Friday, January 17, 2020

Five on Friday - January Goals

As mentioned in my 2020 Goals post on Wednesday, things are going to look a little different around here this year.  While I’ll still be doing monthly goals posts, the emphasis is going to be more on connecting with people and spending time with them and less on checking things off of to-do lists.  Before I get to the January goals, let’s see how I did with December goals.

As always, I’m using a Y for YES and N for NO to indicate whether or not I accomplished my goals.



December Goals

Personal

Y  Positivity, worry less, complain less, be kind, patience, relationships. – I feel like this went pretty smoothly in December and I focused much more on relaxing, taking things slow, being present, and spending time with loved ones despite the fact that December was bittersweet with the death of my grandmother.
Y  Start reading a Christmas book. – I got through half of Christmas Shopaholic and it’s so cute.  I’m still reading it!
Y  Join Adrienne’s Book Club. – I attended their Christmas party to get to know everyone and hope to start attending as much as I can.
Y  Dinner with girlfriends. – We did our favorite things party and it was so much fun.
Y  Dinner with old co-workers. – We got together for our annual Christmas dinner and it was so special spending time with everyone.

Health

N  Drink 64 oz. water per day. – I ended up with some kind of stomach virus for eight days and during that time I barely ate or drank anything the whole time.
Y  Continue quiet time/meditating. – I did make time for this, and although I missed a few days during the month, I made it a priority most of the month.
Y  Hit the gym as much as I can. – I hit the gym approximately one time in December, but that was “as much as I could” so I’m giving myself grace and a yes for this one.
Y  Eat healthy when I can and indulge, too. – December was a good balance.
Y  Follow up with GI doc. – Sure did and he released me since reflux isn’t the culprit.

Family

Y  Help out with raffle ticket data entry at kids’ school.
Y  Attend Observation Day at Olivia’s dance school.
Y  Have a Brian and Lindsay Day o Fun... or two! – We got in two in December!
Y  Attend the school’s Christmas program.
Y  Do all the fun Christmasy things on our Bucket List! – We checked off every single thing!
Y  Spend lots of time with those whom I hold most dear.
Y  Celebrate Christmas.
Y  Spend time with our friends who are back from Korea!!!! – We soaked them up for two whole days straight!
Y  Celebrate New Year’s Eve.

Home

Y  Send out Christmas cards.
Y  Finish Christmas shopping.
N  Photograph kids’ art from first 1/2 of year and file papers to keep. – Dropped the ball on this and have no regrets.
Y  Clean out, organize, and put away all Christmas decorations.
Y  Mop, vacuum, and clean whole house before NYE.

Blog

N  Complete posts for Christmas Break. – Dropped the ball on this, too, and also had no regrets.  It was nice to take some time off, although, unexpected.
Y  Start planning/organizing 2020 goals.

Summary

23 items accomplished
3 items not accomplished

Here are some pictures of my successes...

Dinner with girlfriends
Dinner with old coworkers

My one workout for the month

Christmas program at the kids' school

Day date!

Nutcracker weekend in Atlanta

Christmas Eve
Christmas morning

Hanging out with our friends from Korea

Fantasy in Lights - bucket list check!

Celebrating New Year's Eve

Giving myself a pat on the back for this one!  ;o)  Now onto the January goals… you’ll see that I renamed my “Personal” section “Personal/Connect” so I can list my goals to connect with others there since that’s my word for the year, although, I'll probably continue to put all Brian, Jacob, and Olivia related items under the "Family" category.  So many items could fall under multiple categories!

January Goals

Personal/Connect

Worry, rush, and complain less, live in the present and choose joy.
Be positive, confident, and kind.
Movie night with Momma.
Text two friends I haven’t talked to in a while just because.
Lunch with old coworkers.
Attend bible study (assuming we resume this month).
Help out with raffle ticket data entry at kids’ school.
Attend Home & School Association meeting for January.
Attend the school spring event meeting.
Get outside and walk with Maui while the kids are at school at least twice.
Put phone away each evening before dinner until after kids are in bed. 
Stop scrolling through phone in public and interact with others more.
Read Emily Ley’s book When Less Becomes More.
Start making a list of special things I can do for others.

Health

Meditate every single day of the month.
Quiet time every single day of the month.
Drink 64 oz. water most days.
Work out at least three times per week (gym/walk around neighb/stair stepper).
Have a check-up at the allergist.
Visit with therapist at least two times.

Family

Hang out with kids after dinner every evening.
Don’t be so hard on the kids/don’t sweat the little things.
Make at least two Whole 30 meals for dinner.
Book fast passes for Disney World trip.
Get kids to practice riding bikes without training wheels as much as possible.
Attend a UGA basketball game.
Schedule Olivia’s six-year well-visit at the doctor.
Sign Jacob up for baseball for spring season.

Home

Photograph kids’ art from first half of year and file papers to keep.
Clean out front room – game cabinet/side table.
Clean out living room – entertainment center/coffee table/side tables. 
Clean out play room – bins/shelves.
Clean out refrigerator.
Clean out pantry.
Clean out master closet.
List 3 large items for sale on Facebook.
Start researching vehicles.
Complete 3 things on Master To-Do list.
Decorate for Valentine’s Day. 
Start preparing for Valentine’s Day.
Start researching condos for beach trip.

Blog

Get caught up on content after taking a break last month.
Plan blog content for first quarter.
Instagram – giveaway.

Friday Funnies... Or Inspiration This Week :o)

Wise words.

Truth

Shine your light while you've got one!

While I didn't have any trouble this past year "sitting at anyone's table" I still loved this!  Make your own way!

AMEN!

On the Blog This Week
Happy Friday, y’all!


*Linking up with A Little Bit of Everything for Friday Favoriteand Della Devoted for High Five for Friday.



Thursday, January 16, 2020

Our Week - The One with Tornadoes and Bike Riding

Reentry into the real world after two whole weeks off at Christmas Break is always tough.  Part of me wasn’t ready to give up the coziness and laziness of the season, but the other part of me was ready for structure and to start tackling some of the things we’d been neglecting.  Fortunately our week wasn’t jam-packed as so many of our weeks are, so we were able to make a pretty seamless transition back into the groove without being too overwhelmed.

Monday, January 6

Monday morning after I dropped the kids at school I headed straight for the gym.  I hadn’t been since early December due to so much sickness and the general busyness/laziness before and after Christmas, so I was ready.  It wasn’t my best workout, but it wasn’t too shabby either considering how much time I’d taken off.


I also had a six-month check-up at the allergist and got good news (that I already mentioned in my goals post earlier this week)… my allergies have improved and my lung function tests looked so good that my doctor said I should be able to discontinue allergy shots after this spring!  I can’t believe it’s almost been three years since I started them… it’ll definitely be nice to not have to go there multiple times each month!

Monday afternoon, the kids were pretty exhausted when they got home from school, so we had a quiet evening at home, complete with early bedtimes for all of us.

Tuesday, January 7

Tuesday morning I had some errands/appointments, and then I spent the rest of the day in my office working on blogging and catching up on emails and blog reading and other stuff that I had let go during Christmas Break.  It was so nice to have that extended break, but it is always so hard getting caught back up afterwards.



Tuesday evening I cooked dinner for the four of us and then I headed out to see Little Women with my Momma and my uncle’s girlfriend while B held down the fort at home.  I’ve never really liked Little Women – the book or the movies – but my aunt and cousin had seen it on a whim and thought it was great, so we decided to give it a whirl.  I ended up enjoying the movie so much, y’all, and it was such a pleasant surprise!  This movie has made me want to try to read the book again… I’ve never completed it because it just wasn’t my kind of thing, but now I think I’m going to give it a try again.



Wednesday, January 8

One of my goals for 2020 is to get out of my routine more while the kids are at school, and quit sitting at my desk nonstop working the entire time.  Wednesday was absolutely gorgeous, so I took full advantage and dropped everything I was doing to take Maui for a walk around our neighborhood.  One of the perks of working for myself is that I can be my own boss and do what I want to do.  However, I just don’t take advantage of that enough!

People constantly ask me, “What do you do all day?  Don’t you get bored while the kids are at school?”  The answer to those questions are a resounding NO.  Since I quit my corporate job and starting pursuing blogging full-time, I have treated blogging like a job.  While the kids are at school I’m working constantly – preparing, writing, and photographing content, pitching to brands, growing a social media presence, reading articles and watching videos to learn how to grow my business, and engaging with other bloggers/brands.  Not to mention I have a household to run and two small kids to take care of.  Sure, I work out some mornings and run errands when I need to, but one thing I can tell you that I’m NOT doing is sitting around, watching Netflix, and eating chocolate.  I can’t even tell you the last time I turned the TV on during the day while the kids were gone.  And I can’t even tell you how many people have asked me if that’s what I do all day now that I work from home.  <eye roll>

Anyway, that all said, I do feel like I’ve let myself become too much of a workaholic while the kids are at school, and even on days when I’m not feeling my best or I have a headache, or whatever, I never let myself take a break.  I always push ahead and work work work.  So this year, I’m going to be taking more breaks, getting more fresh air, and doing more of what lets my soul rest... remember my 2020 goals?  My 25-minute walk with Maui on Wednesday was such a simple thing, but it made a big, positive impact on the rest of my day.  And probably Maui’s, too.  :o)



Thursday, January 9

Thursday morning was another gym day and then it was more blog work for the rest of the day.  I’m still trying to dig myself out of the hole I got myself in when I dropped everything blog-related during Christmas Break, so I am working to get caught up.  After this week I should be where I need to be on the blog, and next week should be a lot lighter so I’m hoping to get ahead and stay there!


Thursday afternoon was Olivia’s first ballet/tap class in nearly a month.  She was off for the two weeks of Christmas Break, and the week prior to that she had a bad stomachache which caused her to miss it.  Needless to say, she was thrilled to be back, and we added a braid to her usual ponytail to make her feel a little fancier.  It’s the little things.  ;o)



Friday, January 10

Friday morning I did my meditation and quiet time as I always do and the reading in my devotional was basically like a smack straight to my head.  Overthinking, obsessing over things I can’t change, planning constantly and trying to control everything?  Helloooo, if that doesn’t describe me to a T then I don’t know what does!  Man oh man I needed that at the start of this year… it was exactly what I needed to keep me on track with my goals for this year. 


Friday afternoon I met two of my old coworkers for lunch.  One of them brought a UGA children’s book to me that’s signed by the author.  Apparently the author is friends with his neighbor, and he thought of me at her book signing.  We are die-hard UGA fans in this house so I don’t think that should surprise anyone.  ;o)  I can’t wait to read it with the kids.  It’s so cute.

Friday evening we decided to venture out for dinner.  We’d spent many a night tucked away at home during Christmas break and we’d also spent every evening at home that week, so I think we were all itching to go out somewhere.  We ended up at our all-time favorite brew-pub downtown for pizza and beers and B and I tried a new appetizer on the menu that was divine – some kind of baked pimento cheese spread with tomato jam and homemade crackers.  Ooooh-weeee it was delicious!

We had a new gourmet donut shop open in town earlier this month so all of you long-time readers can probably imagine how excited we are about that!  To live in such a large city and to not have any kind of gourmet donut shop is a shame, so we were thrilled when we found out we were getting one.  B and I have joked numerous times that we should open one here because there’s such a huge gap in the market for one.

We walked to the shop after dinner since the weather was nice and we picked up some donuts for Saturday morning for breakfast.  We ended up not being super impressed with the shop or the donuts themselves, unfortunately though, so we probably won’t be frequenting the place.  The donuts weren’t bad or anything but they weren’t great either.  And their business model is a little strange as they only sell mini donuts, but you’re required to purchase multiple of each flavor in specific quantities.  They also just pile them on top of each other in a to-go box which I thought was odd, too… y’all know me, I like to take pictures of donuts laid out all pretty side by side in a box.  Haha.


After grabbing our donuts for the next morning the kids asked if we could visit the candy shop and pick out a piece of candy for dessert.  They typically ask for frozen yogurt or ice cream when we’re downtown, but for some reason they were craving candy Friday evening so we obliged.  We ended up spending a good 20-30 minutes in there as we always do because there’s so much to see.  The kids each picked out some Christmas tree gummies for their treats and then we headed home. 



Saturday, January 11

Saturday morning started out slow and lazy.  The kids watched a couple of cartoons while I snuggled on the couch with them and read my book, and then the three of us went upstairs to clean out and organize the play room.  All of the kids’ new Christmas gifts had been piled in the middle of the floor for weeks since they didn’t know where to put them, so it was long overdue. 

Before

After

We spent the next few hours sorting, purging, and organizing, and we got the whole thing done.  I have to say, after my huge clean-out a couple of years ago, this job hasn’t been quite so hard since.  One funny thing to note – I went to pick up Mrs. Potts on Olivia’s Beauty and the Beast serving cart and I heard something shaking around inside.  I expected to open it and see a bunch of Hatchimals or beads or some other small toys, but when I opened it I found a bunch of Cheerios.  I was perplexed until I inspected further and realized that all of the Cheerios were in bunches that were stuck together.  Our kids always get so excited when they search their Cheerio bowls at breakfast and see more than two stuck together… every single time they eat them they always search through the bowl before we pour the milk so they can pull out all of the ones that are stuck together in threes and fours.

Well apparently, they decided they wanted to save all of the bunches of threes and fours stuck together so they’ve been sneaking them upstairs and putting them in Mrs. Potts to save as “keepsakes.”  Y’all.  I laughed so hard when Jacob told me this.  As a matter of fact, one day earlier this week Jacob came upstairs after breakfast holding a bunch of three because he wanted to show it to me.  I thought nothing of it and assumed he’d eat them after he showed me, but nope, he had brought them upstairs to put inside Mrs. Potts.  Hahahaha.  Unfortunately I had to be the bad guy and tell them that we couldn’t have a bowl full of random Cheerios in the play room because we didn’t want to get ants or other bugs, but they were okay with that.  ;o)


We’d had our eye on the weather all day because the local news had been saying for days to expect severe thunderstorms, hurricane force winds, and possible tornadoes Saturday, and sure enough, around 3 our local weather people cut into regular scheduled programming to alert everyone.  We all showered and dressed immediately and then I prepared our storm closet adding our weather radio, external chargers, flashlights, helmets (gotta protect those little heads!), shoes for everyone, our laptops, family binder, hard drives with all of our photos/videos, and my planner and purse… the important, irreplaceable stuff. 


Sure enough, just after 5 PM (when we’d normally be leaving for church) the sky darkened to the point where it looked like nighttime and then all of the crazy weather started.  We had torrential rain and some thunder and lightning, but the scariest part was the wind.  They said we had near 80 mph winds and we also had a tornado come through our area again, right near our neighborhood.  Fortunately this time it stayed in the air and never touched down (at least we don’t think it did) so all was good.  There were some widespread power outages in our city, but we somehow managed to get by without losing power.  It only flickered a few times. 

The storm was also super fast moving, so the worst passed within about an hour and then it was over.  I was so happy to get out of that closet!  At that point it was obviously too late to go to church, but B and the kids and I did decide to go out for a quick dinner.  We didn’t want to go far because we weren’t sure how much damage had been done around the city, so we just went to Zaxby’s right down the street from our house.  It was nice to get out of the house since we’d been cooped up all day and it was nice to shift my focus somewhere else besides all of the bad weather.  Tornadoes are one of my main triggers for anxiety so I had gotten pretty worked up during the storm. 

Sunday, January 12

Sunday morning we were up bright and early for 8 AM mass since we’d missed 5:30 the night before, and then we headed back home to get some things done around the house.  We went out for lunch at Chipotle (and I’m loving their new spinach/kale greens mix by the way!) and then we ran a couple of errands.

We’ve been wanting to get both kids riding bikes without training wheels for quite sometime but we’ve never really taken as much time needed to do that.  Sunday we loaded their bikes and helmets in the car and drove to the high school down the street from our neighborhood to let them practice riding around the track.  The track is much softer than the paved streets in our neighborhood and it’s flat and wide and there’s also no traffic… the perfect place to teach a kid how to ride a bike!

Instead of letting the kids ride around with their training wheels like we always do, we just went ahead and removed them altogether.  B and I worked with each of them, slowly guiding them around the track and teaching them how to lean side to side to keep their balance and they practiced hard for a good hour or so.  Jacob was so comfortable the entire time and he even asked me to let go of him once (I was SHOCKED) but he ended up not getting very far and he put his feet down to stop himself. 

Olivia on the other hand wasn’t ready for us to let her go, and she had a couple of spills while pushing herself with her feet, so she was kind of cranky most of the time that we were there.  Overall both of them did really well, though, and I’m really proud of them for being so brave.  We’re going to keep at it and hopefully they’ll get comfortable and skilled enough to ride without training wheels soon.




Sunday afternoon B and the kids started playing their new Zelda game while I got things prepped for the week ahead.  We went over to my parents’ house for Sunday dinner and after dinner my Daddy surprised us with some old family videos.  My Nana (the one who just passed away) had a stockpile of old family videos on actual reels of film and her brother has had them at his house for the last 40 years.  My Dad got them from her brother when we were at her funeral last month and he had a local shop convert them all to DVD. 

We spent Sunday evening watching all of the old videos from the 60’s and 70’s when my dad was a little boy and a teenager and it was just so neat.  The videos don’t have any sound, but it was really cool to see all of the video footage even without it.  I’ve seen loads of old photos of him when he was little, but never video, so it was the coolest thing!  I’m going to borrow my dad’s copy and rip them to my computer so I can have copies for myself.  Such wonderful family treasures!

Happy Thursday, y’all!




Wednesday, January 15, 2020

2020 New Year’s Goals + My Word for the Year

I’ve been choosing a word to be my theme for the year since 2016 and I have really done well incorporating said words and their purposes into my everyday life throughout the years.  In 2016 my word was LESS, in 2017 it was GROW, in 2018 it was JOY, and in 2019 it was DONE (although looking back it probably should have been ANXIETY.  Haha.).  After all of the focus on getting things DONE and after our many hardships and losses in 2019, I knew this year’s word needed to be something deep and meaningful.  Something life-giving.  

During all of our challenging times last year – especially on my most anxious days and also right after my Nana died – there was a single word that kept popping in my head over and over during my prayer and quiet time.  I’m pretty sure God planted the seed for that word directly in my heart, so it was a no-brainer to choose it as my word for 2020.  That’s why for 2020 I have chosen the word CONNECT. 


Since quitting my corporate job and becoming a stay-at-home mom/blogger two years ago I’ve felt a bit isolated, and while I adore my alone time and I love working for myself, it’s also made me realize just how much I need and crave human interaction… and not just surface-level hellos and goodbyes… the deep, meaningful stuff, too.  2019 taught me that we all have expiration dates and our time here is limited, so it’s important to soak each other up while we can.  So in 2020 I want to connect with others…

- Connect with God and make my bond with Him stronger than ever.
- Connect with myself and live my healthiest life… I will get to know my anxiety, its triggers, and its manifestations so I can manage it to the best of my ability.
- Connect with Brian on a deeper level… a lot of our time together is spent on autopilot during this particular season of life and I don’t want us to lose each other in the busyness like so many other couples do.
- Connect with Jacob and Olivia and really soak up their littleness and all of their little idiosyncrasies before it’s too late… they change every single day and they’re going to be grown up so soon.
- Connect with Maui and start spending more time with her outdoors… more walks around the neighborhood!  We do plenty of snuggling with her, but we rarely make the time to actually play with her and let her get exercise.
- Connect with my parents and try to spend more quality time with them in different ways other than our typical church and dinners together.
- Connect with my brothers and check in with them more than I already do.
- Connect with my grandmother and treasure my time with her since she’s officially my last living grandparent. 
- Connect with extended family members on Brian’s and my sides of the family.  We’re so lucky to have most of our extended family here in town and I want to take full advantage of that.
- Connect with my girlfriends even more and foster those relationships because they’re so important. 
- Connect with my old coworkers and try to keep in touch with them even more than I already do.
- Connect with parents and faculty at the kids’ school and our church because there are so many lovely people there who I would love to get to know better.
- Connect with parents of Jacob’s and Olivia’s baseball and ballet friends and form new relationships.
- Connect with my blogger friends and be even more supportive and encouraging of them and their businesses… we’re all in this together, ladies!
- Connect with you, my readers, and chat with y’all more on Instagram stories. 
- Connect with brands and try to start some new partnerships.
- Connect with strangers on the street and fill someone’s bucket everyday just because…

I’m so excited about this year’s word and all that it could bring!

Now for the goals… and you’ll notice that they’re heavy on people and health-oriented stuff this year and light on the house and blog to-do’s!




Personal

Put myself out there to connect with others.  Join a bible study, join a book club, volunteer more, chat up random strangers.  (Joining a bible study has been on my 2020 Goals List for months and I actually ended up joining one late last year so… CHECK!  Haha.)

Worry less, be positive, complain less.  This one has been on my list pretty much every year, but until just a couple of months ago, I never really knew how to achieve it.  I feel like time with my devotional and meditating daily have really given me the tools to succeed.  I feel like I’m learning to relinquish control and trust God more every step of the way, and man, is that a great feeling!  Sure, there will be struggles, but I really feel like I can do better on this once and for all. 

Live in the present.  This is one of the simplest ways to stop the worrying.  I’m constantly so hyper-focused on trying to predict and control the future that I often miss out on the now because I’m in a frenzy worrying about things that haven’t even happened yet.  Again, devotional time and meditation really help with this.

Be kind.  One thing I’ve really learned this past year is that you never, ever know what someone is going through behind the scenes.  It’s always so important to be kind, even when someone is not kind to you.

Donate blood.  Can you believe I’ve never done this before?!  For a long time, I didn’t meet the minimum weight requirement, but over the last few years I’ve put on some muscle (and getting older) weight and I can now donate!  I think this would be a great/weird way to connect with strangers I’ll never meet.  How awesome it will be to know that my blood could save a life!

Get out of my routine more while the kids are at school.  This will be a difficult one for me since I tend to stay in my little cocoon (home office) all day while the kids aren’t home, but I’ve found that sometimes being at home alone all day seems to make me more anxious.  I’ve noticed recently that on the days when I’m mixing it up and doing different things or interacting with people my anxiety seems to stay in check.  So in 2020 I fully intend to spend more time getting lost in the library, walking at the park or around our neighborhood, wandering around Hobby Lobby, having coffee or lunching with friends, and working from Panera or Starbucks instead of my desk… simple stuff like that that gets me out of the monotony of daily life and makes me happy.  :o)

Stop rushing and slow the eff down.  Pardon my language, but I recently became annoyed with myself when I realized that a lot of the time I rush for no reason at all.  Even when I know I have ample time to get where I need to be or to get the things done on my list, I still fast-walk everywhere and rush around like a crazy person.  Do you know why I do that?  So I can complete tasks faster than expected to make room for other tasks that weren’t on the list so I can “get ahead.”  Why oh why do I do that??  There was a line in my devotional recently that said that “rushing and anxiety go hand-in-hand and God does not want us to be anxious so we need not rush.”  BOOM.  Mic drop, Lindsay’s slowing down.

Put the phone down.  I’m actually really good at this at home already, but I want to leave my phone behind even more in 2020, especially in public.  I’m so guilty of scrolling in waiting rooms and check-out lines while I wait, and I want to do less of that and more interacting with the people around me.  And when the kids are around, I don’t even want my phone to be in their sight unless I’m taking pictures.  I want to set a good example for them and let them know that they are my primary focus always.  I don’t want them to ever feel like they are taking a back seat to a phone.

Stop caring so much about what other people think.  I’m a natural-born people pleaser (hello, Enneagram 6!) and it’s exhausting, so this year I’m going to focus hard on not caring so much about what other people think.  Of course, I’m not going to do a complete 180 and not care about other people at all… that’s not what I mean.  Instead, I want to stop worrying about the things that aren’t important.  I constantly worry that people won’t like me/don’t like me/don’t care what I have to say and I feel like I hold my real self back sometimes because of that.  (Stupid anxiety!!)  I also HATE talking about my blog to the real people in my life because I’m worried they’ll judge me/dislike me/won’t understand (because most people don’t).  But I saw a quote recently that said something like, “It’s not really your business what other people think about you,” and my goodness that’s so true!  Just let your light shine without caring what other people think!

Choose joy every single day.  Because it really can be that simple.  I’m guilty of forgetting this, but my Momma and Daddy gave a bracelet to me for Christmas with this phrase on it.  I’m hoping it reminds me to do this.    

Health

Meditate every day.  I took up meditating at the end of 2019 and I can’t even tell you how wonderful it has been for me and my anxiety!  I’ve learned that it is pertinent to my mental health and I want to try to do it in some form every single day.  I’ll probably do a blog post about it eventually, too.

Quiet time with God every day.  This has done wonders for my anxiety, too… maybe even more so than the meditating.  However, when life gets busy, unfortunately, I start to let this slide, and it needs to be a priority.  I also want to go to confession.  I’ve always had anxiety about it so I haven’t been in years.  Time to get to it.

Continue seeing a therapist.  I haven’t talked about it much, but I started seeing someone for my anxiety a couple of months ago, and she has been amazing.  I’m kicking myself for not doing it years ago.  If I had, my anxiety probably wouldn’t have gotten so out of control this past year.

Drink 64 oz. of water every day.  I recently purchased a 30 oz.Yeti rambler and I’ve found it so much easier to accomplish this goal every day now that I only have to refill my cup once.  Having the right tools to set yourself up for success is SO important, y’all.

Work out at least twice per week.  I have found that working up a sweat is another thing that is vital for curbing my anxiety, so this will be a priority this year… even during the busy weeks.  If I can’t make it to the gym, I will find a way to get outside and get moving or at the very least get on my stair stepper at home.

Eat less sugar and more veggies.  My therapist said that a bad diet can contribute tremendously to anxiety, so I want to continue watching my sugar intake as I have in previous years, and I want to continue sneaking in more veggies… especially leafy green ones.

Complete Immunotherapy.  My last allergy test showed that my allergy shots are working and I’m hoping that this might be the year that I am able to stop getting allergy shots and possibly eliminate the need for some of my allergy/asthma medications.

Family

Do more fun/different stuff with/for Brian.  So much of the time now we’re on autopilot in all of our busyness and I want to get back to the fun, carefree us.  I want to read The Five Love Languages together (finally) and try new things for date nights.  I want to do other fun stuff at home together after the kids go to bed besides our typical TV time that we do every night (ie: random conversations and Scrabble… we used to play all the time) and I’d love to try to sneak away together for another overnight trip.  Those are so few and far between nowadays.

Do more special little things for the kids.  I’m often so busy that I don’t make as much time as I’d like for doing little things for them… lunchbox notes, baking cookies, etc.  Time to get back to this!  It’ll be a great way to CONNECT.  ;o)

Waste more time with Brian and the kids.  If we’re not doing an organized activity like playing a game, reading, watching TV, or going somewhere, I often use the time to work on a project or I retreat to my office to work.  This year I just want to spend more time hanging around with everyone just doing nothing... that’s where the magic happens! 

Cook healthier/more adventurous dishes for my people.  I typically stick to chicken and sausage and the occasional ground beef, but I’d like to start experimenting more with steak and pork and other meats.  I’d also like to try some new veggies and find some new ways to prepare our tried and true favorites.  We have two very picky eaters and I want to find some new (healthy) things that they like.  I’d like to try some Whole 30 recipes as well.

Take a family trip to visit my brother and sister-in-law in Huntsville.  My bro and SIL moved to Huntsville last year to work for NASA and they bought their first home and are thriving there.  We haven’t had the chance to visit them yet since the kids have been in school, but I want to make a trip there this summer to see where they live and tour NASA and let them show us around their new city that they love so much.  We’ve never been!

GO TO DISNEY WORLD!  Eeeek!  Our trip is only a couple of months away!

Raise good, well-rounded human beings.  This year I want to give the kids more responsibility around the house (light chores, etc.), focus on kindness and giving back to others with them, work on money skills (save/spend/give), and work on being more spontaneous... AKA roll with the punches.  While routines are great, I don’t want our kids to live and die by them.  I want us to mix it up a little more this year and I want our kids to learn to enjoy being spontaneous sometimes.  I don’t have a spontaneous bone in my body, so this will be good for me as well.

Teach Jacob to ride a bike without training wheels!!  Once and for all.  Sheesh.  Might as well go ahead and teach Olivia, too, at this point!

Home

Clean out the whole house.  I did a massive clean-out in 2018 that took months, but I still like to do a sweep of the whole house once per year.  They are quick and painless nowadays since I did that big one a couple of years ago because we’ve done a really good job of maintaining.

Sell old stuff.  I sold a ton of old stuff last year, but I still have more to list.  I’d like to get the last of it listed this year.

Be intentional with the things I buy.  This has been on my list for a couple of years now and it’ll probably remain because it’s so important… this is the #1 way to keep the clutter at bay which also makes the annual house clean-outs much faster and easier.

Buy a new car for myself.  Funny to mention purchasing something when I just said I wanted to be intentional with the things that I buy, but I’ve officially been driving my current vehicle for almost 10 years, and I’m in need of an upgrade.  My SUV is so old that it doesn’t even have a screen on the dash – it’s just an old-school OG dashboard – and therefore, I don’t have a back-up camera, I don’t have the capability to directly connect my phone to the car to make phone calls or play my music or anything.  I do currently have an adaptor that allows me to do limited things, but it’s a bit convoluted so I’m ready for the real thing.  My vehicle is also in the small SUV category and I’d like to move to the mid-range category to have a little bit more space since we now have two kids and they’re getting bigger by the day.  I have my eye on the new Kia Telluride because it is GORGEOUS.  I don’t think I’ve ever been so excited about a vehicle in my life, and I’m hoping we can find one that fits in our budget.

Cut down my Master To-Do List by 10%.  Last year, I started with 472 tasks on this list and I cut it down by more than 50%, so just 236 lines remain.  However, a lot of the tasks that remain are more time intensive and/or more costly (think bigger home projects like painting the inside of the house and revamping our home security system), so the rate at which I cross them off will slow drastically this year as a lot of them will be dependent upon our budget and time.  Since I’m focusing more on people this year and less on to-dos, my goal is only to cross off 10% of the items, a drastic difference from last year.

Make shorter, more manageable Daily To-Do Lists.  Last year since I was trying to get everything DONE I put way more on my plate each day than I probably should have… and I’m sure that didn’t help with my anxiety.  This year, I’m going to lighten my load and create more manageable lists that can all be completed before the kids get home from school or at least before dinner, which is what I had intended to do in the first place.  That way we have more time for the slow and good stuff and we can all connect after dinner without other things getting in the way.  Don’t forget to follow along with my list-making in my Instagram stories… I post them there daily, Monday – Friday!

Maintain.  After choosing the word “DONE” in 2019, I feel like I really got caught up on life stuff last year.  Our house is in order, most of it is finally furnished and decorated and organized the way that I want it (after 10 years), and more than half of my Master To Do List was accomplished last year.  This year, I’ll continue to whittle away at the Master To Do List (although at a much slower rate) and I just want to maintain everything else.  I’m hoping that opens the door for more slow, simple time with family.

Blog

Only blog 3-4 days per week… emphasis on 3.  Once I get past this catch-up mode that I’m currently in I ultimately would like to reduce my load to three days per week.

Continue preparing posts for Monday prior to the weekend and posting weekly recaps on Tuesday or Wednesday.  That way I don’t have to blog during the weekend at all.  Most of the year I’d like to follow this format – something seasonal/fun/evergreen on Monday, a weekend recap on Wednesday, and a Five on Friday post with favorite things on Friday.  During busier months, Mondays and Wednesdays will be for the seasonal/fun/evergreen content and I’ll post the weekly recaps on Tuesday or Thursday.

Discontinue What’s Up Wednesday posts.  I feel they no longer add value to the blog so I’m no longer doing them.

Discontinue bucket lists.  I always include our bucket list items in my monthly goals posts, so the bucket lists are starting to feel redundant.  No more bucket lists… instead these items will be in the “Family” section of my monthly goals posts.

Combine the two birthday posts I do for each child every year into one post.  I currently write a birthday interview and a birthday letter for each child and post them on separate days, but I’m going to start combining them to leave more room in my editorial calendar since I’m trying to blog fewer days per week.

Prepare posts at least 2-3 days ahead of their post date.  Preparing them the day before they go live stresses me out sometimes so I’d like to start blogging a few days ahead every day after I get myself out of this hole I’m currently in.  Ha!

Post more rich, evergreen content that y’all like to see.  It seems that my organization, home decoration, and recipe posts do the very best and y’all also apparently like seeing my bar cart and charcuterie boards, too, so more of this in 2020!

Focus on SEO and Pinterest to increase pageviews.  My goal is to increase overall pageviews for the year while writing less new content.

Hit at least 500,000 pageviews for the year.  Last year I hit 455,261 pageviews and this year I’d like that number to increase.  I’m only aiming for a modest increase since I’ll be reducing my content.

Start researching a move to Wordpress/blog revamp.  I keep saying I’m going to make the switch but I’m soooo terrified of losing all of my traffic if something goes wrong.  That’s why I just keep putting it off. 

Instagram – increase following to 10k.  This will happen this year!  I’m so close!

Instagram – talk to you guys more and share more behind-the-scenes of my organizing.  I feel like I stopped doing this late in 2019 so I want to get back into it.

Pinterest – increase following to 6.5k.  I’m currently sitting at 5.8k so I feel like this is doable.

Facebook – increase following to 400.  I’m hoping to post a little more frequently on there this year and hopefully that will attract some followers.

Tik Tok – start dabbling in it and see if I want to pursue it as a possible avenue for the blog.  Not sure if it’ll end up being the way I want to go, but I’d like to start using it more.

Find one or two people who would like to persue the essential oils business with me.  My gosh, I adore my oils, but I spent hardly any time sharing their goodness with all of you this past year.  I want to pick back up where I left off with my Instagram oils account and spread the love!  And I feel like having a partner or two may keep me accountable.



And those are my goals for 2020!  Cheers to more slow and less busy.  Hopefully, anyway.  ;o)

If you want to see my goals from prior years check out the posts below!



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