Monday, January 3, 2011

My Life in a Nutshell: 2011 Goals

I’m not feeling terribly resolute, folks, but I did spend a little time thinking about what I’d like to accomplish this year. In determining my aims, I tried to be both reasonable and quantifiable, two factors that my wise high school calculus teacher assured me are critical to the success of any plan. He also said they should be written down so you can actually tell if you’ve made progress. So here are some of my personal goals for 2011:

Finish and clean up one project before beginning another. Keep work surfaces tidy and usable.

Ugh! I suffer from the common artsy ailment of too many ideas and not enough time. I’m always experimenting, so I tend to get started on projects, complete enough of it to determine success or failure, then move on without fully putting it away. This leaves me with a piles of odds and ends, tools and materials all spread out and no where to work on fresh ideas without shifting the clutter. It’s inefficient and frustrating, and I want to be better about it. Unfortunately, it tends to extend to the kitchen counters as well, so that’s another area for improvement.

To prepare, my last project of 2010 was to clean up my basement “studio”. It might not be aesthetically pleasing to work immediately beside the laundry facilities, but then, it’s pretty convenient to wash fabrics, iron projects and felt sweaters! It’s definitely a basement, but my husband has given me some very good lighting and it’s about as good a subterranean workspace as I can imagine for myself. Here are pictures of it today, just for the record. Notice that big beautiful rolling storage table for cutting fabric and working on any manner of craft! Thanks, Mom and Dad!! I want it to look that way everyday, so I can just decide what I want to work on and make it happen without the hassle of searching for the right tools or having to clear an area to work.

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Give completed handmade (or store-bought) gifts rather than promising to make them.

I tend to happily offer my sewing/crafting services to friends and family without thinking about the time it takes, and then instead of it being the intended gift or favor, it becomes a chore. This is unavoidable to some extent, but I want to plan ahead more or resign myself to buying gifts instead of promising something I can’t deliver without becoming stressed or behind schedule.

Plan ahead 3-4 meals per week. Make fewer trips to the grocery store.

I have never been a very good meal planner, despite several half-hearted efforts in the past. The silver lining is that I’m generally good at making meals with whatever is around, but it’s a skill that doesn’t lend itself to trying new types of recipes. And often I’m missing enough key ingredients that I have to make extra trips to the grocery store, another situation of inefficiency and, sometimes, unnecessary expense. I have a secret project that I’ve started to help tackle this goal, and hopefully I’ll get it working and be able to blog about it for you. Tantalizing clue: I will use MS Access!! I expect this will become more of a priority as my energy levels plummet further and I need to choose projects based on the ease with which they can be accomplished while lying prone on the couch.

Update the family blog at least once every 2 weeks. Schedule at least 1 blog post per week for Domestic Bliss.

This one is pretty self-explanatory. I like to write about what I’m working on, but my family blog, which includes pictures of the kids and family outings, tends to get put on the back burner since our life is *surprise* not terribly exciting on a daily/weekly/monthly basis. But I have siblings and family members around the globe now and, since they spend the time to visit our family blog, they shouldn’t be disappointed. I imagine that after the baby is born, this blog will also be updated less frequently as my projects get put on hold, but I want to keep it up at least minimally and 1 post per week seems reasonable.

Be back at pre-pregnancy weight by the end of 2011.

I’m glad I’ll have about 9 months to accomplish this! This pregnancy is shaping up to be my biggest weight gain yet, and it has me a little edgy (or would that be “roundy”?). I have used Weight Watchers in the past to lose 20 pounds (and keep it off!), so this is my go-to tool for weight loss. Weight has never come off easily for me, so I’m hesitant to even make this goal. That said, I really would like to get back down as soon as reasonably possible (life is more fun when you feel good about how you look!), and I hope that by making it a real aim, it’ll motivate me to take the steps necessary to make it happen. Steps like not making 8 kinds of Christmas cookies…

So, this is not a huge list, as it turns out, but I think it’s just the right amount for me this year. My baby is due in April, so I’ll have plenty of time to prepare and recover (in theory!). Since this is my 4th baby, I have a pretty good idea of how little I’ll be able to accomplish before and after delivery. Years past have seen my housekeeping and cooking skills improve, so I feel pretty good about (generally) not living in a pigpen and (generally) feeding my family nutritious meals. Last year I focused on finding balance with my Etsy shop and family life, and I feel that the two now flow together well and I have achieved a working equilibrium in my motivation and long-term plans for both. Those are all very good things, and I’m feeling pretty optimistic about this year’s priorities too. Wish me luck, and be sure to remind me if you notice I’m not keeping up!!

Happy New Year, everybody!!

3 comments:

Jodi said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jodi said...

It looks wonderful! :) Thanks for sharing the picture. I'm totally jealous of your sewing table. Someday, when my laundry room/sewing area is tidy, I'll take a pic for you.

Best of luck in achieving your goals. Let me know if you ever need a bit of encouragement.

Lisa@ButteryBooks said...

I have read so many posts/books about once a week cooking but can never seem to organize enough to pull it off...that is one of my resolutions this year. I hope you achieve all of yours!