Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Goal tracking sheet

If you've ever read The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin, then you know that she highly recommends having some kind of chart to help track your goals/resolutions/whatever you want to call them.

(And if you've never read The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin, would you do that soon, please? It's wonderful.)

So last year, in an attempt to be smarter about my goals, I did just that. It was a nice little sheet that I printed every month to help me see the progress I was making on my "things to do." And while my goals didn't quite work out the way I wanted them to last year, it certainly wasn't because of my goal sheet!

This year, my goal sheet got an update, and I'm pretty proud of it. We don't need to go into what the old one looked like, but just know that this one is better. Behold:

As you can see, I've divided the sheet up into sections: daily (read the Bible and the Book of Mormon -- not one of my specified goals, but definitely something I need to do), weekly, monthly, ongoing (to do over the course of the year), and one-time (to do once during the year). 

This gives me a very visual idea of the progress I'm making on my goals. Daily and weekly things get checkmarks when they're finished, and everything else just gets crossed off.

I also changed the color of the text for ongoing and one-time things that I need to do this month to be on track. For example, I want to write 24 blog posts this year. To do that, I should technically write 2 in January. So I made the numbers 1 and 2 purple, to help me see that that's what I need to do this month. I also picked a few one-time things to focus on this month, and I changed their color, too. 

If you're a goal-setter (or want to be), I seriously recommend doing this! It keeps track of everything so nicely. It takes a little work to get the first one set up just the way you want it done, but once you've got that first one done, updating it every month is so fast! 

So get to it, why don't ya?

Monday, January 20, 2014

35 Things To Do in 2014

Ah...2013. I think I'll refer to it as "The Year of Parker." I found out I was pregnant a few days after Christmas 2012, so January-September 7 was aaaaaallll about being pregnant, you know? Maybe because I didn't have school to deal with this time around (I did with both of the girls), or maybe because I was pregnant with two kids, or maybe my Zodiac sign was aligned just so with the moon, but I was very into being pregnant this time around. It took a lot out of me and I gave it a lot of time and energy. (And I loved it, by the way.)

And then after September 7, it was aaaaaallll about having a newborn. And I don't think I have to explain that to anyone.

The point of that was to tell you that 2013's goals...well...they didn't exactly...survive. I mean, I'll give myself some credit: I did make goals. And I made these amazing goal sheets that helped me keep track of them. And I even kept up with some of them pretty well and checked a few big things off my list. And then it got to be like August and I realized how far behind I was and I got discouraged and busy with other things and everything goal-related just sort of...stopped.

But, even though I was plenty occupied for the rest of the year, I still missed my goals. And that is why I've got a sparkly new list for 2014. Who's excited?!


Just me?


In an effort to be super committed to my list this year, I've decided to return to holding myself accountable to the 5 or so people who actually read this blog. Yes, you. You are my motivation! Don't let me down!

My list this year is pretty simple, and (let's be honest) not terribly ambitious. I wanted to be super realistic and push myself to do things that should happen on their own, but never really seem to (if that makes sense). Some are also straight up repeats of past years' goals, but are so great they deserve to be done again!

And so, here we go - my 35 Things of 2014. (If you want to know why I follow a "to-do list" type format for my goals, check out this post)

35 Things To Do in 2014

1. read Jesus the Christ
2. read The Book of Mormon with a study guide or complementary book
3. index 500 names
4. private
5. private
6. private
7. read or listen to a General Conference talk every week
8. read at least 3 articles in every Ensign
9. research Kindergarten options for Maddy and get her on waiting lists if necessary
10. potty train Charly
11. learn to french braid
12. add water to food storage
13. create chores (or similar system) for kids
14. organize family photos
15. learn a new song (not a hymn) on the piano
16. update the software on my laptop (loooong overdue!)
17. exercise once a week
18. take a class
19. read 2 "classics" I've never read
20. write 24 blog posts
21. write in journal twice a month
22. organize a girls' night
23. read 24 books (a downsize from past years, but I find myself reading less and less these days. This will push me.)
24. pay off (x amount) in student loans (those pesky things)
25. save cash according to this system
26. try 20 new healthy recipes (my goal last year was 30, and I made it to 15, so 20 will push me a bit)
27. go to The Melting Pot
28. finish hosting project (a work project that has taken me forever)
29. another work project that I don't really feel like explaining
30. print and hang new family pics
31. reupholster kitchen chairs
32. clean upstairs closet
33. redecorate master bedroom
34. donate to D.I.
35. redecorate pot shelf in kitchen

Okay, so it's kind of lame to have those "private" ones on numbers 4-6, but I decided I wasn't comfortable sharing them. Sorry. My list, my rules!

I'm really excited for this year and I'm excited to push my mother-of-three self. It's definitely a "self" that I'm still getting used to being, and I'm excited to prove to myself that I can still accomplish things, even though I often feel overwhelmed and inadequate.

So did you make a list this year? Or set some resolutions? I'd love to hear about them!

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Parker, months 1-3

One of the (very few) things I think I did right with Charly was to make monthly updates with a picture and some facts about her at that age (see here and here - oh my, she was cute). So, in my desperate attempt to hold tight to those few things I actually do right as a parent, I've taken monthly pictures of Parker and jotted down a few things about him at each age. And now, that he's almost 4 1/2 months old, it's the perfect time to update you on months 1-3, right?

I mean, it feels like it happened in the blink of an eye to me...so I'm just trying to give you a "real" experience here. Or...something like that.

So, let's get to it, before the kid grows any more!



He's kind of awesome.