Thursday, January 7, 2016

January Goals

I've always kinda felt bad for the month of January. While her sisters, December and November, get to throw all the parties and whoop it up, poor January has to be the responsible one. She has the hapless job of reminding everyone of promises they made, but never kept. Promises to eat better, exercise more and finally get organized. Not exactly a glamorous gig. She probably feels a lot like the obligatory tray of vegetables at a Super Bowl Party. Everyone pretends they're glad it's there, but truth is, folks are just killing time until the queso shows up. So I've decided to give the poor girl a break and make things easier on her. This year, instead of coming up with a list of things I should change, I'm going to make a list of things I shouldn't change. Things I thought I did well and want to keep on doing. Then, whatever is written on that list will be my goals for 2016.  By approaching it in this way, this year, I'm pretty sure January will finally get to be on a winning team.
But first, let's see how my December goals panned out.
Goal #1- Make Gingerbread houses with my kiddos- This was an easy one to check off my list because I bought all the houses pre-made (such a time saver!).  All that was left to do was to decorate them and eat the royal icing straight from the piping bag. That being said, Graham 1.0 was super busy until Dec. 25th - literally coming home only to sleep. So next year, I'm going to save this activity for after Christmas Day, scheduling it sometime during The 12 Days of Christmas. That way, he can join in on the fun.
Goal #2- Get the Christmas cards out by Dec. 7th- I was totally on the ball with this one and had all my cards in the mail by the 4th. I just love sending and getting Christmas cards. I love it so much, in fact, I've already taped the ones I received to the inside of my kitchen cabinet. This way, I get to see everybody's smiling faces all year long. I stole this idea years ago from my sweet friend, Jan, and it's one of my favorite "mommy tips" to date.

Goal #3- Mail off all Christmas packages by Dec. 7th-  Close, but no cigar. I ended up standing in line at the Post Office somewhere around the 9th and I definitely learned my lesson. It was crowded and more than a bit tense. It's probably a good idea for me to move this goal up to the number one spot for next year.  Grumpy Post Office lines are no joke, people.
Goal #4- Decorate the house -  Check! It took me a few hours longer than usual because I had to find new homes for everything, but, in the end, I really liked how it all turned out. I'm gonna leave the decorations up (yes- including the tree and the outdoor lights!) until the big kids head back to school in mid January. I'm sure my neighbors won't mind and I don't want to waste a single minute I have left with Colleen and Ian lugging boxes down to the basement.
Goal #5- Volunteer as a family- This was my favorite goal of the month. We were able to head into Trenton and work with a group called Loaves and Fishes that provides meals to the homeless every Saturday. They work out of the basement of St. Mary's Cathedral and on this particular morning they were busting at the seams. It was meaningful work that blessed my whole family and, for the first time, the Red Headed Kid got to help others in a real way. Forget what I said earlier- this goal is going to the number one spot for next year. I think I'll put the kids in charge of choosing where to volunteer next Christmas. They can put their heads together and decide over Thanksgiving Break.
And now on to January's goals and the things I plan to keep doing in the New Year.

Goal #1- Pajama Day- This is probably the main reason I've kept my sanity this year. On Mondays, I do not leave my house unless it is literally on fire. I don't make any appointments on this day. I don't grocery shop on this day. I don't volunteer on this day. Monday is off limits. It's set aside as the day I catch up on everything and anything that needs to be done in the house. We're talking laundry, bills, cleaning, Netflix Marathons - you get the idea. Make up and hair products? Fuhgeddaboudit.  It's been a life saver and is something I'm going to be implementing for the long haul.

Goal #2- Cold Cut Sunday- After the big kids went back to school last fall, invariably, I would end up making too much food for dinner. By Sunday night, my fridge would be busting with a hodge podge of different foods. One Sunday, in an attempt to clean out the fridge, I served up plates of salami, cheese, bread, and grapes for dinner. Lo and behold, it was a huge hit! Everyone loved it, everyone was full and - best of all- no leftovers. It's a way to throw a super quick meal together at the end of the week, without wasting any food or money. Definitely a good goal.

Goal #3- Do Most of My Shopping Online - Before we moved to "Sha-Nowhere", I didn't think twice about driving around town to go shopping. It was just what you did and that was that. But now that I live out in the sticks? I've embraced online shopping like a true convert. It's super convenient and saves me tons of time and money. I don't know why I've waited this long to jump on board, but I'm not going back. Online shopping is the answer to every busy mama's prayers- saving precious time and money.

Goal #4- Play More Board Games - When my older kids were little, we used to play board games all the time. As they grew older, we played less and less of them in favor of video games. I never really noticed it was something we were missing until just recently. One day the Red Headed Kid said, "Have you ever heard of a game called Sorry?" I said, "Sure, everybody's played that one." His answer? "I've never played it." Yep- Mother of the Year, right here. I promptly bought more than a few games for Christmas and we've been playing something almost every night. My goal is to make sure we keep playing together all year long- and not just during egg nog season.

So there you have it. My list of "Already Doing It, Gonna Keep Doing It" goals for 2016. I have to admit, they look pretty good to me. Maybe now January can chillax and join in on all the fun. Who knows? Maybe she'll even throw a party or have her friends over for dinner. That would be a definite step in the right direction. I just hope she resists the urge to put out a vegetable tray.

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