Tuesday, December 29, 2015

New Year's Resolutions May Not Happen

After looking over my New Year's Resolutions from last year, I realized that they are all still a work in progress.

1. Be on time more for meetings, work, etc.
2. Have a time set aside for a devotional
3. Drink more water
4. Remember important events and anniversaries.
5. Leave work on time.
6. Do the things I love.
7. Work on the blog.

These are not in the order that I originally blogged about, but I have been thinking about this year and the things that I have accomplished. What has made 2015 important and what will make 2016 even better?

1. Be on time to meetings/work/events/etc.
I have put a few things in effect so that I can be more successful. Truthfully, I have battled this so much this year. And truthfully, still am not conquering this as much as I would like.  While I would like to blame the fact that I am not ontime to work regularly to the fact that I am blocked in the driveway, I cannot fully and honestly say that it is to blame. I point the blame at me. After reviewing many other blogs about tackling the mornings, I have tried a few things to change what I need to do.
a. I created an evening checklist that I try to follow in the evening before I go to bed so that I can be motivated to complete tasks that have to be done. There is a sense of accomplishment that I crave that I receive with I check off that I have completed tasks.  A couple of blogs suggested taking time in the evening to plan the next day with to dos. I don't have ten minutes to do this, but might.
b. I have enlisted the help of a coworker/boss to help with my timeliness to work. I feel like signing into a book is not enough. I text when I arrive and park my car. I just send a simple text and say, "Here."  If I am late, I have to see that co-worker/boss and they say something to me. I don't want them to have to say anything to me, but I needed this. Why? Because for whatever reason that 5 minutes shift in my morning routine, I am going to be 10 minutes later in traffic. Being on time is an expectation and I need to show that I am on time....that I can meet expectations in punctuality.
c. I took into consideration laying out everything the night before and loading the car the night before. Believe it or not, this helps. This has even changed my laundry routine. (I match my kids clothes on hangers for quick morning grabs.)
d. Lunches are made the night before as well. While this is a financial motivator, I make 4 sandwiches at night 3 out of the 5 nights a week generally so that the family has a lunch to take.

2. Have a time set aside for a devotional.
a. There is a time in the morning that I have set aside. Unfortunately, I do not follow that routine as much as I like. I scheduled 5:00 AM for a morning devotional/prayer time. I meet this maybe 2 times a month, shamefully. Excuse 1 - I am tired.  Excuse 2 - It will be ok.  Excuse 3 - I need to be in bed next to my husband. 
b. I did spend more time in a devotional than what was actually listed in 2.a. but just not at the time I had carved out. During the summer, I actually completed a Proverbs study inspired by Good Morning Girls, and followed a small group of ladies that my sister-in-law had created for women to encourage each other in the Word. The creator of Good Morning Girls has a process called SOAK that helps study God's Word and to retain the information to a depth that I have been longing for. Challenges with this makes a 30 minute session reviewing scripture is that I want to make notes on all of the scriptures because I get so much. SOAK stands for the following - Scripture, Observations, Application, and Kneel and Pray. I can actually say that I found that study to be encouraging and uplifting. Some sessions actually were 1 - 2 hours once I completed my daily chapter of Proverbs. Once I went back to work in the fall, I was unable to keep up with that pace in the study of Acts.
c. One of my co-workers shared a piece of information that I have held close, "You cannot make time. You have to take time."  This has been important, whether I take time as I walk, as I cook, as I drive to think or pray to God. I think that the "Be Still" part is still difficult for me. When I am "Still," I fall asleep!  Excuse 4 - Once I am up, I fall back asleep.
d. I would like to extend this into 2016 that there is a specific time, that I begin with a Heart of Gratitude, noting things I am thankful for and counting my blessings in my notebook. I don't have a fancy notebook, just something with paper and a working pen. I am thinking that I may need to have an actual devotional book to follow. This will keep me from fighting temptation to switch back and forth between Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram.

3.Drink more water.
a. Some days this works. Some days, not so much.
b. I have been substituting hot water with lemon and raw honey for coffee in the evenings. There is something about a hot drink in the evenings that I find important. I don't know why I love the coffee in the afternoon so much, but I do.  The health effects of the hot water, lemon, and honey can be found easily by checking on the internet.

4. Remember important events and anniversaries.
a. I think I scored on this one. However, I think that there is one that we did not celebrate and I will need to follow up as soon as I can.
b. I am thinking of extending this one into writing them out ahead of time and placing them in my Family organizer.  Then, I just have to mail them.
c. I even sent a couple of rounds of pictures and notecards to grandmas, in-laws, parents, and my sister. I think I would like to look at a different time to do this. I did this on Sundays, which may need to be reviewed for this year.

5. Leave work on time.
I don't meet this. I just don't. Why not? I have a life to live and truthfully, I have been living my work and not valuing the time. How can I do this? I need to make a plan.
Part of it is that I may not be able to tutor during the Spring Session. This breaks my heart, because I may not be able to reach some kids. However, I need to reach for my own before I can support someone else's children. There is much truth to this. It may relieve some of the mommy guilt, help with relaxing, and finding enjoyment in my daily living.

6.  Do the things I love.
Where do I begin? I feel like I have grown a lot in the last year in a positive way. I have begun to step out in a way that I don't normally get to do.
a. I have begun to take both kids shopping by myself. I could run to the grocery store for one or two things with two kids. However, I now take them to Hobby Lobby and Barnes and Nobles by myself. That my not sound like a lot for some Champion Moms out there, but this is big for me because even before I had children, I didn't go many places by myself. I spent Saturday mornings cleaning and sleeping. Then Sundays were spent lesson planning. I started making morning runs to the bank on Saturdays to deposit checks, to get out and to start our day with the kids. They enjoy going to different stores. Then we come home and the day feels like it has been full, when it is only half way over.
b. I have started to decorate a bit more. It sounds silly. I didn't spend money on things because we have had bills to pay. And buying something that I wasn't sure would work somewhere didn't make sense. I spent a lot of time reviewing pictures of interior decorating and realized that the value of the decorator's focal point is charged by the items valued by the family. I created a focal point on our wall below the stairs due to the fact that I liked a would be gift for a work party more on my wall than as an idea that it would be given to someone. I also decorated more in the kids' bedroom and in the kitchen.
c. I love to take care of my family. There are some challenges that I faced due to time restraints, cleaning needs, and ever changing lifestyle of a 1  to 2 and 4 to 5 year old this year.
              i. I created a check list for the week for maintaining the home. I would like to take it further by making a checklist for each month with expectations and expenses.
              ii. I am burned out by the end of the week because I try to give 110% every day. Keeping up with the cleaning for a household of a family and a pug is overwhelming when you cook in most nights, wash clothes for two kids and two adults, keep up with bills, and any additional events that happen in between, including but not limited to sickness and health needs....I had to make changes to when I did these items and how I accomplished them. I changed most of the cleaning to the week nights, not the weekends as I used to do. I spent too many Sundays crying over 10 loads of laundry, lesson plans, dirty kitchen, lack of fulfillment, etc. Something had to give.
                 iii. I have tried multiple ways to keep up with food that I cook...food that I cook that I like. I collect cook books, but rarely cook out of them. I rely much on good ole standbys like tacos, hot dogs, and slow cooker meals.I started a numbered list of quick meals in a word document and copied the recipes into a personal notebook. I also use Pinterest to pin recipes that I cooked and my family enjoyed because they were so good. I plan to take the word document further by listing individual meals on separate pages with all of the different ingredients and recipes for easy meal planning and grocery shopping.  (Idea - listing the UPC for quick scanning for quick uploading.)
          iv. I have started a notebook for creativity, family recipes, and memory keeping. I write in it to document family meals, funny quotes, and pictures of meals that we make regularly.
          v. I have actually completed several projects in the house, including the Coffee Can organizers and wreath making. I will say that when you create something, you feel so empowered. A can of spray paint can make a huge difference in feeling accomplished!
         iv.  I took a personal day to spend with my husband. Yes. I did. I never take a personal day. My husband and I took a personal day and we went to lunch and a movie. Ha! I needed that day in the worst way. I cannot verbalize how much good that it was for me.
         iiv. Have people over the house. I have had more people over to our home in the last year. Friends have come over for dinner and for play dates with the kids.  This has been great for us to have fellowship and to laugh.