There's always a flurry of goal posts here in late December and early January: reflecting, planning big, and planning for the month ahead. Big goals for the year are always exciting. Goals for the month are where I put those big dreams into action.
A tangible representation of putting goals into action is my January health challenge of 10 push ups per day which I've done so far. Another good habit I am practicing: scheduling out most hours of my childcare days so that I prioritize creating (writing, podcasting) and keep my expectations realistic.
January through March or April is also the most glorious weather here in the Arizona desert. January and February are perhaps my favorite. We've been enjoying chilly (for us) weather and even some rain – so cozy! I love that the mornings and evenings are still dark but lightening up. I love wearing jeans, a jacket, and a scarf but that we can still go play outside every day. Good things!
+ Celebrated turning 35! I loved my birthday celebrations this year: We had a joint family party to celebrate my birthday and Cedric's birthday; Chris and I had a day-date plus dinner out; and then my actual birthday was filled with my favorite things with plenty of time to relax and read (Orange Theory class - the whole class sang to me!, manicure/pedicure, lots of time to read, homemade pizza and brownies, and watching It's A Wonderful Life with Chris).
+ Enjoyed a relaxing Christmas holiday. We had a really great Christmas holiday this year. It felt like we had so many days together without plans – our favorite. Big factors I'm sure were having more bandwidth compared to last year and the ages of the boys.
+ Celebrated Cedric turning 4! The post-Christmas birthdays are tough, y'all! But Cedric has been perfectly happy with small family celebrations. We had a fun day having pancakes while watching planes, and then went to a bowling/bumper cars/arcade place and had a blast as a family. One of my new favorite family memories is doing bumper cars all together with nonstop laughter.
+ Completed another decluttering/organization minima. We actually received what felt like a reasonable amount of gifts for Christmas – games, toys, books, and things we will really use. Still, nothing spurs my craving for minimizing like an influx of stuff at Christmas. Chris and I both combed through our closets and donated a pile of clothes. I went through the office closet to much satisfaction. Chris did a first-run organization of the garage. Post-Christmas decluttering is one of my favorite traditions.
Big things happening in January:
+ Boys go back to school. Now that I'm a parent I feel like this line in It's Beginning to Look A Lot Like Christmas speaks right to me: "And Mom and Dad can hardly wait for school to start again!" I honestly don't even think I heard that line when I listened to the song as a kid. Now I just smile every time I hear it, especially if it would come on while the boys were fighting over some new Christmas toy. It has been a wonderful break but I love our normal school week routines too, plus I am eager to return to my own work.
+ Dashiell starts soccer! This is our first child-requested extra-curricular activity. We picked a soccer league that only meets once per week on Saturdays for a practice immediately followed by a game. It feels like a good way to try out a sport and not trade too much of our unscheduled weekend time. (How do I have a boy old enough to play soccer because wasn't this just last month??)
+ Our front yard update should be completed. I am so happy with how things are coming together and if all goes according to plan our front yard should be finished this Saturday or early next week. I am realizing how much I've disliked our front yard and how that detracts from the overall look of our house. I can't wait for our yard to actually enhance our house and to reflect our aesthetic tastes.
+ My mom and sister come for a visit. Yay!
+ Hang up art, calendar, and bulletin boards in my office.
+ Schedule my annual doctor's appointments: A physical including results of standard blood work with my general practitioner and a well-woman exam with the same midwives who saw me during pregnancy.
+ Prioritize writing on my book proposal every week. I schedule these blocks of time in on my Google calendar.
+ Make progress on my first sewing project. I'm working on a tunic and I'd like to have all the cutting finished this month.
+ Research materials needed for my card catalogue entry table project (inspo). This will include actually measuring the card catalogue that I bought, identifying which table legs to buy (hairpin? mid-century modern wood?), and deciding on what kind of top it should have (thinking countertop material that looks like marble or granite; mine was meant to be stacked so the top is open and needs to be covered).
+ Drink water! I am usually pretty great at drinking water but when it's not hot I'm not reaching for my water bottle as much. But it's still so dry here I need the hydration. My plan is to keep my water bottle near me and refill often.
Recurring monthly goals
+ Daily healthy challenge. 10 push ups each day!
+ Little to no phone use from 5 p.m. to bedtime and don't go to sleep listening to audiobooks or podcasts. I've been great at this so far starting in late December. I've also been sleeping really well (also have been trying to have lights out by 9:30 p.m.). Sleep is everything.
+ Dates with Chris. We are aiming for four dates each month: two "out" dates and two intentional at-home dates playing games or working on sewing projects together. We are trying to have a day date each month where Chris takes a day off of work and we have a couple potential dates for this month already.
+ Sunday meeting with Chris. When Chris and I sit down, go over our calendars, and check in on household administration before the week starts I feel so much more together. We also want to check in on our budget and spending at these little meetings as a way to stay committed to our savings goals.