Tuesday, January 3, 2017

goals

I'm not fond of resolutions as much as I am goals because I'm a bit of a commitment-phobe and 'resolutions' just feels too serious. I don't have very many goals for this year and some of these goals carry over from 2016:

1. Declutter our lives. We have accumulated so much stuff that our house feels claustrophobic. The kids play with a small fraction of the toys they have. I wear a small fraction of the clothes in my dresser and closet. We use a small portion of the stuff in our kitchen cupboards. Jon has been equally as taken with this goal so that makes it substantially easier (we've already donated 9 garbage bags of items to Goodwill). I want to remove one item from our house for each item brought in this year. I also want to continue to go through the things we already own and substantially reduce the amount of material objects in our lives.

2. Be healthier. Apparently four years is enough time to make a difference on my body's ability to bounce back from pregnancy. I was back to my pre-pregnancy weight with Elden (with zero effort on my part) within 4 weeks of giving birth. It has now been almost 8 weeks with Etta and I am still up about 10 pounds, plus I was 5-10 pounds heavier than I would have preferred when I got pregnant with her. My goal is to lose about 20 pounds in 2017. Weight loss aside, I spend most of my days sitting at a desk so I just need to get up and exercise for general health. I have been tossing around the idea of joining a local gym but I haven't committed yet (see also: commitment-phobe).

3. Fight better. I've never been one to hide the fact that Jon and I have an imperfect marriage. Our first year of marriage was arguably the hardest year of my life. We fought a lot and our fights were typically quite loud (primarily on my part). We have come a long way since that first year. We don't fight often (we have disagreements more frequently but I wouldn't qualify these as 'fights' as we are usually pretty good at calmly reaching a resolution quickly) and when we do we usually don't let it escalate to a point of yelling. I'm not sure whether it's because we have learned how to fight more fairly or we are just too exhausted from parenting to let it escalate, but we have been pretty good in this department. However, at the end of 2016 we did have a couple of bigger fights and unfortunately we did yell at each other in front of Edith during one of them. We think it is important to fight in front of our kids in the sense that they need to see you can have a disagreement with someone and come to a resolution, all while loving your partner through your anger, but yelling at each other in front of our kids is not exactly a good demonstration of loving your partner. We talked about it a little bit a few days ago and both agree we need to be much more diligent about not letting something blow up to that extent in front of them again. I'm sure we will inevitably yell at each other in front of our kids at some point or another in their lives, but I really want to make it a conscience goal to table the discussion if we feel it reaching a boiling point.

4. Be better stewards of our money. As part of the declutter our lives goal I also want to spend less money on unnecessary things. Furthermore, I want to work on paying down our debt more quickly. I read that if you make the equivalent of one extra mortgage payment per year you can cut your 30-year mortgage down to about 22 years. I have already setup an automatic monthly transfer from our savings account to the mortgage for just over 1/12th of our mortgage to do this. Between this additional payment and dance classes for Edith, our monthly budget is even tighter than last year, so I am hoping to knock our budgeting out of the park this year.

None of these goals are particularly glitzy but I am really hopeful about what 2017 will hold for our family in terms of emotional, financial and physical health.

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