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Kick Off 2014

in The Silverware Drawer Year

Can you believe that 2014 is right around the corner? I can’t!

 

With January comes New Year’s Resolutions.  I love resolutions, but in 2013, I opted not to set one.

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I wrote this:

 

This year – for the first time in a long time – I’m not setting a NYR.  Well, I technically am, but my resolution is to stop setting goals.  It’s kind of an oxymoron, I know.  Let me explain.   I have begun to understand that, at this point in my life, it’s not about doing more things more efficiently… it may be about doing less so I can focus on what actually matters.  And – you know – be truly happy.

 

Last year, I wrote about my messy little secret.  For as organized as the rest of my life is (or I try to make it), my silverware drawer is a disaster.  When I unload the dishwasher, I just toss the silverware into the slots randomly.   My friends and family think this quirk is hysterical.  They will open the drawer, searching for a spoon to stir their coffee, and die laughing.  “Seriously, Katie?” they say. “What’s up with your drawer?”

 

I explain that I have never understood why people organize their silverware.  It takes so long and doesn’t actually save you real time when you select your silverware.  I don’t care that my silverware drawer looks like a disaster.  It works for me.  A few weeks ago – it hit me like a lightening bolt.  The secret to greater happiness lies within that damn silverware drawer.

 

I hereby declare this year The Silverware Drawer Year.  I’ve always said that the Type A personality is the best and worst to posses.  If used for good, it can be pretty amazing – you can accomplish a lot, check off goals, and move forward in your career.  But if used for evil, it can trip you up.  The drive for perfectionism is really a double-edged sword.  I’ve reached a tipping point (hardy har har) in my life – for the first time, I think my personality is truly starting to get the best of me.

 

….Here’s to doing less but living more.  May this year be the most fulfilling yet.

 

Specifically, I promised to:

 

  • No longer will I worry about getting this done or that done unless it really, really needs to be completed. 
  • I will not take on any projects that I’m not 100% behind. 
  • I will go to bed instead of doing laundry. 
  • I will not train for races that I don’t have time or energy for; I’ll still exercise and race because I love it, but I’m going to adopt a different attitude about it. 
  • I will take more opportunities to simply rest on the couch while Henry naps. 
  • I will let go of some of my Type A quirks that bring me down, not lift me up. 
  • I will take deep breaths when I start to hyperventilate over my dirty floors because dirty floors really don’t matter in the grand scheme of my life. 
  • I will refuse to panic if an email or phone call is not answered immediately. 
  • I will work to my make business and my husband’s business successful, but I will never work past my breaking point. 
  • The words ‘time management’ will not escape my lips. 
  • I will focus only on the things that matter:  my husband, Henry, my animals, myself, and my family and friends.

 

How did I do?  I think I did pretty well, actually.  Sure, every now and then, a little bit of that Type A personality came through. I’d worry needlessly about this or that, occasionally sign up for stuff that I didn’t really have the time for, or freak out over the state of the house when it didn’t really matter.  But overall – and maybe this is not a shift that is readily apparent on the blog – I took a HUGE STEP BACK from my prior attitude.  I learned to let a lot of stuff go.

 

Here are four concrete changes that I made in my daily life as a result of The Silverware Drawer year:

 

  • I adopted a “one week to answer” rule for my emails. I try to answer time-sensitive emails immediately, but if non-pressing emails sit in my inbox for a while, that’s cool.
  • Once or twice a week, I opt to relax, read, or nap while Henry naps.  It’s glorious.
  • We worked hard at defining “work” and “home” time and have done a great job about drawing a clear line between them.  For example, we refuse to discuss work in bed anymore, which we used to do all the time.
  • I put away my iPhone (and thus my access to all things work) for several long stretches each day so I can focus 100% on Henry.

 

Taking a year to work on “doing less but living more” was truly amazing.  It really helped me reshift my priorities, slow down, and generally be a better worker, wife, and mom.  I feel like I have my head on a bit more straight.

 

For 2014, however, I have some more traditional resolutions that I’d love to tackle.  Here’s how I’m going to go about it:

 

ORGANIZE MY HOUSE.

 

I would love to be more organized. It’d be great to know the location of the screwdriver, extra toothbrushes, and wrapping paper without spending ten minutes tearing apart a closet.  I’d love to open drawers and not be confronted by an overwhelming mess.  It’s be awesome to have a clean closet!  Based on a friend’s recommendation, I signed up for Apartment Therapy’s The January Cure. It’s basically a month’s worth of small projects to clean and tidy up your home.  You can read all the posts here.  I’m excited to get started!

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I am also following Money Saving Mom’s Four Weeks to a More Organized Home.  Some of the tasks of this plan and The January Cure overlap, but some tasks on each plan don’t apply to me, so by combining these plans, I hope the get the most bang for my buck!

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Side note: organization does not apply to my silverware drawer.  That will stay messy. Smile

 

ORGANIZE MY BUDGET.

 

I recently spent a ton of time going over our 2013 taxes (which I’m almost done with – wahoo!) and essentially worked backwards to discover the answer to the most pressing financial question of all time… “WHERE DOES IT ALL GO?”  I highly recommend doing this if you haven’t before, because I was feeling pretty crappy about our finances before I sat down and figured out, well, where it all went.  Because I don’t budget regularly, I “forgot” about that $500 dishwasher, for example. 

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Even though I figured out where a lot of it ‘went,’ there’s still a ton of missing money… basically, stuff we blew on eating out, fun activities, random purchases, and Starbucks. I’m not opposed to fun money, but I’d like to spend less and save more in 2014. Therefore, I’m committing myself to one year of weekly budgeting.  I spent a ton of time creating a massive yearly budget based on last year’s earnings and expenses and am so excited for January 1 to roll around so I can use it!

 

CONTINUE TO RACE.

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I am very excited about my upcoming indoor triathlon (three days!) and my upcoming half marathon (10 weeks or so!).  I would love to do more triathlons when the weather gets warmer. I had a serious case of post-Half Ironman race blues, but now that it’s over, I realize that races really are the best way to keep myself committed.  Do I want to do another Half Ironman in 2014? HECK NO. Hah. I had a blast during the race, but the training was a huge time commitment… I’d like to stick to shorter, more manageable races in 2014.  And – most importantly – I want to have FUN! That’s what it’s all about, anyway. Smile

 

How did you do with your 2013 resolution and what do you want to accomplish next year?

{ 33 comments }

 

Leave a Comment

  • Sara @ LovingOnTheRun December 28, 2013, 2:43 pm

    Sounds like you have some great plans for the year ahead! I am looking forward to 2014 – we have a lot of changes coming but I have high hopes!

    Reply
  • Cat December 28, 2013, 2:55 pm

    I must say I really love your attitude to NY resolutions – I too suffer/benefit from the Type A personality and your tips from last year (especially the ‘time management’ one!) are definitely the kind I would like to live by. Wishing you a happy new year!

    Reply
  • ann December 28, 2013, 4:14 pm

    I have done ok with 2013 resolutions. Mine was to stress less and play more with my children, be more present with them everyday. They are 18 months and 3 1/2 and we have enjoyed ourselves.

    But for 2014 I have 4 goals, continue our path from 2013, organize the house, make and keep to the budget all year, I would like to save someoney and turn the key to my healthy lifestyle. No diets, no gimmicks. I know how to eat well and exercise and relax, so I am going to make it work. I love myself, my hubby and my kids, I can do this :). Started early, today :) I have 130 pounds to lose and I know it will.take time, but that is ok. 1 healthy decision and 1 healthy day leads to a better life for us all. Smiling.

    Reply
    • Caitlin December 28, 2013, 4:45 pm

      Awesome!!! Your comment inspires me!

      Reply
      • ann December 28, 2013, 10:41 pm

        Thanks so much, you inspire me with your positive outlook and the topics you bring to your blog.

        Reply
  • Leila Dishes December 28, 2013, 5:53 pm

    Seriously, where does it all go?! I need to be much better about budgeting. Both money and time!

    Reply
  • Jessica B. December 28, 2013, 6:24 pm

    Thanks for sharing the January Cure! I checked it out and definitely want to try it next month. Maybe you could do a weekly post of how it is going for you? Or share your thoughts at the end?

    Reply
    • Caitlin December 28, 2013, 6:59 pm

      Sure!!

      Reply
  • Runner Girl Eats December 28, 2013, 7:44 pm

    My biggest goal/resolution is to save money. I waste sooo much money on eating out, clothes, etc. I’d much rather have that money in my bank account!

    Reply
  • Laura @ SneakersandSpatulas December 28, 2013, 8:04 pm

    I don’t typically do resolutions-I feel it’s to easy to come up with all these things to change and then not do them. It’s funny you posted about organizing though. I was just thinking today how a lot of drawers and cabinets are out of control and I’m planning to get them organized in January!

    For budgeting, I struggle with how much to allot for fun stuff vs. saving. Would you feel comfortable sharing what you allotted for groceries, date nights, fun stuff, etc?

    http://www.sneakersandspatulas.com/2013/12/28/snowboarding-at-holiday-valley/

    Reply
    • Maria December 28, 2013, 8:36 pm

      Yes, I would also love to hear some of your budgeting tips, if you are so inclined to share.

      I don’t even think I set goals last year out of pure laziness and not knowing where to even start to make the changes I wanted to make. This year, on the other hand, I am ready for a full overhaul. I need to sit down and prioritize. Seriously, if someone asks me what I want to change this up coming year my answer would be everything-and I don’t even know where to start-how embarrassing!

      Reply
  • brittnie (A Joy Renewed) December 29, 2013, 7:46 am

    I had a long list of goals for 2013, a lot of which I kept up pretty well (cooking a new recipe once a week, scripture memory, computer clean up, etc). And while there are several things I have in mind for 2014, my goal is going to be survival & to slow down and enjoy life’s little moments. I have an almost 20 month old who was diagnosed this year with Cohen Syndrome (she is developmentally delayed, doesn’t walk, not babbling, etc) and I am due with another baby Jan 21. My oldest will have 5 therapy appointments/week come Jan, and so with all that plus a newborn, I need to scale back my expectations for this New Year. I am very Type A so this will be hard, but I really want to let some things go and just ENJOY my girls. :)

    Reply
  • Katie @ Talk Less, Say More December 29, 2013, 9:05 am

    I’m trying to work on that whole budgeting thing. I’m really good about tracking my expenses on a weekly/monthly basis by dividing into categories so I feel like I know where my money is going, but I think it’s time to make an official budget…

    Reply
  • jen December 29, 2013, 11:08 am

    my sister and I don’t do resolutions, we pick a word to live by for that year…while I was in church this morning my 2014 word popped into my head…”pause”. this year I will take time to pause, whether it is playing with my beautiful 5 month old daughter (just stopping to appreciate everything about her, from her laugh to how she feels in my arms, it changes so fast, and I want to remember what she feels like), or when I am with my best friend, about to say something rather negative about an annoying co-worker (isn’t my time better spent focusing on my work, so I can get home to my wonderful family instead of spreading negativity?”, or that moment when my husband and I sit down for an episode of jeopardy (I love our old people habits). this year I will NOT wish away time (counting the days till summer vacation, or the weekend, or when I can go to bed), because I will pause more frequently to appreciate the joys I have in my everyday life (my family, my kindergarten class, the snow falling, the milestones I will make as I get back into my pre-pregnancy fitness life). 2014 will be a wonderful year I just know it!

    Reply
    • Kelly December 29, 2013, 1:12 pm

      I also do a yearly word! I love yours and your idea. This year mine is “open”. This encompasses all of my goals this year – open my mind to new opportunities (I’m on the job market and that will require relocation for me), open my mind to new thoughts (less negative about co-workers, similar to what you said), open my body to more healthy choices (better food choices, less alcohol, more yoga… open hips!), etc.

      Reply
      • Grace December 30, 2013, 1:37 pm

        Hip alignment…so important :) Love this yearly word idea.

        Reply
  • Stephanie December 29, 2013, 2:05 pm

    I also signed up for the Apartment Therapy’s January Cure and look forward to what they will offer. I’m also looking to organize my house and get my finances in better shape.

    I’m more of a New Years goals gal. I have a bunch of goals for this year, but most importantly, I do believe they’re all doable. Some are small, some are bigger, and some are in the middle. I think it’s good to have a variety so you can feel as though you accomplish something constantly.

    Inspired by you, and on the road to health after a year full of injuries, I hope to try a triathlon this year!

    Reply
  • Katie December 29, 2013, 2:25 pm

    I would love to hear about your budgeting, if you feel comfortable sharing… I am a big new years resolution person. This year I’m focusing on the word “peace” as well as training for my first triathlon!

    Reply
  • Laura December 29, 2013, 2:29 pm

    Hi Caitlin great post! Will you be doing a January Joiners feature for 2014?

    Reply
    • Caitlin December 29, 2013, 3:03 pm

      Of course!!!

      Reply
      • Samantha December 30, 2013, 10:53 am

        Awesome!! I chickened out and didn’t send my January Joiners email to you last year…I would love to participate this time around.

        Reply
  • Ashley @ Saving Money in your Twenties December 29, 2013, 3:24 pm

    Love your resolution to budget- I’m a big believer in doing that! Even if you don’t want to “budget”, per se, you could at least make a resolution to track your money (using a free service like mint.com, for example). That way you can see where your money is going- you’d be surprised at how eye opening that is ;)

    I didn’t make any 2013 resolutions. I might adopt your resolution from last year to put away your phone for a few hours at a time- I’ve done that a few times and I’m shocked at how freeing it is!

    Reply
  • laine December 29, 2013, 5:36 pm

    An organized home is an amazing thing. I have recently done under my sink – and even put a stick-on closet light under there so I can see things, my tupperware (heavenly!), some closets (those stick-on 3M hooks are a miracle), my junk drawer (now called my Efficiency Drawer) and a bunch of bookshelves. I found in the process that I could get rid of a bunch of stuff, too. Looking for something and having it be in its right place is such a joy (and you prevent the whole “crap I can’t find xyz might as well go buy another one” problem.)

    My word for 2013 was “create” which I definitely did. I wrote more, sewed more, created new friendships and built my business.

    Happy organizing and happy new year!

    Reply
  • ashley December 29, 2013, 5:41 pm

    My sister in law and her husband (8 months pregnant with first baby) have had a montly budget that includes a budget of fun money for each person for about 2 years. It can be for food, coffee, shoes, video games etc for each other or things together. However, when its gone that is it. They both have access to their mint app/account so they both hold each other accountable. It seems to work great.

    Reply
  • rysa December 29, 2013, 10:40 pm

    I love your home organization tool and the idea of weekly budgeting! My husband and I between the two of us have 13 years of college student loans to pay off, a car payment, a couple big vacations planned this year, and small credit card debt….Fortunately we are making 6 figures a year, however we still find ourselves having to say ok – we need to watch out spending a little because payments are coming soon… and I can’t help but wonder WHERE THE HECK DOES IT ALL GO?!!!

    Reply
  • Anne December 30, 2013, 12:36 am

    I did the January Cure last year and loved it! All signed up again for this year!

    Reply
  • Joy December 30, 2013, 8:58 am

    For anyone, but especially those Type A’s, using Quicken would really help with the budget. My husband and I have been tracking our spending (every dollar!) for years and it’s so helpful to see where we spend money. It all adds up so quickly and knowing where we should trim or can expand for the following year is awesome. At first it seems like a pain to input every dollar you spend, but over time it becomes habit and I can’t imagine not knowing where I spend my money.

    I did pretty good with my 2013 goals, although my fitness goals were derailed by injury (yet again! Argh!). I love your Organize Your House resolution. I need to do that as well!

    Reply
  • Grace December 30, 2013, 1:22 pm

    For 2014 (and the rest of my life actually) I’m working on saying “No” to social situations that drain me and people that are negative. I’ve realized that I’m an introvert and that’s totally okay. I’m an outgoing person, but ultimately being alone and enjoying my solitude is what revitalizes me. I’m not going to feel guilty about skipping parties or enjoying a night away from my husband. I appreciate my friends and family so much more when I have enough me time.

    Reply
  • Sarah December 30, 2013, 2:24 pm

    I think it’s interesting that, from a 30,000 foot view, your resolutions for ’14 are the opposite of ’13. From completely-let-everything-go to organize-everything! The pendulum totally swings back and forth for me too, just not on a full year scale… mine is usually a few weeks at at time. I like seeing the critical nuggets that you pulled from ’13 and I’m intrigued to see what you get from next year. Maybe by ’15 you’ll have discovered the perfect balance!

    Reply
    • Caitlin December 30, 2013, 2:27 pm

      haha MAYBE but I doubt it!!!

      Reply
  • Jennie December 30, 2013, 3:40 pm

    I wish I could wait a week to answer emails! I would never get away with that at my job. Good luck with 2014!

    Reply
  • Kenzie *Chocholistic* December 30, 2013, 4:35 pm

    Hey Caitlin! I used to blog along side you back when I wrote A Healthy Purpose and funny to have found you again! Love all these life hacks – esp. the monster spray :)

    For 2014, I am all about focusing on the big dreams and really WORKING to make things happen profressionally and personally – no more half-fast efforts. (a little hard love I guess!)

    Reply
  • Holly January 5, 2014, 10:45 am

    On a silverware note, I love yours! My sister has the half circle style and we have the other style, great minds think alike!

    Reply