Thursday, January 2, 2014

Well hello there 2014, I'm feeling ambitious.

An "Ausam" New Year's Midnight Kiss, 2014

Alright, I've decided to jump on the bandwagon and post my goals and resolutions for the year. I've never really been one to write my goals down. Don't get me wrong, I am constantly making lists.... but for the short term things--nothing too lofty or well... important. I'm hopeful that this effort to share my aspirations will give me some accountability and yield positive results that I can be proud of.  

First off, I've seen a few others choose a word for the year--a simple mantra to live by. I've put some thought into this, and I keep coming back to still.

"Be still my soul..."

I have always loved this hymn. And, it's currently on replay in my mind. The past year has been an amazing, exhilarating, and often terrifying ride. Motherhood has made me better, but it has also made me more vulnerable. To love someone so deeply and feel completely responsible for their well being is an incredible, often daunting task. I worry. Constantly. For her safety--I pray incessantly that I will be able to keep her safe. I'm always fretting over what she is learning, how she is progressing, and what I am teaching her. Ever wondering if my daily interactions are enough, if I am doing enough to ensure that she reaches her full potential and becomes the brilliant individual that God has created her to be. Am I being a good example? Am I trying hard enough to create an environment that is conducive to the spirit? Am I fun? Am I showing her what it means to be a strong, confident, hard-working, yet humble, loving, nurturing (insert any and all important adjectives pertaining to) woman? 

And of course there's the business of being a wife. I have such an incredible husband. He is literally the best person that I have ever known. And, despite his constant attempts to reassure me, it's easy to feel inadequate. And then there's that whole daughter thing. And friend. And sister, aunt... cub scout leader...  blogger! With all of the roles that I'm currently playing I often wonder if I am doing as Shakespeare admonishes to "Act well [my] part?" 

I am constantly wondering if I am... enough?


This year, I am going to focus on quieting all of the judgmental, doubtful, over-analytical voices in my head. I am going to approach God with earnest desire to do all that he desires of me. I am going put my trust in my Heavenly Father, and then I'm going to "be still." 

The notion is liberating.

I already feel... lighter.  

"Be still, my soul: Thy God doth undertake
To guide the future as he has the past.
Thy hope, thy confidence let nothing shake;

...Leave to thy God to order and provide;

...Be still, my soul: The Lord is on thy side."

With that preface in mind, I will now list my other goals for the year; however, I will not allow my completion (or lack thereof) to define my worth. Instead, I'm going to be realistic with myself. I am going to be kind to myself. I intend to use these as a guide to aspire to. Anything less would probably negate my first resolution... you know, to "be still" and all.  

  • Run a 5k (+)
    • I really started getting into running last year after I had Klair. With my running stroller in tow it was such an easy way to get out of the house and exercise (bonus!). I actually want to accomplish more this year (a 10k, or half marathon perhaps?) but considering I have never run a formal race of any kind, I figure I should probably start with a 5k and increase my aspirations from there. 
  • Become Stronger, faster, and overall healthier--without losing myself in the process. 
    • It's so easy for me to become consumed with fitness and being "skinny." I'm switching it up this year. Instead, I'm going to work on loving myself more. I am going to look in the mirror and love what I see. I will appreciate the profoundly beautiful and remarkable gift that is my body. This will lead to healthier choices and an all around happier me (there is a great article on this by Beauty Redefined here). 
    • Rather than aspiring to be a certain size, I simply want to be strong and healthy. I want to "run and not be weary, walk and not faint" so to speak. I would like to be able to spend long days playing outside and chasing after my toddler. I want to go hiking, biking, swimming, etc. with my family--and do so with the energy and vitality of a healthy individual. I want to be conscious of eating healthful foods so that I can fuel my body to feel my best, and be my best self. 

  •  Be still (obviously)
  •  Have daily, meaningful appointments with God. 
    • I want my prayers and interactions with my Heavenly Father to be more heartfelt. I know that he is all there, but I am not always fully present. There is room to improve. And, indeed I feel him urging me to do so. 
  • Study the scriptures. Every. Single. Day. 
    • It's so easy to graze over a few verses just to check scripture reading off of my to-do list. I am going to set aside a half an hour minimum every night after Klair goes to bed to devote to reading the word of God.
  • Repent constantly.
    • The atonement of Jesus Christ is such an incredible gift. I know that I take it for granted, and I certainly don't allow it to work to it's full capacity in my life. Elder L. Tom Perry (of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles) said that ideally we should be repenting "moment by moment." I am going to strive for this level of self awareness and humility that I know will afford God the power to refine, improve, and guide me. 

Laugh more. Cry less.
"The only way to get through life is to laugh. 
You either have to laugh or cry.
I prefer to laugh. 
Crying gives me a headache."
-Marjorie Pay Hinckley
  • Make more time for Sam. With Klair getting older she is becoming increasingly independent. I want to take advantage of this fact and utilize babysitting resources to go on more dates... and possibly even venture out on a little getaway or two. I am going to refocus due attention on the love of my life. 
  • Sam and I want to introduce Klair to the great outdoors. Camping, fishing, hiking, mud pies... we will do it all. 
  • I also want to instill in her a love for the finer things in life. Manicures, dress up, tea parties, and cupcakes are all musts. 
  • Learn to sew. I'm going to start with simple projects like hair bows for Klair (less fabric to mess up on) and pillow covers. By the end of the year I want to be able to make baby girl at least one little dress. 
  • Cook more. I really enjoy cooking. This whole gluten-free thing kind of threw a wrench in my comfort zone, but there are so many recipes to be tried. I want to recommit to trying new things and improving my culinary skills.
  • Blog more. I am going to take this blogging thing to the next level. Since I have started writing more seriously and consistently, I feel a sense of fulfillment that was missing before. I'm inspired to foster the creativity that was laying dormant in me all along. I'm excited to dive in. 
And, there you have it! Last year was such an incredible year. I am very excited to see what 2014 has in store, and grateful for this opportunity to reflect on and improve myself. 

Has anyone else chosen a word (or words) to define the New Year?

This post is a link up with Alycia Crowley over at Crowley Party.


  1. Hey Autumn! Just reading about being still made me want to pause and soak the stillness up for a moment. I think it's also awesome because it is so much against what our culture deems important: being as busy as possible. Your health goals hit home with me! I want to do because I love and enjoy it and embrace and celebrate what my body is capable of and treat my body with the love and respect it deserves. And by the way, you are gorgeous! Waiting to read more from you! :))

    1. Thank you so much! I really appreciate your comment. We really do live in a crazy world. It's going to be hard to slow down, but so necessary in order to stay sane. And as for loving my body, I've been reading a lot of articles on it lately... (especially by Beauty Redefined--the group I linked above) all about the war that profit-driven media is waging on women. It makes me down right mad and I've fallen into that trap for so long... I'm excited to get out!

      Anyway it's late and I'm rambling, but thanks so much for coming over to my little blog :)

      Have a great night!

  2. That's a great list of goals. Running a 5K is a great goal, it took me 2 years of running to finally commit to a 10K. Have a great 2014!

    1. Thank you! Really? Well in that case I'm glad I started with the goal of a 5k!

  3. These are fantastic goals for 2014...I might steal a few too! And best of luck in training for a 5k! Once you do one, you'll be hooked :-) You have the cutest family- love it! Happy New Year!

    1. Thank you, Valerie! I hope you're right, I really want to love running. I used to hate it, now I can tolerate it, but I would love to train hard and get good enough to love it like so many people do :)

  4. My word for the year is "Hunger." I feel like this applies to everything for me moving forward. Hunger for knowledge, success, stronger relationships, faith, musical creativity, etc...

    1. Does it also apply to burgers? I imagine it would...

    2. This comment has been removed by the author.

  5. If you love running (or even just like it), training for a race is the way to go! I'd never been much of a runner before I got the crazy idea in my head to run a marathon before I turned 26, so I actually never even did a "smaller" race first. Luckily it worked out for me, but it definitely proved to me that we are often capable of a lot more than we think we are. So if a little part of you really wants to go all out and do a half or something----do it! If you can make the time to train, I guarantee you'll be just fine come race day :)

    1. Ooh, I like the idea. 26 miles before 26... that is so awesome! I'm impressed that you went straight for it! How long did you have to train for?

  6. Great post! You are such an amazing mother :)
    I love your goals you have posted, they are great. a 5k is also on my list.
    To LAUGH more.. most definitely. Life is to be enjoyed. I also love be still my soul.. perfect.
    xoxo Happy New Year

    1. Aww thank you so much! And yes, I am going to make an effort to laugh more at all of the things that usually irritate me/weigh me down. I'm totally a type A personalty, but I'm going to try to be less so. You are the sweetest! I'm really glad we found each other's blogs! :)

  7. i love this!! my word for the year is rest because I need how to learn to be still too!

    1. Thank you! I actually know that because... you were actually the one who inspired me to pick a word with your post... :) So thank you for the inspiration! :)


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