Sunday, January 01, 2012

Lightening Up

Lighten Up
2012 is here. I don't know if it's my age, or what, but I have to say it feels like the years are flying by, and 2011 was the fastest yet.

It was also the craziest yet.

And while we're on the subject of 2011, I never made a single New Year's Resolution. Not one word, not one goal, not one thought towards how I could take that year and use it to improve myself somehow.

I blame the (wonderful! amazing!) cruise we took. We left on New Year's Eve, came back on January 8 and hit the ground running. I guess I didn't have my usual time at the New Year to use for introspection and goal-setting.

I did do really well at exercising for the first time ever. But, I dropped that ball (and treadmill) sometime during the opera performances this summer. And I undid much of my hard work by doing nothing. By not having specific goals.

But today marks the beginning of 2012. And I am not going on a cruise. Instead, I am using the time for introspection and goal-setting, and I have decided on a word for the year. I find I have the most success with the one word concept (in the past I've used care, simplify, order, and routine) as it helps me to focus my life via that one word. The word often stretches to all of the areas of my life that need work, so it is a nice way to easily remember my goals for myself.

At first, I figured I would use our family theme for this school year (Go & Do) as my word. But that didn't feel right to me. I guess I keep coming to the fact that I don't have a lot of trouble going and doing, and in fact maybe I go and do more than I should. (Unless we're talking about the gym--but never you worry, because I think I have it addressed rather nicely in the words I did choose.) In fact, I go and do so much, that perhaps I create more worry and stress for myself than is healthy.

There has been much stuff in my life that causes unnecessary heaviness this past year: Overscheduling. Weight. Debt. Clutter. SAD. Obligations. Habits.

So my word for 2012 is Lighten Up. (Okay, so that's two words--I like to be an over-achiever!)

If nothing else, I can lighten up my mood and my attitude. But I also hope to lighten up my whole life. To lighten up the debt load. To lighten up my schedule. To lighten up the clutter in my house and in my mind. To lose weight and lighten up my body. Together, all will combine to help me enjoy my life more and to become light enough so that I can truly soar.

I have a couple other goals that fit in to the theme in my mind, but perhaps not so obviously.

1. I am going to finally do Project 365, which is actually Project 366 this year. I will be posting the daily pictures on my photography blog. While it seems to be just one more thing to do, I feel like it will help me Lighten Up because it will help me recognize the moments and blessings in my life that I often miss while I am too busy being stressed out. I hope it will help me cultivate an attitude of optimism and gratitude and also help me learn how to stop and smell the roses. Or, in other words, how to lighten up. Today's post is here.

2. I am going to read 52 books in 2012 (GoodReads has a cool can see my progress on the sidebar). I only did 35 in 2011, which shocked me. I haven't been reading as much for myself, which is another activity which relaxes me and helps me to keep priorities a little straighter. I always learn so much from the books I read and feel they help me to be a better human. And did I mention the relaxing thing? So, fewer reviews, more pleasure reading. Yeah. Lighten UP.

What are your goals for the New Year?
Lara Neves
Lara Neves

Lara is mom to three daughters—two teens and a tween. She loves to share her parenting and homemaking triumphs and failures here at Overstuffed! She was diagnosed with Lyme disease in 2015 and has been fighting it ever since. When she isn't working on her mother of the year award, you can find her reading, singing, or taking photos.


  1. What a great word(s) of the year!! I love it. Good luck! I need to sit down and write some goals, too...

    And was your cruise really a year ago!?! It freaks me out when I read things like that. (like how Kazzy's son is coming home from his mission soon. HELLO!?! How is that possible?)

  2. I like your goals. And I think you probably do better with goal keeping than most.
    Mine will be to keep reading your blog and to live through 2012. I think I can handle those!

  3. 52 books in a year---that sounds like heaven:) Keep us posted on what you read!!

  4. What a great word(s) for the year!
    I am still thinking of mine - there is always so much I want to do, need to do and dream of.

    Happy New Year!!

  5. Happy New Year, Lara. I hope it's a great one. I would love to do 52 books, but I've been picking books that are too long. I read North and South, and now I'm reading the Count of Monte Cristo. I've been reading it for over a week and I'm less than HALF done. It's sooooo long. Maybe I should lighten up on my book choices. :)

  6. This is AWESOME!!

    I love your word(s). I have also chosen a word for the year: Discipline....

    I also like the Book Challenge idea, I think I have Stephanie's problem of choosing books that are too big.

    Good Luck:) Hope all is well, I need to catch up on my blog reading....

  7. I love that you were able to begin the year with a cruise. And your resolution to read more, and lighten up! I wish you the best of luck.

  8. It's a good plan.
    I blame your cruise for so many things. :)
    Love you's. :)

  9. Just wanted to say that I love Laura. The End.

  10. What a great idea Lara. I have so many things I want to do better. It's day two and I'm already starting to worry that some of my goals might not be realistic. BUT, I love your ideas here.

  11. Love the book idea. I'd like to learn to cook just the basics even. Tried some bread last week--major bomb--so my resolutions will start in the kitchen. I want better food for my kids--now I just need to learn how to make it :)

  12. My goals for the New Year: Declutter the Den and KEEP IT THAT WAY (the latter being the real goal) and stop being half-azz'd on the Visiting Teaching. I suck.