I had 3 goals last year. I wanted to keep it simple and doable. Two of the three I accomplished and I feel good about the effort and the focus. The last goal, daily family scripture study, was done pretty well until the last quarter of the year, where we only managed it once a week or so. Experts say putting a daily on a resolution is a sure-fire way to fail, but we had more days together reading in 2017 than not, so I am still feeling happy about that one as well.
This New Year, I am thinking out of my traditional resolution box. Partly, because of The Power of Habit, which I posted about in my last post, has helped me create routines and habits for all the major resolutions like diet, exercise or scripture study. I am still striving in many areas, but the process of developing these positive habits has changed my life.
I mentioned my left brained tendencies in the last post, where I like to create and have projects. I always have a million ideas and start a few and finish some. As I try to have less and less stuff in my house and closets I started thinking about some of these projects lingering, waiting to be finished and some never even started. When my children, who were at my house on New Year’s Eve, asked what my resolutions were, I told them the above explanation about projects not completed or even started. I told them I was picking twelve different tasks I had always wanted to do, or start, or finish. I was giving myself a whole luxurious month to focus and complete each one and those were my resolutions. My son Chase, said, “Put this on your blog. Then you will be more accountable!” Scary! Nooooooo!
I have taken a deep breath and thought, “Sure, why not? If it can motivate someone else like it is motivating me then it will have served its purpose.” I have deeply thought about my 12 Procrastinated Pursuits, but that sounded too negative to me, so I inserted the word, “Postponed” Pursuits, but then I looked up the antonym, or the opposite of procrastinate and found this below on englishstackexchange.com:
So you can say the opposite of procrastination is anticipation.
If you can live with more than one word, a clearer antonym of procrastination is being proactive. Being proactive doesn’t carry the extraneous associations that anticipation might for some people.”
Wow! Proactive sounds so much better than procrastinate or postpone. And I love the nod to Stephen Covey with his energetic and positive outlook on life. I am not trying to dress up a pig, I just want a more powerful, positive word that doesn’t remind me of my past failings. I have spun this idea around and around in my head and came up with this list of 12 Proactive Pursuits to clear out my house and mind for 2018:
- I have a serger that I got for Christmas, 6 years ago! I have never opened it or taken it out of the box. It was a thoughtful present, because I sewed so much in my 20’s and 30’s and sewing was a super creative outlet for me. But clothes have gotten cheaper and the thought of actually making something with everything else going on in my life seems ridiculous. Yet, I can’t part with it so I am going forward.
- I have always wanted to learn how to make Thai food.
3. I want to plant David Austen Roses in my yard.
4. I have a 12 generational genealogical fan chart that is half filled out from two years ago that needs finishing and framing.
5. I want to find an amazing salsa recipe. I want to make it and can it as a family project. That has been an intention that blew by me last summer.
6. I was into making jewelry 15 years ago and still have all the stuff. I would like to make some things for gifts and repair some of my own jewelry.
7. I have never had a plan for my garden. I have planted willy-nilly hoping for the best. I would like to have a plan for my garden this year.
8. I have many lavender plants in my yard and I have two years of their harvest tucked away. I would like to make lavender candles. It can’t be too hard, right?
9. I am too practical not to have a “revitalize my emergency prep and home storage” month.
10. We remodeled a house in 2013 and moved into it in January of 2014. I have been meaning to make a photo book of the before and after pictures.
11. I have bought two “healthy” cookbooks and want to master some recipes out of them.
12. I want to try the new website, “You Need A Budget” at youneedabudget.com. I do need a budget.
These projects are always on the edge of my peripheral vision, as I come across them stored in closets and tucked sadly away in drawers or under beds. I cling to stuff because of money I have spent or time I have already invested. I have too much of my Depression-Era Grandmother in me to be wasteful. So this is the year. Either I figure it out or get rid of it. I love President Hinckley’s words on this:
“Our pioneer forebears lived by the adage “Fix it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without.”
I have also been on a kick to buck the marketing assault aimed at every one of us and have tried, “shopping at my house.” When I need something, I hunt for it, to “make it do” and try not to automatically make a trip to the store or to go on Amazon. All of these projects are “homemaking” projects, which seems to be getting a little more respect these days, but also another reason I haven’t gotten to them. Nice to do, but not necessary. I can buy salsa, right? Actually, no. Not the kind that changes your life.
I bought some homemade salsa from a woman this year that she was selling at a Christmas Market in Provo and it blew my mind. I tasted summer and outdoor BBQ’s and game nights. She told me that she used three kinds of tomatoes from her garden and had perfected the recipe after 5 years. When I tasted her sample I bought ten pints and then went back later and bought twenty more at her house for Christmas gifts. I couldn’t believe she was willing to part with it! I gave 22 pints away and have kept the rest up in my closet as my own secret stash. It is that good!
There are my 12 Proactive Pursuits. I don’t know what order I will put them in, I will have more explaining and clarifying as I get to each month— I will need some structure with some freedom or I will have already doomed the journey. I am excited about this year. It will be a relief to move through all of these projects/intentions I have been having, to revitalize some skills, and to include my adult children. I want to remind them that we don’t have to go to the store or online for everything, that homemade usually tastes better and is cheaper, and when you
“Chop your own wood and it will warm you twice”.