Saturday, January 1, 2011

My New Year Action Plan

Happy New Year.  It's  2011!!!!   I spent the evening with one of my best college friends and our precious husbands.  We had a blast!!!  Hope all of you had a fabulous and safe time ringing in the new year, the new decade!  As I sit here listening to a little baby boy scream as he doesn't want to nap, I thought I'd escape the noise and reflect on 2010 and what I would like to accomplish in 2011. 

I really don't care much for the new year resolution.  It seems so cliche and really there is no road map to achieve them.  Just a list of things that we'd like to do but could never find a way to make ourselves do before.  And yet we make them.  And sometimes try for a week or two to keep them.  Then find ourselves slipping back into the routine we knew.  And as the new year approaches I am usually painfully aware that this "new" year's resolutions will look remarkably similiar to last year's and the year's before.  But still in our constant quest to become the people we know we were created to be, we make them.  We seem to have a sense of awareness that there is greatness in us.  We just haven't quite tapped into it yet.  So we resolve...this year will be different.  And we laugh when we find ourselves in another year, with the same resolutions.  Come on, we've all done it. 

This year I want a New Year's Action Plan.  I want a list I can put into action.  Not one that says, go to the gym, pay personal trainer.  No, I want one that inspires me, connects me, gives me a purpose that I want to achieve.  That I MUST achieve.  And this year I thought that this plan should be all encompassing: body, mind, soul and spirit.  Could it be that all those previous years I focused on only one small part of myself and missed the big picture of what God has in store for me?

With that said, I'll share a few of my thoughts.  If you have ever read my blog I'm sure you know that I am on month 3 of trying to eat healthier and mostly organic food.  I started with baby steps and I am almost there.  So for the body portion of my action plan I want to finalize the switch to organic food.  To do this my "action" part is simple.  Shop at Whole Foods, Farmer's markets and don't eat out...much. :)  Easy enough.  I have taste tested enough items to have a pretty good idea of what we like and what the kids will eat.

With healthy foods comes LOTS of cooking.  I don't really like to cook if you must know.  But like I said earlier, I feel inspired and on a quest.  I have a noble goal in mind to feed my family foods free of pesticides, antibiotics, chemicals, preservatives, and the like.  And for me, that is a strong motivation.  I have picked up 4 new cook books and have committed to cooking at least one new recipe a week (health of all the peeps in the family permitting.)  My action plan is basically this: I buy the food for the meals.  I don't make them, we don't eat.  And I wasted a lot of money in the process. 

I am also trying to limit sugar from our diet.  So my darling husband found a book called Raw for Dessert  by Jennifer Cornbleet so we can still feast on at least a bit of chocolate!  I've got the ingredients for my first dessert, chocolate cake with chocoate ganache topping.  I'm wondering what in the world it's going to taste like with no sugar.  Very interesting.  This cookbook, sadly, is the lowest item on the list.  I'm so sad to say so there is really no action needed, only time!

And then there is exercise.  I don't, haven't and am not quite ready to start.  I am giving myself until March and then this phase of the program begins.  I have a friend lined up and we'll start walking Town Lake a few times a week with our kiddos.  That is what I can commit to for exercies right now.  We'll see.  Maybe I'll love it and feel like a whole new person and become a personal trainer.  Don't hold your breath though.

If my body is fully nourished, what good would I be to my kids or really anyone, if my mind, soul, and spirit are dry?  To this end I have joined a group of ladies and we are going to read The Message Bible through this year along with other books that relate to our walk with God.  The first book is called 66 Love Letters by Larry Crabb.  Accountability, that is the action needed to make sure I accomplish this endeavor of reading God's word and learning more about Him and his unconditional love for flawed me. 

I love, love, love to create.  I paint, sew, crochet, scrapbook, and a host of other things.  And it is at some of these times that I feel closest to God.  That seems so strange to me but I do.  I feel so renewed when I am using these gifts He has given me.  I went to a book signing by Condi Rice and she made a statement that impacted me.  She said and I'm paraphrasing, "Don't just focus on your strengths, but challenge yourself to improve areas that you aren't as strong."  Well that statement started me on my quest to cook and change our life style and then blog about it. And I must say that I love to blog!  I have never really thought of myself as a writer but I do have so much to say!  So even in the hustle and bustle of every day life I hope to find a bit of time to take just for myself doing something I enjoy.

And finally on this note I want 2011 to be a year of connections.  I want to connect with my children, my husband and my friends.  For Christmas I asked for a book called 101 Things You Should Do Before Your Kids Leave Home by David Borden.  I want to be a parent who doesn't just wait for magical moments but one that plans opportunites for these moments to make sure they happen.  As God's ambassador to my 3 little people, I want them to feel God's love through me and I want to provide just a little bit of heaven at home.  That doesn't happen without being intentional.  With that in mind, I have a few books to give me ideas to shepherd them and guide them.  My action plan to accomplish this is fairly simple.  I read and come up with ideas, and then on our given "family day" on Saturdays we play and make memories!  And as far as shepherding them, well I have to practice what I preach!  Boy, that is sometimes quite hard.  Hopefully, the year Bible reading will help with this!  As for my husband, we still date.  How cool is that?  We have a night set aside every week that is just ours.  Of course there are times that life happens and things come up that interfere.  We just try to get back on track asap.  I find that we talk and laugh like we would never do just sitting at home with all the chores or distractions that just never end.  It is a chance to fall in love all over again every week.  We make this happen by having a standing appointment with our precious babysitter.  And finally, my friends.  I feel as if friends are the ones that have fallen by the wayside during the last few years of babies and NO sleep. Hopefully this new year will bring sleep for us and then many more dinners, girls nights out, bunkos and plain old fun with friends.  This is my tentative action plan as I am at the mercy of my 3 little people.

So now you have an idea of my plans for 2011 and how I plan to make them happen.  Please know that I am not perfect in any of these areas.  I am just striving to be better.  I once heard Oprah say, "When you know better, you do better."  I'm just trying to give myself opportunities to know better so I can do better by my sweet family.  May this year be your best yet!  Ahhh and now as I finish up this blog the house is silent!  I out lasted the little one determined not to nap!  The new year is off to a good start!

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