I hope you’ve all had a great start to 2018! We’ve been slowly easing back into regular life and trying to get shaped around after the holidays. Just like last year, I’ve decided to work from a paper planner again to keep track of my work projects and goals every week. I usually only have a limited window of time to get things done every day and having a central location to organize everything is really helpful. I’m using this cute Rifle Paper Co. planner this year.
Nothing like a clean slate to start the New Year! When I look back at what my goals were for last year, I’m really happy that we were able to finish two of the three room renovations we wanted to do in the farmhouse.
In the spring, we did a complete Farmhouse Master Bedroom Makeover in six weeks for the One Room Challenge. It feels like a completely different room and I love how it has turned into our calm oasis.
Then in the fall, we wrapped up our Farmhouse Powder Room Makeover. This renovation took more work than we expected, but I’m so happy with the results. We also made progress in our craft room/guest room, although it still has quite a ways to go. I’m hoping to chip away at it more in the winter months this year.
When I started to think about what I wanted to accomplish this year, it became clear that there were four main areas of our lives: personal goals, family goals, farmhouse goals and business goals. Some are little things, some are larger, but they’re all ways I hope to improve in the coming year. Nothing like twelve months ahead of you to make changes, right? One of the ways I’m trying to keep myself on track this year is to break things up into smaller tasks or goals. Then I’ve written each thing in my planner at the top of the month/week, as a constant reminder throughout the year.
Goals for 2018
1) Read More – I’ve always loved to read and at one point when I lived on my own in the city, I was devouring about a book a week while I was on public transit (this was long before Instagram was around or the ability to get decent wi-fi, ha!). Nowadays I’m lucky if I can finish a book in 4 months. Yikes! Last year my brother gave me a gift subscription to a couple of magazines and I have really loved looking through them while Lucy plays independently first thing in the morning. Now I want to amp up my reading and challenge myself to read one fiction book and one non-fiction book/e-book every month.
For January, I’m starting my goal with Dan Brown’s latest book “Origins”, which I gave to my dad for his birthday last fall and he kindly passed it onto Garrett and me to read next. For my non-fiction book, I’m reading a book a friend lent me on potty training (I know, riveting stuff here). While online parenting forums can be really helpful, sometimes it’s nice to read a book for a change.
*** If you have a book you really loved in 2017 (fiction or non-fiction) and think I might like to read it, please leave it in the comments below!! Thank you!! ***
2) Back to the Yoga Mat – I realize that this February marks ten years of doing yoga. Sometimes I take weekly classes, other times I’ve done daily online videos. I’ve done a variety of classes over the years, including hot yoga, prenatal and mommy and me, but there have also been long stretches where I don’t get to the mat nearly enough. Every time I get back at it though, I feel so much better. Stronger (physically and mentally), less stiff and energized. The reality is that I can’t get out to classes as much as I’d like, and I can absolutely talk myself out of leaving the house in the winter months, so I’m committing to doing online videos again. It doesn’t have to be an hour-long practice, but even 20-30 minutes a few times a week makes a world of difference. Some of my favourite online teachers are Yoga with Adriene and Fightmaster Yoga.
3) Photography Course – Okay, so this has been a goal of mine for a number of years, but I’ve never gotten my act in gear. I even purchased an online photography course a couple of years back and still haven’t gotten past the first chapter. So what makes me think I can do it this year? I’m breaking it up into little pieces. I’ve scheduled time into my calendar every week where I commit to doing one or two modules of the course. It’s not just to improve my blog photography, but also to take better pictures of Lucy. Now that she is a running blur half the time, it would be nice to have the skills to capture it.
1) Sugar-Free January – After a lovely overindulgent holiday season, Garrett and I decided that a little sugar detox was in order. We’d all become accustomed to the sweet treats in December and it felt like the New Year was a good time to pull it back. Inspired by Lindsay’s Sugar-Free January on Pinch of Yum, we’re taking refined sugars out of our diet and trying to focus on whole foods. So far we’re doing okay, mind you it’s only a few days in, ha! There are a few little indulgences that I’m allowing to help make it a bit easier, including enjoying the occasional piece of dark chocolate (less than 2 grams of sugar per serving) and half a teaspoon of honey in my morning Irish Breakfast Tea.
2) Travel – Now that Lucy is getting easier to travel with, we’d love to do more exploring. We have a trip to Florida planned for later this year, but we’d also like to take another trip in the summer, or shorter long weekend trips around the province. We’re just trying to figure out where to go.*** Any suggestions are appreciated 🙂 ***
3) Nightly Tidy Up – After a full day of working and chasing around after a toddler, tidying up is usually the last thing on our minds, but lately, we’ve all been trying to make more of an effort to keep things cleaned up. We’re getting Lucy involved with cleaning up all the toys in the living room and once she goes to bed at night, we work together to clean the kitchen before we both crash on the couch Waking up to a tidy kitchen and living room is the best feeling. Even if it’s just a 10 minutes tidy up and doing the dishes it is an improvement.
1) Kitchen – When we first moved into the farmhouse, we’d always talked about someday switching the kitchen and the dining room, which means we’ve held back on doing things around the kitchen in case we decided to go that route. Now that we’ve lived here for over two and a half years (which seems crazy!), we’ve realized we’re most likely not going to switch the rooms within the next 5+ years and that we actually like the layout of our space. Having the kitchen right next to the living room means I can keep an eye on Lucy while she plays.
So, in order to make it fit with our needs a little better, there are some adjustments we need to make. Mainly more storage, a backsplash and some finishing details that weren’t done when the previous owners renovated the kitchen to sell the house. I’m hoping that we can do at least 90% of it on our own in the coming months. We already replaced some of the open shelves with upper cabinets this year and love how it turned out.
2) Living Room – This is easily one of the most used rooms in our house and it is also one of the hardest to configure. With a long rectangular shaped room, I struggle with where to put everything in a functioning layout. I’d also like to add some storage to the room that helps us coral Lucy’s toys and keep the electronics tucked away. My big lofty dream is to add in a fireplace as well someday and some newer softer carpeting.
3) Front Hall – This is the first room that most people see in our house and it’s also one of the ugliest. From the aged vinyl floor to the roughly built coat rack, it leaves very little storage space and lots of clutter. I’d like to add a built-in coat closet at the back, update the flooring and give it a fresh coat of paint.
1) Expanding the Cloverhill Flowers business – We’re heading into our third season growing and selling speciality cut flowers here in Ontario and my mom/business partner and I have some big plans for Cloverhill Flowers. Now that I’ve officially quit my full-time job, I feel like I have the freedom to see where this takes us. Right now we’re in the middle of picking all our seeds for next year so that we can get them started in the next couple of months.
2) Improved Recipe and Craft Indexes – With over 400+ recipes and 135+ tutorials on thsi blog, I’ve struggled over the years to find a system that is easy to navigate for myself and readers alike. I’ve been researching different programs and over the next few months, my goal is to get everything in working order. Once it’s all live, I’ll share it on here of course!
3) More Recipes and Tutorials – With that same thought in mind, I want to share more recipes and craft tutorials this year. They’re something I really enjoy doing and it helps keep my creative juices flowing. ***If you have any ideas of things you’d like me to share, please leave them in the comments below!***
Making goals and setting intentions for the upcoming year is one of my favourite parts of January. I’d love to hear about what you’re hoping to take on and accomplish in 2018. Wishing you all the best on your own goals 🙂
It sounds like you’ve set some great goals for yourself this year. I’d love to hear what you think of the photography course once you complete it because I’ve been looking for one myself. Good luck with expanding the flower business, that sounds like a lot of fun!
Thanks Ashley! I’ll let you know about the photography course. I’m starting the first modules today 🙂
Happy new year! where´s Cola the pup?
Happy New Year to you too Maria! Cola has been having a hard time adjusting to a toddler around the house, so he’s living with my in-laws for now. He loves their house and has great days running around with their dogs. We miss him terribly but it’s a safer option for everyone. And we still get to visit him regularly. Thanks for asking 🙂