Welcome back! Welcome to 2014! Are you excited to start a new year? Are you aching to start something new? Are you looking for a fresh beginning?
Yeah, me too.
The end of the holidays is always a little bit of a let down for me. The Christmas decorations are put back into storage, the excitement and work is done, there’s nothing left but cold, dark days ahead until the promise of spring comes around. But it seems like each year it takes longer and longer for that promise to roll around. My accountant husband is gearing up for longer work days and longer work weeks, and I become a tax widow. In the beginning I enjoy the time to myself to “get stuff done.” But by March I’m lonely and miss him. We usually go away for a long weekend when he’s finished tax season, and by then the weather starts to get warmer. So I’ll just have to look forward to that.
In the meantime, I’m focusing on new organizing projects! I’m taking advantage of the time indoors to get stuff done. My first order of business was to set some goals and resolutions for 2014 and set up my planner for the next 12 months.
We’ll start with my goals and resolutions.
I’ve been reading many posts on others’ goals and resolutions for the upcoming year. (If you need a clarification of goals and resolutions and what the difference is, check out Laurie’s post on that. It’s great!) I had a few in mind for myself, but I wanted to toss those ideas around a bit and perhaps add some new ones. Here is what I have come up with (so far):
- Keep going on Health Journey – I have been working on my Health Journey since July. I have made some progress, but I have not made as much progress as I wanted to by this point. So I’m trying to focus on continuing with it—don’t focus on what hasn’t been achieved; focus on what has been achieved and what has yet to be achieved. It’s the only way to go forward.
- Let go of fear and anxiety – This is a constant struggle for me. But with a little help and some reminders of how to combat it, hopefully I can control it.
- Take my time; Don’t rush – While we all want to squeeze as much life into our days as humanly possible, it’s this constant push to get things done that lead me to some of my anxiety. Too often I push myself almost to the breaking point. I don’t allow myself to relax until my to do list is done. My purpose for this was so that I could focus on the relaxation only after the tasks were done, rather than focusing on the tasks while trying to relax. But I’ve learned that the task lists is never truly done. So for 2014, I’d like to focus on being in the moment, enjoying more of what I do, do more of what I enjoy, and worry less about things have not happened, which leads me to the next three points:
- Be mindful and present for every moment
- Worry less
- Enjoy more
- Learn to say NO: to unnecessary food, to over-planning, to feeling guilty – Part of my Health Journey is to eat better. But being on Weight Watchers (still) isn’t enough. I can’t count the points for my “good” foods while ignoring the “bad” foods altogether. So let’s remove the bad foods in general. Saying no to over-planning is a HUGE thing for me. I often will make or accept plans not because I necessarily want to but because I feel I ought to. That takes all of the fun out of said plans. I have to think very carefully, and look at my other commitments, before accepting any invitation, no matter how much I want to answer right away. The invitation isn’t going anywhere. I can take my time in answering (see the point above). Both of these lead to feelings of guilt—I feel guilty that I indulge in too much chocolate; I feel guilty for saying no to friends and family; I feel guilty towards myself when I say yes when I really want to say no. And feelings of guilt lead to feelings of resentment. So I need to let go of the guilt. I need to learn to say what I mean, to tell people what I want, AND let go of the guilt I may feel towards whatever the situation is.
- Read more books – I always have one or two books going at a time. I am never without a book. I can squeeze in about 30 minutes of book time a day—15 on my lunch break at work and 15 before going to bed at night. But this is not enough for me. This only allows me to finish a book once a month if I’m lucky. I need to make more time to read my books. This probably means I need to cut down on Facebook and blog time, but I’m okay with that. Life is all about choices.
- No excuses! – I have a very bad habit of making up excuses for things and allowing those excuses to get in the way of what I want in life. Most notably, I tend to make excuses for not doing well with my Health Journey (“It’s Christmas, so of course I can have that entire carton of eggnog!” or “It’s Christmas, I’m busy, I didn’t get to bed until late, so of course I can sleep in and skip my exercise this morning.” Etc.) I need to stop letting life keep me from what I need to do in order to get what I want. A huge part of that is:
- Get to bed on time – If I don’t get the required amount of sleep (7-8 hours for me), the next day is shot to hell. I am the type of person who absolutely needs her sleep in order to get everything done in a day—sure, I can go to work and get done what I need to do there. But anything beyond that falls by the wayside if I’m not properly rested. I will admit that my biggest downfall is the television and the iPad. “Just one more show,” we’ll say. “I just want to read this one last blog post.” Famous last words that lead to an 11 o’clock bedtime. That’s just too late for someone whose alarm clock goes off at 5 a.m.
- Stick to a budget – By this I don’t mean allot myself only so much money to spend in a month or a week. That’s too stressful for me because life happens, stuff comes up. However, I need to reign in my unnecessary spending. Sure, I can buy a new sweater for myself should I need one, but I don’t need the bag that “goes along with it.” Sadly, this means no Gillio planners for me right now. They are beautiful; but I just don’t need one. Ah well.
- Start meditating – I’ve been saying this for a while now. And I really want to start doing it. But carving out the extra time is hard. So I will start small by doing 15 minutes during the evenings when I have extra time. This may mean only meditating once or twice a week. But it’s a start. I will increase it once I’ve made it a part of my weekly routine.
There’s a lot here, for sure. But 2014 has just started and all of the points above give me something to focus on, rather than being angry at the harsh winter that we’ve already been enduring.
To help me get mentally organized for these points, I also had to get physically organized, which meant setting up my planner for 2014. Well, my inserts were already set up (I do this in July or August after I’ve purchased the year’s inserts.) So really, the point was just to move inserts around, place the 2013 inserts into my archives binder.
But… if you’re a planner and/or organizing fiend, you know that not everything goes to plan (though you plan on this, and so are prepared for it). For me, what ended up happening was an entire planner system revamp. Now, my general daily planner layout has stayed the same. By entire revamp, I mean basically, everything else. I started with one little tweak that rolled into another bigger tweak, and so on until finally, I just had to start from scratch. With everything.
I won’t go into detail here as far as what I ended up with. I’ve decided that since there’s too much to discuss in one post that I will break it down and start 2014 with a series of “2014 System Revamp” posts to show you what my system includes now. The series will include the following:
- Daily planner (updated and not discussed in a while)
- Household planner (updated)
- Future/past planner
- Notepaper planner
- Specialty inserts planner
- Tabs planner
- Odds & ends
Then there are my specialty binders:
- Travel binder (already written about)
- Keepsake binder
- Vermont binder (forthcoming)
- Book binder (forthcoming)
- Happiness binder (already written about)
- Knitting binder (already written about)
- Starbucks binder – I can’t wait to reveal this…
What I will tell you about my revamp is that I took everything apart.
I emptied all of my binders.
I got it all done in one day, though it took a lot of time to get towards the end of my revamp.
Suffice it to say, the next few weeks’ worth of posts should keep me entertained, if not my readers. So look for the upcoming posts in my “2014 System Revamp” series.
Happy 2014 and happy planning!
Happy 2014 and happy planning!