I admit, I am a New Years' resolution nay-sayer. My theory is this: if you can't resolve to do something at another time during the year, what makes you think you'll be successful on January 1? I think any goal worth committing to needs more motivation and incentive behind it than the beginning of a calendar year. Which I realize sounds completely cynical, but it's honest.
That being said, I do believe in goal-setting and there are things I'd like to see happen for myself in 2017. (Does that sound completely contradictory?)
Because although I am doing the SAHM thing, I'm still an ambitious person and strive to use this time to build skills and commit to projects and opportunities that I haven't had time for in the past.
- Submit a grant proposal. This is also one of my 30 Before 30 goals. I've never done any grant writing in the past. However, the fact that I love to write and that I want to further my career in the nonprofit world makes this goal a no-brainer. What better way to combine my two passions than grant writing? I have some friends that work and volunteer for local non-profits, so I'm hoping to use those relationships to work my way in and do some volunteer grant writing to get some practice and build my portfolio.
- Continue working with my former employer. I'm not exactly sure what this will look like just yet. However, there was some discussion before I left of me doing some temporary work when a co-worker goes on medical leave. There also may be opportunities for me to do some consulting, so fingers crossed that this works out!
- Apply for Advocacy Corps. Advocacy Corps is a program of the Friends Committee on National Legislation. Although I have my degree in Political Science, I've never done any kind of lobbying or political organizing so this part-time role could be an amazing opportunity for me (if I get in!). I'm currently working on my application, so keep your fingers crossed!
I already mentioned my reading goals for 2017, but for the sake of having them all in one place (and because I don't expect that people read every single one of my book posts...), here they are again.
- Read 52 books in the year. This averages to a book a week, which is definitely a stretch, but I read 60 books in 2016 so I think I can pull it off.
- Hit the pause button on reading challenges. I am hardcore addicted to reading challenges (as you may have noticed), but seeing that they caused me to read several books that I didn't enjoy has forced me to reevaluate. I like that they force me outside my reading comfort zone. But I also really don't see the point in reading books that I don't enjoy. I'm not swearing them off for good because they're great motivation to skip Netflix and opt for a book instead. But I want to focus on only reading books that I want to, and not because I feel obligated to.
Now that our household is down to one income and I'm more closely monitoring our budgeting and spending, I want to get more serious about the financial goals that we've shrugged off the past few years.
- Pay off a credit card. Obviously I would love if we could pay off more debt than just one credit card, but since money is tight, I would be content with just one less monthly bill to pay.
- Open up college savings accounts for the boys. I still haven't even opened one up for Charlie, so this should happen sooner rather than later.
I've long since given up on growing my blog. I don't have the know-how nor the desire to do all the work required to gain a huge following. That being said, I don't want to stop improving as a blogger, or writer so I do have some blogging goals.
- Publish at least 3 posts per week. I really hope to become better at publishing content more regularly. When I was working full-time, I was lucky if I published a post a week. Now that I'm home all the time, I'll have more opportunity to write.
- Have one of my DMB posts garner more than 1,000 pageviews. In July, I started writing for Dayton Moms Blog. In October, my post Why We Chose Not to Share Our Baby's Name received 971 pageviews- just shy of 1,000. I've absolutely loved writing for DMB. It's forced me to write more thoughtful content and I really do think it's helping me to improve as a writer. I would love to see DMB's readership continue to grow and for one of my posts to get at least 1,000 pageviews in a month!
Currently, I actually weigh less than my pre-pregnancy weight, but I'm not in great shape. I want to find a realistic way to balance getting my fitness on with the sheer exhaustion of keeping these humans of mine alive.
- Do the splits. Yep, one hundred years ago I was a high school cheerleader who could do the splits. I now can't touch my toes. So that feels awesome. Setting a goal to do the splits feels like a tangible goal I can work toward that's more specific than "improve my flexibility."
- Run 13 miles. Since we're pinching pennies, paying to run a half marathon doesn't rank on the top of my priorities (even though I would love to do one eventually). So if I can get back into good enough shape to run 13 miles independently, that would make me more than happy!
- Hit my goal weight. I've been using my Fitbit to track my weight loss. Weight loss isn't as important to me as just generally being more toned and in better shape, but I wouldn't hate it if I could shed about five more pounds.
We've lived in our house for nearly a year and a half and it's ever so slowly coming together but there are a million and one things I'd like to do to make it more of a home. I have some really fun ideas (posts to come!). I'm doing things little by little as I have the time, and money for home improvement stuff and decor.
- Convert basement into playroom. I have a really fun vision for our awkward semi-finished basement that involves chalkboard paint and foam flooring!
- Finish painting and designing upstairs bedroom. So far, I've already removed an ugly light fixture and wallpaper border. I plan to remove some paneling, prime and paint all the walls, turn the fireplace into a chalkboard, and eventually install a window (because weirdly, there is no window in the room).
- Plant a backyard garden. This past summer was the first summer in our house and I was hugely pregnant, so obviously that didn't happen. But I now feel like Charlie will be a perfect age to love getting dirty and watching our seeds turn into tomatoes, peppers, and onions. I can't wait!
After two kiddos, there is zero time for romance. Period. On our last anniversary date, both my hubby and I committed to one date night per month and haven't been great with you know, having a kid and all.
- Go on monthly dates. The key here is getting out of the house. Because time spent together at home binge-watching The Office does not count as a date. This means there needs to be a change of location, I need to be wearing makeup, and it needs to be just the two of us.
- Take a weekend getaway for our fifth anniversary. Every year we say we're going to get out of town to celebrate our anniversary, and without fail, every year as the day comes closer, we push it off and don't do it. Since 5 is a nice round number, it's happening!
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What are your goals for 2017?