Happy new year. I don’t know about you, but I enjoy reflecting on the previous 12 months and planning for the next at this time of year. Last year I was 5 months pregnant with my first child so I didn’t make any big plans or resolutions. This year however I was inspired by The Startup wife to come up with and write down all the things in my head that I would like to do in 2014. So here are my aims for 2014:
1. Read at least 6 novels. I used to love reading but in 2013 I think I only read 2 novels. I have a stack of books on my bedside table gathering dust and a list on good reads of about 30 books which I still keep adding to. My biggest problem is starting books. Once I’m enjoying a book I make an effort to find time to read. I think I finish the last book I was reading around September and I have only picked a novel up once since (I fell asleep 5 pages in).
2. Find my style. I have no style! I live in jeans and at the moment they are all post pregnancy size which I am pleased to say are now falling off me. Top wise I have a few nursing tops and a few loose t-shirts that I tend to live in usually with a fleece or jumper over. I know I need a whole new wardrobe but have no idea where to start. I feel completely clueless.
3. Get fit. I would love to lose a bit more baby weight and tone up before the summer, as well as just generally build up my fitness a bit. I tend to walk a lot with my baby in her pram during the week but I would also like to add some regular yoga, Pilates or another exercise dvd. I think I will start with Davina’s fit in 15 as finding time will always be my biggest challenge and 15 minutes is achievable.
4. Create things for my daughter. I enjoy crafting, especially for my baby. My mother-in-law & sister-in-law started teaching me to knit last weekend and knit camp starts on the 6th so I’m hoping this will be the year I learn to knit and I would love to make my little girl a cardigan before the spring. I’ve also got plans to crochet her some more amigurumi toys such as these cuties. The only problem will be deciding which one to start with. I’d also love to do a bit more sewing for her. I’d love to create her a beautiful quilt that we could use for teddy bears picnics or den building for years to come.
5. Capture the memories. I love photography & I want to continue to take plenty of photos of my daughter. For Christmas, I received this beautiful book to record our story for my daughter (or perhaps just for me). My daughter is growing and changing so much right before my eyes and between this blog, my photos and our story book I want to remember as much as I can.
6. Practice gratitude. This is something I used to do a few years back but I haven’t done in over a year. Very simply I have a notebook that each night I like to write down 3-5 things that I am grateful for each day, big or small. This doesn’t take up a lot of time and I feel it helps me feel content and happier. It’s also lovely to flick back through and remember the little things. I really wish I had continued through my pregnancy and the first 8 months of my daughter’s life, I can’t change that but I can start a fresh tonight.
7. Spend plenty of time outdoors. From short trips to the local park, walks in the countryside, days out exploring and short trips away I want to continue to spend time outdoors.
8. Print more photos. Like many people I’m not very good at printing out all the photos I take. In this digital age they just sit on my hard drive and I want to change that. I plan to create a photo book each year so with this in mind I hope to find time to start creating my 2013 album very soon.
9. Spend time with my family. My family is the most important thing to me. I love spending time with my daughter and husband. Our extended families don’t live in the same town as us but we do try to see them as often as we can. I consider myself very lucky to get on well with my husband’s family as well as my own.
10. Spend quality time with my daughter. I’ve got 4 months of maternity leave left and I plan to make the most of it. Once I do go back to work in May, I want to make the most of the time we do have together. I love our weekly swimming class which we are signed up to until May. I also try to take her to the rhyme time session at the local library most weeks as well as reading and playing with her at home.
11. Cook and bake regularly. I love spending time in the kitchen and want to continue to do so in 2014. I bake a lot of our bread and enjoy baking the occasional sweet treat. Home made pizza night is a lot of fun too and something I want to continue regularly. One thing I am struggling with is cooking meals for all three of us. I mostly cook my daughters food separately in batches as we tend to eat dishes that aren’t suitable for her yet (stir fry, risotto, pasta dishes). If I cooked more that I could mash for my baby then, I would free up all the time I spend cooking baby food.
12. Declutter and organise our home. We have a small, very full house and although we hope to buy a bigger in the next year or so I want to be happy and content in this one, not wishing our time away until we get a bigger one, if that make sense.
13. Build my blog in to something I am proud of. I enjoy blogging but tend to go through fits and spurts. Some weeks I will blog nearly every day and then I’ll go several weeks without so much as one post.
14. Find the elusive work/life balance. I know I’m not back until May and even then it will be only 3 days a week but already it is on my mind. Perhaps because so many of my new friends are going back to work over the next month or so. I know I enjoyed my job prior to going on maternity leave but I don’t feel ready to go back yet. I want to be content and happy that I have the best of both worlds once I do go back, not spending all my time off dreading work etc. For me many of these goals above will help me feel content & happy as well as planning days out and mini adventures for my days off.