've have for the new year...and just being happy about what life throws my way usually isn't something I think about.  For the first few years after my kids were born, I wished for a year where I could just make ends meet, give my kids a stable home environment.  Then, I got that and moved on to going to school and wishing for less stress, more time, good grades.  Got through that and then my wishes turned to finding a teaching job.  This will be my first year where I have none of those dreams or desires - I've accomplished them all.  I move in to this year without hoping for anything - except just being happy.  This is the first year in my entire adult life where I can stop the worrying and just live in the moment.  And doing these few things to help me remember...
  • It's OK to take some time for myself.  Time, time, time...always time.  I worry and stress so much about my time that I often forget that it's OK to just sit around and do nothing, or go out to lunch with friends, or sit and crochet for hours on end.  Every waking moment doesn't have to be planned.
  • Distribute my blessings.  Now that I've managed to accomplish so much in my life, it's a great time to start helping others.  I have so many ideas about how I can give back to my community, help out where I'm needed, and instill the value of charity to my kids.  Sounds like this would be a great year to do that.
  • Try new ventures.  Without stepping on the toes of that T word (time), I want to try out a few new things.  I've always wanted to write a book.  I want to start a small online store with my crocheted items.  I want to rally together a weight loss/healthy living club at work.  So, why don't I?  Now that I have my life right where I want it, it doesn't mean that I just have to sit back and roll along.  As long as I don't infringe on the time I have with my family and the other resolutions I've set for myself - there's no reason I can't try a few new things.  Right?  So, that's what I'm going to do.
And there you have it.  My resolutions for 2013.  My check list.  In 365 days I will be able to sit and look back at the desires I had for the year - and hope that I get to check most of them off.

The most important thing, though, is to bask in my accomplishments.  I've gone through so much in my 30 years on this earth - and I want the next 30 years to be as exciting.  Maybe not as stressful, but full of adventure and happiness.

Resolutions aren't plans made to be broken, they are inspirations to achieve.  I am the only one that can determine if I stick to them or not.  I will be the only one to blame if I don't take each of these things and run with them.  And there's not a single reason I can't do everything on this list and more.




  1. And...figure out why the same tapes keep playing over and over in our heads -- preventing us from moving forward. ???

    1. Actually, I'm pretty sure I know why that is. It's not so much the same tape playing over and over, it's a new tape that starts playing before the old one is finished.

      Looking back at my habits - there are no excuses. But, I truly feel that I had so much going on in my head that I punished and rewarded myself with food. The biggest part of my problems was the job hunt. That affected my life more than anything else I've ever been though. Since I found my job, I've just been riding the waves without a care in the world...and that's the part I have to change. Now it's all about letting tapes play out, finding new rewards and motivation, and not letting anything negative interfere with my thoughts.

    2. Great insight!!!! My weight gain has gotten me to the point of being unhealthy, so finally my doc is going to help me concentrate on weight loss -- and exercise. Too bad I had to get to that point, right? No way can I criticize anyone else...

    3. I've finally gotten back to the point where I don't like the person I look at in the mirror. That's what had such an effect on me in the past...I have so many cute clothes in my closet that I want to wear, but can't fit in to anymore. There's only one way that can happen, right?


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