Wednesday, January 3, 2018

New Year's Resolutions: 2018

You guys, 2017 was a whopper of a year for us. In case you need a refresher here are the major points of our year:

-We started the year off with a 3-day old Baby #3 (and, P.S., the transition from 2 to 3 kids rocked my world harder than the transition from 1 to 2; as darling as she is and as much as I love her, this sweet little girl was not the easiest baby I've had).
-I got accepted to grad school in February and we made the momentous decision to move forward with it, meaning that...
-My husband began a frantic job search, and after a few tense months finally got one, so we were able to move forward with...
-Buying a house! That I didn't actually get to see in person until the final walk-through. And then we...
-Moved states. Moving is the worst. And then we...
-Spent a few tense months trying to figure out a childcare situation, which is also the worst. Thankfully, it worked out just in time for me to...
-Start a freaking PhD program! Still kind of surreal, and I have a lot of moments where I'm like, "How did this happen? How did I get here? What am I doing with my life?" But yes, the answer is that I'm a mother of three very young children, and I'm getting a PhD. At the same time. It's crazy.
-My oldest started kindergarten! (And loves it so much, he tells me he wants to live at school, and sleep at school, and not come home even on the weekends. I've decided not to tell him that boarding school is a thing.)

So yes, these were all very wonderful and happy and good things. But also, I've never experienced a year with such a high level of anxiety (like, completely unable to sleep kind of anxiety). I'm very much looking forward to a year that, while still busy, will contain far fewer major life-altering events.

Anyway, that background leads me to the topic of New Year's Resolutions. I made some goals last January, well-knowing that my life was potentially going to be crazy. Unsurprisingly, I didn't meet half those goals. Let's review 2017's goals for just a moment.

2017 Review:

1. Read 52 Books Check and double check! I managed to surpass this, finishing strong with 67 books!

2. Finish Draft of Book Ha! Hahaha! I barely managed to keep this little blog afloat. Needless to say, I did not find the writing time to draft that book I've been thinking about for a while. Nope. Did not happen.

3. Re-establish Self-Care Routines Basically, this goal was about reclaiming my early-morning routine. I feel so good about myself when I wake up early and have a little solo time for scripture study, meditation, yoga, and maybe a little writing or work. Pre-kids, I used to be so good at this. But it only works for me when I can control my sleep, which means my morning and self-care routines take a hit every time I'm pregnant or have a baby who is not sleeping through the night. When I made this goal back in January, I had high hopes that my extra-sleepy newborn was going to be like her older brothers and start sleeping through the night between 4 and 6 months. Nope! No matter what method I used (and I tried everything), my opinionated little sweetheart point-blank refused to sleep through the night until well over 9 months old (and only then on the condition that she not be sick or teething, which meant more often then not she still wanted my company in the night). You guys, that first month of my PhD program, when she was still regularly waking up once or twice a night, I thought I was going to die. Or go insane. Or something. I was in a pretty desperate place sleep-wise, and a good morning routine seemed way out of reach. I was squeezing in my self-care at other points in the day, but nothing about my life was "routine."

But things did get better. I actually had some good stretches through October and November where I was getting up at 5 AM fairly regularly (but then I kept getting sick myself, leading to setbacks), so there's hope that in 2018, my regular early-morning routine might become habit again, and I will feel in control of my life!

4. Blogging Routine Look, this little blog of mine is my favorite hobby. It's so fun to write here. I have every intention of keeping it up as much as possible. But see above where I talk about nothing in my life being "routine". Honestly, the fact that I was able to post here as often as I did during the semester was amazing. The fact that this blog is still alive makes is a win in my book.

5. Memory Keeper Routine This one is half a check! In that, during the first half of the year, I was really on top of the journals and such. But then school started and... I'm behind again. Always behind.

6. Instagram Once A Week You guys, I love so much that I had a goal to post to social media MORE, and I love even more that I completely FAILED at this goal. I'm awful at social media. Which is actually fine with me, because social media is mostly just a time-suck anyway. And the point of this goal was not about participating in social media more, it was actually about forcing myself to take more pictures and improve my photography skills and document our family life more. In which case, I still failed at this goal. I did manage to have a monthly photo shoot to document Baby Girl's milestones, but some months that was all I managed to post. I would still love to work on my photography, it just wasn't a high enough priority this year.

So, super interesting to me that the one goal I managed to succeed at (and actually crush) was my reading goal. Everything else was more or less a fail. I think that says something, but I'm not exactly sure what that says yet. I'm probably going to write up a whole post about this soon, because writing is how I figure things out, and I want to figure out why that goal stuck while my other ones fizzled.

Anyway, let's move on to my goals for 2018, shall we? Because I know you're all dying to know!

2018 Goals:

1. Read 75 Books This one is kind of a huge stretch for me. I've never read that many books in a year. But I'm feeling the itch to push myself, and I'm fairly confident in the glorious power of my commute + audio books equation, so we shall see!

2. Establish Early Morning Routine! Carry-over from last year, but I'm feeling real hopeful that, barring any major sleep regression on the side of my baby, this will actually be feasible this year. My goal is a strict 10 PM bedtime with a 5:30 AM wake-up time, and I want my morning routine to include: scripture study, yoga/meditation, shower/dressed, and whatever school work I can manage before the kids get up. We shall see.

3. Attend a Conference/Submit a Paper for Publication Well, well, well, look at that. I have professional goals! I just want to do one thing this year to add to my C.V. Sounds reasonable to me.

4. More One-on-one Time With My Kids The one thing I worry about a lot with being a Student/Working Mom is that my kids don't get enough of my attention. I want to focus more on giving daily pockets (10-15 minutes) of attention/activity/fun to each kid, but also do bigger one-on-one things, like dates and such. I'm aiming for an individual date at least once a month.

5. Go to the Temple at Least Every Other Month I'm so grateful we live in a city that has a temple, but it's still about an hour away from us (which has been the case with every city we've lived in since leaving Utah). Factoring in the time, and the fact that I try to avoid finding/paying babysitters at all costs, getting to the temple is one of those "should-dos" that feels rather momentous to pull off. But I've been missing it lately, and really feel like I need to get there more often, with or without my husband (maybe separate temple trips is the solution to the babysitter problem).

Okay, there are a lot of other things I could set resolutions about, but right now, these are the ones that feel the biggest/most important to me. There are plenty more goals I would like to add to this list, and if I had an honorable mention list it would probably include things like plant a garden, finish off my children's baby books, set up a summer reading challenge for myself (and my kids...), get finances in a place to invest/give more to charity, and plenty more areas I want to improve in, but let's just start here. No need to overwhelm myself or shoot for the unrealistic stars (like I apparently did last year). This list feels very doable, and I can always add some of these other goals as I feel able to accomplish them (I've added goals mid-year before, no rules against that!). I'll check in in June and let you know how I'm coming!

What are your goals for the New Year?


  1. Whew, just reading about your year makes me tired! Not getting enough sleep seriously wreaks havoc with EVERYTHING else, so here's hoping you can get some solid sleep in this year!

    This year I'm doing something way different with resolutions than I've done before--I'm going to keep up the weekly to-do list/monthly goals thing that was my resolution for last year (and that I did great with), but I'm going to start a 101 (goals) in 1,001 (days) list since I think that planning out longer-term (3 years out) might be better since being pregnant and having a newborn does tend to throw off personal goals for quite awhile, and 3 years seems like a good chunk of time to be able to get a lot of stuff done. We shall see.

  2. ARIGATOU(Thank you so much!!)
    I hope you and your family have a wonderful holiday and a prosperous new year!
    On Japanese New Year ‘s customs;
    Adults put money in a special envelope and give it to children.
    This is called “otoshidama” and many children look forward to it very much!