New Year’s Resolutions

admin January 4, 2012

Image by Dana Lookadoo

It’s time for some resolutions!

Well…now, realistically, these are goals.  That is, they are going to be defined by the goal-setting guidelines I gave you on Monday.  They are not lofty and unattainable.  They are grounded, and I will do them!  Are you ready to see what I’ll be working on this year?

Real Food Goals

I let some of my real foodie-ness slide during the holidays.  Primarily, I baked with white, unbleached flour so I wouldn’t have to mess with soaking or sprouting or grinding anything.  When we were traveling so much and also working on this site launch, it was just easier.  (And I did avoid restaurants and packaged foods for the most part!)  But now that time is done, and I’m feeling inspired to get back to doing things the right way and also tackle some new projects!


How many times have I made a sourdough starter, only to stop feeding it and find it moldy a few weeks later?  Ah…at least twice.  Probably more.  I attempted to bake with it a couple of times and failed.  (In retrospect, I learned: do.not.use.sprouted.flour to make a starter.)  This year I’m going to create a successful starter (next week — when my new camera battery charger comes and I can take pictures for you) and learn to at least bake a successful honey wheat sandwich loaf, and a crusty boule.

That’s my minimum goal.  If I feel so inspired (and if it goes well, I will), I’ll use the sourdough starter to try things like pancakes, muffins, and even cakes.  But those are more like in the spring or summer once I’ve perfected the basics, and I won’t feel bad if I don’t accomplish the “extra.”

Milk Kefir

This, too, I’ve started at least a couple times and ultimately failed.  I think I wasn’t using enough grains for the amount of milk because some of it was still totally liquid and some was clumpy.  Then my kids wouldn’t drink it because I didn’t sweeten it enough.  It is my goal to use honey and frozen fruit to create a milk kefir that my kids will drink for snacks, and I will use in smoothies.  I want to brew at least 1 quart per week and find a system that works for that.  Once I get my new raw milk source!

Water Kefir

Again…something I’ve tried multiple times and failed at!  But if I can brew kombucha with no issues, surely I can figure out water kefir, right?  It has a different flavor and different strains of probiotics, and I might use it to try to figure out some “root beer” and “gingerale” that we would all enjoy, because we miss those.  I’d love to get to where I’m brewing a couple quarts a week successfully, and I’ve got the root beer and gingerale down.

Image by Tracy Hunter

Health Goals

Last year was a rough one, health-wise.  Ben’s been dealing with various types of detox through an acupuncturist all year.  We’re only a few months away from finally being done with it, I think, and he’s been exercising and otherwise working towards “normal” again as much as possible.  Once he broke down and use conventional medicine last year (for poison ivy) which did nothing.  That only redoubled our resolve not to use conventional medicine, because it doesn’t work anyway.  So this year we’re going to make more strides towards making and using our own remedies (even more than we already do).

Herbal Remedies

I’ve been using herbal remedies for awhile, like my cough and cold syrup, or skin cream (which is great for any skin issue, not just babies).  I’ve dabbled in homeopathy, too.  But this year I want to get a full complement of remedies around.  I’m often left scrambling if someone has an unusual symptom, and I want to fix that.  In the coming weeks I’ll be exploring both vegetable glycerin and alcohol herbal tinctures, and I’ll be preparing a few remedies for things like headaches and “general pain,” as well as an herbal multi- vitamin.  I’ll be blogging about it all, and you don’t want to miss that. 🙂  Consider subscribing if you haven’t!


I need to move more.  So, my goal is to get up and “move.”  Chase the kids, take them on walks, and consider a gym membership (and going 3x a week).  But the gym is further down my list of priorities right now.  I’ll be looking into therapeutic massage first to help some soreness I have, and I can’t afford to do that and a gym right now.  I’m not making any truly specific recommendations in this area because it’s likely I’d fail, with all my other commitments, if I said “I will go to the gym 3x a week.”  So I won’t. 🙂

Organization Goals

Oh…this has never been my strong suit.  I can organize things perfectly but I can never, ever get them to stay that way.  I never have any systems in place for keeping it going.  That is, I can pack a perfect diaper bag, but two weeks later I find it’s gone — I didn’t remember to replace all the stuff as I used it!  I can scrub my kitchen from top to bottom, but I can’t seem to keep it clean all the time.

And so…my overall goal is to find systems for keeping things nice.


In the playroom I’ve added several clear boxes, and each contains one set of toys.  We get out no more than two at a time (one per kid) and they get put away before another set comes out.  My goal here is to keep up with this system and not let it turn into “toy soup” anymore.


I’m good at doing “morning chores” but terrible at cleaning up immediately after meals.  My goal is to clean up the kitchen after every meal — dishes into the dishwasher or washed by hand if needed, table cleared off and wiped.  An extra five minutes after meals will mean less work and less frustration later!  I’ll try to briefly sweep the floor each night after dinner, and mop at least once a week or after spills.  I’m going to be sewing some reusable “Swiffer” pads soon (I’ll share that with you) and mixing my own safe and frugal solution, so that should help me keep the floor clean.


I’m keeping all “extra” stuff out — no toys, no books, nothing except clothes as far as storage.  I allow my kids to have one book at “quiet time” but they will have to bring it back down after.  Clothes will go immediately into baskets instead of leaving them out, and if kids don’t, I’ll have them run through before bed and pick up any stray items.

Other Areas

I don’t know yet.  I’m hoping to keep other areas clean with a quick “run through” every couple of days, depending on how often we use the space.  Bathrooms need a good scrub down, then hopefully I will remember to rinse tubs and showers and quickly scrub sinks and toilets once a week.  I am bad at remembering until I walk in the bathroom and go “Oh…hmm.  This looks kind of yucky.”  (At least upstairs.)


…is the bane of my existence.  I never keep up with it.  I often get it all washed and dried and even folded, but somehow it never gets put away.  I am going to vow that the laundry will get put away within 24 hours of washing it, because I think just that one change will keep my routine much easier.  I manage to wash whenever I see a load that needs done, meaning I do 2 – 3 loads some days and none other days, and I’m okay with that.

Image by blue2likeyou

Time Management Goals

Eek, big problem for me.  I tend to do what I “want” to do, and not always what needs done.  I’m sitting on a few emails I really ought to answer right now (hopefully this will be taken care of before you read this!).  I also never know when to stop working, I don’t always have my priorities straight, and I don’t always have a realistic idea of how much time things will really take.  Oh my.  I need some help.

Daily To Do

I’m going to take five or ten minutes at the start of each day to write down what really needs to be done for the day, and what I would like to accomplish (knowing that it’s possible that I won’t accomplish everything on the second list, the “would like to” part).  Then I want to make sure I do everything I must and some of the other stuff, but never to the detriment of my family’s needs.

Weekly To Do

Every week, I need to get my posts done, get all the laundry done, and make sure every area of the house gets a “quick clean” at least once.  How I fit that in will go in my daily to do.  But, I’m not going to schedule it on particular days so that I don’t feel pressured or stressed if the kids are being needier one day and I don’t get much done.

Long-Term Projects

I’m going to break these down into smaller sections so I can do just a little at once.  For example, during a given week I might aim to create 2 – 3 new recipes during our regular meal times, or write one chapter of my new book.  I have to remind myself not to do it all at once.  These smaller goals will go on my daily to do.  (Do you want to see an example of all this once I do it??  I feel like this is vague.)

Quitting Time

Every morning I’m going to pull out my laptop during post-breakfast play time and do my morning work — 20 minutes or so of checking my to-do list, getting on Facebook to share my recent post, checking business email, etc.  And then it is going to get put away until nap time.  At night I need to put it away by 9, and some nights by 8.  Whatever’s not done at that point will just have to wait.  This is going to be really hard for me.  I have a tendency to have the laptop out all the time.  It’s there so I’ll go fold some laundry, then do a quick check.  Play a game with the kids, check again.  etc.  I’m always on.  I have to learn to put it down!

Family Goals

I need to prioritize time with my family, which has been really hard in this season of growing my business.  The kids often get activities to do near me instead of with me.  We also haven’t gotten out much in the last few months, when Jacob was new and since he still naps twice a day.  That was the best time that we had because we were totally away from electronic devices!  (I might be the only person under 50 who does not have a smart phone, so when we are away from home, I am basically “unplugged” except for emergency phone use.)

Outings with the Kids

I want to take two outings per week.  One of these may be a shopping trip, but one has to be “somewhere fun,” as my almost 4-year-old says.  We got a membership to a local science museum so we’ll hit that, Recreations Outlet (if you’re local, it’s a neat indoor playground full of model wooden play structures, and it’s free Tues, Wed, and Thurs from 9 – 11.  It’s in Powell), the zoo when it’s warmer, friends’ houses, etc.  Play dates at home with friends count too.


I need to stop working by 9, and sometimes by 8, so that Ben and I can spend evenings together.  All the kids go to bed by 8, so I can get a little more work done some nights, then stop.  We need to reconnect by playing board games, talking, etc.  And it would be super awesome if we did find a babysitter and actually go out a few times this year.  I think we should aim to attend at least 3 of our church’s “marriage matters” evenings!  (They provide childcare for $10 per family!)

Are You Ready?

So that’s where I am.  Yes, that’s a lot!  But many of those goals are interconnected, so it’s not as much as it looks like.

Now it’s your turn.  What goals are you making this year?  Are you with me on the organization, real food steps, or health (or anything else)?  What is the biggest goal on your mind?  Share them with me, so we can keep each other accountable!

What are YOUR goals this year?

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  1. Thanks, Kate, I am facing many of the same household issues that you are and often feel overwhelmed. I like the idea of taking it in bits and pieces, like getting the laundry put away in 24 hours, and quick weekly bathroom scrubs. My upstairs is often neglected because no one sees it but us. I also work full time outside the home, but so wish I didn’t so that I could devote more time to healthy eating and food prep. I do what I can, but am always looking for ways to improve. Keep the posts coming. I really enjoy my few minutes of blog reading each day.


  2. Here’s my system for the laundry, maybe it will give you some ideas. I don’t sort my laundry by colors like most people do. Instead I divide it up by rooms. Each child has a hamper in their room and I have a 3-section hamper in the master bedroom. When a hamper gets full I throw it in the wash. Since all the clothes in a load go back to the same room it’s really easy when the load is finished to take the basket of clean clothes back to that room to fold and immediately put away. When I did laundry the traditional way sorting by colors when I had to put things away I was running between 3 different bedrooms and that’s the part I didn’t like.


    • Thanks Sherri! I actually do something really similar — 3 baskets in the master bedroom and one in each kid’s room, plus one in the kitchen. My problem is that, for example, a kid will take a shower in my room, and clothes get in my basket, or they spill something at dinner and their clothes end up in the kitchen basket. Then, the baskets aren’t sorted by room anymore when they’re done. I tried doing all the laundry on one day and folding it all in my living room (which we don’t use often) and leaving it all out in piles until it was done so I could then put each room into their appropriate baskets. Unfortunately, I’d then leave the baskets in there (lol) or my kids would decide it was the perfect day to head in there and use the couches for gymnastics practice! Still haven’t found my perfect system yet. 🙂


  3. I’ve had the same problems with sour dough molding too. I am going to try again this year also. My pancakes actually turned out a lot better than my bread and was a lot easier to make so don’t be hesitant to try sour dough pancakes.


  4. I use old washcloths for swiffers- no sewing needed. We have a ton that we use for all kinds of things and they’re perfect for mopping on a swiffer handle. I spray the floor with a spray bottle of my “cleaner” and run over it with the damp washcloth on the swiffer handle. Easy!


  5. Kate, I second Missy’s comment–sourdough pancakes are the easiest! If you figure out how to make a whole wheat honey loaf that works for sandwich bread, I am coming over for personal lessons– that is one of my goals this year, too. I like all of your goals, especially the two outings per week one. We women often forget to make time for ourselves, so thanks for sending out the reminder to all!


  6. I wonder if the ‘family closet” system would make your laundry problem easier to manage?


    • Rebecca,

      I’d forgotten about that! I had read about it before but hadn’t thought about it in a long time. Thanks for the reminder. I don’t know that it would work here because I don’t have the space, but definitely something to put on the list when we’re looking for a new house!


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I’m Kate, mama to 5 and wife to Ben.  I love meeting new people and hearing their stories.  I’m also a big fan of “fancy” drinks (anything but plain water counts as ‘fancy’ in my world!) and I can’t stop myself from DIY-ing everything.  I sure hope you’ll stick around so I can get to know you better!

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