Wednesday, January 11, 2012



I love the new year so much, I have three of them: January first,  the first day of summer vacation and the first day of school in September. Each of them feel like wonderful, fresh starts full of potential. And each of them provide an opportunity to revisit my goals for the year.

As part of our “Best of” letter, Mary Alice, Angie and I usually list accomplishments/disappointments and goals (or “revolutions” as MA terms them) for the new year. Last year I was influenced by two books, Checklists by Atul Gawande and The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin to create a resolution checklist. I hung it on the inside of bathroom cabinet and checked off weekly to-do’s related to my long-term goals. This little step, along with keeping an on-going To Do Tomorrow list on my desktop and exchanging weekly “goals” via email with a friend, had a huge impact on my productivity.

And yet, there are still unfinished projects---from 2010 as well as 2011. I feel slightly pulled between the rush of starting new projects and the boost of finishing a long-term one. I’m going to limit myself to just 12 goals in this space, in honor of 2012:

Goals for 2012:

1.Take at least one family photo per month. Inspired by Tara Whitney’s 6x12 project and the fact that in preparing our 2011 Highlights DVD/Slideshow, I found only two of our whole family: one from our Boise trip and one from Christmas Eve, and neither is great.

2. Adopt and train a puppy. Oh me oh my. I want to do this. No, that’s not true---I want to have done this. I want to skip to five years from now when we have a family dog that is trained and low-maintenance (is any dog ever low maintenance?). I’ve been reading training books since we had our first backyard in 2001. It’s not great timing, but Brian reminds me it will never be the perfect time. And I always said our diaper budget would become our dog food budget. And, for the first time in NINE years, we no longer need to buy diapers. *Alleluia*

3. Prepare our family for our next trip to Chicago. This one has financial, emotional, practical implications, but I don’t want to think about any of them. Eventually I will, and hopefully that will help us all.

4. Learn the basics of my sewing machine and complete at least two projects. Inspired by African Kelli, the sewing machine Brian gave me for mother’s day a couple years ago (and which only he has used so far!), and the fact that Nolan’s teacher will be offering an evening class, this might be the year I finally learn to sew!

5. Submit two resumes. One opportunity just presented itself. I’m going to pursue it (and will discuss it more if it works out). The other involves a position I was interested in when we first moved to Moab. I met with the director who asked for my resume, and two weeks later, I learned I was pregnant and chose not to pursue it. Three years later,  I made another appointment with the same director only to learn just prior to our meeting that I was expecting again. I’m 99% I can apply this time without bringing another child into the world.  Our family isn’t ready for me to return to work full-time, but it’s exciting to start stepping into the paying-work world.

6. Start every month with a clean desk. I am going to hold myself to this by posting a photo of my desk here on the 1st of every month. So at least I know what I’ll be doing on the 3oth/31st of every month:)

7. Lose and keep off 12 pounds. Tomorrow I’m meeting two friends for a “strength-training” session at our gym. I lost slightly more than 12 last year and want to continue using and carving out time to move.

8. Create a home binder. Angie gave me a book designed to walk you through this last fall, and I even downloaded Aby Garvey’s free reference guide. But I only got so far as creating a cute cover for my still-empty binder. I may be overestimating the peace this completed project will bring, but I’d like to at least find out.

9. Grow herbs inside my kitchen. I miss basil in the winter. I have no idea if I can do this but I’ll try. Cilantro, basil and Italian parsley.

10. Create a Shutterfly book of 12 on 12.  First I was inspired by Elizabeth Dillow’s 12 on 12, but also wanted more leeway and a general capturing of a month rather than one day per month. So I’m combining the 12 on 12 idea with Rebecca Cooper’s Month in Review. I hope to scrap one 12-photo layout per month. Look to see if I get January’s done by Feb. 12th.

11. Go to the Telluride Blues & Brew Festival, or see a concert at the Red Rocks or camp in Zion National Park. I’m not sure which will work out, but at least one of these. And a girls weekend in Prescott.

12. 52 Weeks of Light…which I’ll explain/figure out by my next post, on my one little word for 2012.

There’s always more, more ideas and dreams than there is time. Mary Alice gave me a 5-year one-sentence journal for Christmas; my goal for January is to make it a habit. For February I want to write 750 words daily. In March, we hit birthday/anniversary marathon so juggling is the only goal for that month. MA, Angie and I are reading/re-reading The Happiness Project and writing monthly letters. I’d love our local mindful mommas group to find a way to bring Karen Maezen Miller to Moab. I want to teach Aidan how to edit his own short movies, and will definitely help Sean master his bike at last. I have a million and one projects on a list but these 12, this post, will be my guide.


  1. You are a kindred spirit, Deirdre : ) And we also kicked the diaper product habit near the end of 2011. The NINE YEAR one. Glory, glory hallelujah is right. I love your goals—the push is on for a dog here, too. We both had dogs growing up, but I didn't have anything to do with the training of said dogs. I've always said when everyone is self-sufficient in the bathroom I'll consider it... yikes. I guess it's time to start considering!

    1. Go for it! We just put a deposit down on a puppy due in late February. Our family always inherited previously-trained dogs, never a puppy. I'm scared and excited. *Nine Years* ---we both deserve some kind of prize for that one!


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