I love the New Year—I really do—but I have a tendency to dream big and over aim when it comes to goals. In many ways, I’m an idealist whose expectations outweigh the practicality of the follow through. Knowing that about myself, I still thought through my goals for 2019, but I tried to make them practical with a couple ambitious goals thrown into the mix. Without further ado, here are my goals for 2019. I’d love to hear what goals you’ve set for the New Year!
Mini Goals for 2019
Go on more family hikes. We have always loved hiking as a family and I hope to increase our time hiking together in 2019. My big three are now at great ages to hike (7, 5, 4) and Grady is pretty content when I’m babywearing him. I’m excited to venture out on hikes in a one-hour radius from our home this year. And of course, babywearing a big baby helps Mama sneak in an extra workout.
Initiate more game nights. For the past year or so, my kids have loved playing board games and card games. We’ve slowly built up our game closet (via birthday presents, Christmas gifts and just-because Grandma gifts) and now have an assortment of fun kid games.
Since the fall when the sun sets earlier, we have started playing games at night before or after dinner if we have extra time. Usually, I’m still cooking or cleaning up the kitchen when game time starts, so it’s rare for me to jump in on weekday game nights. But I’m hoping to participate more in 2019. Maybe that means ensuring dinner is ready early. Maybe it means we all pitch in to clean the kitchen together. Like we tell our kids often: “Teamwork makes the dream work.”
Spend special one-on-one time with each child. This may be a little overly ambitious, but I’d love to carve out one block of time each month to spend special time with one of my kids. Obviously, the baby gets plenty of time with Mama at this age. And Scarlett gets a good amount while my big boys are in school. But I feel like I need that special time for my school-aged boys. Right now, they love to try to talk to me as I’m putting them to bed, which is the worst possible time to have long conversations.
Track my cell phone usage. The past couple months of 2018 got me thinking about how much I use my cell phone. Technology has made life so much easier in so many ways, but it’s also a huge distraction. I use my cell phone as part of my freelancing work, so that’s a bit tricky. And I also use it in practical ways for checking my bank account, investments, the weather and recipes. But I’m interested to see how much mindless scrolling I do to fill the void. My biggest three pitfalls are Instagram, Facebook and Bloglovin’. And of course, nursing a baby (especially one who eats often) provides ample time for scrolling. So my first step is to track my phone usage to see how often I’m on it and specifically which apps eat up most of my time. From there, I will figure out my next move. I’ve considered putting my phone up in a cabinet during blocks of time spent with my kids. I’ve also considered committing to certain times of day (such as once in morning and once at night) to check or post to social media. The only caveat is that I use my phone camera to take a lot of pictures. We’ll see how it all plays out once I get a feel for where the majority of my time is spent. At any rate, I want to set a good example for my kids and be present for them.
Spend more consistent time in the Word. Since Grady was born last summer, I feel like I’m flying by the seat of my pants during this season. It’s hard to find a consistent time to do anything since his naps are still all over the place and often super short. I would love to wake up before my big kids are allowed up at 6 a.m. to spend some time studying my Bible, reflecting and having some quite moments. But until Grady starts sleeping better at night, that’s just not possible while I’m running on fumes. But it is a goal of mine this year to find a more consistent time that works with this seasons of life. Other mamas out there: I’m all ears!
Rebuild strength and work out more with the hubby. When James owned Crossfit gyms, he was always coaching. After he sold them, we have worked out together over the past couple years, but I’m finally at a place (aka not pregnant or newly postpartum) where I need to up my intensity and increase my workouts. Working out with the hubby does both and spurs me to do workouts I never would have thought up myself.
Learn tennis. James got us tennis rackets for Christmas—and we even got our oldest son a racket for his birthday a few days after Christmas. We plan to get a few lessons this spring and go from there. James and I first met years ago in college playing intramural sports. So team sports is something we both enjoy, but playing team sports gets harder as we get older, especially with four kids. Tennis is a sport we can play with each other as we continue to age. And we think it’s a great family-friendly sport to teach our kids.
Eat better. It sounds so generalized, I know. But I know how I should be eating, what my body responds to best, what foods make me feel best and what foods heal. I’m good with a balanced approach, but things seem to spiral the last six weeks of the year with holiday festivities. My sugar intake gets a bit out of control, and breastfeeding only makes it worse. So I’m kicking off the New Year by participating in Pinch of Yum’s Sugar-Free January (post about it coming soon) and am pretty excited about it because it’s exactly what my body needs. Sugar tastes good temporarily, but it’s so draining. I’m already functioning with a sleep deficit so I needed to cut ties with sugar to avoid more sluggishness. Now, I’m focused on increasing healthy fats (avocado, coconut and olive oils, healthy nuts) to sustain my caloric intake. I’ve increased my collagen by using lots of bone broth when cooking, blending a teaspoon of collagen into my coffee and taking a supplement. Collagen is great for the body at any age or stage, but my postpartum hair loss stage needs it desperately. Grady has some digestive/allergy issues and has also had antibiotics for recurrent ear infections, so I’m also upping my probiotics via a supplement as well as kombucha.
Focus on holistic health treatments. While I don’t believe that essential oils single-handedly cure cancer, I do think that there is benefit to holistic health practices. I have one child that has required a lot of medicine over the years, despite a holistic regime including essential oils, a special diet, chiropractic care and supplements. It wasn’t enough—it isn’t enough. BUT, that doesn’t mean I’m not going to try to keep reducing his medications and find a holistic route that works for him. And so far, the baby seems to be falling in his footsteps with many similar health issues, so it makes sense to focus on a family approach to holistic health.
Take on more clients. At some point in 2019, I hope to do social media management for a couple more clients. I had gotten into a great groove freelancing before Grady arrived, streamlining my tasks and using special software to be efficient. It’s been a bit harder to be efficient working while tending to a baby, as I can’t count on dedicated chunks of time to work, but my goal for this year is to carve out specific time for freelancing again. I’m working on sleeping training Grady—at night and for naps—right now, so hopefully that will yield more consistent time for me to work while he’s sleeping.
Hire some childcare help. Depending on when I take on new clients, I know I’ll need some help with Grady to get all the work done. Until he is old enough to start morning preschool a couple days a week, I may be on the hunt for a babysitter to help for a few hours a week since his napping schedule is still so sporadic.
Create a website. Towards the end of 2019, I hope to create a small website that details my freelancing offerings as well includes a portfolio of my work. Instead of going back to work full time once my kids are all in school (which is now 5 years away at this point!), I’m hoping that I can instead freelance from home while they are in school. That way, I’m available when they’re sick or have appointments, as well as after school ends in the afternoon. But I’m also contributing to our family and our long-term goals.
Blog more. It’s really that simple. I love the outlet that this space provides for me. I love that I can post about any topic I wish. I love that I can use the creative side of my brain. I blog for me, but when it helps other people, that’s just a bonus! I have dozens of post topics jotted down, but it really just comes down to time. As much as I love blogging, it comes near the bottom of my priority list. Regardless, I’d love to consistently post once or twice a week.
Blog local. I really want to focus on blogging about events, places, people, organizations and businesses in my community that have great mission statements or provide great connection opportunities for families. I want my local community to know about all the great options in our neck of the woods. This will take time, but the focus of blogging locally is to build relationships (not necessarily with my local readership) but for us locals to build connections with each other.
What are your goals for 2019?