For the first time that I can recall, last year I set some New Year’s goals for 2013 and posted them here on this blog. That turned out to be a very positive thing for me. Some of the goals I set last year I accomplished, some I did not, and in some cases through the process of pursuing those goals I accomplished more than I had even set out to do.
Bottom line: I know I accomplished more last year with goals than I would have without them, and even though I did not have the time for reflection and goal-setting that I had at the first of last year I do not want to miss out on that opportunity for this year, so I am squeezing some in before January is over and the year is too far underway.
1. My first goal in 2013 was to shop at the Farmer’s Market once a month. I am pretty sure that I successfully completed this goal. Although I did not keep careful accounting, we made it a lot. Over the course of the year I got to try out several local Farmer’s Markets, and can now get in and out of the Channel Islands FM on Sundays in 15 minutes no problem (assuming I have no children with me). There were several side effects of our increased FM visits this year above and beyond the purchase of local, in-season produce:
- We consumed many pounds of kettle corn at the Ventura FM
- We ate many tamales/fish tacos/hot dogs sitting on the curb at the Channel Islands FM
- We learned that FM people are people of habit, we almost always ran into the same people at the same places
When I wrote down this goal I was encouraged by a few wise women to start gardening myself. We took up the challenge and Matt took on the building project. I now have boxes and planters full of various stages of growing food. Our little patio garden certainly does not meet all of our produce needs, but I manage to harvest and use something from it almost every day.
In the spirit of setting a goal that is related to simple living as I feel the Farmers market goal was, in 2014 my goal is to work on organizing paper in our home. This will include taking steps to limit the amount of paper coming into our home by making sure we are using paperless billing and getting off mailing lists, and coming up with systems of sorting and storage for the paper that we do need to deal with.
2. In 2013 one of my goals was to run in four organized races: at least one being a half marathon and one being a 10k. I actually only did three races, but I am ok with that because as the year went on, I did not think that the benefits would outweigh the costs (both financial and logistic) of doing a fourth race. Also, the three I did were great experiences.
The Great Race of Agoura 10k and the Oxnard Salsa Dash 5k were both fun because we did them as a family. For the 10k, my mom brought the kids out after Matt and I ran the 10k together and she ran in the Family Fun Run with Ali. For the 5k we pushed the kids in the jogging stroller while we ran, my parents did the 5k too, and then I ran with Ali in the Kids Race. It felt good to do these as a family.
For my 13.1, I did the same race I did last year, Santa to the Sea. I was really nervous and discouraged at times during training because I was training so differently than the year before and I didn’t know if I was getting enough long runs in, but I ended up finishing 9 minutes faster than last year and feeling great! Yay!
For my 2014 running goal I would still like to do one half marathon this year, but I think I will do a different one. Additionally, my goal is to run at least 30 miles every month. I feel like I need to justify setting such a low number for my monthly goal. I can best say that I am “making room”. Hopefully that number will be easily surpassed most months, but it means that there is room for me to trade a 3 mile run pushing the stroller for a 1 mile run with kids on scooters, as that is as far as they can go most days. It also means there is room for other types of exercise rather than focusing 100% of the energy in my Health and Fitness tank into one activity.
3. My third goal in 2013 was to read one non-fiction book out loud together with Matt. Yah, about that. We only had a year, and it was a long book. With chapters and stuff. And reading out loud together takes energy and focus. Didn’t happen.
So for 2014 I have set a new goal relating to our relationship, one that I think we will have a better chance at succeeding at. Because we are lucky enough to work together, we make a point of having a lunch date once a week. Having that, we have not felt such a need to have regular additional date nights, but this year my goal is to add a once a month “real” date that will require a babysitter of some kind.
4. My fourth goal in 2014 is once again related to money. Over the years Matt and I have gone back and forth when it comes to who keeps track of our budget and accounting. When Silas was born those tasks completely went to Matt and I lived in ignorance for the last two years. So my goal this year is to check our budgeting software and accounts at least once a week so that I can once again be an active participant in that part of our family.
Don’t forget it is never too late to set some goals for the month, year or week. Even if you don’t accomplish your goal, you learn something about yourself and what you uniquely are designed to be and do.