Can you believe that 2014 is right around the corner? I canâ€™t!
With January comes New Yearâ€™s Resolutions. I love resolutions, but in 2013, I opted not to set one.
This year â€“ for the first time in a long time â€“ Iâ€™m not setting a NYR. Well, I technically am, but my resolution is to stop setting goals. Itâ€™s kind of an oxymoron, I know. Let me explain. I have begun to understand that, at this point in my life, itâ€™s not about doing more things more efficientlyâ€¦ it may be about doing less so I can focus on what actually matters. And â€“ you know â€“ 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. â€œSeriously, Katie?â€ they say. â€œWhatâ€™s up with your drawer?â€
I explain that I have never understood why people organize their silverware. It takes so long and doesnâ€™t actually save you real time when you select your silverware. I donâ€™t care that my silverware drawer looks like a disaster. It works for me. A few weeks ago â€“ 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. Iâ€™ve always said that the Type A personality is the best and worst to posses. If used for good, it can be pretty amazing â€“ 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. Iâ€™ve reached a tipping point (hardy har har) in my life â€“ for the first time, I think my personality is truly starting to get the best of me.
â€¦.Hereâ€™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 Iâ€™m not 100% behind.
- I will go to bed instead of doing laundry.
- I will not train for races that I donâ€™t have time or energy for; Iâ€™ll still exercise and race because I love it, but Iâ€™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 donâ€™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 husbandâ€™s business successful, but I will never work past my breaking point.
- The words â€˜time managementâ€™ 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. Iâ€™d worry needlessly about this or that, occasionally sign up for stuff that I didnâ€™t really have the time for, or freak out over the state of the house when it didnâ€™t really matter. But overall â€“ and maybe this is not a shift that is readily apparent on the blog â€“ 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 â€œone week to answerâ€ rule for my emails. I try to answer time-sensitive emails immediately, but if non-pressing emails sit in my inbox for a while, thatâ€™s cool.
- Once or twice a week, I opt to relax, read, or nap while Henry naps. Itâ€™s glorious.
- We worked hard at defining â€œworkâ€ and â€œhomeâ€ 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 â€œdoing less but living moreâ€ 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 Iâ€™d love to tackle. Hereâ€™s how Iâ€™m going to go about it:
ORGANIZE MY HOUSE.
I would love to be more organized. Itâ€™d be great to know the location of the screwdriver, extra toothbrushes, and wrapping paper without spending ten minutes tearing apart a closet. Iâ€™d love to open drawers and not be confronted by an overwhelming mess. Itâ€™s be awesome to have a clean closet! Based on a friendâ€™s recommendation, I signed up for Apartment Therapyâ€™s The January Cure. Itâ€™s basically a monthâ€™s worth of small projects to clean and tidy up your home. You can read all the posts here. Iâ€™m excited to get started!
I am also following Money Saving Momâ€™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 donâ€™t apply to me, so by combining these plans, I hope the get the most bang for my buck!
Side note: organization does not apply to my silverware drawer. That will stay messy.
ORGANIZE MY BUDGET.
I recently spent a ton of time going over our 2013 taxes (which Iâ€™m almost done with â€“ wahoo!) and essentially worked backwards to discover the answer to the most pressing financial question of all timeâ€¦ â€œWHERE DOES IT ALL GO?â€ I highly recommend doing this if you havenâ€™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 donâ€™t budget regularly, I â€œforgotâ€ about that $500 dishwasher, for example.
Even though I figured out where a lot of it â€˜went,â€™ thereâ€™s still a ton of missing moneyâ€¦ basically, stuff we blew on eating out, fun activities, random purchases, and Starbucks. Iâ€™m not opposed to fun money, but Iâ€™d like to spend less and save more in 2014. Therefore, Iâ€™m committing myself to one year of weekly budgeting. I spent a ton of time creating a massive yearly budget based on last yearâ€™s earnings and expenses and am so excited for January 1 to roll around so I can use it!
CONTINUE TO RACE.
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 itâ€™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 commitmentâ€¦ Iâ€™d like to stick to shorter, more manageable races in 2014. And â€“ most importantly â€“ I want to have FUN! Thatâ€™s what itâ€™s all about, anyway.
How did you do with your 2013 resolution and what do you want to accomplish next year?