Unlike my new month's resolutions (which you can learn all about by clicking on the handy-dandy tag at the bottom of the post freeing me from the tedium of actually providing a link), it just wouldn't be a new year without pie-in-the-sky optimism and some year-long goals for which to strive. Here are mine for this new year 2007:
1. Keep up the new month's resolutions. Some of my simple, month-long commitments are challenging enough! I have no idea in January what I will need most to focus on in July, so setting monthly goals is helpful.
2. Speaking of July, we're supposed to move to Kansas this summer. And we're only supposed to be there for eleven months. So for this entire year, I plan to be in tourist mode. Later this month, I'll come up with a list of must-dos in the D.C. area. Then I'll come up with my Kansas to-do list. At some point, I'll plan my en route to-do list. Suggestions welcome.
3. Because of the move, I have yet another opportunity to go through all of my possessions and part ways with all the things that someone else might love better and organize everything that I simply must keep.
4. Top on my list of things to organize: photos. Job #1: make backups of all my digital pics - just in case. Job #2: sort and store photos according to the various photo albums that I plan to make some other year.
5. I resolve to not color my hair at all this year. (My money says this will last until March.) I used to have very healthy, although very bland, light brown hair. Two years ago, I made the mistake of going very blond, just for fun, and I've regretted it ever since. My hair hasn't done well under the stress of coloring, and I've tried to go back, but after a month the darker color fades away. You see, going blond, as opposed to going red or black, removes color from your hair. Color that you can only grow back. We'll see just how long I can hold out with a two-tone hairdo. Or I just may go back to a short bob.
6. I resolve to potty train Pete right now. Starting tomorrow. He is 18 months old and can correctly identify when he's stinky. I'm going for it. I've gone the gamut of potty-training and know that each kid will be a unique challenge. I figure I'll start this one on my terms. In 4 or 5 months, he'll be too contrary to everything that I propose he do. Besides, Jenny has already baptized every room of the house. If I'm successful by the time we move, I may have one urine-free home.
7. I already wrote about my PT goals for the year. They are limited because I hope to conceive and bear a healthy child this year. I'll do my part: eat nutritious food, exercise regularly, enjoy lots of physical intimacy with Bill. The rest is up to God; so I'll add some extra prayers to my regular line up.
8. Spiritually, I'd like a challenge too. I got an email two days ago from a friend proposing First Fridays for a group of us. I'll have to see if I can get my non-Catholic friend to babysit the two little ones, since most daily Masses are around noon. In addition, Bill gave me a leather-bound book containing The Imitation of Christ, The Dark Night of the Soul, and The Interior Castle. I'm eager to dig in. But first, I want to finish The Bad Catholic's Guide to Good Living - hysterical.
9. I resolve to get more in touch with my inner June Cleaver by sewing and baking more. I'm making my niece's First Holy Communion dress right now. The pattern is actually pretty easy, and I think I'll make some dresses for the girls for Easter. And I definitely want to make a slew of military Christmas stockings this summer. My little business did quite well - I had to stop pursuing orders because I ran out of white fluff and I ran out of time. If I can make them over the course of the year, my Advent won't be quite as stressful and rushed. I've had the material to make red vests for the boys and my husband to wear for Christmas for several years now, and never done it. This is the year! And baking more. Bake bread. Bake cookies. And bake pies. I am not talented at baking pies. The only way to get talented is to practice. And so, one per month is a good, husband-approved goal. And I know just which one I'm going to make for him this month.
10. I resolve to spend one-on-one time with each of the kids every month. Bill and I will schedule 30 minutes a month with each kid. That may not seem like much, but right now they get zero. Scheduled-time that is. It's hit or miss, or we count that hour in the emergency room while waiting for our turn, or it's "the boys" and Dad or "the girls" and Mom going somewhere. This will be just one parent and one kid doing a kid-selected activity. After the half hour, other kids can join in (playing with Legos, at the playground, reading stories), but for that half hour, it will be a private activity. And we'll mark it at the beginning of the month, so the kids will know when and can plan ahead.
Well, that's enough. Pretty ambitious if you ask me. But I think the best way to improve oneself is by setting realistic, but difficult goals and keeping them in your mind often. What are your resolutions for the year?