Friday, January 09, 2009

New Year's Resolutions

I'm so grateful for the chance to start off this new year fresh. Last year was a hard year in many ways - emotional roller coaster rides right and left. This year, all 8 days of it, is much better so far - party because some hard things have been resolved and partly because I've learned to accept some hard things and work with them rather than working against them. Throughout hard times, I've always tried to "roll with the punches" and look for the bright side and exercise more and get outside myself to serve others - strategies that have always helped me to get through hard stuff. But sometimes last year, I couldn't seem to make myself do those things. I wallowed in some bad feelings and allowed pessimism to take root and then it was way harder to get back on the right track. So this year I'm going to do better and be pro-active and pre-emptive. I've realized a LOT this past year about what I need to do to keep myself on the right track - little things that make a big difference. I'm always realizing things here and there that I need to do or not do - but then actually ACTING on what I've figured out can be a challenge. After such a hard year last year, however, I've learnd that it's not just nice for me to act on what I know about myself and my needs - it's NECESSARY. So this year HAS to be different. Here's my list of resolutions that are going to help me make 2009 a truly great year - and I'm going to look at this list every Sunday and make course-corrections as necessary.

Resolutions for 2009 (not in any particular order)

I won't let a day go by without prayerfully reading the scriptures. Every time I read, I'll read until I feel the Lord has been able to communicate something to me through the scriptures. Sometimes it may be 5 minutes, other times it may be a 1/2 hour. But I will read with a purpose each day. I will offer sincere personal prayers morning and night (and little prayers throughout the day when I'm grateful or need a little extra help).

- ATTITUDE OF GRATITUDE: Keep a gratitude journal (on Sundays as well as other times when something comes to mind, I will write down a few top things I am especially grateful for). This will help me view the glass half-full instead of half-empty. We can't choose many of the things that happen in our life - but we CAN choose how look at them and what we make of them.

- TIME MANAGEMENT: Life is crazy and busy with 5 kids, 3 businesses and all that - but I can definitely manage my time better and make more of what I have. Basic daily schedule - I get up at 6:45 and work out/shower (at least 3x/week) or read scriptures and get ready for the day. Scriptures at 7:45. Breakfast at 8:00. Make lunches, clean up, kids ready to leave at 8:40. Park day and bike ride Monday morning, errands Tuesdays while twins are at preschool, catch up on work on Wedesdays while twins are at Joy School, volunteer in big kids' classrooms on Thursdays while twins are at preschool, clean, do laundry on Fridays mornings. ***Quiet time for the twins from 9-10am and 1:00-3:00pm (during this time the twins can watch one show and play in separate rooms with fun toys and books and games that are reserved especially for quiet time. During this time I do email, take care of commercial Joy School stuff, make phone calls, work on Power of Moms and the twins are supposed to do their own thing and understand they are supposed to do their own thing while I do my own thing. When quiet time is done, I will be done with my work and ready to read with the twins and do games with them and give them all my attention for a while. I've realized that it's OK to have some hours when I'm "off" as a mom, it's great to have the kids learn to play on their own, and it's very good for me to have set times when I do other work and set times the kids can plan on my undivided attention.) After school snacks and hearing about school from 3:45 - 4:00 then homework help until 4:30 or 5, then make dinner (I won't try to make phone calls or do other things during this time - this has to be my most "on" time of day as a mom). Dinner at 5:30 or 6:00, everyone does after-dinner jobs and gets ready for bed by around 7:30. Twins to bed by 7:45. Big kids to bed for reading time by 8. Some nights with B-ball or Young Womens, the times adjust - but I'll keep as close as possible to this. Then BIG THING - get me and Jared to bed by 10:30 so there's time to talk and read until we go to sleep around 11 or so. *** Getting enough sleep is VITAL for keeping my postive attitude and being nice to all the people I love!

- QUALITY TIME: Spend quality time with each of my wonderful children and make sure they know how much I love and like them. This will include: taking them each on a "mommy date" at least every other week (usually it will be just to pick up some needed items at the grocery store), adding extra time to the bedtime routine so I can read with the big kids (I've got several great chapter books they are so excited about) and sing a song each for the twins plus give them all plenty of hugs and kisses. Take a minute away from whatever I'm doing on the computer (when it's not quiet time) to go see what the twins want to show me or really listen to what a kid wants to tell me - everything can almost always wait a minute. Have a weekly date with Jared (a nicely planned home-date is fine but try to also do a better job getting babysitters and going out together). Trade off planning dates (but make sure simple plans are fully appreciated and accepted by me!).

: I've realized more and more that the basics of eating and sleeping are vital for me and everyone else in the family and I need to stop letting that slide. I need a good 7-8 hours of sleep to be the sort of nice mom and wife I want to be. I need to get up earlier in order to get myself ready and work out before the day with the kids hits in full force. School doesn't start until 9am so it's really not that early I have to get up if I want to have more time in the mornings. I WILL get up before 7am each morning. I WILL get ready for bed at 10:30pm each night and go to sleep around 11pm (weekends can be a little different). I WILL NOT eat after 8pm (other than fruits and vegetables). When I eat late at night I have weird dreams and don't sleep well plus I feel bad about myself and wake up feeling bloated. I WILL eat at least 5 fruits and vegetables a day and drink a glass of water before ever getting a snack. I feel SO much better in body and mind when I'm eating healthful foods and drinking lots of water. I've realized I feel best physically (and usually end up losing weight) when I focus on ensuring that I eat enough healthy foods rather than ensuring that I DON'T eat certain foods. When I head to the kitchen for a snack, if I drink a glass of water and eat some carrots, my craving for a cookie often passes. And if it doesn't, I usually only feel like ONE cookie!

So there you have it - my plan for a wonderful 2009. I'm sure I'll mess up on plenty of this but at least I've got a plan and I know what I need to do. Wish me luck!

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