New Year’s Resolution

At a past book club meeting I was conversing with my fellow girlfriends about this-and-that and at one point someone said, “I don’t get why people take notes in their books. What are they writing? I never write in my books.” To which I replied, “I do.” All conversation ceased and eyes loomed over me. Less than gracefully I mumbled out something that was supposed to sound like this: “I like to keep track of characters or make a comment about my thoughts.” Apparently, I was the only one. The moment passed and we moved on to another topic; however,  I will admit, I walked away from that conversation feeling like a square peg.

I tend not to follow the trend, whether I like it or not. My recent books have included E. D. Hirsch’s Cultural Literacy, Punished By Rewards by Alfie Kohn, and The Red Tent by Anita Diamant. Sometimes I think I can pull it off and talk about the most recent episode of Mad Men or who won what at the Academy Awards but it is quickly revealed that I didn’t see the show and then I become a silent head nodder, never a duller moment.

But here’s the rub: all these things are what make me who I am. My problem is I have trouble owning my opinions. Mainstream or not, trending or not, hipster or not; I have difficulty claiming my opinions with confidence. There’s an unfounded and overriding fear within me that if I say my non-mainstream point-of-view out loud the person won’t like me. In truth, the majority of the time I’m pretty sure most people could care less about what I think, and even if they did, it’s still my opinion and I still need to claim it.

To ring in the New Year, I’m throwing caution to the wind, going out on a limb, taking the bull by the horns, and saying my opinions out loud. And there will be no fine print. No flimsy explanation for why I have this or that opinion. Just me, revealed.

2015 New Year’s Resolution

1. Being confident in my opinions and decisions. *no fine print

I love reading about history.

I strive to live a minimalist lifestyle. 

I want to be a writer.

I love being a stay-at-home mom. 

I’m considering becoming Montessori certified. 

I’m considering homeschooling my kids for a few years using a Classical Education model. 

Yes, I am aware of a few conflicting ideas in there. Did I say they would all make sense? Nope, but that’s me.

New Year’s Resolutions

I love setting New Year’s Resolutions. They get a bad rap because people tend not to stick to them but I love using goal setting as a way to help focus my personal desires. When setting my resolutions, I follow a few simple rules to make sure they are attainable.

Writing

First, I try to make my goals small. I often have a larger goal in the works but it’s the small steps that lead to the accomplishment of something grand. Of course, this is all relative from person to person. (The best part about this is you can always move forward to the next goal once the small one is accomplished. This way, you’ve achieved not just one goal but are on your way to another.) Second, I make the goal tangible. Statements such as “be more organized” are difficult because they can be achieved in so many ways. Rather than naming organization as a goal, it should be a specific item, such as “keep my desk clean.” (One thing I really should work on! But I already have other plans for this year.) Lastly, there can be no more than three goals on the list. Sometimes just one is all I need. Otherwise it gets too overwhelming. Plus, it helps me decide what is really important.

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Resolutions for 2013

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1. Blog ~2 times/week: Since starting this blog I’ve experienced such satisfaction in putting my thoughts into words. Very cathartic. Unexpectedly, it is an amazing tool in developing my writing skills. (I know, but I really didn’t realize people used blogs for this purpose.)

*This goal is also two-fold in that I would like to watch less TV in general. I’ve watched far less since starting the blog because I spend my time here instead of glossy eyed on the couch watching Burn Notice reruns while the kids are sleeping. So, in writing more I will automatically watch less. Love that.

2. Train for and race in XC12K: I’ve had a hard time getting back to running since Simon was born. Yes, he’s only five months old but I believe it’s a matter of priority and I need to make this my priority. It gets me outdoors and I feel better physically and mentally when I run. My goal is the XC12K in August 2013; a great trail race in the foothills. I ran this in 2011 and had fun but cramped going downhill and it actually brought me to a walking pace. I will get my revenge this year. (Insert evil laugh here.)

*Until I begin training for this, I’ve already made plans with a friend to meet up once a week for a Saturday trail run. This will lead to more regular running for me.

3. Pray Regularly: If you’ve been following me you know that I’ve recently started attending church again. This has been cleansing in so many ways but I get overwhelmed by religion and faith, too. I thought a simple way to jump back in would be to start praying. I’ve not prayed regularly in years. I tend to do what I call emotional praying – for example, after the Connecticut tragedy. Specifically, here’s when I want to pray:

  • Grace at dinner.
  • Evening prayers for myself and with Hannah.

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Making a resolution should be about getting excited for something new; not about feeling guilty for the things you haven’t done. So, give yourself a pat on the back for even thinking about setting a resolution (you know you want to!) and start jotting down some ideas. Set a deadline for when they need to be decided on, too. Good luck! I would love to hear about them.