The pop, the drop, the toast and the kiss. Even though I have barely been able to keep my eyes open to watch the clock strike midnight these past few years on New Year’s Eve, when the final countdown does begin, I always end up feeling like something magical is really happening. There is joy, hope and excitement. We have a moment to stop and forgive ourselves of our failures. We have a moment to stop and remind ourselves that it is possible to achieve our goals. We have a moment to stop and celebrate with each other.
Yes, we can choose any day and any time of the day to make a fresh start or to commit to a goal, but the beginning of a new year seems to make our goals and resolutions all the more possible. While I spent the first day of the New Year recovering from staying up late and sleeping on the couch at someone else’s house, today I am ready to write down my goals for 2014.
It’s amazing to think how far I have come since January 2013. If you are new to this blog, you can check out this post to get an idea of how miserable and lost I was. In a span of 12 months I went from feeling like I was breaking down to being in love with my life. But this is just the beginning. Life is good now, and if I let it, it can be even better; I can be better.
When I started this blog, I wrote about wanting to focus on finding my purpose in this world. What am I meant to do? What will give me fulfillment when I am working outside of the home? How can I make my community a better place? What can I do to show my children that each day together is a gift from God? Finding my purpose is a long-term goal. I will not accomplish this in one year. But I can certainly work toward achieving this goal little by little.
When I started this blog, I also mentioned some short-term goals that I wanted to focus on in order to bring more peace and happiness inside my soul. Most importantly, I wanted to play with my children without feeling like I was drowning in all of my other responsibilities as an over-worked employee, wife and mother. I knew that I needed to be a “stay-at-home” mom, and it was killing me that I had to fight myself and my husband for so long to finally make the choice to leave my job so that I could stay home with our two children. I have been home with my children for seven months now. It is not all rainbows and unicorns. It is challenging, and I am not going to lie, there are some days when I can’t wait for my hubby to walk in the door after work so I can escape to some other room that no one is in to get at least five minutes of silence. And I do look forward to the nights when I work part-time at the salon because I get four glorious hours of adult time. But even though being home with my children all day can be challenging in so many different ways, I appreciate these challenges and can’t imagine doing anything else right now.
My children are beautiful and silly. I get to play with them, teach them and learn more about them every day. I get to be the mom I have been wanting to be since my children were born. I am finding so much joy and fulfillment in being home with my children, and this is bringing me closer to finding my purpose in this world. My children force me to have fun. They force me to take breaks from my adult chores so that I can use my imagination to entertain and teach them. They have helped me to live life in a much more playful way, and this is good. They have opened my eyes, and my experiences and time with them have prompted me to reevaluate my goals. As a parent, I spend so much energy on raising my children the “right” way, but they have also been schooling me big time over here.
Now that my soul has been filled with more happiness and peace by focusing on improving my family life, there are some new goals I want to focus on this year in order to continue feeding my soul with goodness. Another reason for starting this blog was to work on my writing. I have not been making much time for writing these past few months, so it is about time to get back on track. My main goal for this year is to spend at least 15 minutes a day writing. If you are a writer, don’t laugh. These days I can barely go to the bathroom without having someone screaming for me and banging on the door asking when I am going to come back out. By the time I make it in the shower, my son usually decides that is the perfect time for him to go #2. We only have one bathroom in our house, and it is tiny. Needless to say, finding 15 minutes when I can write without any interruptions isn’t a walk in the park. But even if I am exhausted by the time both of my kids are in bed at night, I know I can suck it up and keep the laptop open for at least 15 minutes. And once I make it past the 15-minute mark, I know I will be in my groove and choose to write for longer.
In order to be a better writer, I truly believe that one must read. So my second big goal this year is to read at least three books. You laugh again, but please, don’t judge the exhausted mother. Technically, I read at least a couple hundred books last year. Yes, all of those books were children’s books, but who’s counting. I almost finished one adult book last year, ‘Bossypants’ by Tina Fey. I read most of it during my kids’ naptimes while we were on vacation in Mexico for a week last April. And this is the only adult book I have almost finished in the last two years. Lame, I know. And I call myself a book lover. Like writing for at least 15 minutes each day, I know that once I pick up a good book, I won’t be able to put it down until the wee hours of the morning. I figure I can finish one book every four months (at least that is what I pledged over at Half Price Books in hopes of winning a $100 gift card). I have already decided that I will read ‘Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns)’ by Mindy Kaling and ‘On Writing’ by Stephen King. Tina Fey, I promise I will finish your book, too!
My third goal I am committing to is writing a children’s book. At this point, I am not thinking about getting it published. I just want to write a children’s book because I was an avid reader when I was a kid, and I love reading to my children now. I will not think about the obstacles of actually getting a book published; I will simply write a children’s book this year for my kids and for my own enjoyment.
I have other goals, like working out and drinking less beer and wine. But after finally checking out Maria Kang’s website the other night, I think I will come up with a few more excuses before making a half-assed attempt to embrace her message.
Happy New Year to you! What are your goals for this year? If you plan on focusing on writing more or giving your blog some love, check out the Zero to Hero 30-Day Challenge with me.