Thursday, January 2, 2014

Happy New Year!

2013 has come and gone, quicker than quick.

For the last several months my husband Kyle and I have been discussing our plans for the long term future.  We've made a lot of goals- places we want to go, what we want for our family, where we want to be financially and so forth.  This last year our lives have really gotten started- we got married and found a wonderful house to rent, and celebrated our daughter's first birthday.  So for 2014 we have made three main resolutions that will prepare us for the rest of our lives together.  They are each habits we want to form to help our family now and for our entire future, and each goal will help us accomplish our long-term goals as well.  (I mentioned two of these in one of my previous posts, Weekly Wishes)

Here's our plan of action for 2014:

1. Eat dinner as a family at the table at least 5 nights a week.
For a short time last year we went without a kitchen table, as I had turned ours into a wedding preparation craft desk (a big mess).  Somehow over those few weeks we developed a horrible habit of eating dinner on the couch- every night.   We'll sit criss-cross applesauce on the floor with our little sunshine and have a mini picnic with her, then once she takes a bath and gets to bed my husband and I dish up, turn on our show, and eat in front of the TV.  I don't think it's a bad thing to do that every now and then.  Not every night though. I was raised eating dinner around the table almost every night with my family.  Sure, I didn't always love it.  In fact through most of my teenage years I usually hated it (sorry mom and dad).  Looking back though I really appreciate the time my parents took out of their busy evenings to spend with us, and I also really value their patient effort to make sure we spent it with them no matter how unenthusiastic we were about it.  I want that for my daughter and any future children we have.  I want to make it a habit now so it's not a big chore to teach them later.

2.  Learn time management and plan ahead.
This one is mostly for me to work on, but it will affect my whole family.  I am horrible with time management.  I'm the type of person that has 100 projects going on at once, and 100 more ideas on my never ending to-do list, which is usually a mental note instead of written down.  When I forget to do something on my "to do list" I hate myself for it, I get grumpy and lose motivation.  This happens more than I'd like to admit.  Kyle's days off usually consist of taking care of our little sunshine while I run around town catching up on all my errands, or things I've forgotten to do over the past several days.  When I left my job at the hotel this month I thought that would help a lot, but I learned very quickly that the problem wasn't lack of time, it was lack of organization.  I recently purchased a very lovely planner for 2014, and I have already started filling it in.  I love it (why have I not done this before?!).  Kyle is very fortunate to have his work schedule for the entire year, so I can make big plans in advance too.  I will set a work schedule and stick to it, make realistic weekly and monthly goals, and give myself enough to do in a day to stay productive, motivated and happy without feeling overwhelmed.   

3.  Make a realistic budget and stick to it.
We have attempted budgeting multiple times. We always give in and spend the money on whatever we think we "need" it for, and end up back on paycheck-to-paycheck.  We've agreed that we need to make a realistic budget.  Every time we try to budget, we get over excited about saving money and paying off our debts, and don't leave any emergency money (for car parts or vet trips) or spending money (hello date nights).  This time we are keeping in mind that we're human beings, and making sure to keep it real when we make our budget.  Saving money and paying off loans is really important, but so is treating ourselves to a night out once in a while after lots of hard work.  We've decided to use the cash envelope system for our spending money and have created a savings plan for this year to give us a solid start for the next several years.

I love the optimism and motivation a new year brings.  I'm looking forward to spending 2014 with my family and accomplishing our goals together.

We had a wonderful celebration in Seattle with our close friends last night.  It was great to see everyone and catch up, a perfect way to ring in 2014.

Happy New Year everyone!
2014 brings us a new beginning, an exciting new beginning. Let's give it all we've got and see what it has in store for us!

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