The 2018 Plans and Accountability Post! New projects, new baby, new word, new places, new health, new me.
I felt called to choose a word for the year. I’ve kind of done this before trying to embrace simplicity. I’ve chosen NO. I’ve chosen LESS. And overall I’ve meandered in the general direction I have wanted to go, but I’m still far from the actual destination. I want a quality living. I want more memories and moments. I want more eye contact. I want more space to breath. I want more peace. I want less fluff. Less distractions. Less junk. Less stress. Less BUSY, less RUSH. And this is how it’s going to happen for us this year.
My word for 2018 is: Cultivate
Cultivate: To Plant, To Encourage, To educate. To further develop, foster, advance, promote.
I desire quality. Quality living, quality, education, quality planning, quality nutrition, and quality time.
I strive for more thoughtfulness, selflessness, and self-control. Control hits a bit nerve because the last few years have been so fast and furious we feel like we’ve lost control and this year we want to be put back in charge.
Ok, so it sounds good, but is it just blowing air? Here is an overview of my general steps:
Prep. Clean, clear, minimize, purge. Create functional spaces and get rid of excess and get rid of junk. Create an environment that will have more ease of maintenance. Lots of good will runs and filling the dumpster will happen in this step.
Schedule and Plan. Create a calendar of manageable events and activities. A list to pull from for family trips, chores, projects.
Make. Make time. Make things. Make memories. We made homemade ornaments for Christmas. We make art. We turned our kitchen into a chem lab and the girls and I made soap. I’m not sure exactly what the year will look like, but I know that TV and all technology will be a lesser part of 2018.
Read. We brought back family reading time. It’s not always calm and enjoyable, some days the little children want no part of it and we resort to threats of the Boogie Man. But we are all together, enjoying amazing literature, learning, talking, and in the same room. All 8 of us. Mostly. Sometimes we don’t mind when Brody sneaks away because man, that kid is SO noisy, holy hell!
Educate. We’ve always been a family of roundtable discussions. We’ve had a huge dry erase board that has been providing a lecture space since 2009 or so. We homeschool so that we can provide our children with a better education and we just got in Aubrey’s PSAT scores and we know we are on the right track. We’re making our plans for the new year and bringing in more of what works.
Budget. Spend LESS. We’ve always been somewhat good in this regard. But we have goals. And with a mortgage that costs an arm and a leg, it’s going to be great to get every ounce of our paycheck we can. I’m printing some sheets to help record what we spend. And I’m going to keep reminders of my goals hung around my desk space where I spend the most money.
Health. I have a big incentive for kick-starting my health. And it began when we were trying to get pregnant. I need more energy. I need to be healthier, take less stress off my joints. I also need to grow a smaller baby. Workouts and better eating. Eat better and move more.
Nutrition. This one is easy. Just use Real Plans. If you haven’t fallen in love with Real Plans yet, GO CHECK IT OUT. I found an even bigger reason to love them. In addition to being able to control the menu based on diet and preferences, I can also check the tag for BUDGET. One of my goals was to reduce our waste and spending on food. A trip to fast food can easily cost our family 50$. A trip to a restaurant, even for takeout is usually 75$ or more. That means one meal plan blunder and I’ve paid for a whole year of real plans. Ok. Love fest over. I’m back on my real plans. I talk more about it here.
The fun stuff. I have abandoned most projects and groups that I previously participated in. Because frankly, it sucked the life out of me and my photography. I have stayed away from facebook more and more. I have purged my friends list– sorry, it doesn’t mean I hate anyone, it just means I need quieter space. Which has allowed me to take on the things I truly enjoy. And it was ah-mazing in 2017. I’m looking forward to more of it this year.
Documenting. I have fallen in love with recording our family. I rave about Project Life a lot. But this system seriously helped me find my way. I talk about it more here and here. These projects have restored my love of all things photography.
Stocksy. I am still a stock contributor to this amazing place and I didn’t put in as much effort in 2017. And I have all the same excuses you are probably familiar with. I was busy, tired, I moved into a dark house, and I just wasn’t shooting quality work I was thrilled with. But, we do what we make time for. And I have cleared the path to put this on the 2018 schedule.
I’m not going to add it to the action items, but if I am able and the timing works out, I’d love to blog the updates and share the more detailed lists of what needs to be done. Hell, I’d love to show you the finished before and after of my remodeled kitchen, you know, once we actually finish it! hahah. We still have the floor and backsplash to do. And I made an eleventh-hour decision to add another built in to the kitchen. So… the sooner the better! We have seven weeks until baby and I’m nesting something fierce!