New Year, Same Me, New Goals
New year goals….are you someone that believes in making new resolutions at the start of every year? Are you someone that typically fails at them or forgets about them by mid-year if not earlier? You can’t see it, but my hand is raised in the air. However, this doesn’t stop me from planning them each January…because I like to torture myself. Just kidding, but I do appreciate the idea of reflecting on the past, and planning for the future. The word “resolution” is defined as “a firm decision to do or not do something”. That’s a lot of commitment. One thing I’ve learned about life, especially after becoming a mom, there is only so much you can plan before the universe and God change it up. This is why I choose to call them “goals”, because you can work towards them and see improvement, even if the ultimate outcome isn’t achieved.
Last year, my goal was to find more balance in my life, and I talked about it on my New Year’s blog post. The outcome: Success! I’m definitely more balanced…even if it is a balance between having my $#it together one day and complete chaos the next. I’ve established a semi-flow with raising two active toddler boys with the help of my husband as co-pilot. Life threw us a curveball with this third pregnancy in August, but has really become a blessing to let me focus on my health and our family. I pivoted away from my full-time job as an OT in the hospital setting to launch my own private practice (details on that coming soon). Our home is SO much more balanced with me working from home and taking care of all the things that usually left us scrambling day-to-day (groceries, laundry, dinner, appointments etc.) Bottom line, we are fairly balanced and we’re happy going into 2019.
I’m not a “new year, new me” kind of girl, because I like who I am, and I’m not trying to become a new person. I’ll work with the flawed, imperfect Carolyn instead of trying to replicate my lifestyle after someone I see on social media or in the news. The best thing I read somewhere was “don’t compare your ‘Behind the scenes’ to someone else’s highlight reel. AMEN.
So what are my goals this year? In OT school we learned to write SMART goals for our patients/clients. This acronym stood for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Time-bound. That being said, I’m not using this format at all. I like to keep my goals vague and flexible, since daily life with a growing family is never what you plan it to be.
I know what you’re thinking, “Carolyn, you’re a lifestyle blogger who documents almost everything on social media or your blog. Clearly you can’t be THAT present in the moment”. Well, not really. You see a lot of snippets of my daily life, for sure. But I’m being more intentional about when and where I dedicate time to these things. Behind the scenes, I may take a video of the kids doing something funny or a #momfail, save it and get back in the moment, maybe posting it later on when there is downtime. I set aside time to work on the blog when no one is home and there aren’t any distractions. I redesigned our office space so that my work/home life is compartmentalized both physically and mentally. My husband and I now have a rule of no phones in the bedroom. We plug in our phones in the kitchen before bed so that we don’t end up laying next to each other texting/scrolling without saying a word to each other. Believe it or not, we’ve become more accountable to each other with this rule and it really has increased our connection time.
Be more organized
If you know me, follow my instagram stories or have been in my house, you probably know I’m an organization freak with an overly-used label maker. Sure it’s borderline psychotic, BUT let me explain! First off, when I’m pregnant I go into crazy nesting-mode, but everyone in the house benefits from it. Secondly, the more kids we have, the more chaos there is, the more off-balanced we become. Well, the increasing number of kids is clearly inevitable this year, so…
Restoring Control of the Chaos: An organized house and life actually gives me more time and energy to focus on what’s going on in the moment. It’s one less thing to stress about, even if we’re covered in baby food, haven’t showered in a few days or dealing with the third tantrum that day.
Ready for guests at any time: We’re always having friends or family dropping by the house at any given day during the week, sometimes to stay overnight. By being organized, there is less of a mad-dash to clean the entire house because it’s already slightly put-together. I’m sure it also makes them feel more comfortable and welcomed.
Establishing good habits for the kids: An organized and labeled playroom allows the boys to find toys easily, and also learn where each of their “home” is at the end of the day during cleanup. They already do it at school so it’s just reinforcing the same concepts at home.
Mom isn’t the know-it-all: “Babe, where is ____” is uttered less frequently by my husband because it’s probably where it’s supposed to be. Running a household with kids seems to work best when these menial things are put on auto-pilot. In a selfish way, I’m all about “home-automation” so I’m not the indispensable house-manager.
So now you know why I’m obsessive about an organized home and life! It’s ok to still think I’m crazy. I’m maybe halfway where I want to be in this goal, so it’s still a work in progress! I will be sharing more about organizing a home on a budget, since I’ve received a lot of positive comments about it and think it might be beneficial to share with y’all.
Be more intentional
I know this may sound cliché for 2019, since there’s a trend to be more introspective and . However, I like the idea of following through with my words, keeping myself aligned with my values and not trying to please the world only to abandon the ones I care more about. I like this article from HuffPost about being intentional. I’m starting to say no to the things that aren’t worth my time, energy of money, and yes to the things that will add value to my life, my relationships and my passions. I’m trying not to go with my knee jerk reaction or what might be easier, and ask God what he wants me to do instead. I was confronted with a woman with a horrible attitude in a grocery store (I’m sure you can relate). I wanted to go off on her, trust me! But there is a saying, “hurt people hurt people”, and I don’t know what she’s going through. By forgiving someone you don’t know, it removes the burden of negativity that you might be carrying around all day after that encounter. I also want my actions and words to be purposeful in hopes that it’ll one day rub off on my kids.
So that’s it. Nothing crazy, nothing terrible. Just a few things that I’m trying out for this year that may or may not fail within the first few months.
Do any of these relate to the things you’re working on this year? What are you trying to accomplish? I want to know!!! Be blessed, stay positive and enjoy the fresh start to a new year!!