Monday, February 2, 2015

Monthly Goals: February 2015

Hard to believe a month has already come and gone, but it's time for thinking about monthly goals again.
Kicking off a new month with a chilly sleigh ride. 
Unfortunately at the beginning of the past month a knee injury that had been bothering me worsened, and although I've had spells of being able to work on my goals, I was not able to accomplish as much as I had hoped. After a successful minor knee surgery this past week I'm hoping to jump back into it soon. I kicked off yesterday by finally getting a chance to enjoy some of the beautiful new snow we've gotten the last week, and it felt great to start a new month with all that fresh air!

My January Themes: Declutter and Reorganize

1. Declutter: We made a lot of progress in the decluttering process, maybe not as much in the de-owning process. Although I got a lot out of key areas, much of it slipped into the basement. I did get some of it out to thrift stores and some of it into storage. Now I need to sort through the rest of it.

2. Reorganize Family Plans: We had a few bumps at first but have found a way to settle into our new routines. After two years of working split shifts, my husband and I are enjoying working similar hours again. And for the first time in a long time we can have family dinners on more than just the weekends. Around these new changes we've started new routines, both in the morning and at night and so far they're working.

3. Reorganize: So far I've tackled several "problem" areas in the house, including the playroom, linen closet, lazy suzy cabinet, our bedroom closet, and the boys' closet. Even small areas, like replacing a rolling cart in the kitchen with a more organized book shelf has made a big difference in my battle against clutter.

4. Financial: The bill organization definitely got pushed to the side, and is still on our to-do list.

5. Work/Home Balance: I started off the work balance plan pretty well, but slipped into old routines by the end of the month. I'm hoping to reenergize this in the coming month.

6. Blog: My page ideas and blog organization also didn't happen, so these goals will continue to shift forward.

7. Craft Supplies: My goal was to not buy any craft supplies this month, and despite a few moments of almost giving in to temptation, I'm pretty proud of the fact that I only bought one thing: heart stickers.

February: Pause and Prioritize

This month I've realized that it may be better to take on less goals. Especially as I'm still hoping to tackle the decluttering and reorganizing.

1. Declutter "A Bag A Week": Although I still have some key areas to tackle (primarily the "hidden" ones like desk and hutch drawers) I also am experimenting with a new declutter approach. Each week I'm going to place a paper bag somewhere easily accessible and attempt to fill the bag throughout the week. This way, throughout our daily routines, I can be inspired to declutter. (I'm trying to get my husband interested in using the bag too . . .)

2. Continue to improve upon my transition routine from work to home. I've a created a "To Do" notebook for work which I can write in each day at the end of the day. That way I can get it all down before I leave, and come back to it later in the evening after the kids are in bed.

3. Take time to PAUSE. I feel like I'm always looking ahead: to the next task, the next appointment, the next activity. And in between these moments, I'm cleaning up, setting up, clearing away.

The other day I came across this scene: Little Brother had dumped his brother's legos, pulled out a few toys, and settled into something else. Seeing him engaged in something, I took it as the perfect moment to start straightening up. As soon as they self engage, I look to see what I can quickly accomplish.

Only this time I turned and really looked at Little Brother and realized what I was missing. He doesn't settle often in his day, but just last week was discovering Duplos and how to use them independently. Starting midweek he would really engage with them, usually just building and rebuilding the same tall tower, but working hard and carefully to line up the blocks. 

I took a few moments to watch him (and grab the camera) when I realized this needs to be one of my new goals. Obviously I can't do it all day, all the time. Quite often there really is a lot of other stuff we need to get done in that quiet moment of play. (And it's also good for kiddos to have those independent moments of play.) But, I am going to try to have one moment a day where I just PAUSE and enjoy something in the moment around me without thinking about the next thing. 

4. Prioritize: Being home this last week recovering from my knee surgery has made me realize how often I am doing small things that don't make a big difference in my day or the scope of things, but do suck up time. Often this includes social media stuff during the day, but sometimes other small things like straightening an area that's bound to wrecked again in a few moments (hello, playroom . . .) or puttering with the phrasing of a work email that is small in the grand scheme of things. So, although I'm not quite clear yet in what way I'm going to work on prioritizing, I'm hoping to explore different strategies this coming month. 

And if I'm prioritizing, and tackling what needs to be done when it's relevant, doesn't that also mean I should find more time for pausing too? That'll be the big question to explore during the coming month. 

We're already two days into February, and already moving forward on our goals. Have you stuck to your monthly goals or are you still exploring year long resolutions?

Don't forget to check out some of the other monthly goals from these other fantastic bloggers.

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