2019 is here, and so are the new Words of the Year! Maybe it’s just the people I follow on Instagram, or my particular social circle, but instead of resolutions it seems that everyone has a word of the year. Resolutions are out and mantras are in. And I’m totally on board. Last year our word of the year was “Intent” and let me tell you – we had some great intentions.
Like seriously. So good.
I mean. We didn’t really do much with them. But they were great, and they looked great written out on the white board in our office.
Last Year’s Word of the Year Fail
2018 was largely a good year for us, but we spent a lot of year reacting to life, instead of getting ahead of it. Our year of intent looked a lot more like our year of “whoops, forgot to do that” or “We kinda sorta got close?” Moving into 2019 I thought really hard about why the heck we bombed on so many of our white-board-worthy goals.
We didn’t make time for our resolutions
That’s a huge part of the reason we left so many items on our life to-do list unchecked. We wrote these things down and then walked away. We let the boring details of life (or Netflix) take over, and didn’t stop to make time for the things that we knew were probably good for us.
We didn’t carve out time on Sunday to meal prep because that’s just not super fun. Most likely it would have made our week run a bit smoother, and reduced our overall stress on daily basis – but who wants that? So much easier to turn on the TV on Sunday night and “deal with it later”.
In case you are wondering – “dealing with it later” was a terrible strategy and I’m guessing was the root cause of nearly every single dinner time meltdown (me, not the kids). Turns out that strategy sucks.
We did meet our travel goals in 2018, including the Grand Canyon, Capitol Reef, and Shenandoah National Park. Breaking news! When you plan ahead and make the time for it – you do it. We planned ahead at the beginning of the year, set aside those vacation weeks and it happened. That strategy was much better.
We didn’t set defined, actionable goals
In 2017, we embarked on a Year of Adventure, and it was an amazing success. In large part because we set a very specific goal for ourselves. Visit 100 parks in a year. And we did it, because we knew exactly how to achieve it. I had a list of places I wanted to visit each month, a list of goal places and when to go there. It was clear and defined.
2018 Goals included:
- Family Walks after dinner – Never put those into the schedule so sometimes we did it, often we didn’t.
- Meal Prep every week – What day of the week? When I feel like it or….?
- Better budget system for Megan – Great idea, zero definable ways to achieve it.
- Spend time with friends and family – When? How Often? Who sets it up?
- Many others that died a sad death – because we either didn’t define the goal or never made time for it.
So this year, we’re aiming to fix these problems and getting really intentional and deliberate about the things we want for the year. We’re keeping the white board list, with a few changes. Our word of 2019 is more of theme, because we clearly need more help than just one word.
2019 Theme of the Year
Make Time for It
Our “Make Time For It” List
This year, like usual, we’ve made a list of our goals, resolutions, places we want to travel, and things we’d like to do. Except this year, we’re getting super specific and planning the year in advance (as much as possible).
So our list includes things like:
- Complete 52 Hike Challenge
- Hike the Plain of Six Glaciers in Banff National Park
- Watch the sunrise on Cadillac Mountain in Acadia National Park
- Teach Olivia to ride a bike in April
- Sign kids up for swim classes when spring registration opens at the community center
- Update blog once a week, post on Monday
- Organize a social gathering once a month – Set Google Calendar reminder at the beginning of each month
- Book campsites in February for summer camping in July
Making time for a weekly meeting
When I was growing up my parents enforced family meetings every week. We covered things like new business, who needed lunch money, and the ever infamous category – Airing of Grievances. I have vivid memories of this portion of the meeting. It’s exactly what it sounds like, and it went exactly as well as you’d expect.
Fun fact – we still have family meetings. Thankfully the airing of grievances portion is a little less enthusiastic. Yep. I conference call with my parents and sisters and it’s the best.
So of course I’ve continued this tradition into my own family. We don’t include the kids yet, but we are committing to a family meeting every Sunday. No matter what. This year we are stepping up our game and setting an agenda for our meetings. This way we can discuss not just the schedule, but plan out our goals for the week and put it all in our shared Google Calendar.
Here’s what’s on our weekly meeting agenda:
- Basic schedule for the week – School, work, special events
- Priorities for the week – things like getting the oil changed or tax filing deadlines. We set a time block to do it and assign responsibility.
- Exercise – We’re putting our workouts on the calendar at the beginning of the week. We make sure each of us gets 3 workouts a week, plus plan something physical as a family. Usually for us this is a hike.
- Time for Grocery Shopping, Meal Planning, and Meal Prep – We finally realized we just needed to actually schedule time for this, because it actually takes a chunk of time and “winging it” was a disaster.
- Quality Time – We’re putting time as a family, time as couple, time alone (sometimes this is our workouts), and time with friends on the calendar. This reminds us to just set it in stone, or else these things tend to get shoved aside.
- Budget and Expenditures – This is where we have the most room for improvement. Turns out that spending blindly and only sort of half discussing it isn’t the most effective money management strategy. We’re definitely trying to be more proactive instead of reactive here. So we’re committing to at least discussing the upcoming expenses every week and reviewing how we did in the past week. May the odds be ever in our favor…
Final thoughts on our 2018 Year of “Intent”
In all honesty, 2018 was a great year. We traveled, we spent time together, we met our savings goals, and had a lot of fun in general. So we (Jake and I) aren’t totally hating on 2018.
We can do better. We can be healthier, happier, and more balanced. So we’re going to be more proactive this year and just freaking Make the Time for the things that bring us joy, health, and balance.