The Weightiness of Resolutions

Each year on this blog, it’s been the same thing: I post my resolutions for the upcoming year, whether it be nearly my only post for the year or not (see: 2014). I set goals that I may or may not achieve, and I publish them in the hopes that having them “in ink” online will provide me with some sort of motivation to get them done.  And honestly, a fair amount of them are accomplished, especially considering how many resolutions never come to fruition in the macro, beyond myself.

But this year, I’m tired. 2014 chewed me up and spit me out. What looked like a year of promise turned into a year of survival. Of course, many more catastrophic things could’ve happened to me or in spite of me, and we did, in fact, survive, but I realize that my resolutions are often unattainable. This is not because I’m a poor goal-setter or because I create unrealistic expectations for myself, but because things change that are beyond my control actually quite often. My resolutions for 2014 were specific and fairly actionable, but this year, I’m going for things that are more in my control, regardless of changes. I might have a few actionable items, but mostly it’s about taking care of myself and putting what’s important first.

My 2015 Resolutions

First and foremost, I will stop letting other people determine my happiness, especially work. Many times, the things that I let “drag me down” are beyond my control, so why should I make myself unhappy because of it? I choose to be happy during 2015 and to let things roll off instead of upset me.

2015 will be my year of being proactive, instead of reactive. I will anticipate hardships and plan for them. I will deal with things immediately instead of procrastinating. I will finish something and let it go instead of letting it eat at me.

My several and varied passions, all of which I have thrown by the wayside, will have a place in my life, whether big or small, to give me the outlets that I need.

My priorities for 2015 are happiness and family. What does that entail? For me, it’s continuing to develop a close and loving relationship with my family; making sure that my marriage takes the helm over other relationships and engagements; setting limits on what needs to be done with work and what truly doesn’t matter; making weekends solely about family and never about main job work; feeling successful in my Jamberry small business and getting to hang out with the amazing women I meet through that venture; taking quiet moments to reflect on my life and center myself back into balance.

It is not stressing myself out over trivial things that others find important but really aren’t; letting work consume my life; driving home so late that the kids have to eat dinner on the road and go straight to bed; staying up late to finish some “important” item and losing sleep, causing me to go into a spiral for the week; alienating friends because of other “priorities” or social anxiety from alienating them previously.

So, after all this, I’d guess that I really only have one actual resolution: balance. Some things in life truly are more important, no matter what others try to do to convince you to rule in their favor, for their priority. How can I model to my children and my students what it means to have a truly full and loving life if I don’t practice balance myself? I only have two thirds of my life left, IF I’m seriously lucky. I’m not wasting another day.

Resolutions for 2014

Sorry, blog that I’ve neglected again. You are going to be the vehicle for this post and then I’m going to leave you alone for awhile. Life is just a bit too full to be able to focus on you right now. We’ll see if you can get come TLC come summer.

Every year, I’m one of those people that bemoans resolutions, and every year, I’m still one of those people who jumps on the bandwagon with two feet. I hate resolutions because I, like so many others with little resolve, don’t stick with them. But upon reflection, I realize that it is because of the tremendous amount of short- and long-term goal setting I do professionally that I don’t necessarily worry about my personal resolutions.

This year is going to be the year of my personal life.

I’m sure I won’t actually stick with my resolutions, but an attempt is still progress from nothing.

  1. Leave work at 5:00 pm every night unless I have a meeting, and reserve lesson planning for Sunday mornings only.
    This is going to be hard for me because lately, it seems like I’ve been leaving three or more hours later and spending my entire weekend working. With my super long commute, this resolution will put me home at 6:30 pm and allow me to have some family time each evening (and avoid burning out). That still puts me at 50 work hours during the week (68 with the commute) but for a teacher, that’s pretty fantastic. I’ve got to really push myself to say, “Does this HAVE to be done?” before continuing to sacrifice my support system.
  2. Eat smaller portions and make smarter choices.
    I’m not going to put the cliché down because it won’t happen. But I do have an accountability buddy and work BFF that will kick my butt if she sees me making poor choices. Sure, I need to lose weight, but realistically I need to be healthier and that takes a lifestyle change, not a diet. One thing this includes (sadly) is the switch from Venti Caffe Mochas to Tall Skinny Caffe Mochas, and another is slowly switching to unsweet (or drastically less sweetened) iced tea.
  3. Up my “me” time.
    Currently, I take “me” time every Saturday morning in the form of a bath and some Pinterest on my iPhone. I want to start building in 10-15 minutes a day of just being alone and doing whatever I want.
  4. Get more spiritual.
    I’ve let my relationship with God wander a bit. Not that my faith is shaken or I am having doubts, but I am just not investing in the relationship like I used to and like all relationships without work, it’s suffering. I want to actively add more prayer (and possibly church) back into my life.
  5. Take more pictures.Of the boys. Of myself. Of stupid things I think looks cool. Of everything and anything. I used to take so many photos all the time, for multiple reasons. I miss that side of my life. My DSLR probably can’t be resurrected, but I do have an iPhone that I don’t use nearly enough.
  6. Read more books.
    Oh, I read plenty. I read scholarly journal articles and books presenting the newest teaching methods and blog posts on a variety of educational, political, and cultural topics, but I rarely read fiction anymore. I’m not up on the latest great published stories, ranging from YA up to my absolute fave, women’s fiction (please don’t confuse with romance novels!) and it flat-out sucks. I miss getting lost in a story and mourning the end of a good book and being thoroughly pissed because something was left unexplained. I’m following Bonnie’s Book Club suggestions and adding others in as I can.
  7. My ONE job-based resolution? Survive this year and prepare for the next.
    This year, I started a program that hasn’t really existed in my district before. There were a lot of variables that neither myself nor my principal could articulate when we created this program without diving in and sorting through as we went. I would still jump in head first to this job if I were being offered the position again knowing what I know now, but I have a ton of work to do to get us even remotely in the ballpark of where we need to be. The problem is that there is no way for me to possibly accomplish this during the school year with my current commute. There just aren’t enough hours in the day. Even if there were, however, I would still have no personal life and no family life, so I need to focus on doing the best I can right now and hammering out a few full 60 hour weeks of work on the program during the summer. From then on, it should be revision and resource-finding instead of this craziness I’ve been trying to maintain for the past five months.

I don’t think my resolutions could be more comprehensive. I need to get back to being me and not lose myself in my job. Happiness is an overarching concept, after all 🙂

Goals Update, Fall Break Style

It’s time for a goals update!!!

2. Do an overnight getaway, just me and the Hubs

This past weekend, the Hubs and I went to Nashville by ourselves and left the boys with my parents. We celebrated a friend’s engagement and welcomed an amazing guy into our friends-family. Great food and great times.

9. Pay off non-SL debts

We payed off another debt last week. The list is getting smaller!

32. Sell $100 worth of products on TPT

I’m getting closer! So far, I’m up to $50 in sales and $24 in profits. It might actually be time to buy the big license because I will earn more commission than it costs.

Baby steps…

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September Goals Update

It’s time for a goals update! I had a few minutes today to add to the blog (something I haven’t had time to do lately) so I figured it was about time some kind of new content went up. I actually have a LOT to highlight over the next few weeks, but it probably won’t happen until October when I’m on Fall Break.

Travel

1. Visit MawMaw and PawPaw over Spring Break.

  • This is definitely going to happen! One of my best friends is getting married over break and we’ll be heading down to North Carolina anyway, so we are just going to hop down to Florida, too.

2. Do an overnight getaway, just me and the Hubs

  • More info on this later 🙂

Family/Couple

3. Family beach trip with both boys

  • We will combine this with our spring break trip.

 

Financial

10. Raise credit score to certain amount to prepare for moving, buying new cars, and buying a house (again, same as above)

  • We bought one car in June! We traded in my little car for a nice, roomy minivan (that I absolutely love — I don’t care about the stigma!)

Personal

23. Post to the blog every 2 weeks (reasonable considering new job)

  • Well, I did well with this until the middle of August, so I’ve really only missed two posts. But things will get better in the upcoming weeks as I get a chance to get ahead!

 

Professional

29. Make it through this school year! My dream job is amazing, but it’s also going to be a tremendous amount of work for the first few years.

  • I’m making it! I really, really, really love my job! Even when the work is hard or overwhelming, I love it every day. I even find myself saying out loud when I get out of my car each day that I love my school.

30. Teach in the target language for 90% of instructional time

  • Okay, so I’m sitting at about 60% right now with serious plans to increase my usage. It is proving more difficult than I imagined in the rotational and special area classes.

32. Sell $100 worth of products on TPT

  • I sold $10 worth in August! It’s not much but it is most definitely a start 🙂

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Goals for 2013-14

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Welcome to my new goals for this year (accessible on my blog as the Goals Page)! My DZP list was set to expire this September, and while I love the idea of DZP, I find that it is just too daunting. Too many goals, too long of a time period, and too often left as an afterthought because of all the changes that happen in the span of 2.75 years. Heck, the last time I even wrote my list, Clark was only a few months old and we definitely did not envision ourselves expanding our family, confronting the prospect of moving away, or having the jobs we have.

As teachers, we tend to think of our years similarly to companies in that they run summer to summer. My goals, therefore, reflect the fact that as the summer is beginning, a new phase of our lives is beginning. New Year’s Day really means very little to me, but the beginning of June symbolizes that iconic shift in behavior and goal-setting. And really, our lives change so much with the waxing and waning of each school year that it is just unreasonable to go any further than one year out. I also narrowed the amount of goals. One hundred and one goals was far too many to keep any of them at the forefront of my mind, so I’ve kept the list rather small, with the exception of chunking out some of the bigger goals (there goes my teacher brain again, chunking large things into small, manageable tasks! lol). So here it is, folks: my 2013-14 goals list.

Travel

1. Visit MawMaw and PawPaw over Spring Break.
2. Do an overnight getaway, just me and the Hubs

Family/Couple

3. Family beach trip with both boys
4. Go camping
5. Build a family snow man
6. Go to church regularly
7. Make a new family tradition
8. Feel confident going out in public by myself with boy of the boys at once

Financial

9. Pay off non-SL debts (this is broken up into smaller pieces on my confidential list)
10. Raise credit score to certain amount to prepare for moving, buying new cars, and buying a house (again, same as above)
11. Save an emergency fund of one paycheck – not enough, but a good start for this year!
12. Save for moving expenses (approx. $500)

For Others

13. Donate old, unwanted or unused possessions
14. Volunteer for 10 hours
15. Fix cosmetic issues at Grandma’s house so she can sell a bit easier

Health & Fitness

16. Lose 5 pounds
17. Lose 10 pounds
18. Lose 20 pounds
19. Lose 30 pounds
20. Run a mile
21. Cut down to only 1 caffeinated drink per day
22. Drink water for the majority of beverages each day

Personal

23. Post to the blog every 2 weeks (reasonable considering new job)
24. Go to the spa and pamper myself
25. Finish Clark’s first year scrapbook
26. Start Colin’s scrapbook
27. Start wedding scrapbook
28. Organize all possessions and pare down what we don’t need

Professional

29. Make it through this school year! My dream job is amazing, but it’s also going to be a tremendous amount of work for the first few years.
30. Teach in the target language for 90% of instructional time
31. Build a network of FLES resources
32. Sell $100 worth of products on TPT

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