Goals, self-improvement

How I’m REALLY Doing on my New Year’s Resolutions

pic of one of my successful resolutions—our latest “day adventure”!


I was due for another resolutions update all the way back at the end of June, but I put it off so that I could get myself back on track before posting. (I know, I know–sneaky.)

Now, two months later, I’m going to just lay it all out there and maybe do some self-reflection about WHY I’m failing so hardcore at some of these goals (and if they’re worth trying to salvage, or if it would just be kinder to us all to say that this year ain’t the year).

However, lest you think that I’ve just given up on all my resolutions, I will go ahead with some of the successes (or almost-there successes) first:


For starters, I’m doing the best (by far) at the “Habits” section of my resolutions (and not so hot at the “Challenges” section and the “Pleasures” section). Here’s a refresher of what my “Habits” resolutions were:

*Blog at least 12 times a month
*Eat dinner at the table 6x/week with the t.v. off
*Attend the temple once a month
*Read the Ensign cover to cover every month
*Read 40 pages on most days (10 pages from four different books)
*Index on Sundays

First of all, I’m SUPER proud of myself for being pretty close to perfect on my blogging resolution (and the only month that I wasn’t, I was stressed out of my mind with end-of-school and end-of-teaching-career stuff, so I think I’m okay to get a pass on that month). My intent with making this particular resolution was to get myself excited again about blogging, and it definitely has worked. Since blogging is my only journal now really, it’s become even more important to me that I keep up on it. Plus, I love connecting with you readers–I’ve really learned a lot from the interactions that have come about because of this blog. So I’m definitely counting this first habit as an absolute success so far, and it’s something I intend to keep up.

I’m doing fairly well on my reading habit as well (although I’ve slightly amended the resolution so that it’s just reading 40 pages a day period, rather than trying to split it between four books, which I don’t always do). The intent behind this one was to amp up how many books I read this year, and I’ve already read, at just 2/3 of the way through the year, more books than I did four of the past five years (and if I continue at this pace, I’ll have read more than in any of them). I would say I’m successful at this resolution maybe 75% of the time.

Resolutions I’m doing *okay* at are eating dinner at the table with the t.v. off (we pretty much never have it on while Raven is eating, but we’ll often turn it on if Matt and I are eating after she does…oops), and I’m off and on when it comes to indexing on Sundays (although there have been several times I’ve indexed names on a weekday, so surely that makes up for some of the missed ones). I think in the future, anything to do with indexing would be better set as a hard-and-fast numbers goal (like doing 10,000 names a year or something), rather than a habit. Oh, and if we end up making it to the temple this week, we will have gone 6 months out of 8, which isn’t perfect, but it’s better than it was before when we were in the throes of pregnancy and the newborn stage.

The only habit I’ve let totally drop by the wayside lately is reading the Ensign cover to cover. I was doing so well for about the first quarter of the year, but the end of the school year and its ensuing craziness really threw me off my game, and I just somehow never picked that one back up. But, once again looking at the intent of the goal (which was to immerse myself in spiritual material more), I’ve been doing all right, especially since I started a new method of studying the scriptures about a month ago.


*Buy my own domain name and redesign the blog
*Finish the first draft of my novel
*Run a half marathon
*Print my blog out
*Do the Minimalist Challenge
*Try out a new volunteering experience
*Reach my goal weight
*Take a class
*Complete my “100 Hours in the Kitchen” Project

This section is up and down as far as success rate goes. I can basically cross off two of the challenges as completed–I’ll be running my half at the end of this week, and I’m pretty sure I’ve completed the Minimalist Challenge (I just need to sit down and add up the number of items and donate the last box of stuff that’s sitting in our room).

I had big plans that as soon as I quit my teaching job, I’d be able to go full throttle on many of these things. What I hadn’t factored in was that our income would be cut in half, and a lot of these challenges and pleasures cost money that we just don’t have in our budget at the moment. So, the challenges that probably won’t happen this year because of our tighter budget are printing the blog out and taking a class (unless I take a new exercise class at the local rec center and just count that, since their group aerobics class are just $2). I’d wanted the class to be a photography class, ideally, but I just don’t think that’s in the cards at this point in time. Maybe next year. (In the meantime though, I’ll continue to look up the tons of free online tutorials and tips and try and improve my craft that way.)

Challenges that I’m currently working on regularly are finishing the first draft of my novel (I usually write in it on Tuesdays and Thursdays, a minimum of 500 words each day), completing my “100 Hours in the Kitchen” project, and reaching my goal weight. My weight loss has reached an absolute and utter stop despite my best efforts the past few months, so I’ve decided that after the half is over, I’m going to shake it up and try something totally new to see if that can’t take care of the last of it. That whole shebang will get a post of its own though, so I won’t say too much more about it here. I think my “100 Hours in the Kitchen” Project will basically be a success (even if I didn’t *quite* follow all my guidelines to the letter) as long as I don’t crash and burn near the end, but I don’t think that I’m going to finish a first draft of my novel this year, at least at the rate I’m going. However, I did at least get in the habit of writing in it regularly again, which was a big step forward.

As for the blog redesign, I’m relying on outside people to help me, so I’m basically on their timetable. I hope this one will still happen this year.

I haven’t decided yet if I’m going to still try a new volunteer experience or not. I recently got a new (voluntary) calling at our church working in a leadership position over the Primary kids, and that’s giving me the same kind of warm fuzzies and general usefulness that I was craving with a volunteer experience, so we’ll see if I end up pursuing anything beyond that.

 Pic courtesy of my sis @hfoolio


*Take a trip with Matt’s family to Oregon
*Travel to the hot air balloon festival in Albuquerque, New Mexico in October
*Host a quarterly dinner celebration
*Purchase a large canvas print of at least one of my photos
*Go on a day adventure at least once a month

Sigh. You’d think that a resolutions section entitled “Pleasures” would be beyond easy (and fun!) to complete, but this is by far the section that has suffered the worst. So far, I’m only one for five on these.

First off, the success—

The Day Adventure.

Oh man, what a great idea this was! If nothing else, I’m thankful I came up with this part of the resolutions just so we got in the habit of doing these. So far, we have yet to miss a month with doing our day adventures, and it’s been such fun trying out new things and spending that quality family time together and having something regularly to look forward to. I fully plan on this being a habit for life from now on.

As for the others…

The Oregon trip? Due to unfortunate circumstances, the destination had to be changed from Oregon to Island Park. Although it wasn’t quite what we’d planned, we still had a total blast on that vacation, so I’m not counting this as a failure–just a lesson in flexibility.

Money is again the issue for counting out the second (and possibly fourth) item on the list–although Matt and I were wise when we had the two incomes coming in to put aside a lot of it, we don’t feel financially stable enough at the moment to take any big trips anytime soon. So this one will have to be shelved this year. Canvas prints aren’t terribly expensive if you get them from the right place and wait for a good deal, but I still haven’t made up my mind whether that’s an expense I’m willing to pay.

The quarterly dinner celebration is still kind of within our reach, but I’ve lost quite a bit of my enthusiasm for it. We had one the first quarter but let life get in the way the second quarter, plus our close friends moved down south. We might still pull this one off for the third and fourth quarters of the year, but I’m afraid the awesome “tea party” idea we had for one of the parties probably won’t pan out. Pity.


Anywho, it’s been a good year so far–a year full of lots of growth and progress and pushing myself, and even though I’m not 100% there with these resolutions (nor will I be), I love how setting these every year forces me to push myself.

Here’s to staying strong(ish) until the end! (At least on the ones I’ve decided to keep anyway, ha ha.)

Linking up today with Stay Gold Autumn

Monthly Goal Linkup

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