Wednesday, January 4, 2012

2012: Resolutions, Fears, Challenges, and Simple Joys

(These are day 1-4 of my Journaling through January series)

These are the first four journaling prompts from After this, I'll post each day in a separate post.

Day 1: Write down your New Year's Resolutions. How can you set yourself up for success?

I hadn't intended to blog about my New Year's Resolutions, but I will anyway.
  • Keep exercising! For the last three or four months I've been taking a yoga class twice a week, and I LOVE it! I try to do cardio twice a week, but I definitely need to be better at this. I also want to start giving some specific focus to different areas of my body (abs, glutes, etc.). Right now, my plan is to switch between upper body and lower body each month. This month I'm focusing on upper body.
  • Learn to sew. My husband bought me a great sewing machine for Christmas, and I love it! I've already done some simple projects with it, but I am stunned by how much I need to learn before I can sew with confidence! I'm hoping my mom can teach me some tricks, and I might take a class from our local craft store.
  • Go to the temple once a month. We've been horrible at this ever since I got pregnant (I didn't know what would happen if I got sick in the middle of a session. We decided to avoid that situation altogether.), and of course it didn't get easier after Noah was born, either. Now that he's a bit older, we want to start going again. We have scheduled a specific weekend out of every month to go, and I am really looking forward to it!
  • Eat healthier! I am such a sucker for unhealthy snacks and treats. I don't buy them very often, but when I go places that happen to have junk food, there's not much restraint going on. I am starting by limiting all sweets and junk food to the weekends. We are also going to make a weekly contribution to Bountiful Baskets, where we can get lots of fresh, seasonal produce and other healthy stuff.
  • Finish my Book Project by October. I got a bit off track during the holidays, so I really have to get reading now! This month I am reading The Real George Washington (a very big book!), The Bulletproof George Washington (a very little book), a collection of essays by Emerson (little, but tough content!), and Othello! Phew!

Day 2: What were some challenges you faced last year? Write about those challenges, what you learned, and how God used them to strengthen your spirit.

In 2011, I went through some huge transitions. I quit work, traded my in-laws' basement for a home, and birthed our first son. These were all very challenging. As a young stay-at-home mom, I had to learn how to balance my baby's need for mothering, my husband's need for support in his job and his last year of his undergraduate, my home's need for organization and cleanliness, and my own need for opportunities to do other things. I am far from perfect in any area, but I feel like I've come so far from my first weeks with a newborn baby.

Like the writing prompt suggests, I know God has strengthened me through these challenges, by giving me the intense joys that come from being a mother. I never thought I could love someone so dearly. I wake up every morning happy to spend another day with my baby boy. It is true, what the scriptures say: you must lose yourself to find yourself. I know more joy and love through devoting myself to my son and my husband than I ever thought possible. I think this is one thing that I need to learn from my experience as a mom in this life, and I expect it will be taught to me again and again, each time bringing a new layer of understanding, before my life is over.
Day 3: What are the top 5 things you are looking forward to in 2012?
  1. Hearing my baby's first words and seeing him take his first steps.
  2. My husband's graduation with his BA. We're planning a trip to Zion's in honor of the event!
  3. Rebuilding our savings accounts.
  4. Taking trips to the park when it gets warm and playing with Noah.
  5. My best friend having her first baby in July!
Day 4: What is the greatest fear you have going into this year?
The only fear I have is that we will not accomplish our financial goals this year. It's not so much that I'm worried that we'll have enough money for what we need--we have plenty, and I'm grateful for it! But we have made some really big goals for our savings, and when I look at those goals, I feel a little bit hopeless, mostly because there are other things that we want to do, like finishing my BA. There's a deep, dark fear inside of me that these goals, which are top priority (justly so), will always be in the way of this. I need to be more like my husband: when he looks at these goals, he is excited and optimistic. He likes a good challenge, because there is so much fulfillment in making goals into a reality. I'm very glad for his example and patience with me!

Now I'm back on track and ready for day five!

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