1. Lose 20 pounds
I've been trying to lose this baby weight since a few months after Lucy was born, which was two years ago. I'm not obese and I'm definitely on the smaller side compared to others who might be battling with some weight loss goals and rolling their eyes at my 20-pound complaint, but I'm just simply not comfortable in my own skin, which is what is important, no matter what your size. If I felt comfortable with myself right now, these 20 pounds wouldn't matter and wouldn't be on my list. But I don't. I'm pretty self-conscious about it and no amount of "You look great!" or "You had two babies 16 months apart, give yourself a break!" help to make it better. This past summer, I actually lost about 14 pounds, but then I started slacking and gained it all back over the fall months and holidays. So I at least want to get rid of those 14 pounds I lost and then packed back on, and then shoot for the other 6 after that!
Sidenote: Losing baby weight after Delano was easy. Losing baby weight after Lucy has been torture. Like telling me that I'll win a BILLION dollars if I can make a car move an inch just by blowing on it. And I know that if I went ALL IN like the fit mommy bloggers out there, I could make it happen in no time flat. Especially since 20 lbs really isn't all that much. But I just really hate to exercise beyond running, and I just really can't live on shakes and salads as my meals. So this is a SLOW process for me! But I do need to up my game, starting with getting back into closely following my Weight Watchers plan (which is what shaved off those 14 lbs last summer).
2. Run more
This definitely falls in to the super cliche "exercise more" category, which is basically what it is. And I've been making this resolution EVERY year since I started running 5 years ago. But I really do want to kick it up a notch.....and maybe 2016 is the year it finally "takes"! I do pretty well with running overall, though sometimes I have awesome weeks with loads of running and sometimes I have crappy, lazy ones with hardly any running at all. And 2015 was a good year for running.....I ran a half marathon almost every month last year! This year, I don't have the same half marathon quantity goal, but I want to have more awesome weeks than lazy ones. I want to build up those miles and crush some goals and make the half marathons that I DO run easy again!
3. Yell less
I yell at my kids (well, I yell at the 3-year-old....the 2-year-old isn't quite to that point yet). I don't mean to, and I hate it when I lose my cool over something that, in hindsight, wasn't really all that important. I'm not verbally abusive to my kids, nor do I just sit and bark at them because "I'm the mom". I do try to calmly and sensibly talk situations out with the kiddos before it reaches a breaking point, which can sometimes be a successful approach, but I catch myself yelling more than I would like to when this approach is a dead end. I mean, my 3-year-old followed me around for OVER THREE HOURS one day screaming and crying about the same thing and there was NOTHING you could do or say to make it better or make it stop. (Well, that's not true. If I would have given in and given him the sucker he was demanding but indeed did not earn, it would have stopped.) So a goal for 2016 is to yell less.....walk away, take breaks, count to 10, breathe, try to see the situation from a toddler's point of view, whatever it takes. But just yell less. Though if you, like me, have a 3-year-old who succeeds in making your blood boil
Sidenote: I just recently read a blog shared on The Huffington Post about a mom who, when her kids were 6 and 3, realized WHY she yelled as much as she did and how she turned things around in everybody's favor. And she wrote a book about it called Hands Free Mama (Rachel Macy Stafford). I'm super interested in reading this book. It's not actually a book about "yelling less" (I'm sure I could probably find books out there that cater more directly towards calming the f**k down in the yelling department when your kid makes you insane), but it's about how she made changes in her life that ultimately lead to her "yelling less" because it just ended up being a favorable outcome. I'm sure parts of her journey won't apply to me (she's a working mom with school-age children, for one), but I still would like to read about her journey!
4. Read book club books
I've missed a few book club meetings over the last few years, though I didn't know I was going to miss them before I bought the books. So I have a few book club reads sitting around the house that were never read that I would actually LOVE to read. So one of my goals is to catch myself up on all of the prior book club reads that I missed out on. There are a billion other books out there that I would love to read, but I only want to fully commit to the ones I already have at the moment! (Along with Hands Free Mama)
5. Teach letters and numbers
My kiddos both know how to count (Lucy can count straight to 11 and Delano makes it to about 15), they know the ABC song and they know a few select letters by sight and love to point them out (on the fridge, on TV, on your shirt, on a wine bottle, whatever.....we don't judge where they learn their letters). But during the first part of 2016, I plan to actually TEACH them the alphabet so that when they see a letter they know exactly what it is. The same with numbers. Delano visually recognizes numbers up to 9, but the double digits are confusing. He doesn't see "10", he sees a "1" and a "0". So hopefully we can peg down those letters and some of those double-digit numbers this year!
Sidenote: I'm not trying to make my kids geniuses or anything, and I don't care if they're ahead or behind other kids their age.....I just feel it's the right time they learn these things since they already know some of them and since we seem to be at a teaching point!
6. Less TV time (for the kids)
My kids watch quite a bit of TV. It's not on all day, and we definitely do other things together (like play and socialize, either at home or out and about). But the TV time could stand to be cut back. And I'm not anti-TV, no matter what the American Pediatrics group says I should or shouldn't do regarding screen time with my toddlers. But I do think we could stand to cut back overall. Plus my heart won't exactly be broken if Team Umizoomi solves less problems during my day. PATTERN POWER!!
Sidenote: Less TV time doesn't also apply to myself because I only get screen time at night and maybe during naps as it is. Go ahead and try to watch an adult show while my kids are awake. They don't even have to be in the room....they can SENSE it if you turn on any other show besides one of theirs, and it leads to a meltdown, even if they have no intentions of watching TV, and even if they run off to play as soon as you turn the TV back off. But go ahead and turn it back on and see what happens.......
7. Read more (to the kids)
Going right along with less TV time includes reading more. My kids love to read their books, and I often catch them sitting in Delano's room quietly flipping through pages or even "reading" to each other. But I don't sit down and read with them as often as I should, usually because I take advantage of their self-entertaining moments to get other things done (usually chore-related). But in 2016, I plan to "chore" less during the day and sit down and read to the kids more. I want them to know all of the books on their shelves, and I want them to WANT to read even more books. In my mind, a person can never have too many books, and they should never be punished for wanting to read. I know that some people just aren't into reading for pleasure no matter what their upbringing, but I really hope my kids end up loving to read. I can at least try to get them to!
8. Go clothes shopping
I dread getting dressed every day. Yes, it would be way less of a kick in the ribs to my self-esteem if I lost that 14-20 pounds I discussed earlier, but that's not the only reason I dread it. First, relating to that 14-20 pounds, nothing fits. And there's not a whole lot worse (speaking SOLELY from a middle-class wardrobe point of view, not from a world's problems point of view) than putting on item after item after item in your closet that doesn't fit while simply attempting to get dressed for a plain 'ole regular day. I don't go anywhere fancy and I don't wear anything fancy. My high heels have an inch of dust on them, and I even forgot that I owned a nice pair of black boots until I noticed them in the back of my closet the other day. I basically live in T-shirts, jeans and flip-flops. And I don't even have to shower if I don't feel like it. It is totally acceptable for me to toss my hair up in a bun, brush my teeth, and head out on the town with the kids. But regardless of the fact that I don't ever need to dress up for anything, my clothes are STALE STALE STALE. And I really should do something about it and stop dressing like a poor college student. So it is a goal to start revamping my wardrobe this year. At least try to make myself a TINY bit more stylish.
9. Drink less
I'm not an alcoholic and I don't have a drinking problem.......and I swear that I'm not in denial, either. ;) But I do enjoy wine and I do enjoy beer, and I do enjoy them nightly after the kids go to bed. A couple of delicious stout beers or glasses of red wine really hit the spot while I'm curled up on the couch with the hubs watching The Walking Dead. But my daily intake of the extra carbs, calories and sugar is doing nothing for my waistline. So until I can get this waistline under control and in a happier place, I really should cut back on the additional fat contributors, unless they happen to fit into my Weight Watchers point calculation for the day.
10. Sleep more
I'm a night owl. I get my second (or third?) wind at night when everybody else is ready to go to sleep. I enjoy the quiet time, I enjoy the computer time, I enjoy the TV time, I enjoy the treadmill time, I enjoy the social time (if I happen to be at work) and I typically function perfectly fine on 4-6 hours of sleep. But getting a good night's sleep (7-9 hours) is not only a good thing for my weight loss goals, but also just a good habit to get into. So unless I'm bartending or working on an environmental work project or tagging consignment items or hitting the treadmill because I couldn't do it during the day, I plan on hitting the sack at a "regular" time more often. I really should shoot for a specific number of days per week to start......
11. Keep to the 52 Week Money Saving Plan
I printed out the 52 Week Money Saving Plan, which you can find a bazillion times over on Google images. The point of the plan is to put away the amount of money for the numbered week of the year that it is for 52 weeks. So during week 1, you put away $1. Week 2 - $2. Week 3 - $3. And so on. By the end of 52 weeks, you should have $1,378. HOWEVER, I read a post that highly suggested that if you do the plan, to do it BACKWARDS. Start with $52 and count down weekly to $1. She said that it is a lot easier to put away the larger amounts during the slower part of the year than it is to put it away around the holidays. And that if you have a week where you can't meet the weekly "goal", just check off another week instead and put that week off until later. It makes total sense, and I've already checked off three weeks (I technically started a week early because I got excited). In the end, that money saved will just likely be a bill payment, but it will be at LEAST a $1,378 bill payment! I'm actually hoping to surpass the $1,378 goal during those last 20 weeks, when the assigned weekly amounts are $20 or less (when I should be able to put in more than the allotted amount).
12. Spend less
I'm not a good "saver". I'm the complete opposite of my husband. Not that he's a tightwad, because he's definitely not.....he just manages his money WAY better than I do. I'm a terrible budgeter, because I enjoy making the most out of what I have, which typically translates to spending what I have. Unlike in my early twenties when I would use credit cards to pay other credit cards because I couldn't pay the debts with my bank account, I actually pay all of my bills on time and typically early - when they arrive instead of when they're due. I keep tabs on exactly what I owe to who and when it's due and I make sure it's all taken care of. It's pretty much all in a spreadsheet. But I do leisurely spend more than I probably should. So this year I'm going to try to cut back on the spending and send more money to the "boring" stuff, like my school loan. We'll see how it goes.....especially as fun stuff pops up. ;) And keep in mind, this "fun" stuff is usually for my kids and not specifically for me! Or it's often for ALL of us as a family. I haven't even dyed the gray out of my hair in probably a year, so we know my money isn't going to things like that!
So those are my resolutions.....or goals.....for 2016. I know it's a lot (12 things!), but they are all completely attainable as long as I maintain motivation and control. I'm eighteen days into the new year (I started on the 4th) and I've kind of started on a couple of them. I've drank a little less (there hasn't even been any wine in my house since just after New Year's Day!), there's been a little less TV, I've started on a new book, I've been more conscious about not yelling, I've been more conscious about my spending and I've slept a little more. All still room for improvement, but we've got the whole year ahead of us. As the winter months continue, I hope to start pegging more of my goals down more consistently.
Here's to 2016!