11 in 2011. December edition, and wrap-up.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

{image from Dani @ Hard Corps Love}

Whoa.  It's December.  That means it was 12 months ago that I sat down and made goals for 2011, and began keeping myself accountable month by month.  Whoa.  How in the world does time fly by that quickly?  On one hand, it feels like that was eons ago, and on the other hand, it feels like just yesterday!  

Well, seeing as it's December, and the last month of 2011, I thought I would wrap-up my 11 in 2011, and look back over the span of the year, rather than just the last month.  Here goes nothing...

1. Read 12 new books: I had to go back and look at the books I kept track of reading, ha ha!  My count  was 8 (unless you count children's books, and then I've read thousands!) - mostly fiction, but 3 non-fiction thrown in there.  I am proud that I made time to read those 8 books (because some months, it was seriously hard to find time!) and overall, it reminded me that I absolutely LOVE to read.  Two favorite books of 2011: The Power of Praying Wife & Her Mother's Hope.

2. Try 2 new recipes each month: This ended up being very easy for me - I was always excited to find new recipes to cook/bake for Max and the kids.  I had a lot of fun not only looking up recipes, but trying them all out.  Favorites of 2011: Peach Crisp with Maple Cream drizzle, Mocha Mystery, Pumpkin Caramel Pecan Coffeecake, Honey Curry Chicken, Cheesy Cauliflower Ham Bake

3. Lose the 'baby house' weight: Overall, this goal did not get met.  I would like to blame Max coming home and requesting dessert every night, for the weight GAIN that has occurred, but the reality is that I am the only person responsible for taking care of my body!  I KNOW what it takes to eat healthy and get moving, and I just need to put that knowledge into action!  

4. Read (at least) one chapter in the Bible every day: I think this goal has been the most humbling goal I've had - mostly because every month it has stared me in the face, and reminded me that I have not been putting my actions where my talk and my desire has been.  I talk about wanting to read my Bible, to get in the Word of God, and I think about doing it.  But so often, it is something that gets pushed to the side and is not something I make time for.  The worst part is that I know how much I desperately need to make time to meet with God, to spend time soaking up the promises He has given me.  I made this goal, not wanting to have to fill some Bible quota everyday, but rather, to just be still with God and meditate on His word.  This is one goal that I did not do very well on, and am eager to learn from the challenges of 2011, and improve on in the coming days, months, and years.

5. Tell my babes I love them every.single.day: When I wrote this goal, I must have thought I was mute or something, because seriously, this was so easy, and I found that when I stopped and listened to myself, I heard this out of my mouth a LOT every day!  

6. Grow something green: My record for keeping green things alive, before this year, was not a very good one.  I don't need to re-hash the details of 8 cactus or anything, but let's just say I killed way more plants than I ever kept alive.  Until this year, which I am SO excited about and proud of!  I planted seeds this spring, as well as a few different flowering plants - and they all grew and were healthy all year long!  And my Grandma gifted us a houseplant, which we've recently had to relocate into a bigger pot because it is growing and doing wonderful!  Oh!  And our poinsettia that we bought a few weeks ago is also still alive!  My confidence has improved greatly with plants, and I am eagerly awaiting spring, just so I can plant more pretty things!

7.  Get outside and walk every day: The results of this goal fluctuated as the year went on.  At the beginning of the year, I did not do so well at getting out every day.  Once we got Lucy, we often got out for a walk not only once, but sometimes twice a day!  In the last few weeks, however, due to a deflated stroller tire and chillier temperatures (don't laugh at me, MN friends!), it's only been a few times a week that we have been getting outside.  That's still better than nothing though, right?!

8. Use less. Conserve more: My ultimate dream for this goal was to start composting, which we DID start back in March.  I also worked a lot on using less plastic bags, and more re-usable containers for food/trinkets/miscellaneous things.  I spent time researching ways to make a lot of our own household products (detergent, baby wipes, cleaning products), as well as recycling or tweaking items we already had and using them for new purposes.  I feel good about this goal, although I will be honest and say the one thing I needed to (and still need to!) work on was my water use.

9. Take more pictures. Capture everyday moments. Record more video:  Goal #9 was born out of a desire to capture more memories and more of the simple, everyday events that happen in our lives.  Some months were better than others, but overall, I feel that I have pulled out the camera (for pictures AND for videos) much more than I would have used to, and we have a lot of memories captured.  I think my favorite thing about this goal is that I didn't just try to record the big events, but I really worked at documenting the everyday, "small" things, and I feel that although I still have much room for improvement, I have done a decent job at this.

10.  Spend less. Save more: "Evaluate what we really need versus what we want" - that was the main idea behind this goal, and although we didn't always spend less or save more every month, I do feel that we have done a good job at evaluating what we need vs what we want.  I can see the improvements that we have made as a husband and wife, as we sit down each month to go over our budget (Max calls this day 'Fight Night', ha ha ha!) and really look at what we need versus want.  It HAS been hard to save more when there isn't much left to save after the basics are taken care of, but overall, I feel that we have worked on foundational money management principles that will help us as we move forward, and in that regard, I am quite pleased.

11. Be more intentional: I know this is a very vague goal, and I knew that when I created it, but if I could put 2011 into one word, it would be intentionality.  I wanted to learn to be more intentional in my relationships, in my conversations, in our finances, with my time.  This goal is hard to measure, because there is no definitive way to see how "good" I did, and because really, it's quite personal, as I am the one who defines what being intentional looks like for me. I feel that I still have a lot to achieve in the realm of intentionality, but at the same time, I know I have become more aware of what it takes for me to be intentional, and how I can work on those things.  So, to keep it vague, I have no clear marker or example or cute story, but I do feel that I have learned a lot about what it looks like to be intentional.

When I sat down and wrote out my goals, I talked about how I like writing goals, and that it is good for me to have something to strive for.  So true.  Doing the 11 in 2011 wasn't meant to impress anybody or to provide a good read or laugh, but was simply meant to make goals that I kept myself accountable to.  Some of the goals were harder to work on than others, and some I accomplished more than others, but as a whole, I am proud of myself for what I learned along the way, and for the little changes I have seen in myself throughout the year.  There have been ups and downs, challenges and struggles, tears and laughter, but 2011 has been a good year and has taught me a lot about what it means to be a wife and mama.  I know I am a different (hopefully better!) woman than I was 12 months ago, and to me, that is the true measure of success in my 11 in 2011 goals.

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  1. And you had goals instead of living day by day just living, ya know?
    This is what my husband and I were discussing last night about making some long term and short terms goals for life.
    I may have to document it this upcoming year as well because it does keep one accountable.

  2. I love goal accountability. Some successes and some failures but being accountable it key.



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