Goals for this season of life

I’ve written before about not really making New Year’s resolutions because my whole life has followed an academic calendar, so January feels like midyear to me, but I’m finding that now that I’m out of the teaching profession, January is a good time to try implementing new systems and goal-setting. Something about the holiday season brings our daily life into high relief. Moving in and out of our regular routine highlights what about that routine works and what doesn’t, and seeing how our toddler handles various changes to routine reminds me to reassess what this season of life looks like right now.

One of my favorite yearly practices is one little word. My past words were intentional, joy, contentment, and less, and this year’s word is FINISH. It applies to a few house projects we’ve been meaning to get done and some craft projects that are 75% completed and just sitting in a closet, but it mainly applies to my annoying habit of starting a task and either being interrupted by someone else or–more often–letting myself get distracted from it (seriously, who puts away all of the folded laundry except for the socks? who does this?).

I’ve also been reading a lot about minimalism–more on that later, don’t worry–and have been working on determining my actual priorities and how I want to spend my time. The books I used for this task were Minimalism for Families, Simplify, The Happiness Project, and Say Goodbye to Survival Mode, all of which I highly recommend. 

Here are my goals:

Loves first
– my family: time, rest, clear weekends, good meals, easy adventures and travels
– myself: books, yoga, crafts
– outdoors: gardening, playground time, walks and bike rides

Happy home
– be a ruthless gatekeeper of what comes in and what goes out
– theme days (inspiration from Sarah Barry’s great post)
– completed laundry cycles

Spend well, spend less
– shop local: arts markets, bookstores, family-owned shops
– local groceries: farmers markets, food co-op
– buy ethical and handmade

Put my phone down
– pay attention to screen time reports
– have a book and craft project nearby at all times for quiet moments

Nightly routine at 7:05 (weeknights)
– dishes, clean counters
– wash face, gratitude journal, read

Read eight great books
– I made a list of the eight I mean and will read others in addition

Use catchphrases that work
– one in, one out: get rid of something whenever we accumulate something new
minute rule: if it will take less than a minute to do, do it now
power hour: spend one hour a week getting as many loose ends / unfinished tasks completed as possible
– never leave a room empty-handed: unreal how much this helps keep a house tidy

Most of these are habits I’m working to cultivate. The only one that’s really tied to a 2019 timeline is eight great books, and I’m hoping the word finish becomes as ingrained in my everyday life as my previous words have. What’s your word for 2019?

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