With the 2012 goals behind me, it's time to give myself a few things to aim for in 2013. As usual, I'm sticking to things that are measurable because I feel that is much more effective than general resolutions. If I say something like "I'll eat healthier", it's really easy to eat brownies today and save the salad for a tomorrow that never comes. Whether or not I met the goal would be completely subjective and it's really easy for us humans to convince ourselves we're doing pretty good at something whether we really are or not. I'm better off with something concrete to shoot for. Something I can look at later in the year and give a definitive, objective "yes" or "no" answer to when I determine whether the goal has been met or not. I have quite a few things on my list this year.
1) Have the full year of lesson plans put together by the end of August. I don't mean scheduling what will be done on which day, just which lessons need to be covered throughout the course of the school year. Each year so far, I've ended up only doing the first semester on at least one subject. Inevitably, I end up rushed to get the rest of it finished, which is stressful on top of the stress of disrupting the school routine. I've finally learned our parent-child relationship is better the more school organization we have. Strict scheduling, bad. Massive organization so we can easily pick up and work when we're ready, very very good.
2) Pay at least an extra $2500 to student loans on top of regular payments. Student loans have been hanging over our heads for the last 10 years. Every month, $400 gets sent off to pay them down. Mathematically speaking, it's better to pay off the mortgage first because it has a higher interest rate, not that many people will give you that advice. That has been our strategy in the past. This year, we are closing on the sale of our old house (and putting that money towards down payment on the new house), and starting a new mortgage. We've recently decided to put math aside and go with brain chemistry. Brain chemistry says it'd sure be nice to not stare down those student loans any more. So in addition to the regular payments, we're going to pay another $2500 over the course of the year, minimum.
3) Blog more consistently. Back in July, I had a sizable jump in my blog traffic, but then it plateaued at that higher level and has stayed there. My goal is blog 3 times per week, but my measure of success will be seeing another traffic jump by June that maintains (or increases!) for the rest of the year. I need to be more organized and plan my posts better to make this work.
4) Market my lactation practice more effectively. I'm an IBCLC (international board certified lactation consultant) and run a very small private practice. With moving cross country and back and having a sensory issues baby that I couldn't really leave for a while, I've just been taking a few clients by word of mouth rather than actively trying to build a business. This year, I'm freed up a bit and want to build my practice. It's still very much a "just on the side" thing, so I'm sticking with a modest goal of one new client each month.
5) Finish the quilt. For real this time. It's 3 years in the making at this point, it's getting a little ridiculous.