Saturday, January 03, 2009

New Year's Resolutions

That reflective time of year again where we're invited to look back on the outgoing year and assess where we've been and determine where we'd still like to go. Taking the time to write my goals here not only gives me a record, but it also holds me more accountable... to a certain degree anyway. Lord knows I can be my own worst enemy.

1) Bring my actual lifestyle more in line with my ideals on a sustained basis.

This is something I'd like to work on across the board—translating those good intentions that are always so resolute at about 3am yet tend to fall by the wayside by about 3pm. Or, I'll be really good about stuff for a burst of time, only to fall back into bad habits and the ease of disregard or denial. Entropy is my enemy. This resolution, of course, blankets all that follow, so this will be my governing principle for 2009.

2) Be better about record keeping and writing in my journal.

Yep, this would be one of those things that I'll be really good about for a while only to drop off mid-season, only to resolve to be better about it, only to drop off again. Fits and starts. Bursts of disciplined energy. Must. Keep. It. Going. I need to find a way to integrate journaling into my day so it doesn't get left out. I've tried doing it right before going to bed, but sometimes I'm just too tired. I've tried doing it first thing in the morning, but I get side tracked checking the news, and emails, and all your blogs....

3) Get back into a pattern of morning meditation and stretching.

As I get older, my body rebels. Recovery and bounce back take so much longer than they used to on those days when I push myself too hard. Consistent care and stretching will go a long way. Focus more on health, less on dis-ease both in myself and in the world at large, cultivating the positive and releasing the negative.

4) Get out more as a family.

We used to rock climb on a fairly regular basis before we moved, and we'd all like to get back into that. The animals make it tricky to do much camping, but we can certainly do more day hikes and camping in the backyard. We need to explore our local areas more and take the time to get out and do the things we enjoy.

5) Dig out the front yard and get the medicinal garden going for real.

Last year the family cow preempted my front garden budget, so that vision was put on hold for a while. 2009 will be the year of the herb. I have a gorgeous plan sketched out that one of these days I'll scan and upload. It includes several spiral walking paths along with a host of edible plants in addition to the medicinals. On a bright note, we have been dumping all our coffee grounds in what will be a blueberry/ cranberry bed, which is at least the beginning of conditioning the soil for these acid lovers. I also heeled several varieties of plants that I started into my kids' gardens, so I should have several established plants to pull from in addition to starting even more from seed.

6) Continue to reduce our impact on the earth and help inspire others on their journeys.

I'd like to find a way to reinvigorate the community group I tried to start last year and to keep a circle of local support going, which helped inspire and motivate us all, myself included. I'd like to move forward with some of the more expensive updates to our household that will help make us more sustainable, including the washing machine and refrigerator issues. Additionally, I'd like to open our farm to interns through local and regional channels, as well as, perhaps, WWOOF.

7) Community outreach.

Linked to number 6, but not limited to sustainability, this would include broader community projects and giving, particularly in terms of food and health. The kids, too, would like to become involved in our local Appalachian trail group and our 4-H clubs, and I'd like to do more with our Rural Heritage Museum. My goal, too, is to be more proactive about creating my own local social support network and to become more active in our homeschooling group.

8) Work more with my kids on their goals.

The kids are getting old enough that I'd like to begin actively encouraging them to set goals and supporting them in what they need to achieve those goals. Up until now, while I've certainly tried to support them in any way possible, I've been content to model goal-setting for the most part, allowing them to focus on valuable play time and all the learning that comes from that. Now that they're getting older, I'd like to see them learn and grow through more deliberate goal-setting and working towards larger projects. In particular, I want to focus this year on helping Em pursue her drawing and designing, encouraging and enabling Julia's entrepreneurship and 4-H goals, and fostering Sam's desires to learn karate and blacksmithing.

9) Spending less and giving more.

I'm still working on my relationship to consumerism. While I've never been a huge shopper, I still find our budget disappearing every month, which ends up being somewhat puzzling. Of course, much of it has gone towards stocking the pantry, farm infrastructure and such, but I'd like to get to a point where that kind of spending starts to pay off. The flip side of this goal is my hope that as we get our infrastructure set up that we'll be able to free up more money to donate. More than that, though, I'd like to continue to encourage and support an economy of caring and sharing, of bartering and mutual assistance where the benefits go toward real, local folks rather than faceless corporations by acting locally to produce global change.

10) Continue my own ongoing education efforts.

I'd like to continue to learn and grow in new areas, fostering and modeling a love of learning and life. My goal is to cultivate projects that benefit myself, my family, my community, and my planet, and to share what I've learned with others. Mostly, I'd like to continue to find ways to make this world a better place, to use my energy for global good, and to nurture and nourish those close to me.

May this new year bring us all the resolution to achieve our goals, the health to maintain our energy, and the strength to sacrifice for greater good.

Peace and Joy.


Christy said...

Those are great goals! I'm going to have to borrow a few. I've been helping Logan set goals for the coming year, so I'm right with you on that one.

karl said...

well said, our goals never seem to coincide with the new year. garden planning seems to consume the winter season. infrastructure planning is ongoing with a few focused periods surrounding financial windfalls.

Country Girl said...

What an impresive and inspiring list of goals!

Alex Polikowsky said...

Happy New Year Danielle and family!

Matriarchy said...

That's a great list! The problem I an having is that as I read all the wonderful goal lists from my blog peeps, I keep wanting to add to mine! Mine is already probably overly ambitious, as I discovered when I made a January To-Do list.

I love the "get out more as a family" goal. Our DD12 is at that age where no matter what the rest of us are doing, she wants something else. So, we want to go back to Tai Chi, so she wants Akido. DD15 signs up for an art class, so DD12 becomes the anti-artist (even though she is probably has the most talent of all of us). We start cooking healthier food together, she retreats into Spaghetti-Os.

*Sigh* Adolescence.

Danielle said...

Happy New Year to you all, and thank you so much for the comments. I love comments. *big wide cheezy grin*

Karl, it sounds like your goals fit into the natural rhythm of your life. I try to do that as well, but I still like the cyclical nature of new year reflections—it fits well with the weather and the time to reflect.

Matriarchy, it sounds like your dd's goal is to figure out who she is outside of her family structure, which is bumping up against your goal to strengthen your definition as a family. Maybe you can talk with her and find a way to support that while also bringing those goals back into alignment? I know, easier said than done. ;)

Matriarchy said...

I'm sorry, Danielle. I didn't mean to hijack your comments with my whining. You are right - she is sorting out her identity, and probably tired of being the youngest and least powerful of the family. We've made some progress. She and I are trying a scrapbooking group, just the two of us, which balances the things I do just with her sister. And DD12 came up with a family food challenge we can all work on, so she feels like her opinion is valued.