I need focus!
2013 was a clinging on by the fingertips sort of year. Half the year was spent trying to juggle studying with full time work and family and there was just no leeway for anything else. Then when the studying was finished life went into a stressful tailspin and I never managed to pick up on any sort of proper domestic routine. Menu planning went by the wayside; the basics of cleaning were only kept under control by Tevye; the clutter mountain remains unconquered. My head has been as messy as my home, flitting from one thing to another and never really focusing on anything. Now the external stresses are easing I know that I need to use this new year as the stimulus to get various aspects of my life back on track.
These are my GOALS FOR 2014 and how I hope to tackle them.
This is a big one. Our overloaded home makes it difficult to keep it clean and tidy because wherever we turn there is stuff. It isn't horrendous as we are not pack rats, but the cumulative effect of five people living in the same house for twenty years with limited storage space has taken a toll. It stresses Tevye in particular, but because most of the stuff is not his he can't deal with it. I feel overwhelmed by the task and therefore do nothing, partly because I don't know where to start and partly because I am not self-disciplined enough to commit to what I know is going to be a long and often tedious task. So, my goal here is to declutter the house in a year. I need to commit to it as a serious project and follow through, not just do a few hours and then fizzle out. I need a plan and something to keep me on track, so I have downloaded this Home Routines app. I am hoping that this will let me break the decluttering down into small steps that seem more manageable. I can also use the app to develop other routines and keep myself on track.
I have exercised sporadically over the past year, mostly doing yoga at home using DVDs and occasionally 7 minute HIIT routines. My eating habits are still good - three clothes sizes lost in 28 months and now maintaining my weight easily, or even still going very slightly down - and if I can get into a regular exercise routine I will feel I have nailed a pretty healthy lifestyle. My target is to go to the gym an average of twice a week, either to work out or to take an exercise class, and to do a couple of yoga sessions at home in between. I am hoping that paying for gym membership will be enough of an incentive to get me there!
Another thing that has gone by the wayside. Along with all the stresses recently I have been struggling spiritually and to say that my prayer life needs rebooting is an understatement. One small step. I am going to commit to getting back to saying evening prayer daily.
Usually I am pretty good at menu planning, but even this has slipped over the last few months. I used to have a four week rolling plan which I would tweak as necessary, but this had turned into ad hoc week-at-a-time planning. One of today's tasks is to draw up a new four week plan which I can then adjust as needed when I order groceries each week.
I love to read and yet I go through seasons where I read very few books. I have a hunch that this may be a reflection of my life and my state of mind. When I am over busy or stressed it is so much easier to flit around on the iPad reading a bit of this and a bit of that. I am now wondering if it would work in reverse - that a little bit of self discipline in focusing on proper books rather than internet snippets (blogs, articles, or whatever) would make me feel calmer and less rushed. I have quite a few books stacked up, both on the Kindle and in a to-be-read pile next to my bed. I am not giving myself a specific target in terms of number of books to read, but think I will aim for at least 30 minutes of reading a book every day.
This looks a lot written down, but when knocked down to essentials it means:
- Regular decluttering broken down into small, manageable steps
- Exercise four times a week
- Say evening prayer daily
- Weekly menu plan tweaking and occasional menu overhaul
- Read for 30 minutes daily
Possible? I hope so!