I realize that we’re rapidly approaching the end of January, so it’s way past the point of New Year’s Resolutions and all that, but oh well. I think you can make commitments to yourself any time of year, so I don’t get too hung up on starting in on a healthy new lifestyle on January 1. In fact, I generally like to give myself until the end of the holidays (whatever date I deem that to be, haha) to start in on whatever goals I’m setting for myself, which this year wasn’t until January 8 since we were traveling in Rome for a week over New Year’s. Who wants to start eating nothing but kale on January 1 anyway? Certainly not me.
Here are five things I’m working on continuing or bettering in the new year:
- Getting my body back. I’ve talked a little bit about this before, but basically after having two kids less than two years apart and never getting back into a regular workout routine after having Prim, my body was pretty wrecked and my strength was so far below what it had been pre-pregnancy. While I will admit that I am definitely motivated partly by vanity, keeping my back from hurting and keeping my body strong so I can lift the girls is my top priority. I hope that if we decide to have another baby that the strength I’m building now will help me through the pregnancy and postpartum process, and I hope that it might make it easier to stick to a regular workout routine through pregnancy as well. My Hyperemesis Gravidarum made working out feel impossible during the first half of my pregnancy with Lark, and after it finally subsided I mistakenly thought that because my weight gain with her was so low that I didn’t really need to exercise. The state of my core post-pregnancy definitely proved otherwise.
- Make time for and take care of myself. I know that I’m not in the minority here, being a woman and a mother, but I really struggle to carve out quality time for myself. I spend the girls’ nap time working out, which definitely falls into the “taking care of myself” category, but I have really been craving some alone time where I’m doing something indulgent for myself. I am trying to figure out exactly what that is and how to integrate it into the week right now, but it’s definitely on my mind and something I want to work on this year.
- Continue to live on a budget and focus on paring down our belongings. We live pretty tightly here in Amsterdam. We took a hit financially to move here (KC’s salary was adjusted to reflect the lower cost of living and we lost my salary entirely when I quit my job), and while it was definitely an adjustment at first, I’ve found that it’s actually become fairly easy to live more simply and find creative solutions to do the things we want to do, while still living within our means (you guys already know the secret to how we afford to travel over here). One of my big concerns of moving back to America, and the Bay Area in particular, is the hyper-focus on money and belongings. It’s so easy to get sucked into that consumer culture that is so focused on “more is more.” This mentality is not only draining and stressful for me, but it’s not a value I want to instill in my kids; so I want to try to build focus on needs — not wants. This also means taking care of the things we already have. (For example, I’m in the process of re-oiling all of my cutting boards right now, something I am generally terrible at remembering to do; but after replacing a much-used one because it cracked, I am realizing that I need to be more mindful about doing this.)
- Focus on fewer, better things when making purchases. Piggy-backing on the above, I want to try and be mindful when we do spend money on “things.” It’s necessary to make purchases from time to time when the girls grow out of stuff, and I have pared down my wardrobe so much that it’s becoming evident that I really do need to do some shopping for myself; but this doesn’t mean that the girls need everything under the sun in their closets. And as for me, I want to work on filling my wardrobe with nicer staples rather than cheap basics. I tend to purchase five copies of the same cheap tee, which just end up looking cheap after only a few washes. Since I generally reach for the same items over and over, it makes sense to spend a little more on basic items that will hold up better, since I know I will wear them a lot.
- Get in the picture. Though you might not know this from reading the blog, I am not the best about remembering to take photographs. KC is actually much better at whipping his phone out on vacation and snapping away. But, honestly, I’m even worse about stepping into the picture and being photographed. I often remove myself from photo ops because I dislike having my picture taken and don’t feel that I’m particularly photogenic. But we are making memories every day here in Europe and these girls will never be these ages again, so I want to try and have photos of all of us to look back at — not just the kids. Not the easiest goal for this year (for me), but a good one, nonetheless.
What are you working on this year?