This is probably the least prepared I’ve been for writing a resolutions post. Not sure what that means for the success rate, but let’s do this thing!! First a recap of my 2018 resolutions. They were:
- keep exercising
- eat French
- stick with regular intermittent fasting
- limit mindless Facebook time and focus on in-person relationship building
- read ‘War and Peace’
- say a rosary in the car every time I drive somewhere more than 15 minutes away
- work on my book
Success rate? Meh. Obviously, I got a book deal, so I definitely made progress on #7. But what about the rest?
- Exercising faltered a bit over the summer, and I’ve been off schedule with all the moving stuff lately, but I exercise pretty consistently now 4-5 times a week- usually walking workouts which I really enjoy. I gave up on the strenuous workouts that made me curse and amazingly, I look forward to exercising now.
- We did give up set snack times this year. They sort of faded away and while the boys get snacks at school, and occasionally I will catch a teen with a hand in the pantry, we simply eat three meals a day which, while not the full French diet I envisioned (courses, a slower pace, more meals from scratch, etc), has greatly simplified my life. It also helped my kids realize they didn’t need to eat six times a day.
- During Lent, I did a great job of fasting, but not much outside that. I tried to pick it back up around Advent, but I find it hard to eat within such a narrow window when our family dinner gets pushed back later in the evening and I’m up so early running around.
- I probably post less on Facebook now than ever; in fact, I don’t post on social media much at all, but I do still scroll probably too much. I hid a ton of people from my feed which helped make the time I spend online better. I did not maintain my habit of reading and commenting on blogs, and our family commitments seemed to make scheduling more IRL social engagements difficult, but I did maintain the usual commitments I had.
- I am working through it and it’s getting better. I’m really not reading much now, but hopefully I can commit to wrapping it up in January which I wouldn’t feel too bad about.
- I could do better with this, but I do say a rosary when driving more than previously. I often start a rosary instinctually when driving somewhere further away.
- Did enough work to get a book deal- but now, the real work is underway!!
So then, what are my plans for the coming year? Currently I feel overwhelmed by everything on my plate; moving, finishing a book, organizing a conference, planning talks for a couple conferences, plus all the usual homeschooling, housekeeping, and general keeping people alive. The thought of adding more to my plate seems downright scary! So for now, I’m keeping it simple. I want to instill the following daily habits:
Even saying the rosary when I’m out driving doesn’t mean I have a habit of daily prayer. Its more like I pass through periods of time when I don’t forget to pray. I’m putting mindfulness on the list because while I know more frequent prayer will help my restless soul, I need the habit of mindfulness to clear my mind to pray better and to be open to hearing what God is saying to me. I notice an improvement in many areas (productivity, patience with my kids, participation in Mass) when I’m regularly practicing mindfulness. (I’ve written about Catholic Mindfulness before, and I can’t recommend this course enough! I’m restarting it as part of an New Year’s 8- week challenge.)
I like these resolutions because they don’t burden me, but will enable me to accomplish what’s already on my plate with less stress, anxiety, worry, and anger (which is good for the rest of my family too). I created a ‘Goals’ board in Trello, so as I feel more or less inspired through the year, I can update or modify my resolutions, as well as set specific, small steps towards making each resolution a habit. Because that’s the key- reaching a point of doing something without having to be reminded; of realizing that not doing it would feel weird.
But no year would be complete without a new saint, (mockable) word, and beast. Jen’s random generators gave me St. Teresa Margaret Redi, and the word “Recalibrate”. St. Teresa is a new one to me, so I’m off to learn more, and the word makes me feel like I’m going to turn into a GPS or something. But what about a beast? How about the Hydra!
This beast is a multi-tasker who doesn’t mess around! You try to stop him, and he comes back twice as strong! I’ll bet he maintains a regular prayer life and mindfulness practice. Look how calm and focused that middle head is! Just try to chop it off and it will come back double to bite you in the butt!
Do what you can, with all the heads you have, wherever you are.The Hydra (inspired by Theodore Roosevelt)
I’m coming for you 2019! What are your resolutions? Did you make any? Write them down then link them up below. Be sure to include a link back to this post so your readers can find the rest of the Quick Takes. I look forward to reading your posts!