Wednesday, January 2, 2013

2013 Goals

I'm not huge on doing new year's "resolutions" because I think they just tend to set yourself up for failure. Major life changes have to come when you're ready for them, which is not necessarily always on January 1. I mean, I'm still in hibernation in January, and productivity doesn't set in until around Spring Break. That being said, here are some things I'm working on now and hope to continue/improve in the new year.

Most of these goals are based on the book 7: An Experimental Mutiny Against Excess by Jen Hatmaker. I'm eagerly anticipating the user's guide to accompany this book, and the ensuing craziness of going at this thing full throttle. For now, here is where we've started.

1. No more plastic bags

I made Tommy some "boy-friendly" fabric bags for groceries so he doesn't have to use my pink and flowered bags so often, so I think he's warming up to the idea. That, and I told him that we were categorically not going to bring another Target bag into the house, so if we forgot our fabric bags we were just going to have to carry everything out by hand. Since then, he's been much better about remembering to grab them on our way out the door :)

2. Less processed food

Not that I'm really going to stop eating Goldfish, but I'd like to work on eating more things that the FDA actually categorizes as food (unlike Oreos). We are slowly but surely growing our garden in the back, and I'm looking forward to planting a lot more this spring. I'm also looking into some local CSAs, but the box of surprise produce makes me a little nervous. Does anyone know how to cook a radish? Maybe we'll start with fresh eggs. We also have some great farmer's markets around that I have yet to fully explore, and thanks to Pinterest, I can make homemade versions of just about any junk food you can imagine. It's totally ok if they don't look or taste the same, right?

3. Less spending (I'm looking at you, Baby G)

This one comes out of necessity as we transition to one income this summer. And add an extra person to our household. We're taking our budget down a little each month in anticipation. It's pretty easy during the winter hibernation when I don't leave the house, but spring always brings a fresh desire to shop, along with floral prints and short sleeves. Ahh, spring. The pastels. The sunshine. Anyway, we're also hoping to use cloth diapers and breastfeeding to help keep expenses down with the baby. Not that I'm not going to accidentally drop a boat-load of money on the nursery in my attempt to save money by doing things myself (Try saying that three times fast).  For example, I still don't know the final amount of cash I dropped on the wedding on craft supplies and DIY projects. I have grand ideas of making curtains, and sheets, and nursing covers, but I am fully aware that sometimes it's way cheaper to just buy something.

4. Avoiding "busy"

I'm sick of idolizing busy-ness. It's not healthy to stretch yourself so thin (I cringe as I remember having this exact argument with my mom every day of high school, but it turns out she was right)' and it has kept me from doing things that are actually meaningful with the people I care about. Like sending birthday cards, or writing back to all of the people who reached out to me this year after I lost my mom. Or seeing my husband on weekdays and actually being able to carry on a conversation. I want my time back, and I'm fully aware how quickly it passes with a little one as they become not so little. Also under this category falls our media usage. Yikes. How many unnecessary hours do I spend on this iPad or watching tv? I haven't figured out exactly how I want to cut these things down, but I know it has to happen. I would like to keep up the blogging, and improve consistency (I even came up with a neat little schedule I'm going to work up to because I'm a planner like that), but not at the expense of life.

5. Give more

Without the busy in the way, we have the time to open our eyes and recognize needs, not to mention do what we can to meet them. Jen Hatmaker really hit me in her discussion of what it means to love your neighbor as yourself in practice. Financially, "as yourself" means you spend just as much on others as you do on yourself. I know we aren't ready to go 50/50 with our full budget, but we can certainly do it with the unexpected gift money we get throughout the year. We started the idea over Christmas, and it was definitely painful to watch my shoe dreams get cut in half, but that's the whole purpose of giving to the point of sacrifice. We also know an amazing couple who are beyond grateful to have some help in their adoption journey, which makes this an even easier decision!

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