Back in the day, I used to make a list of New Years resolutions each year…what I planned to do or not do for the upcoming year and goals that I wanted to achieve. At some point after I had kids, I quit making resolutions – it was hard enough just to keep track of them and all of their achievements, much less make a list of things I needed to achieve for myself!
But this year, I decided that resolutions may help me remember what’s important and what I should be working toward. And I think that everyone needs something like that, whether it be at New Years or any other time of year. So, here are mine, both personal and professional (in no particular order):
* Be more organized/reduce clutter. I’m a bit of a pack-rat, and I make my husband crazy, so this will take a lot of work.
* Be better about going to church regularly. Sometimes if the girls are misbehaving Sunday morning, we decide to skip church so other members aren’t forced to listen to their craziness…but I think we need to commit to going every week no matter how insane their acting. I will also admit that when my husband’s out hunting, I skip church because trying to keep two children well-behaved and quiet takes a LOT of work!
* Donate more (time, talents, possessions, etc). Last year we donated over $1000 worth of stuff to a thrift store, but we could’ve done more. Last year I also helped a local non-profit make scarves and hats for homeless, but I could’ve done more there, too. Business-wise, I think I donated just the right amount, so I’ll try to stay consistent with that this year.
* Work at procrastinating less. Sometimes, when I have a free hour, instead of getting things done, I relax in front of the TV…and then things pile up. This year I need to work at utilizing my free time so I’m more productive.
* Surround myself with positive people who are going to lift me up and support me/Avoid negative, disrespectful people or people who talk trash about me, gossip about me, and try to bring me down. Negative people are just not worth the time or energy, no matter who they are…and I don’t have room for them in my or my family’s life. Being around positive people breeds positive energy, confidence, and dare I say it, happiness. The support that they provide is amazing – everyone needs a group of cheerleaders!
* Save more money/build up savings. Don’t get me wrong, I have money in my savings, but coming from a family of 11 kids, I can tell you that things happen, and it’s good to be prepared as much as possible. I’m practically a depression-era child with my thinking…no matter how much I have, I’m afraid it’s not enough!
* Contribute to my IRA. I’m afraid I’ve been grossly negligent of contributing to a retirement fund for over 6 years now, and this should definitely have priority over setting aside money for my children’s college fund. Sorry, kids, get used to working!
* Be more prompt. And by this, I mean early. I have been on time for things to discover people waiting for me. I guess this means I need to arrive at least 5 minutes before I say I will!
* Keep better/more complete files. Last year was my first year of owning my own business, and I was so overwhelmed by the amount of paperwork and files I have to keep! If I could start again, I’d make sure my records were simple, detailed, and consistent (or hire an accountant). I haven’t started my taxes yet, but I am NOT looking forward to it!
* Refuse to let people use me, manipulate me, or try to make me feel guilty for choices my husband and I make that are in the best interest of our family. We are going to put our needs/wants and the needs/wants of our children before everyone else. If you don’t like it, tough. My family’s happiness is important to me, and if my primary concern isn’t for them, I’m not being the wife and mother that I should be. If I am able to accommodate others, I will, but do NOT try to make me feel bad or insult me if I can’t…my priorities are straight.
* Love my parents more and show them my appreciation more. My parents are in their 70s, and I know my time with them is limited. They have helped me out so much and ask for nothing in return. They treat me like an adult, let me do what I want, and don’t judge me or my husband for the decisions we make or if we don’t follow their advice. My mom, especially, is so amazing at being a mom, showing selflessness, and taking care of her children/grandchildren…as a teenager, I used to be horrified by the thought of being like her, but now I think I’d be pretty lucky to be half as awesome because she is a rare breed. I think I’m going to try to write them one thank you note a month for the entire year to show my appreciation.
Last but not least:
* Learn more…Become more educated…Increase my knowledge…in everything I do. I never want to stop learning, whether it be something new or something more or bettering myself.
“Life is about learning; when you stop learning, you die.” ~Tom Clancy