Tuesday, January 12, 2016

2016: Living Intentionally

Last year, 2015, was pretty great.  Our first in awhile with no big changes (baby, surgery, bathroom remodel, replacing vehicles, etc.) and generally things going pretty well.  We had a perfect summer with our vacation and many lake trips, we survived potty training, we got a lot of smaller projects done around house/yard/garage, went to the drive-in, got 4 new nieces/nephews, celebrated birthdays and anniversaries.  It was a good year.  I could have told you months ago we weren't going to get a baby in 2015.  It just felt too much like 2012 - our last child-free year.  Challenges for sure (my foot, adoption mental struggles, potty training, the mind games of raising a vocal and opinionated toddler) but overall things were pretty great.  

Now, another year, time for a fresh start.  I'm a big fan of this wonderful, fresh feeling each new year brings.  This year it's a little more subdued than usual thanks to lovely colds we've all had SINCE LAST YEAR.  Really, like December 30th.  We've fought off pink eye, stomach bugs, and now a lot of hacking and sinus issues.  It's not pleasant by any means and it has been putting a damper on my "let's clean all the things!" mentality to start the year.  Hopefully we can completely kick this bug soon and I can get back to frantic cleaning and purging.  Basically my favorite way to spend January.  I'm not completely behind (last week I dusted the fridge magnets) but being healthy would be great.

For 2015 my big theme was "curating" and only keeping the best of the best in our house.  Obviously, it's impossible to do that perfectly but it really helped me get rid of A LOT of stuff.  I got rid of 308 things from our house and garage before I stopped keeping track post garage sale (was even, a little bit, avoiding adding to the garage sale pile because I was tired of that taking over our basement).  Of course I still shopped this year but I tried to be more intentional with my purchases (or least purchases after returns).  We didn't add much to our kitchen, DVD collection, or other "household" type stuff.  Luke's toys, after another round of birthday/Easter/adoption day/Christmas presents don't take up much more space than they did a year ago (and that's mostly due to his Cozy Coupe and jet ski).  We're continually working on cleaning up and out the basement.  The garage got two big clean outs this year, our closets multiple.  All my cupboard painting (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6) was the perfect reason to do a lot of kitchen cleaning.  Basically, I'd say we have less stuff than we did a year ago.  It feels really good to know we (mostly) only have the best and favorite things in the house.

And it wasn't just physical things, I also did some big digital curating, getting my iTunes music from a little over 3,000 songs to under 1,400, something I've been able to maintain.  And now I LOVE all the songs when I put it on "shuffle all".  So much I mentally compliment myself on my great taste in music every time I do that.  And, best of all, I can fit all my non-Christmas music on my 16gig phone at one time, something that was a big motivator.  I also cleaned out my Pinterest pins, from around 2,500 down to 1,200 (which has since grown to 1,300 but still a big improvement).  Next up is going through many old files on my computer, too many dating back to college.  Other than our personal pictures, I haven't cleaned many files on my computer in too long.

My year of curating feels like a success.  Checking back on my resolutions:
1) Read 75 books.  
I think I need to up my goal.  Read 115 last year (see them all here, shows 114 because I've already reread a book I read in 2015).  That's a little over 100 pages a day which sounds about right.

2) Read Jesus Calling devotional every day, this has an entry for each day so it should make it easy to stay on top of.
Yep, did this almost every day, catching up on the days I couldn't/didn't.

3) Get rid of at least 25 physical things each month.
Did this really well before our June garage sale.  Then I stopped getting rid of things and stopped keeping track when I did.  I did get rid of 300+ accounted for things so I'm still calling this a success.

4) Make more effective and efficient use of my time by cutting down on errand running and making prioritized to-do lists.
Probably could have done better but we still, mostly, only ran errands once a week and I am always trying to use my time more efficiently.  More on this coming.

5) Each month make a detailed goal/project list for the month
Yep.  Did this each month and most months everything got crossed off.  I'm still doing this and it's very helpful in motivating myself to get certain projects done each month!  I love crossing things off a to-do list!

Maybe I should have more exciting resolutions?  Like, learn a new language or really step outside my comfort zone???  I should think about that.  But I also don't really want to do either of those things.  You know what might be outside my comfort zone.  Adopting twins.  I'd settle for that as my really new things in 2016.  Just throwing that out in the universe (again).  (If we do get twins with a 24 hours notice you can all laugh and remind me of how I wished for it.  I will ignore you because I will have gotten newborn twins with no notice and obviously have no time.  But you can still laugh.  Then come over and help.)

Super Exciting 2016 Resolutions:
1) Read 85 books and review them all on Goodreads (Already on #5).
2) Get rid of at least 200 things before the garage sale
3) Sew one thing a month (and blog about it if they turn out).
4) Do one craft project a month (and blog...see above)
5) Get a sibling for Luke (semi out of our control but do what we can). 
6) Live more intentionally

That's my word(s) for 2016: living intentionally. I realized that we're really in the prime of life: early 30s, young family, content in our jobs, house, life.  If we don't figure out and start making good habits for how we spend our time now, we're going to just end up wasting more of it.  I'm not opposed to some complete downtime, zoning out in front of Netflix occasionally, but I'd like to waste much less time overall.  I'm not exactly sure how this is going to work.  I can feel like we are very busy but then look back and not really sure why.  Part of that is life at home with a toddler but a large part of it is my own doing.  I make myself busy and then stress out about it.  And I'm tired of it.  So I'm trying to make better to-do lists and give myself more grace over things not being perfect.

For now, I hope to do some cleaning/purging posts this month because I, myself, will read any list of "things you can get rid of right now".  And that, along with being a hermit with Matt and Luke, is how I spend most of my January anyways (when I'm not hacking up a lung).  I don't know where this blog is going this year.  I guess we'll all find out!

2010 resolutions
2011 resolutions 
2012 resolutions  (I never updated this)
2013 resolutions
2014 resolutions 
2015 resolutions

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