New Year’s Resolutions. I like the idea and making resolutions… I don’t like starting them in harmony with the new year. I like a month or so to enjoy life without self-imposed expectations. And especially starting 2016 with Brian heading back to work and me hanging with the four kiddos all week, I needed time to get into a groove. I’m ready.

Run. Always on the list of things to get going on. It’s one of those things that I may not want to do but as soon as I do, I’m so glad I did. I need to run. Not only to get—and stay—in shape but for mental wellness. My mind is always cleared after a run. My goal is to run every-other-day. I fear if I set the expectation to run daily, I know I’ll fail and then fall back into the tomorrow I will run (but never do) trap. I used to make my goal to participate in a run each month. With the kiddos and busy weekends now, my secondary goal will be to participate in four runs a year.

Plan Ahead. Rather, not do things last minute. I’ve become a procrastinator… or maybe it’s having kids and my time has become more limited. I always know what I want to do and plan to in advance and then before I know it, I’m running around like a chicken with its head cut off. For example, Christmas. There were a few people I wanted to do something for—I even had it all detailed out on one of my ever-popular to do lists—and never got around to any. A smaller example, preparing kiddo school clothes. When I pick them up at school they take off their wet, muddy pants and jacket; soaked socks; wet boots; and any under-layers that are dirty. I put them in a bin with the plan to bring them inside when we get home and wash them (and dry their boots). Without fail, I’m always washing their school clothes around 8pm the night before the next school day. Even though I have from Thursday until Tuesday, I’ll be washing Monday night. We do have two sets (per kid) of everything but I still can’t manage to have them all clean at the same time. BAD. I can think of many last minute examples. My goal is to knock this procrastination behavior off.

Eat better. Prepare food from scratch. Meal plan. Three in one for the food arena. Pretty self-explanatory, I want to eat better. And by eating better, I want to prepare our food from scratch. There is no reason the addicting cookies I like from the store should have over 30 ingredients. I need to make them at home with simple, plain old ingredients. Not that eating cookies is eating better… by better, my goal is to cut out the excessiveness. I need to stop eating the entire box/batch of cookies in one sitting and only enjoy a few at a time.

We’ve been better about making our meals from scratch but find we still use processed foods. It’s easy to grab items like rice with pre-packaged seasoning. I’d like to learn how to make our own rice with our own seasoning. I’m not sure I’ll be making pasta noodles or bread from scratch (this year) but my goal is to start somewhere.

I’ve been meal planning and not fully following-through. My goal is to plan all meals (and snacks) two weeks at a time, grocery shop, and prepare as much in advance over the weekend that I can. Bonus, the kiddos will know what to expect in advance. And Brian, he asks every morning about dinner and I’m all, “It’s not even breakfast, stop asking!”

Stop slacking on activities with the kiddos. I used to be so good at this. We’d do fun things at home like art and experiments or head out to parks, museums, random places I find… until I was pregnant with Saige in 2014. I had a horribly sick pregnancy, then a newborn, then I was pregnant again while caring for a baby (and the big kiddos). It’s been almost two years and even though I know why, no excuses are good enough. This year, my goal is to plan 3-4 home activities each week and commit to one outing each week (not related to current activities or boring errands).

Be easier on the kiddos. I’ve become increasingly frustrated with the kiddos (and them with me… probably a little to do with the lack of activities and fun mentioned above). And I feel bad, they’re just being kids. My expectations are often too high for their ages and I snap in a not so nice mom voiceMy goal is to ease up on them and learn to control my behavior. I fear they will feel like they are walking on eggshells when I’m moody and I don’t ever want them to feel that way. I remember that feeling as a kid and, yeah, I don’t want to pass that on.

Budget. I’ve never been a budgeter. If I wanted something, I figured a way to get it. I blame my dad; he spoiled the hell out of me. (I don’t really blame him. It’s my own damn fault, I’m an adult.) And Brian, he’s never said no to me. He’s not a spender though; I make up for both of us. I’ve set up a second checking account for me and will put a monthly allocation in there to see how well I do. I like games so I’m going to try and make this feel like one. My goal is to stay within the amount I give myself without having to grab from the other checking account. Bonus will be ending each month with money left in my checking account.

I’ll check in every so often to check myself on how well I’m doing. Trying to be optimistic.

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