I am a little late getting this post published … what’s new? I feel like I am rushing most of the time these days. Christmas was a rush. The weeks since Thanksgiving have zoomed by and here we are, already well into January 2015. As I reflected on my progress last year, I realized that I still want to work on the same things – being a better mom, taking care of myself (so I can continue trying to be a better mom), and partaking in something I enjoy – something for me that benefits my family too.
1. I want to connect with my kids instead of yelling at them when we are all experiencing heightened stress and emotions. They are truly the biggest blessings in my life and I care about my family more than anything. It’s not fair to them that I take my own exhaustion, frustration, and every other negative feeling out on them when they dare act their age. Sometimes it seems there’s no alternative to losing my cool, but there’s always an alternative. I’m going to read Yell Less Love More and implement pieces of it daily.
2. I want to lose those pesky few pounds (again) but more importantly, maintain a consistent level of activity so that I can not only look better, but feel better and have more energy. So I can be a role model for my children. This year I want to go beyond running. Running isn’t easy, but it’s not hard. It’s hard to mess up or to feel like a fool when you are running. Running is my comfort zone. But my fitness goals got derailed several times last year because I only wanted to run. And running hurts me. When something hurts, running is too painful and those injuries tend to take a long time to heal. This body was not born to run and while I don’t have any plans of stopping altogether, I need to branch out. I need to feel like a fool. I need to not care so much and just try something new. Yoga. Piyo. Zumba. This year I will try new things and I will get & stay in shape.
3. Finally, I want to improve my photography skills and courage. I am so timid and insecure when it comes to taking pictures of anyone but my family of 4. Or asking anyone to take a picture of me with my kids. I’m hesitant to take pictures of us when we’re in a place where I feel people looking at me because I’m taking pictures. I need to get over all of it. I want to get better. I want to be faster adjusting my manual settings. I want to learn … to take a class. Get a new lens. Practice taking pictures of all sorts of different things. Take pictures every day (do another 365). I want to put new pictures in frames to display around my home. I want to create 2 photo books – one from my 2014 Project 365 and one from our beach vacation in October. If I get really, really ambitious, I might create Dexter’s 1st Year baby book….whoopsy.
So there you have it. And yes…sure, there are other things I’d like to do this year but these 3 are still the biggies so these 3 will be the ones I focus on month in and month out. Somewhere in there I’d like to improve our budgeting. Our home improvement projects need to get done. I’d like to meal-plan ahead of time and shop on a budget instead of flying into the grocery at 9pm on Sunday night, wildly throwing random items in the cart that I might combine in some way to create a decent meal. But will I be planning all meals by the end of 2015? Will our home be “done” at the end of 2015? Will we be out of debt by the end of 2015? No way. I will try to be a better friend and wife this year…a better daughter and sister and aunt and mom and co-worker. And cat-owner. God, my cats must hate me. Yeah…I guess I’ve got a lot of work to do in 2015. But those are pretty hard to measure. What about you? Do you have measurable goals going into this new year?
I had 3 main goals in 2014. First, to start and complete a Project 365 (taking at least 1 photo every day for a year with my DSLR and sharing on my blog). Second, to stop yelling at my kids completely. And third, to make my health a priority by exercising regularly throughout the year (with a measurable goal of running 300 miles in 2014).
Here’s how I did.
- Project 365 has been a breeze. There have been at least a handful of shots taken desperately at 11:30pm because I almost forgot, but I have successfully taken a picture every day with my DSLR AND kept up with sharing them in a weekly blog post titled Catch the Moment. Added bonus/challenge for me – I took them all on the Manual setting! You can review them if you’d like by clicking this link. I plan to make a small photo book with the year of photos. What I loved about it was that it forced me to capture things I wouldn’t normally. Boring moments that are too easy to forget. It forced me to find beauty in the ordinary. I noticed the sun beams shining through the clouds over a sprouting cornfield on my way to work in a whole new way. Doing the project has increased my interest in casual photography and I would like to think that practicing for a year in manual has also increased my skill somewhat. Success.
- Project Stop Yelling has been more of a challenge, but not a failure by any means. I realized about 3 months into the year that PMS has a great deal with my patience and my patience has a great deal with my yelling. I have recognized that my yelling has more to do with how I’m feeling than what my kids are doing. When you find yourself saying things like “stop acting like a 2 year old” to your 3 year old, you have created an “it’s me, not you” situation. I still have some progress to make and I stopped trying to count how many times I yelled but I know this year was much better than last and I think 2015 will be my best year as a mom yet. Progress.
- Project Run 300 Miles was destined to fail from the beginning. I had strep twice, the flu, and 3 separate stomach bugs in the first 6 weeks of the year. When I tried to pick it up again in mid-February, a knee injury slowed me waaay down. It’s been a gradual and slow process. Not to say that I have maintained the necessary level of motivation throughout the year to reach my goal of 300 miles, regardless, but the cards were stacked against me from the beginning. I don’t have good knees. I really have no business running. I hate running, until I’m done running. Then I love it. I love the challenge because it’s hard for me and I love the feeling of accomplishment when I run further than I thought I would or could. On a positive note, I did run further this year than I ever have before (my longest run being 3.6 miles) and I did run my first entire 5k in September. My goal was to run 25 miles per month or 300 miles in the year and I ended up with a total of 89 miles ran. Disappointing. Ultimately my goal was to maintain my weight loss from 2013 with regular exercise and a healthier diet. My goal in 2013 was to lose (and keep off) 20-24 pounds. I maintained a 25 pound weight loss throughout 2013 and the first half of 2014.Right now I am at a 17 pound loss and I am not okay with that. I’d like to get back to a 25 pound loss and stay there. I’d call this one Breaking Even – a mixture of small successes and disappointments.
I will be building off of these three goals from 2014 as we move into 2015. Photography, Family, and Fitness. Up next on Mommy in the Midwest: 2015 Resolutions. Stay tuned. 🙂
Did you make resolutions? Did you keep them?
My three resolutions for 2014 and my progress towards them with two-thirds of this year behind me…
1. Stop Yelling.
I decided to try to go an entire year without yelling at Theo and Dexter. It wasn’t long before I had a couple of relapses and I quickly noticed a pattern. It wasn’t them – it was me. I was yelling when I was tired and/or PMSing. I never put it together before until I started tracking how long it’d been between my meltdowns where I totally lost my cool. My tolerance and patience is sliced in half when I’m hormonal – who knew? I know that shaming my kids is not okay. Humiliating them with my size and power is unacceptable. I’m not doing that anymore, so I call this an overall success so far in 2014. Not perfect by any means, but better. While I can’t say that I haven’t raised my voice out of annoyance or frustration, I’m MUCH more aware of my own mood and how it impacts my parenting. The result at this point is that I am noticing a calmer tone in the home.
2. Run 300 miles.
Pretty much a major fail. My plan was to run about 2 miles three times a week all year. Lofty, but that’s what dreams are, right? I blame the practically immediate demise of this dream on an uncooperative body. I had two bouts of strep throat, a stomach bug, and THE flu in the first 6 weeks of 2014. When I tried to get back to running in February, I had intense knee pain. I injured myself somehow, to the point that standing up from a chair or walking from one end of my office building to the other was painful. I had pain-free days here and there into the springtime, but I averaged just a handful of runs per month. August has been my best running month all year with my longest run ever – 3.55 miles. The day after that, my knees and ankles told me to back off and then the humidity here got ridiculous. I have slacked waaay off the last couple of weeks, but I’m looking forward to getting back into my routine of three runs per week soon. Not anywhere close to reaching my goal, but it hasn’t been completely forgotten.
3. Take a photo every day and document them weekly on my blog.
I have completely kept up with this. I have take every picture I have posted and every picture has been taken with my DSLR. No cheating! (This is not a requirement of the project, but a challenge to myself). I can’t wait to compile the year of photos into a little book. The bonus is what I hope is an improvement in my photography skill and knowledge. My interest for the hobby has certainly grown, if nothing else.
So there you have it — did you make resolutions and have you kept them? I guess you could say I am at about 1.5 out of 3?