Thursday, January 5, 2017

2017: Grace

Fresh year, fresh start.  I am definitely one of those people who love (love LOVE) the fresh start feeling that another year brings, a chance to focus on something new and clean out all our closets (literally).  I know I could start new habits at any point in the year and have done so, but there is just something about a sparkling new year that feels like an extra good time to do so.

The last two years I've had a certain thing I wanted to focus on.  In 2015 it was "curating", only keeping the best of our belongings and how we spent our time.  This was fairly successful.  We got rid of a ton of physical things and I started improving how I spend my time (for instance: most of the time I still stick to this social media schedule).

For 2016 I wanted to focus on "Living Intentionally", mostly related to time management but also other aspects of our lives.  When I first started reflecting on the past year it didn't feel like I did a great job; nothing feels too different from our lives a year ago.  Then I started thinking about it.  In 2016 I:

Read 140 books (115 in 2015)
Wrote 201 blog posts (149 in 2015)
Ran 336.67 miles (49.25 in 2015)
Sewed 150 burb cloths, 21 pillow covers, 15 tote bags, 13 clutches, 9 blanket scarves, 7 receiving blankets, 2 other blankets, a skirt for myself, a super cape for Lemur, and a Yoda hat for Lemur.  I didn't document how much I sewed in 2015 but it was much much less.

On top of parenting a preschooler, keeping our house reasonably clean, and everything else that happens around here every day, week, year.  I don't know that I could have (certainly didn't) find the time to do all these things any other year of my life so I must be getting a little better at this time management thing.  Especially considering that almost all of what I listed above, other than running, happened while Luke was sleeping or in quiet time.  I have certainly gotten better at managing my solo time.

As for the rest of my resolutions:

1) Read 85 books and review them all on Goodreads 
Kinda kicked this one's butt...140 books later (see all here).   And I kept up better on reviewing them, thanks to making it a weekly recurring task in my Swipes app.  I love me some list crossing off. 

2) Get rid of at least 200 things before the garage sale
240 things added to the pile pre-sale and then I stopped keeping track BUT I would estimate, between ThredUp clean-out bags, selling books to HPB, and just adding to the pile...I probably hit 300 by the end of the year.  Not bad.  Although I certainly didn't give up shopping either soooo...

3) Sew one thing a month (and blog about it if they turn out).

See above...I only missed a few months without sewing anything...I certainly made up for it in other months!

4) Do one craft project a month (and blog...see above)
This one was a the top of my head I can think of 4 I did all year, one of those being the stocking I (mostly) sewed in December and two more being books I covered.

5) Get a sibling for Luke (semi out of our control but do what we can).  
Well.  We all know how this one went.

6) Live more intentionally
This one is pretty hard to measure but I do think concerning the time management aspect I certainly did a lot better, especially with my Luke-free hours.  It can be very tempting to let those hours waste away in social media or Netflix but I also save a lot of things (sewing, blogging, most of my reading) for that time so they are usually pretty packed to get everything I want to done.  I've found that being intentional with my habits and setting goals, even small daily ones, helps me get everything done.  I am not perfect and this is something I am continually working on but it's nice going to bed at the end of the day not letting myself down.  Of course, there's also the occasional days when I chuck it all (or most of's hard to break from all my lists, mental or not) and relax but for the most part...while this is something I'll probably be working on my whole life, I did make improvements.

As for 2017 (I had a huge realization today that this decade is already more than half over!  Like 2020 is not that far away at all...I still think things that happened in 2002ish were less than 10 years ago....) I think I need to focus on grace, giving and accepting it.  Maybe peace would be a better word...accepting peace about all of this.  Giving more grace to others in certain situations.  I could definitely work on that.  I certainly want to keep working on curating and living intentionally as well as try to get up earlier.  We have quite the project list (which might show up later on the blog) we hope to accomplish. The more concrete goals:

1) Read 100 Books
I said on Instagram the other day that I might want to read less this year, to which my sister said that's not the goal most people have.  Hahaha.  I mean, I wouldn't be sad about hitting 150 books this year but I'm not going to be disappointed if I "only" hit 100.
  Plan:  Continue reading 50 pages at the start of quiet time, 50 pages before bed, and whenever else I can fit it in!

2) Get rid of 150 things by the garage sale
We have been buying and keeping fewer things so every year it gets a little harder to find those things to get rid of but I know we still have excess.
  Plan: Go through all closets, drawers, and cupboards over the next few months, starting with our clothes.  Purge at least 20 things a month until the sale.

3) Get up before the last minute
We're working on this one already.  It is MUCH easier to get up when it's not freezing outside of my bed and the sun is up before me!  But trying to make better habits.
   Plan: Set alarm so I only have time for one snooze, turn on bedside light as soon as alarm goes off, GO TO BED earlier.

4) Stop putting stuff off 
I have a "just get this crap done" list that needs some tackling.  Little things that need done around the house, replacing light bulbs right away, writing blog posts as soon as I sit down at the computer and not procrastinating, etc.  Working on it.
  Plan: (continue to) follow Gretchen Rubin's rule of "don't put off anything that takes less than a minute", ignore the internet as needed...

5) FINALLY get the basement organized
We don't need to talk about the number of times I've mentioned our basement being a mess over the year.  We have been making improvements and hope to share a big one next week.  It needs done so we can stop messing with it.
  Plan: Adding better storage for Matt's tools and computer parts inventory, organizing my craft stuff (not in the basement) to get some excess out of the basement, laying out the carpet we pulled off the porch, PURGING. 

I'm always optimistic at the beginning of a new year and this year is no different.  It's as good of time as any to try to make improvements, no matter how big or how small! Do you have this (wonderful) fresh feeling at the start of a new year?  Make resolutions?  Share them with the internet?  Share! 

2010 resolutions
2011 resolutions 
2012 resolutions
2013 resolutions
2014 resolutions
2015 resolutions
2016 resolutions

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