Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Amy's 2012 Top Ten.

It is a new year and while I may personally refuse to set "resolutions" per se, that does not mean I do not want to start the new year on the right foot. Though today I'm pretty sure it was the left foot that hit the ground, noted the cool temps and curled right back up in bed for another 15 minutes. I did, however, get the kids to school on time and make my 8:00 am pilates class, so we are off to a decent start. But decent is not my goal for 2012. I want more for myself and my family. 

So, no, these are not resolutions. These are areas of my life I'd like to improve. Areas that require more deliberate planning on my part. This is a list of the top ten areas of my life I think I can and should improve over the coming year. 

This is my 2012 Top Ten list:  

1.  Organize and plan meals. In advance. Not at the grocery store. So I have an actual list and am not searching my phone for recipes while pushing the cart down the aisle. 

2.  Be more deliberate about my children's schedule. I often act surprised that Wednesday is such a busy day. It is every Wednesday. This should not sneak up on me. Also, I am in charge of their schedule. I can determine that it does not make sense for our family to make golf, piano and gymnastics all work on one afternoon. I am in charge. 

3.  Stay organized and ahead of schedule.  I am queen of working under pressure. I do it with my blog. I do it with trips to the grocery store {leaving 15 minutes before I have to grab the kids and see #1 above}. I do it with my volunteer obligations. This year I plan to keep Monday's free so I can sit down in the morning, plan my week, our meals, calendar any obligations, and formulate a comprehensive plan for the week. This sounds so obvious, but yet, I have never, ever been that organized.

4.  Read more. I love reading. Love it. It truly brings me joy to fully immerse myself in a good book. I recently looked back at my iBooks for the last year and was mortified at how few books I'd read. I love reading. I should do it more. And *gasp* I may even schedule a bit of time during the day! 

5.  Socialize more with friends. Again, I love my friends and enjoy being with them. It brings more joy to my life to see them regularly. It can be as simple as a lunch or, with long distance friends, a weekend away. I need that time and am at a stage in life where I can make it work. I need to make those calls on Mondays {see #3} to schedule a few lunches during the week. As for my Houston, Austin, San Antonio friends, expect a call this month. I need weekends with each of you. Soon. 

Girls' trip - 2011
6.  Entertain more. I love entertaining. I enjoy cooking. Even for a group {though not so much kids}. When our children were younger I swear I entertained more. How does that even make sense?! I swear you do not appreciate naps until they are gone, but I was always able to accomplish so much in that time. Now during those same hours I am running from activity to activity and do not have the same time to  prepare lovely dinners for friends. Too bad. I need to figure it out so we have more Friday evenings or Saturday evenings with kids running a muck, friends sipping cocktails, and Kevin cooking on his *new* Big Green Egg. 

7.  Organize and streamline my files and clutter. My office is directly off the entry of my otherwise beautiful home. And it is always a mess. I used to clean it occasionally when company was expected. It is now too far gone and I no longer make the effort. I have file cabinets full of files that should be shredded. And binders full of . . . who knows what. It is time for a purge. I don't need as many files -- it is all online. And I really need to take a step back and streamline my clutter. Or just dispose of it. We'll see. 

8.  Limit my computer time when the family is home. My children are now of the age that they are quite aware of how much time I spend in front of a screen -- whether it's my phone, my iPad or my computer. I ask them to limit their time and I need to set that example. We are a family that spends time talking. Face to face. We are not a family that texts each other when it is time for dinner. I am the one who can set the tone in that regard. If I want children who are unplugged, I will also need to be unplugged. And it's time to start. 

9.  Make semi-monthly date nights happen every month. We used to be very good at this. Now, we only make it work when we have a social obligation or when a friend calls. Our marriage is better when we spend more time one-on-one. The fact that we enjoy spending time with our kids should not dissuade us or make us feel guilty. They need happy parents. Constant maintenance. Just like everything else. 

date night shoes
10.  Attend more cultural events. When we lived in Houston we enjoyed season tickets to the symphony and regularly attended musicals and plays. Kids and moving have squashed that part of our lives that we very much enjoyed. We can, however, still ensure we, as a couple, and our children are exposed to a variety of cultural events. As part of #s 3 and 5, I want to incorporate a few out of town trips to attend certain events. I also want to explore the local landscape. Again, it is simply making it a priority and planning ahead. Few attend the symphony when they see the ad on Saturday morning. I need to plan ahead for a few date nights and late nights out with the kids. We will all be better for it. 

I plan to check back in with you {maybe quarterly} to report progress on each item. I need accountability and truly believe there is no point in setting a goal without regularly checking progress and making adjustments. And I'm pretty sure the hubs will only make me accountable for # 9. He may actually try to thwart #s 5 and 10, and Lord knows his schedule is often what makes #1 so difficult. Point being:  I'll need all the help I can get! 

So, dear readers, what is on your list of goals, or if you must, "resolutions" for 2012?

Linking up here with Freshmom and Unexpected Mom.

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