My 2016 Resolutions.

Oooooh MONDAY. I'm ready for you this time. I hope your weekend was a blast, friends. We spent the weekend cleaning out Christmas (I might have dragged it out a bit) and rearranging all our furniture. Because, January. I'll have to post some of our living room photos over the next few weeks, because I am really liking our new set up. But that's not what today is about at all.

Resolutions, guys! Resolutions!! I am feeling so motivated! This is one of my favorite times of year, because the slate is clean and the mind is clear and there is NOTHING holding me back. Except for the limitations I put on myself.

Some of you might remember my Intentional October journey, which really kick-started my personal motivation and helped me develop a bit more discipline in some areas of my life that were lacking. Not all of those disciplines have stuck around, but I am ready to enact (most) of them again, because I felt so amazing when I was in that mode. Waking up super early, spending time stretching and reading the bible and writing before Everett even made a peep. It was glorious. And going to bed early, NOT watching TV, reading books. It sounds so silly and simple. But I never felt so good. My mind was clear, my body was rested, and I felt really energetic. As my bro-in-law Brent would say, I was running on Tiger Blood. I think that means something really good.

So Intentional October is following me throughout January. And I know it's going to make a big different in the rest of my resolutions... Here they are.

Clean up my diet. Prepare healthier, delicious meals for myself and my family.

Why? Because I want to live long and be really strong. We eat pretty healthy as a family, and mostly cook at home, but there is definitely room for improvement. I love to cook, but I find myself in a rut a lot of the time, and I tend to fall back on making the same comfort foods when I don't know what else to make. As a way to kick some bad habits and create some healthier ones, Stevie and I are beginning the Whole30 challenge TODAY, and I welcome anyone who wants to join me. It's a 30-day wellness eating plan (NOT a diet), focusing on whole foods such as protein, vegetables and fruits. There is a ton of wonderful info about it up on the site, and I found this book and this cook book extremely enlightening as I made my plan.

Gym 2X per week. Cardio 2X per week.

I have the time. There is always time. I just have to manage my time more efficiently to make this commitment a non-negotiable one in my schedule. That's what it's really all about with any of these resolutions, right? Make them appointments in your planner, things that can't be bumped by other commitments.

If I can hit the gym on the days that Everett is at "school" and take him on jogs/walks (usually over to his favorite park) on other days of the week, then we would be golden. It sounds easy, but over the past several weeks, the crazy amounts of rain and freezing cold windy weather has really cramped our healthy, outdoorsy style. I've actually been squeezing in some of Tracy Anderson's quick shape-up videos in my living room and I am loving them! She is so intense and so good.

Budget and save better than ever.

We bought a house this year. That's the biggest item I've ever bought. By far. And along with that comes the desire to make changes and decorate and blah blah blah - basically I want to empty our bank account into our home design budget. In an effort to NOT blow the budget and instead save even more responsibly than ever, we have decided to host a Dave Ramsey Financial Freedom course at our house with some friends from church. By host, I mean be the host house. We are in no way advising friends on finances haha, that's Dave's job. But I am excited for the camaraderie and making a really strategic plan for our budget. We love using our budget tool, YNAB to keep track of our expenses and stay on track, but there is always room to be more disciplined and strategic. We want to be generous people, excellent stewards of what we have, and have a healthy mindset when it comes to our finances. So we begin our course this week! Wahoo. Oh adulthood. I never in my life thought I would be excited about a FINANCE class.

Make more music.

You know that I love to write. But you might not know that writing music is how Stevie and I fell in love. Yes, you can groan while imagining my googly face right now. A good ten years ago, we were writing music together and drinking Starbucks apple cider and those lyrics in my notebook turned into moments of love. Before and after we were married, we had the privilege of playing, singing and leading worship together at our church, and spent a ton of our free time writing and developing music. When we moved to Boston and he went to grad school and I pursued acting in NYC and then we HAD A BABY and bought at house, music kind of took a backseat. But it's something that is so intrinsic to who we are and we miss it. A lot. So we are putting it back in the front seat and making time to develop our sound once again. We are still hammering out the details of what this goal looks like - do we want to have written 100 songs by the end of the year? That was a resolution goal of our friend John a few years ago, and he totally slam dunked it. Such an inspiration. Do we want to play in coffee shops/bars? Do we want to record an EP? Haha we are in the dreaming phase again. But we do know we are dedicating an evening a week to it. And we shall see how this artistic side of ourselves develops once again :)

There it is! I feel pretty vulnerable putting my resolutions out there for everyone to see every year, but I know that it will help solidify my commitment to them. I am using my handy dandy self-made proverb to encourage myself and keep my head on straight. You know, along with the actual Proverbs :)

How are your resolutions stacking up? Any resolution-keeping tips?

P.S. - If you haven't already taken the reader survey, I would love it if you would take 2 minutes to share what you think about the blog! And many thanks to all of you who have already taken it - I've been reading the results as they come in. Your words and suggestions are speaking to my heart, so thank you. xox