Good Goals for the New Year

by Delia (Contributing Writer)


Every year, I jumped on the bandwagon of setting a New Year’s resolution.  This year instead of making a resolution, I made a list of goals.  Things I want to accomplish, but not really resolutions.  Resolutions are things that tend to be stuck to strictly within the first few weeks of the year and then when we screw up and “fail” we give up entirely.  We often backslide even farther than where we started.  I am starting with this list of goals for the New Year.


  1. Listen more/talk less:  I want to work on my listening skills.  I too frequently listen to respond rather than listening to truly understand.  This is going to take some work.

  2. Communicate with friends and family more:  Call them, and send encouraging notes, birthday cards, and anniversary cards.  Visit my parents more, ask questions, learn more about their lives.

  3. Use my free time more effectively:  knit, paint, make handmade gifts for Christmas.  I waste so much time  at the end of the day just watching TV

  4. Write more: I have ideas for books I want to write and  I want to keep writing for this blog

  5. Learn to say no:  I say yes to helping with too many things.  I always think that no one else is going to do it.  Sometimes, I think people just expect me to step up and do things so they don’t volunteer.  At some point I need to step back and let others take their turn.  I need to keep my sanity which is difficult sometimes

  6. Get more exercise:  Even if it is just more steps during the day, I am going to focus on being more active and taking care of me.  I need to lose weight, but I don’t want to be concentrated on the negative of weight loss.  I would rather look toward improving my health through increased activity.  If that results in weight loss…great.  If not, that is fine too.

I am reaching out to friends to have them help me be more accountable to my goals.  I am going to be gentle with myself.  If I slide with one of my goals, I will just allow myself to move on and try again.  Women in particular need to stop beating themselves up for not being successful when we try something.  When we slip, we just need to give ourselves another chance.  Let’s make a vow to just keep trying this year.  It doesn’t matter how many times we fall down; it matters how many times we get back up.  


New Year, New Beginnings

If you are one of those people who was relieved that 2012 was over, let me just say that I am right there with you. I am still trying to put myself back together from everything that happened last year. If you have been following my blog for a while, you probably noticed that my posts were often sporadic and sometimes all over the place. I guess they were a good reflection of my life over the past year. I started the year out by deciding to have a website overhaul. Then I moved my business. Then I took the steps to take my business in a completely different direction. I took on way too many projects. I became an exhausted mess, and then I ended the year by having a miscarriage and turning into an emotional wreck.

Right now, I am hormonal, confused about where I should go next in regards to having another baby and even where I want to go with my business. As much as I love volunteer work, I am dropping almost all of it and focusing on things for my kids and for me. I have decided that this year I am going to find a hobby. I have spent so much time focusing on the kids and my business that I really don’t have time for myself. I have decided that I need a fresh start. I need to get myself in order. I need to get organized. I need to stop acting like an old lady and start acting my age! I am going to be 34 for crying out loud, and most of the time I feel like I am past my prime.

Most of all, I just want to wake up in the morning, look at myself in the mirror and say,”Hey Girl, you are awesome!” And I want to mean it. I want to love myself quirks and all, fat and all, just as I am.

What do you plan to do this year? How do you want to see yourself this year going forward? I would love to hear from you!


How to Make New Year’s Resolutions you will actually keep

   Around this time last year, I decided that I really needed to make some changes in my life. However, I did not want to just make a list of difficult things that I knew I would regret or forget. I made a list of things I wanted to do that I knew I could. While some of the things on my list may not have worked out the way I envisioned them, I am proud to say that I continually found ways to work on each thing on my list all throughout the year. So I thought I would share how to make some New Year’s Resolutions that you will want to keep.

1. Dream big, but start small. One of the things on my list that didn’t work out for me was taking a dance class. For me, it was a time conflict as well as a childcare one. Instead, I got out my Just Dance games (I pretty much have all of them. I am a HUGE addict) and danced… a lot! My husband knows how much I love the games and that I wanted to try Zumba, but all the classes conflict with my schedule. So he got me Zumba for the Wii. The other part about all of this is nice is that I am not afraid to screw up because no one else is looking at me!

2. Create realistic goals. If you want to lose weight, that is great. However, giving yourself a goal of losing a bunch of weight in a short amount of time is only setting yourself up for failure. Not only that, the temptation to use unsafe diet practices is greater with an unrealistic goal, and you may run into health problems or gain the weight back. Make sure that what you want is realistic and give it proper time.

3. Research your resolutions and have a strategy. If you want to eliminate debt, research your options and plan it out. There are a lot of great programs and strategies to do it, and if you don’t know what you are doing, you are most likely to get frustrated and give up.

4. Don’t make ‘Bandwagon’ resolutions. What I mean by this is don’t say you are going to do something because everyone else is doing it or you are being guilted into it by all the commercials on TV right now. Make resolutions for yourself.

5. Have accountability. For my accountability, I published my list for the whole world to see. I also wrote a few posts related to it throughout the year mostly so I could check in with my progress. For example, if you want to start a fitness plan, find a buddy who can workout with you.

6. Jump back on the horse. We are all human and imperfect. Sometimes we make mistakes. However, we need to brush away the guilt and get back to our goal. Just keep going.

7. Believe in yourself. If you don’t believe you can do something, well you can’t. Ultimately, if you want it bad enough, you must have the confidence to make it happen.

I hope you find my advice useful. Honestly, I did not make any resolutions this year. I am just going to keep working on my list from last year. It is all a good work in progress! What do you want to tackle in your life this year?


National Get Organized Month

By Stefanie Slater, Bear Haven Mama Contributor

January is National Get Organized Month!!! Have you started cleaning out your closets, making piles to donate old toys and clothing? If you have not then join in with millions others who are taking the step to get organized. Being organized will help you to be more productive in your home. Does your five-year old daughter still need that baby rattle? I do not think so. Grab the trash bags now and write your local donations name on it to start filling them up!

So now that you got the motivation, where will you start? I like to tackle the kids rooms and the basement. Those two link together because the basement is where most of the kid toys are. The holidays are a time where many spend time with one another, but it is also a time when your home is filled with more toys, toys, and more toys! So if you are bringing in the new, make sure you are getting rid of items that can be donated.

There are many products you can buy to help organize your child’s rooms and toys too. One item I LOVE and definitely thinking about buying more than one is Closet Maid’s Stackable Cubicles. They come in a few colors, but I always prefer white myself. I think when you buy the fabric bins in the bright colors and mix them up they really pop! Coordinate with other fun colors for a basement playroom and your children will never leave!

If you are like me then you have several toys that are small, and can be lost in a regular toy bin. Using the fabric bins in the cubicle is a great way to stay organized, and be sure to grab your label gun! Hey, being organized also does include labeling too. I know many moms are getting super excited about just being able to label things. Plus, this is always a great learning process for your children too. They can learn to spell out the word of a toy or a piece of furniture as they are using it.

So Happy organizing in 2012! I hope to hear about your organization projects you are taking on!


My New Year’s Revolution

Yup, you read that right. I said “Revolution” not “Resolution.” I have decided that my life needs a revolution. I mean think about it, every year at this time, many of us make a list to do all these things differently. I promise I will eat healthy (and then break that resolution in about three weeks). I promise to spend less money (and then buy something unnecessary because is was on sale). I promise to become more organized (and then resolve that is pointless after getting buried in the mess of something in the house).  So this year, I am not resolving to do any of those things. Yes, I still want to lose weight. I am still working on it. It didn’t go on overnight. It is not going to come off overnight. I don’t want to make resolutions and then get mad at myself when I screw up because I am not perfect. So I have decided to start my own life revolution.

I am going to do five things this year that are out of character for me. I want to take my life in a different direction and get out of the box I have built myself. There are things in my life that I have wanted and never bothered to take the risks to make them happen. So this year, I am taking steps to change that. Here is my list so far:

1. Take a dance class. I am going to join my friend’s Zumba group for starters. My goal is to work my way up to taking an adult dance class in the fall at my children’s dance studio.

2. I am going to sing again. For starters, I am currently teaching my children how to sing to get back into the groove. I have recently realized how much I miss using my voice. My goal is to either sing at church or join a choir somewhere.

3. I am going to say NO more often and stand my ground. I have recently realized how much of a pushover I have become. I don’t want to be that way. I don’t think it shows a good role model for my children.

4. I am going to spend more time writing. At this point, I don’t care if it means blogging or writing short stories. My goal is to write. I enjoy it, and I do not spend enough time doing it.

5. I am moving forward with my life. I am working on the relationships that deem worthy of being relationships and getting rid of toxic people and things in my life.

So that’s my list. I will keep you all posted how this all plays out over the course of 2011. At the very least, it should be interesting. So what kinds of changes do you plan on making this year? At any rate, I wish you all a Happy New Year!