You may have noticed that this blog has been a little dormant lately.  This has a little to do with the holidays and the continuous stream of family visits, but I think I have been feeling a little blocked up because I have been avoiding writing this post, which I sketched out several weeks ago, but has been sitting unattended in my notebook since then.  It’s amazing the things you will do while avoiding.  The house is clean and I am getting really good at Zen Gems. 

Why avoid it though?  Maybe because if I actually say it out loud, I will finally have to follow through and hold myself accountable?  That’s a tough one, you see I tend to talk big and fail to follow through.  I want this to stop and that is why I am sucking it up, taking a deep breath and writing it all down for the world to see and hold me accountable for.

This is going to get a little lengthy and I apologize for that ahead of time.  You can stop reading now if you want because this post is really for me anyway.

A few notes before I get into the nitty gritty.  The goals on this list are intended to be year long goals not to be implemented immediately but taken one step at a time and built upon as the year progresses.  This is a year of change and forward movement for me though and I fully intend on working on each and every one of the items on this list.

This really isn’t a post about my new year’s resolution as much as laying out my goals for this year, but if I had to sum it up into one resolution, I would say that it is to not get overwhelmed and paralyzed by the enormity of it all.  I think I tend to look at the big picture too much and it just freaks me out and keeps me from being effective at the step by step, day by day stuff.  So, my goal is to get organized, get motivated and tackle one thing at a time.

Ok, so here we go.

In my old book club, I had the pleasure of knowing a well known hypnotherapist and a really great woman Diane Sewell. A few weeks ago, she sent out an email (I assume to her mailing list) that really inspired me to take this year’s goal setting seriously.  Here is her list of 10 things you can do to be successful and get off on the right foot in 2009.

  1. How You Think is Everything:  Always be positive.  Think success and not failure.   Also beware of negative environments.
  2. Decide Upon Your True Dreams and Goals:  Write down your specific goals and develop a plan to reach them.
  3. Take Action:   Goals are nothing without action.  Don’t be afraid to get started.  Just do it.
  4. Never Stop Learning:   Go back to school or read books.  Get training and acquire skills.
  5. Be Persistent and Work Hard:   Success is a marathon, not a sprint.  Never give up.
  6. Learn to Analyze Details:   Get all the facts, all the input.  Learn from your mistakes.
  7. Focus Your Time and Money:   Don’t let other people or things distract you.
  8. Don’t be Afraid to Innovate; Be Different:   Following the herd is a sure way to mediocrity.
  9. Deal and Communicate with People Effectively:   No person is an island.  Learn to understand and motivate others.
  10. Be Honest and Dependable; Take Responsibility:   Otherwise, #’s 1-9 don’t matter.

Diane Sewell, Master Hypnotist and Weight Loss Expert

In the past year I have struggled and worked very hard to improve my mental and emotional states as well as remove the negative environments that were contributing to my depression and life paralysis.  Now, I look at my future as a clean slate, a place to start and it is time for me to take control, set goals and direct my own future.

I have an affirmation that I say all the time.  I say it when I am feeling overwhelmed or sad or stressed, during Savasana, before I go to sleep – really any time that it seems appropriate to do so.  It calms and focuses me.    It goes something like this.

I am whole, I am happy, I am healthy, I am beautiful

With all this in mind, I have laid out this years goals into those four categories and listed them out below.  Some of the items are pretty simple and straight forward, but many will required detailed plans to accomplish.  Over the next couple of weeks, I will be posting these plans as well and will link to them from the appropriate items below.

These lists are not in any particular order.  Just as they came to me.

I Am Whole

Things that are healing and contribute to my overall mental health and fulfillment

  • What are my true dreams?
  • Work hard and accomplish enough that by the end of the year I am attending therapy once a month rather than every week.
  • Complete and full 21 day manifestation. 
  • Read my tarot cards once a week for insight, guidance and awareness.
  • Be contributing $500 per month to the family budget by the end of the year.  
  • Find or create a mommy support network.
  • Create and maintain a comforting and manageable home environment
  • Be the best mom that I can that day, every day.
  • Start writing my book.

I Am Happy

Things that are simply for my and my family’s pleasure.  The things that just make life more fun.

  • Have one great family adventure every month.
  • Take time for fun just for me – book club, girls nights etc.
  • Find a babysitter
  • Have more sex
  • Kiss my husband passionately every day
  • Give myself a break sometimes
  • Laugh out loud with my kids every day

I Am Healthy 

Things to improve both my body and mind

  • Achieve a slim, fit and healthy body – this means to me…  Look and feel great naked and goal weight of 135.
  • Experiment and incorporate more healthy foods into diet
  • Sleep better
  • Walk the dog more
  • Garden and landscaping projects
  • Generally by more active and productive – just get up and do it, when you think about doing it.
  • Reduce TV watching by 1 hour per day
  • Be reasonable with the puzzles and online games – have a picture and a crossword puzzle printed out to work on during downtime.  Online games only during designated relax time.  Get a grip.
  • Complete PHP certification

I Am Beautiful

This is as much mental as physical for me.  I want to feel beautiful in my own personal and distinct way.

I am terrible at  forming good habits and have neglected much of the womanly maintenance over the years.  As many moms can probably relate – I have let myself go a little.

Now, I am not really into a lot of the girly stuff and looking perfect all the time doesn’t even reach my radar, but it is important that I begin to feel good about myself again and keeping up with some physical improvements will generally lead to that I think.  You’ll notice, this is pretty basic stuff here.

  • Wash my face every night
  • Shave my legs once a week (I have very blond fine hair so this is all I need to do), even in the winter.
  • buy some quality makeup
  • Get a haircut regularly
  • Lotion all over, every day
  • Figure out my own personal style
  • Buy new clothes that fit well and make me feel good about myself.  Don’t just buy what’s cheapest.
  • Look in the mirror and say you are beautiful inside and out, every day

I look around my house and all I see are all the things that need to be done. Beyond the cleaning that I can’t seem to keep up with, there are so many little projects that would make the house a much more livable, homey place and they are easy and inexpensive and would provide me with a sense of accomplishment.

So why do none of these projects ever get done. Laziness, busyness and exhaustion. These are my three main culprits when it comes to most productivity items. Well, as always, let’s start with a list. A list always puts things in perspective and at least breaks things down into doable chunks.

One day at a time, one item on the lists at a time.


  • Clean out and reorganize cabinets
  • Get rid of all the old Tupperware and replace with a smaller amount of higher quality food storage containers.
  • Put shelves in the pantry (currently wire racks and very wobbly for small items.
  • Organize and buy storage containers, dividers etc to help keep the pantry neat and organized.
  • Figure out how to clear some space on the work island (way too crowded)
  • Plan for kitchen remodel, plan A and plan B budgeted and spec out plan and materials.

Dining Room

  • Empty Ada’s piggy bank, count all the money and open a savings account for her.
  • Come up with and create some sort of storage solution for the corner. Needs to hold sewing stuff, magazines and spillover items
  • Clean out and reorganize the buffet drawers.
  • Paint the door threshold to the kitchen white.
  • New pads and covers for the dining room chairs
  • Give all the wood on the dining room table a good cleaning.
  • Whole dining living area needs warmth and hominess

Living Room

  • Measure and design new layout for new living room.
  • Pick color scheme and design elements
  • Shop for a choose furniture and styles
  • Figure out how to hang the TV and run the component wiring
  • Buy Couches
  • Buy additional furniture pieces
  • Buy Rug
  • Accessorize
  • Fireplace mantel – what do we need, design and spec out, buy materials and build
  • What new electronics are we going to need
  • How to minimize kids toys and such in the new scheme


  • Finish molding
  • Reorganize the bookshelf
  • Clamp/Bumper for gate
  • Clean out linen closet and make more functional for storing things we actually use
  • Photo Wall

Hall Bathroom

  • Clean out last cabinet
  • Minimize what needs to be in here. Way too cluttered.

Master Bedroom

  • Make or buy frames and find pictures to put on the wall.
  • Clean off the top of the dresser and eliminate need for so much clutter up there. Identify needs and fix problems.
  • Clean carpet

Master Bathroom

  • Don’t even get me started. Complete gut and remodel needed before usable.
  • Design, budget and spec out materials for remodeling project.

Ada’s Room

  • Sew white sheer curtains
  • Find second rod for her window
  • Set up way for her to hang things on that empty wall.
  • Sew bedskirt
  • Clean carpet

Ian’s Room

  • Clean carpet
  • Find a home for and get rid of rocking chair (maybe craigslist it as a set with the dresser?)
  • Make or buy one more comforter cover.
  • Closet organizer


  • Figure out dryer situation
  • Sweep/Vacuum floors and move/throw away all the stuff so not so cluttered any more
  • Design, spec and budget garage remodel project.
  • Explore adding to garage and making laundry room as option. Is this something we could do mostly ourselves.


  • Order bulbs and plants for front yard
  • Clean up beds and make them ready for planting.
  • Figure out how to clean up the middle by the tree.
  • What would it take to fill in the pond?
  • Finish filling pond with dirt from back yard
  • Measure and do good design drawing for deck. Order materials
  • Lighting.
  • Clean up play area and determine what improvements to that we are going to make this year.


  • Find more book storage solutions
  • Create file folder for construction project designs

Contruction Projects

  • Re-mold all the doors and windows
  • Kitchen remodel
  • Garage/Laundry remodel
  • Deck (Work has begun – We expect to be done by next week!!!!)
  • Landscaping
  • Hall Bathroom Remodel
  • Master bathroom remodel
  • Master bedroom closet (In progress)
  • Ian’s closet
  • Refinish hardwood floors
  • New carpet for bedrooms
  • Storage space in attic

Wow, that’s a big list and I probably forgot several things.

I am in a constant search for a good to-do list tool. It’s harder than you think. Nothing seems to do everything that I need it to do.

I use iGoogle extensively, so for now I have found the best to-do list widget to use with that. I am using To-Do List with Google Maps from ScreeperZone. It has pretty good functionality and some really nice extra features. This widget is also available for netvibes and vista sidebar.

You can use headings and add subitems under each heading. You can prioritize your lists and add due dates as well as sort and print. Another really cool feature is that you can add businesses to your lists and attach google maps to them so that you can plan your errand routes or keep the name and location of a specialty store attached to your list. That’s really cool.

I am going to keep looking though and maybe even try to develop something myself. That would be a challenging project to work on and challenging projects are definitely part of my self improvement plan.