Monday, December 28, 2009

I see a lot of reflection posts on the blogs of my friends, and I love reading them. There is something magical in the time leading to a new year – time to reflect, evaluate and plan for the new year. I am definitely doing this here too.

Unlike others, I don’t think in terms of “Daily 10”. I know for a fact that it doesn’t work for me and just adds pressure to my life that is already pretty full. I don’t have several children to care for, but I have a full time job that requires a lot of thinking, decisive action and initiative. I definitely want to further my career and therefore I need energy to be mentally present when I focus on my work tasks. Sometimes I need to work late or travel, or I just simply come home wiped out, and I don’t want to cross any tasks off my “daily 10 list” or feel guilty that I didn’t. So… on to my Top 10 for 2010 :)

1. Exercise at least twice a week – starting at 30 minutes and building up. It’s extremely important to me to get back to the habit of exercising regularly and building flexibility and strength.

2. Try a new recipe once a week. We are pretty good in cooking from scratch, but we are stuck in “recipe rut”. Both German and Russian cuisines are heavily starch-based. We need to find some healthy recipes that would incorporate more vegetables into our diet.

3. Every two weeks try something new – it could be a new game, going to the museum, short trips to new places, etc. It’s always a little exhausting for us to try new things, since we are so nicely comfortable in our house and love to spend time together,  but the new experiences are the ones that build new memories – good ones and amusing (“oh my God, I don’t believe it happened to us) ones.

4. Bring more music into our lives. We are going to sign Anna up for a dance class, and play more music at home. My husband used to play guitar more, and we just received a beautiful book with German children songs from Anna’s uncle and aunt. I am hoping that she will also learn more German by learning more German songs.

5. Once a month go out for a date. For starters we could go out after Anna is in bed asking our neighbors to stay in the house, but I would also like to find a reliable sitter in the neighborhood. I love all our dates in, but it would be awesome to spend some time together outside the house too.

6. At least once every month do things with our friends. We have a group of friends who all chose to be child-free for different reasons. These friendships are important to us, and I admit that it hurts sometimes that we cannot be as much a part of their lives as we used to be. But nevertheless we managed to stay close and I am hoping that as Anna gets older, we get to do more things together again.

7. Read at least one new book every month that is not about children. I used to read for pleasure and now all my free time is spent on the Net. This brings me to point #8.

8. Reduce Net surfing and focus on actually implementing/trying some of the ideas I find. I enjoy visiting other blogs and commenting on many wonderful ideas. I will continue to visit some blogs that I really like and correspond to their owners via comments and emails. But I will have to limit my time spent on these activities more decisively that I did in 2009 to leave time for other things that I want to do with my already very limited time.

9. Do two major projects around the house – installing new heating/air conditioning and landscaping part of our backyard. Fortunately, it’s not a matter of money – we were planning for those major expenses. It’s more of a matter of executing – deciding what we want, finding the contractors, dealing with disruptions, etc.

10. Teach my daughter to appreciate small things in life – morning cuddles, good food, time spent together. Sometimes we focus so much on the next big adventure that we forget to value things that we do every day. We love our tradition of sitting together in the evening as a family talking about our favorite moments of the day and why they were important to us. I am hoping that 2010 will be the same in this sense – that we will still have a lot of time for each other and we will share in the wonder of joy of seeing our daughter learn new things every day.


Ticia said...

Such wonderful goals for the new year.
I have quite frankly been amazed at what you get done with Anna with working full time and the time you spend scanning the web. You are amazingly organized, and self-motivated.
It is hard to figure out how to do things with friends with no kids sometimes.
Man, I want to comment on each of your goals....... Great thinking.

Debbie said...

I agree with Ticia, you do so much in your family!

So many of the things on your list are things that I too would love to implement here, some of which I plan on working hard on.

As you notice I don't make lists myself on goals. I never get to them to cross them off, so I just do the best I can.

MaryAnne said...

What a wonderful list! We also have a "favorite things from the day" time in the evening, and it's one of my favorite family traditions.

I really like the items on your list; it sounds like 2010 could be a wonderful year for you and your family :)

An Almost Unschooling Mom said...

Wow! That is a great list, but it sounds like a lot. I'm going to have to check out some "daily 10" lists, if this is a simplified version - there must be some real supermen/women out there! :) I agree with the others though, all of your goals are terrific.

Jennifer said...

That's a great list! We have the kids in a music exploration class at Gymboree Play and Music, and it is wonderful. It might be something you could do for your little one.

Leanne Morphet said...

I love them. In fact, I am pretty much going to mimic them for myself! I have to laugh - because I found some of these items easier when I was working full time - especially the exercise and socializing part. I consider myself to still be working full time, just not getting paid for it. :)

Happy New Year to you and your lovely family!

Susana said...

Great list Natalie!

I agree with you on the exercise. I still haven't gotten to doing mine like I did "pre-Jesse".

I also hear you on the limiting your blog/net surfing. I did this for myself a couple months ago and it was wonderfully liberating:-).

I don't make daily "to do" lists either, it makes me too overwhelmed. I just try to have a daily schedule instead and stick to it as best as I can.

Good luck with all you set out to accomplish!!

Annette said...

I really enjoyed this post. I relate to so much...time on the net...needing face time with real life night (we don't even do the "in" though)...exercise. I need to really rethink my time and how I spend it.

Have you tried It's a good source.

Adriana said...

Thanks! This list gave me a lot to think about. I am going to try to sit down and think about my goals for next year as well.

S said...

Very inspiring list. I hope 2010 is a wonderful year for you and your family.

Kim said...

Looks like a great list! Good luck!

Eva said...

wow this is such a great list, and very inspiring, I really want to take the time to come up with something like this, thanks for sharing! your posts are always a pleasure :)

Cara said...

You've got such a great list of goals for 2010. I think what I love most about your list is that it's simple and achievable, yet still something to work toward (if that makes sense). I share most of the goals on your list!! :) Best of luck, and looking forward to hearing about your progress!

Tara Rison said...

I love the one about bringing more music into your lives. I have been trying to do the same. We got an Ipod dock for Christmas, so I am using it a lot. I want to expose my children to a variety to styles. So far they seemed to enjoy it.

I also like number 10. I have to remind myself of that quite often. It is so important to slow down and enjoy the small stuff. You should read Mitten Strings for God. It is a cute little book on the subject of "slowing down". It was written by a mom of small children. I love it!

Diana said...

Wow, you have an impressive list here. I am still trying to zone in on what exactly I want to work on this year. I will definitely be working on goal #1 with you (post baby). I love #3 as well, and need to try new things more. Best of luck!

Katie said...

Wow it looks like you've got ten for 2010 and they're a great start. I have many in common with you. I am trying for consistent exercise three times a week, I met doing it once or twice a week last year. I really like the one to do new things, we get into a rut a lot. Plus I think going out as a couple and getting together with friends are great goals. I have a group of moms that goes out about once a month and it's been great for my sanity. Now that we're living by our parents we also get to go out as a couple a lot more and that is really helpful to help you reconnect.