Thursday, December 31, 2009

Happy New Years!! A few hours early;-)

Hello to all. I'm excited to hear what the New Year will bring you and what your goals and dreams are.

I was looking back to my set of goals, which I created October 5 as follows.

Monday, October 5, 2009
Nightly update - only 364 more to go;-)
So the goals are set, hopefully some of you are joining in spirit or letter. I will tackle each of these at least a tiny bit each day for the year. This nightly update is just to keep myself honest. I'm not sure how much help it will be to others. The only times I won't update are when I'm at my parents' computer free household.

1. Make my already happy marriage even stronger. I called my husband today to ask if there was anything I could do today to make his life easier or better in any way. And I told him he would be getting 364 more such calls. His answer made this one rather easy. He just wanted to be able to come home and eat dinner tonight and chat. Usually he's met at the door with kids anxious to play football, a wife asking among other things if he's put salt in the water softener lately, a pile of mail, and often leftovers that need to be reheated if he's running late.

2. Enjoy my kids more, be there in the moment with them, and nurture their individual development. Tonight that meant watching part of a video on Patton (from a PBS special) as my older son is way into WWII, moving on from the French Revolution and knights. I took my younger son to toss rocks into a pond even though I was running late as I know this is one of his favorite activities.

3. Get my book published. Much of the material in the posts here on my blog will hopefully be reworked into a book format so I consider each day's posting a step in the right direction. I also emailed a friend who is a published author for tips on selling a book idea to a publisher.

4. Have my business producing a profitable product. In these early stages it's an educational nightlight of sorts. I tracked down a mentor program here in WI that has retired executives and entrepreneurs who will help you look at a business idea. I plan to set up a meeting for next week once I go through some basic business plan questions.

5. Spiritual/friend/extended family/community - sort of a catchall here. Just to be a better person and to laugh more and to help others more. Oddly enough, I found myself laughing rather hard at Patton's post WWII speech. An aside, this is the fourth of a set of PBS videos that I got for a song (50 cents) that Kirk and I have watched. What is really interesting is how many of these great generals died within a very short time of the war ending. It make me think of Viktor Frankl's book, Man's Search for Meaning. In it he discusses his experiences as a concentration camp survivor and his theory that those who survived the horrors often had a big goal, a dream, a duty that they had not yet accomplished and this kept them alive. And I wondered if these great generals fell in to that camp and that once they had seen America safely to the other side, they were ready to go on?

6. FI - make big strides toward. Today, looked at options as our Money program is about to no longer be available. Posted on a forum for advice and Quicken got good reviews.

7. Finish Main Garden - By this I mean the great wilderness that still exists of two of the four sides of the acre of gardens. The five acres of woods will remain wild, but I would like a more polished, groomed (if a cottage garden can so be) in the back yard area. Today I planted my bargain $4.99 clearance lilac bush along the lot line.

8. Health/beauty. Would like to be healthier, a bit more stylish, and put more of an effort into my daily appearance. One goal is to eat five servings of fruits and vegetables each day and I made some strides today dumping in an entire packet of frozen peas into the tuna casserole and having unsweetened peaches for dessert. Probably more level of detail than any other person could ever want to know, but as I say, this section is just to keep myself honest;-).

So 364 more updates and hopefully a better person to emerge 364 days from now;-).


I'm quite pleased at my progress. There have been some changes. My business has taken on much more focus and the book on frugality has now been shelved for a book written by me or another to accompany the historic action figure toys. Looking over the list, the three areas I've made the most progress are the business, being more in the moment with the kids (though I still struggle here), and our finances (though I must acknowledge that is more due to Greg's good thoughts on investing than my being as diligent as I could on savings).

Going forward into the New Year, I'm recommitting to these goals - we have less than 300 days to go from the initial start date!

1. Marriage - Continue to strengthen my marriage. Action steps: Be appreciative of all of Greg's great qualities, try to do at least three acts of love/kindness each day to let him know how much I appreciate him.
2. Parenting - Continue to work to enjoy the kids, their individual personalities, and to really listen to them rather than talk at them. Action step: Spend two hours each day 100 percent focused on them, in the moment, and encouraging. No email, phone calls, t.v. during this time. (We'll obviously be together more time than this, but two hours will truly be theirs)
3. Business - Produce income this year with our action figure/book sets. Action steps - Finalize writing decisions, manufacturing decisions, web site development, etc.
4. Books - Have first trilogy published by July 1, 2010. Action steps - contact potential authors, finish my outline, contact agents, publishers, etc.
5. Increase our net worth by 25 percent. Action steps: Stick to a budget in 2010, increase our income, decrease our expenses.
6. Spirit/catchall - Find joy in each day. Share joy each day. Develop as a human being. Be a good friend, daughter, daughter in law, sister, etc. Action steps: Continue to "feed" myself with positive thoughts, stay in touch with family and friends, take the improvisation class I signed up for, continue my support of Room to Read and Women for women. Follow a vegan diet at least 80 percent of each day.
7. Garden - Have an open house this June where at least 30 people enjoy the gardens. Action steps - coordinate this with my neighbors - it will be a neighborhood garden walk.
8. Health/beauty - Be healthy, look and feel beautiful in my own eyes each day. Action steps - Train with my friend Petra the next 10 weeks, commit to yoga for posture and flexibility at least three times a week on the fit channel television show. Achieve 127 pound weight within about 15 weeks, which would be mid April. I'm 142 lbs. now. Keep my food diary on Self magazine's website, restarted my profile today and eat an average of 2000 calories a day/vegan.
9. House - Keep the house tidy and organized - always a struggle here - at least the downstairs. Action step: Follow fly lady at least 4 days a week and recommit to finding five items to donate/toss each day, for a total of 1825 items out the door this year.
10. Business vocabulary - Expand my business acumen. Action steps - learn at least 730 new terms.

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