2018: New Year’s Resolutions

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I know I said I was sticking to a theme for the new year but let’s get real, I have a lot of goals for 2018. I’ve been reading all over the place that I shouldn’t have a lot of unattainable goals. Stick to goals you can truly impact and accomplish. These are a mix of goals I’d define as both stretch and within reach (maybe).

Personal Finances: For 2018 I hope to save $5,000. I had similar goals for 2017 but it turned out to be a much more expensive year than I anticipated. Guess what guys, paying for daycare- pricey. Also, if you’ve never had a baby before you probably don’t know how much babies cost. This is totally fair and I probably should have factored this in to my goals. Once someone told me that babies are cheap when they’re very little. Um… clearly you didn’t pay for formula, daycare or diapers.

And in reality, like most people we’re still learning how to be financially savvy. Tyler calls 2018 “The Year of Smart” and this definitely applies to our money. We want to make smart decisions. That’s pretty much all you can ask for. (Dang, this should really be my goal. But I want to save $5k!)

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Home: In the land of new baby, the first priority to drop is cleaning the house. This creates a constant cycle where we don’t pick up after ourselves and every 2-3 weeks I freak out because I can no longer tolerate the state of our home. Surely, there’s a better way to live.

So this year I just want to do some pretty basic picking up after myself. Tyler and I have starting washing our dishes and fully wiping down the kitchen after each meal. This may seem like adulting 101 but I feel like we’re relearning every aspect of life right now. We’re putting the laundry away the same day it got washed  and cleaning the bathroom on a regular basis.

Basically, it’ll take nothing short of a miracle to maintain this but I’m still holding out hope!

Professional Life: I wear several different hats in my role at work, because it is a role that constantly evolves. This is awesome as it allows me to be challenged but I often feel pulled in several directions and constantly worry about dropping one of the many priorities I am juggling. I think this is a pretty common experience for individuals who have just reached the point in their career where they’re truly challenged.

Now it’s just about being able to balance my priorities, learn some project management skills and advocate for myself. Sometimes you have to say- TOO MUCH! This is a goal I don’t expect to reach, just aim for. I’m growing, y’all.

Mama Life: The number one thing I want to do as a mom is be present. Yes, I want to be present as a friend, a daughter or a wife but being present as a mama is my number one. This is harder than I would have thought. Haines can be…boring. It’s not his fault- he’s a baby! He’s adorable to watch and he just started to ask me to read him books which makes my heart explode but sometimes I’d like to have a conversation that isn’t, “Don’t put that in your mouth!” or “What a big boy you are!”

So being present  is equally about being present when we’re together and taking breaks that allow me to focus on him. This weekend Tyler was off work. We took Haines to a party on Saturday where Tyler was primary baby watcher and Sunday I got to go to a coffee shop for two hours with Better Than Never Blogger, Chrissy. This little moments are what excites me to run back to my baby bubba.

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Haines after a run. 

Health: Almost everyone looks to the new year with a health goal. Tyler has started running which naturally has amped up my own fitness routine. We RAN 3.2 miles on Saturday (with breaks). Although I do have periods where fitness falls down the list of priorities, most of the time I feel pretty good about that area of my life.

Right now, it’s caffeine. Every since this baby entered my life, my soda intake has skyrocketed. I don’t drink coffee so this is my main fuel for life. No matter what I tell myself at the beginning of the week, by Sunday I’ve drank 3-4 Dr. Peppers. Pre-pregnancy I had one a week. I need to get back to that.

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Little Ol’ Me: There’s one last goal I want to keep in motion for 2018. For a long time, this has been in the forefront of my interactions but I’m not yet where I want to be. The goal is simple- communicate honestly, openly and regularly.

Don’t let things build up. Don’t sugarcoat unless absolutely necessary. Give of my authentic self whenever possible.

Goals:

  • Save $5k
  • Clean the house
  • Learn balance at work
  • Be present
  • Drink less soda
  • Communicate regularly and honestly.

When I lay it all out, it seems like a lot. I probably should have stuck with Tiny Adventures. Here we come 2018!!

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Stop Talking, Start Riding.

There came a point a few years ago when I realized all I ever did was talk about the things I  wanted to do. I talked about the places I wanted to see, I talked about the organizations or social clubs I wanted to join, I talked about volunteering with a non-profit and I talked about exercising. I could talk my way up a mountain and through a marathon but I wasn’t actually going to do any of it. So I started making decisions pretty impulsively. I moved to Wyoming, just because. I moved to Austin, just because. I started running, just because. (Now running means jogging which is actually fast walking but you know what I mean.) The fall after I started at work I went to a meeting to find out more about the BP MS150 bike ride, even though my bike was too small for me and too heavy and I had just started riding. I went with my coworker and we talked about it a lot. Could we do this? Would our bikes make it? Would we make it? Could we raise the $400 for fundraising? Finally, we just said, we’ll have to figure these things out as they come. We want to do this. Deciding to do the MS150 was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.

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First off, I’ve never been particularly active. I’m the youngest so the last of my dad’s hopes and dreams were dashed when I refused to participate in sports. Having an outdoor activity that I actually enjoy and can get fit from is irreplaceable for me. I still have to drag myself out of bed from time to time to actually get on my bike but I enjoy it once I’m there. Most of the time it makes me feel strong and fast (comparatively- please don’t put me next to any of my teammates).

But I didn’t always feel strong and fast. There was a time when I was terrible. I was slow and my legs were like lead. When I first moved to Austin I bought an old mountain bike to get around town on. All of my new friends biked everywhere. I hated being the slowest in the pack and I hated being sweaty all the time. After I started the MS150 I became more confident. I became comfortable in traffic. The real difference came though, when I realized that I could make such a large commitment and stick with it. I followed through with a really big project and doing so made me feel like a bad ass. Now I finally know what it’s like to move from last in the pack to a strong member of the pack.

One of the best and most unexpected benefits of doing the MS150 turned out to be the relationships I developed by doing it. When I first signed up, I was really intimidated by the idea of spending a weekend with my coworkers, some being directors. You share a tent! But there is nothing like hills, headwinds, 180 miles and a couple of beers to make you feel comfortable with someone.

Humbling is probably the best word to describe doing this ride. Not matter how good I feel I can still always be brought down by a hill and some wind. When I’m feeling like I can go on forever and I’m better than everyone else, I am likely going to be passed by a twelve-year old at that exact moment. When I’ve gotten off my bike at a rest stop terrified that I might not be able to get back on, I’ve seen a disabled person hand someone their crutches so they can climb back on their recumbent bike. There’s nothing like seeing someone with MS get back on their bike to give you the encouragement you need to get back on yours.

Doing the MS150 gave me fitness, confidence, friendships and humility, but when I signed up I didn’t expect to get anything of those things. I was just hoping to finish! Maybe the MS150 isn’t the decision that’s going to change your life (it should be though, registration’s open!), but what is? What is the thing you always talk about but never actually do? Is there an item on your bucket list you really want to cross off? I challenge you to stop talking. Don’t talk about it. Everyone’s talking about their thing. Now is the time for action. Now is the time to make your life what you want it to be.

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If you’d like to contribute to my ride, go to my donation page. I’m just over halfway to my goal of raising $1000!