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Tuesday, January 6, 2015

A Little More of This and a Little Less of That...

It happens to so many of us when January arrives on our calendars: Eat well, exercise more, get healthy, save more plan now.

I'm susceptible to all the articles and pins that tell me how to look better and feel better.  It's everywhere this time of year.  Truthfully, after holiday travel and indulgences, I look forward to a simplified diet but my family still expects meals on the table each evening.  What's a girl to do?  My goal is to truly learn to cook well and wisely for my family.  The goal is flavorful and nutritious fare within a reasonable time frame and budget.  There is going to be more protein and whole foods with less starches and sweets.  I'm not expecting it to happen overnight, just looking for progress, so I'm going to quantify this by stating that I'll incorporate four new menus into our cycle of meals.

Regarding exercise, I've met some personal goals in the past year regarding quantity and consistency.  This year I'm going to strive to be a bit more holistic in my approach.  I did a lot of running: Almost 1,200 miles and four pair of shoes worth!  It was great for my energy levels and let me indulge more at the table.  It also created a lot pressure on my feet and strained my already-weak ankle.  I want to add strength training and toning exercises along with more stretching this year.  I don't have a full plan in place yet and will work on that over the next few weeks - just in time for my next birthday.  I'm envisioning more miles at a time, but less days on the "track" and specific plans in place for strength and stretching.

Around the house, we have dreams of updating our living room furniture and adding a kitchen back splash.  These ideas then open the door to more plans: new counters, paint the walls, personalize the artwork and decor.  I'm sure some things will happen, others will not and I'm just thankful for the home in which we are blessed to live.  The space itself is working well, now the goal will be to make it look and feel like a representation of our personalities.  I will make choices that represent fewer frivolous and meaningless knick knacks and more purchases that reflect planning and strategy.

Our finances need consideration as we realistically prepare for a child in college next fall.  We can't allow the summer childcare expense to surprise us as greatly as it did last year.  We are tweaking our budget to make the best use of each dollar we earn.  During and impromptu budget "meeting" (if you consider date night a meeting), we confirmed our commitment to tithing as it demonstrates obedience, faith and fights selfishness.  I'm so grateful for a husband that leads our family in this way!  There will fewer extravagances and more thought into our purchases over the next twelve months as we spend and save with intention.

This consideration of things that need to be addressed is necessary for me.  I need to take time to consider the direction things are moving in my home and life so that it doesn't just happen, but is directed by my values and true goals.  I no longer expect major overhauls or instant changes on January 1.  Instead, I seek to make note of what is working, what needs to shift and start moving in those directions.  Year in and year out, I like seeing the shape of my life as it is refined to reflect me.

Do you make resolutions or set goals?  Do you choose a word or a focus each year?  How do you keep on-track for daily choices that mesh with your long term vision?