What I will and won’t do

by Lesley on January 2, 2012 · 5 comments

in goals

On New Year’s Eve I looked back on 2011 with mixed emotions. We went over to the Dobrinski’s house and drank champagne and ate Kara’s yummy butternut squash enchiladas. The babies sleep while we the guys watched the Kings game. The ball dropped at 9:00pm, PST, and because we’re all new parents we celebrated like it was midnight. By 11:30pm we were home on the couch to watch the ball drop again. Anna nursed while I thought back on the year. It was such a good year until October, and then, cancer.

On Facebook everyone was saying things like, “God riddance 2011!” or “Best year ever!” or “2012 is going to be amazing!” The “2012 is going to be amazing” posts were the hardest to read because, the realist in me felt like saying, “You never know. You never know what a year will hold.”

I just felt so confused–not only about how I would categorize 2011 but how I feel about this next year to come. I’ve never entered a new year knowing it would probably be very hard. What do I do with that knowledge and these emotions? 

Maybe I know more than I think I do. For most people, a year holds both good and bad: yummy meals and terrible meals; exciting vacations and quiet nights at home; new birth and also death; health and cancer; happy summer days followed by weeks where the clouds and bare trees seem like they will never give way to the hot days of summer again.

Last year I decided not to set any resolutions. I knew we’d be experiencing so much change that setting goals seemed silly. Since I’m not working in an office anymore, and since my roles this year will cater a lot to baby and husband, I need structure to make life feel like it doesn’t completely revolve around caregiving. I need to protect ME so that I can be there for THEM.

I’m not going to tell you all my goals, but I’ll tell you some. Like many years in the past I have used this document to help me reflect and plan. Here’s a summary of the outcome:

My words this year are MERCY and FLEXIBILITY. On hard days and good days, I will remember and reflect on these words and what they mean in my life.

This year I will…make it a priority to take care of Anna and Jonathan. To do this well, I will take care of myself by continuing my morning runs, and focusing on healing my post-baby body. (Hello-where are my abs?!)  I will completely rest on Sundays, and I will read my bible each morning before doing anything else. I will also commit to writing 30 minutes each weekday and reading a book each month because these things make me happy and also contribute to my long term goal of writing a book. I will also buy a sparkly mini skirt and celebrate my 30th birthday in style.

I will NOT: take on any new, large volunteer commitments through church or otherwise. Sharon is holding me accountable to this.

I will do less: obsessive cleaning and instead hire help if I need it. I will do less “shoulds” and instead do what’s necessary to keep my marriage strong and my baby growing and happy.

I will continue to cook and place an emphasis on making food that keep Jonathan, Anna and I full and healthy. This includes taking time to pre-make and freeze meals. I will continue to be involved in bible study and to make my Iron Well girls a priority because they are important to me.

Oh, sure…I have lots of other things I’d love to do this year like getting chickens, and learning photoshop, and gardening and re-landscaping our front yard, and installing baseboards and organizing closets and hosting pasta dinner parties and taking a writing retreat. Maybe some of those things will happen. Maybe they won’t. But, if I can take care of my family well, and take care of myself well, I think 2012 will be a success.

Do you set New Year’s resolutions? If so, share one! If not, why not?

Related Posts with Thumbnails

I think I tweeted at some point today that I'm not sure I'll have my yearly goals ready until the end of the month! I didn't make any goals or resolutions for 2011 because, like you, I knew it was going to be a year full of change (baby in January) and then it was much harder than I anticipated in ways I hadn't considered. And now the year is over and we started the next in more uncertainty and chaos and its difficult to find the top and the bottom. But after a year of wandering around, I know I need to take some time to focus and think again about my roles for the year and goals. I like the document you posted and I think I'll use it to get started. I hope 2012 holds many smiles and laughs for you, even among the difficult times that are ahead.


Love how honest your writing is -- genuine, reflective, and not showy. It brings me so much joy to read this blog, and can't wait to buy the first book you write :). I started my 2012 resolutions back in June when I moved back from Phoenix -- (1) to be more thoughtful and discerning about the friendships I put time and effort into and (2) to start my condo piggy bank.


Your goals are fantastic! I'd love to hear more about your healthy cooking on your blog. I haven't written my goals yet, but they'll include healthy eating when I do.


Lesley, I LOVE this document. I think you posted it last year too, right? I made {well, strongly convinced} Gerber to look at out goals and dreams from last year and then make a new list for 2012. He wasn't nearly as excited as I was. I'll be praying for you in this coming year.


  1. […] few weeks ago my dear friend Lesley wrote about her words for 2012: mercy and flexibility. While I already made a list of to-do’s […]