It's that time of year again.  The start of 2015 gives us a chance to reflect on the last year and make goals for the new one.  I've never actually been very big on New Years Resolutions, until last year when Justin and I made some.  

Just to refresh my your memory (not a good sign...jk jk), in 2014 we decided to start up 30 day challenges again and our individual goals were:

Justin: Read one book per month/ 12 books throughout the year. 
Nicole: Blog at least once a week + Find a schedule/life organization system that works for James and I and stick with it.

How did we do? Not great. Justin started off strong and read a book/month until April.  Then he says he ran out of books he was really excited to read, life got quite a bit more busy when we opened the box in May, and our second son arrived in August so his grand total of books read in 2014 only came to four.  (Although it is worth noting that one of those four was the 697 page comprehensive history of basketball, The Book of Basketball by Bill Simmons, which should count for at least 2 or 3 books in my opinion.)

As for myself, I definitely did not meet my blogging goal.  We posted 29 times in 2014, Justin authored five articles and I wrote the other 24.  While I only posted roughly half as often as I hoped to, overall I am happier with the content I produced in 2014 in that it was more in line with my blogging goals (share stories, truth, goodness, inspiration, struggles, encouragement that I truly enjoy writing).  

In the schedule/life organization department, I'd say I made it work but did not flourish in this one either.  I developed some better systems for meal planning and actually using the calendar/reminder/list apps on my phone to help keep track of things and organize my weekly schedule and priorities, but I still ended the year feeling like most days and weeks I was flying by the seat of my pants.  And for this INFJ (with a SUPER strong J...that means I'm a big time planner for those who don't know Myers Briggs), I ended the year realizing how unhappy I was with feeling like everything was relatively unplanned or planned at the very last minute.

In the area of 30 day challenges, though, we rocked it. In January we read for 30 minutes a day, in February we assembled a collage, in March we did 15 minutes of yoga a day, in April we watched one episode of 30 new TV shows, and in May we started what we decided would be our monthly challenge for the rest of the year: Malay language learning.  

So 2015 goals.  Justin has yet to decide on his, so I can't report any yet.  I want to have another go at my goals from last year, because they're still areas that are important to me to grow and improve in, and I added a couple more ideas.

  1. Drink more water.  Specifically drink at least 3.1 L of water per day because that's the recommendation for lactating mothers and I don't think I even come close to that.    
  2. Blog at least once a week (take 2)
  3. Take and share more photos.  And learn how to take better photos on my DSLR.
  4. Develop a daily/weekly schedule for myself and my kids that will allow me to do more of what I want.  Basically I think a lot of time is wasted because without a good plan I don't do things as efficiently and I make poor choices on spending the time that I do have because it's hard for me to prioritize based on the bigger picture.  Example: blogging is continually on my to-do list yet I often "never get around to it," when actually I spend more time than I realize or really want to on social media on a daily basis.  I spent some time this week coming up with ideas of how to incorporate time in my week to work on photography and blogging, be more consistent in my daily prayer time, and add some structured play, learning, and activity times with James (and eventually Cameron) each day.  Already I'm liking how the week is going much better so I'm hoping to stick with it.

Ironically, I spent 40-ish minutes one night this week making an artsy chalkboard with my 4 goals on it to have on display to remind me and keep me accountable.  But the next morning when I emerged from the bedroom after feeding Cam I walked into the following scene: Justin 'resting his eyes' on the couch with James next to him who had gotten ahold of the chalkboard and completely erased every last bit.  Here's hoping it wasn't a sign...

Photo by Nicole Payne-- all rights reserved

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