Sunday, January 10, 2016

2016 Goals

In 2016 I've discovered adult colouring books
Between Christmas and New Years I took vacation time. It was the longest stretch of vacation I had taken since I started in my new job a year and a half ago. Right now, I get 11 days of vacation each year. Any overtime or evening meetings give me some extra lieu time I can use for additional time off which I've used to attend the boys school events or other appointments. I can also use a few accumulated sick days for medical appointments but I tend not to use them unless absolutely necessary since I haven't accumulated all that many and I'd like to bank enough in case anything unexpected were to come up.

Coming up to Christmas I was starting to feel burned out. I'd only really taken off a few days here and there aside from my 5-day Chicago trip in September and I've had a steady increase in responsibilities and workload at work. I found taking a day off here and there required just as much preparation as longer vacations like ensuring tasks were wrapped up, letting people know I'd be away, and getting back up to speed on anything I'd missed.

Originally we were planning on going on a vacation to visit my mom in Florida for Christmas but when my mother-in-law passed away in October, we decided this Christmas wasn't the best time. So most of my vacation was spent at home decompressing. I plowed through a stack of library books on parenting (mostly on parenting boys - separate blog post on that) and work/life balance, worked on one or two projects around the house per day, ate glorious and slowly prepared dinners each night, watched tv and movies with R after the boys were in bed, slept in a few days, and spent lots of time with family. I also gathered inspiration from reading other people's 2016 goals. A big influencer of my own goals this year was the book the Power of Less. I found myself going back to it over and over again. It was a quick, easy read. In particular, it made me think of some overall guiding principles for my 2016 goals:

Less multi-tasking, more single tasking.
Having less big "goals" but working harder and smarter to accomplish them.
Focus on doing the things that only I can do and delegate or streamline the rest (i.e. cleaning) - this idea actually came from Anne-Marie Slaughter's Unfinished Business.
Keep our finances under control.

2016 Goals

Aim for 8 hours of sleep consistently - no ifs, ands, or buts.

Take time to transition and unwind before bed. It can be so hard to switch off at night. The boys have a routine and I'd like to implement one myself. Taking a hot bath or reading a book immediately before bed improves my sleep.

Keep on going for monthly massage sessions. 

Prioritize eating and drinking. I know this sounds crazy as a goal but I'm often so busy multi-tasking that I'll put off eating or drinking or eat while doing something else. A lot of people eat more when they're stressed out but I actually eat less. I felt so much better over the holidays when we were preparing good home cooked meals. Single tasking should help with this.

Find ways to nurture our individual and collective family interests. Some examples, B's best subject at school is Drama so we signed him up for an Improv class, I'm a skier but I'm taking snowboarding lessons this winter so we can snowboard together as a family, R is going on a fishing trip with his dad this Spring, and we're taking a whole week off this summer to spend as a family at our trailer.

Celebrate more and work on being empathetic.  I've been trying very hard to listen, acknowledge, and give praise and encouragement more as a parent, wife, friend, and colleague. Even little things like celebrating the boys having a good day at school or stopping what I'm doing when one of the boys has something to show me or tell me and taking the time to acknowledge has made a big difference in how smooth and positive our days have been.

Progress in my career. I've been at the same level in my career for the past three years. I've been taking on more responsibilities at work for a while now and in 2016, I would like to advance.

Go on a weekend trip as a family this winter. 

Go on a weekend trip without the kids. 

Blog more than 2015 :) 

Learning how to snowboard! Bring it on 2016!


Amanda said...

So many good goals here! Sleep has always been a priority for me (I'm such a grouch when I don't get enough) and having a baby has made getting enough sleep a huge struggle. Thankfully she usually sleeps for a solid 5 hour stretch from 8-1ish but I'm greedy and can't wait for 7 or 8! I dread going back to work when I will be forced to get up by a certain time.

Have fun snowboarding! I don't have the courage for that, hah!

Kristy said...

5 hours is a decent stretch! Yay for little miss! 8 will feel crazy when she finally sleeps through. I was a bit sore after my first attempt at snowboarding but I didn't have a terrible experience and it feels really good to learn something new. I opted to take a few private lessons and my instructor was really good at making sure I didn't fall too badly the first time. So weird having a instructor younger instructor though! Hopefully you have a little bit of time off before getting back to work.