Setting Goals for 2016

2016 Intentions

There is something magical about the clock striking midnight on December 31st that adds a luster of possibility to life. No matter what we’ve got going on, we get an almost free pass to make a fresh start, and reset our lives to be what we really want them to be. It can be hard to carry that momentum forward past the first few weeks of the year though, once every day life just becomes every day life once again.

As a nearly compulsive list maker, I thought I would share the goals I’ve set for the coming year so that I can be accountable to them, and maybe get you thinking about some of the things you’d like to focus on in the year ahead. I’ve lumped several small items together under larger “umbrella goals” because that’s just the way life works I think – each thing we want to do has multiple component parts. Having high level goals with granular to do lists underneath them not only shows you what you want to achieve, but the steps you need to actually take to make it happen – and that’s the key to ensuring you can actually accomplish the things you want to. So, without further ado, my list for 2016.

  • Build Community
    • Regular volunteering with Woodstock Jaycees
    • Monthly donations to the Woodstock Food Pantry
    • Teach food preservation courses locally
    • Take skills development classes
      • Already enrolled in a class on mushroom hunting and cooking
      • Already enrolled in a class on foraging
      • Already enrolled in food safety certification
      • Enroll in a first aid and CPR class
  • Write
    • Regular blog posts here on Little House in an Old Town
      • At least three times per week
    • Regular social media engagement on Facebook and Pinterest
    • Continue to pursue paid writing engagements
    • Continue blogging for Mother Earth Living (see all of my current articles here)
  • Home Projects
    • Finish the living room shiplap paneling
    • Paint the kitchen and dining room
    • Upgrade the kitchen cabinet hardware
    • Install rain barrels
    • Build additional storage shelves in the basement
    • Build a lean-to greenhouse
  • Family Engagement
    • Have family game night one night per week
    • Do a craft or cooking project as a family once per week
    • Have dinner at the dining table at least four times per week
  • Personal Development
    • Make some of my own clothing
      • Sew a pair of pants
      • Sew a blouse
      • Make some infinity scarves
      • Learn how to knit socks
    • Learn how to use the pressure canner
    • Start doing yoga regularly again

So that’s the list! Seems ambitious, but really for me 2016 is all about finding balance again. With a job that’s a job and an excessively long commute, it’s all to easy to come home from work every day, put in some family time, and zone out in front of the television. And while there’s a time and place for that occasionally, making that the regular routine just seems to fuel the exhaustion and lack of motivation. I’ve found that if I’m actually engaging in things – especially the community development stuff – that is the fuel I need in order to be productive and feel fulfilled. 2015 had lots of ups and downs (as most years do) but lack of fulfillment was a big one. I have a wonderful family and home life, don’t get me wrong, but personally speaking 2015 was the mid life crisis year. I’ll just put that out there right now, because I’m not ashamed of it one bit, and now I’m moving on from it. I had lots of indecision and mental anguish about “what do I want to be when I grow up” and how to reconcile my heart’s desires with the fact that I have a family to provide for, one that I’m the primary breadwinner for.

I’m not saying I’ve figured it all out, but I did just wake up one day and say enough. I’ll trade some of that mindless television time for writing, volunteering, teaching, learning – and you know what? It’s made the working for a living bit a lot easier to cope with. I feel like I’m getting to the point where I can have the best of both worlds. So with that, here’s to a happy, healthy, contented and fulfilled 2016 for all of you! Happy New Year!