Sometimes the passage of time makes me sad, but this time of year, I love flipping the calendar to see a new month.One step closer to spring.

For the most part, I did pretty well on my January goals.  The laundry routine sis not happen on some days, but when it did, it greatly helped my stress in that area.  So now I know what I need to do there, but I need to be sure I remember to do it each day when I get home.  In general, I made time in the evenings to relax if at all possible, and it helped my stress load.  I managed to stay sane even though we were crazy busy, and that was in part due to my evening recharging, I think.

January was a somewhat stressful month, and February is pretty full, too.  It seems like all of my important or really demanding work deadlines fall in this first half of the semester.  I had to teach a workshop to a cohort of MBA students at one of our additional campuses in January.  It was completely out of my element – a 90 minute drive, teaching at night when I am normally at home in pajamas, talking to adult learners who were mostly older than me and have spent years in the corporate world.  But at the end of the day, I think it felt good to mark that one off the calendar and I did fairly well. The feedback was positive which made me feel good.

And now I am gearing up for an out-of-town conference next weekend – the first time I’ve left the kids for something like this.  Scott and I have traveled away before, and I went away a couple of times for girls’ nights.  But it is really strange to have a professional commitment like this that has me away.  Such a role reversal over here because Scott is usually the one gone for work!  I’m looking forward to learning more about Writing Center instruction and listening to my group of student presenters who I know will do great on their portion.  And I will sleep!  Alone!  In a huge hotel bed!  I am admittedly a little excited about that part.  Half the time here, I am in an out of sleep with kids climbing on me when they wake up and want to sleep next to me.

In the meantime, between that travel, a really heavy travel month for Scott, and a couple of kid birthday parties, February is shaping up to be madness.  My one and only goal for this month?  I need to finish Norah’s room.  We slapped a few things on the wall when we moved in, but it still doesn’t look like what I want it to, and her closet is a disaster organizationally speaking.  I am saying it aloud here so that I will be held accountable and get it done.  I’ll try to post pictures of the finished product in a few weeks, too.

So that is how my February is shaping up, and I hope yours is off to a good start. Thanks for reading!

new start

January.  In some ways, this is my least favorite part of the year.  I am not a fan of cold weather, and I love the holidays.  It’s always just a little bit of a let-down as you slowly get back in the swing of things with real life schedules again.  We are currently enjoying the final day of vacation time before we all head back to work and school routines tomorrow.  The kids and I could use a trial run on a Friday before doing the real thing next week, so I like the opportunity to go back tomorrow and then having a weekend to get used to the idea.

Looking back at all of my January posts on this blog from 2011 onward, I am really good at making plans and resolutions, but not so consistent about keeping all of them.  (Some of them, yes!  But not all.)  This year, I’ve run through a long mental list of all the things I hope to accomplish ….. I want to write more here and get back into gratitude journaling.  I want to somehow create a routine that allows more space and time for myself.  I want to get my house in shape and my organization on track here at home.  I want to begin to teach my kids some good habits and make health a priority for all of us.  I want to continue to learn more about food and nutrition and use that knowledge in my own kitchen.  I want to work on making this house a home and tackle my blank-slate backyard this summer.  And my list goes on and on.

All of those things really stem from using my time more efficiently and intentionally and making thoughtful goals that get real progress.  Long-term goals are hard for me with two little kids in tow.  It’s all I can do to meal plan on a weekly basis, and I find it hard to plan much farther than month-to-month. I’m hoping to use this space as a place to set some goals and reflect on those plans – and maybe share some ideas with you as well.

So I guess my plan is to write more on this blog and to make thoughtful monthly goals expressly stated here to hold me accountable.  Some of these goals will undoubtedly be boring (drink more water, anyone?) and others more interesting. But one thing I’ve learned is that saying something aloud – whether that is in person or in print – makes it far more likely that I’ll accomplish something.

My January List:

  • Drink more water.
  • Spend a few hours on Sunday afternoons doing healthy food prep – baking bread, pre-chopping veggies, getting healthy lunch options in the refrigerator.
  • Get Jude on track with a chore chart.  (Ironically, we attempted this long before he was really capable, and I have not done it since he’s been old enough to actually contribute.)
  • Do one load of laundry every evening when we get home. (This one is boring but so huge for me.  Laundry has been burying me since I went back to work, and I’m sadly realizing I cannot save it all for the weekends.)
  • Put away my phone and computer after the kids are in bed each night, and use my time intentionally to do something I really want to do – knit, read, watch television, etc.  I can’t create more hours in the day, but I can use them a little more efficiently to carve some space for myself.

Thanks for reading or skimming along and holding me accountable. I hope you’re using January to stay warm with family and set some solid intentions for the months to come.  Happy 2014!