My first and most important goal of the year is to birth a human and survive the experience.
Now grab a smoothie, pull up a chair and be prepared for a long list of other 2014 goals:
1. Take at least one family photo a month.
Jessica had for 2013 and I'd love to be able to do the same for us. One day I'd love to pay a photographer (like this one, this one, or this one) to photograph our family, but I still want to capture our moments as best we can on our own in the mean time. I got a great tripod for Christmas as well as a wireless camera remote which will make this goal so much more realistic.
2. Read a good book 15 minutes every day.
wonderful book about motherhood that said "...no matter how busy you become as the mother of a newborn, make sure you read in a good book every day, even if it's just for a few minutes..." because if you want to raise your child to be a reader then "it turns out that the two crucial criteria for future readers are that they live in 'print-rich environments' (houses with lots of books) and that they see their caregivers read daily." And I definitely want my baby girl to love reading. I like to read and I have gotten better at making it a priority but I think I need to commit to a time frame to make sure it happens. Here are books that I want to read in 2014:
How Will You Measure Your Life? By Clayton Christensen
The Orphan Master's Son by Adam Johnson
The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion
The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child by Marc Weissbluth
The Interestings by Meg Wolitzer
The Autistic Brain by Temple Grandin
The Lemon Tree: An Arab, a Jew, and the Heart of the Middle East by Sandy Toian
Aquariums of Pyongyang by Chol-hwan Kang and Pierre Rigoulot
Do you have any suggestions? I like all genres.
3. Read scriptures everyday for 15 minutes.
4. Shower and get ready each day.
5. Strengthen my marriage and make Aaron a priority.
-Trade off time to exercise (meaning I'll watch the baby in the morning while Aaron exercises and he watches the baby in the evening while I exercise).
-Make sure I kiss and hug Aaron just as much as I kiss and hug the baby. Here are some good thoughts on that: Who gets the best kisses? and Are You a Better Wife or a Better Mom?
-Have a weekly date night. This doesn't necessarily have to be without the baby I think but I'd love for Aaron and I to go out at least once a week and do a planned activity (get dinner, get gelato, go on a walk, see a movie, go on a drive and find our dream home, knock off an item on our bucket list, etc.)
-Pray together every day.
-Put my phone (and other technology) away at night when we go to bed.
-Pick up the house before Aaron gets home from work (another suggestion from young moms I know)
6. Buy quality.
7. Review our monthly budget together every first Sunday. We are pretty good about doing this now and I want to keep it up. This helps me be less stressed about money and actually encourages me to spend money on things I need/want. My go-to "money strategy" is to just be super cheap and spend as little money as possible but when I see that we have money designated for a certain category I am able to spend it better. This helps me feel guilt free for instance when I buy a laundry basket at the store because we need it (so silly that I have this complex!).
8. Call friends/family on their birthdays.
9. Be healthy. Which probably means I shouldn't take as many photos like this next year...
-Go on a walk several times a week (or every day?) with the baby and stroller.
-Get a gym membership in March when I am past my 6 weeks post-baby mark and attend a gym class twice a week when Aaron gets home from work. I went to the gym a lot at the start of last year and up until my half marathon and it did wonders for my happiness. (So moms of the world: Is this too ambitious or not ambitious enough?? I have no idea!)
-Cook deliberately healthy, well-rounded meals (as in actually have sides, etc.) and eat lunch (the hardest meal of the day for me).
10. Improve my photography skills.
-Take another photo class at our local community college
-Purchase photo editing software (Lightroom, PhotoShop or PhotoShop Elements??? This is a great internal struggle for me) and learn how to use it fully!
-Practice taking photos in low light settings (the bane of my existence!).
-Print photos I take to frame and put in to Project Life albums.
11. Enjoy motherhood.
And that's it. Short, concise and easy to accomplish, right? Ha! I know my list should only be 3-5 things, but alas, I just have so much I want to improve on. Luckily, most of these goals are things I am already working on so it won't be a shock to my system trying to make a whole bunch of changes at once. Maybe I'll need to re-evaluate things in a couple weeks come baby time but this is what I've got so far.
Now I need to just print it out and stick it on the fridge :)