January 2, 2015

Resolving to be Awesome

It's time once again to revel in my neuroses.

As long time readers know, I don't do New Year's resolutions. I set a series of achievable goals, and I work towards them. Or, I don't. But either way, I stop at the end of every day and rather than cross it off my calendar, I check all the boxes of things I wanted to do and accomplished from my list.

I start every year by cutting out about 370 tiny square lists, and yes, every night I mark whether or not I did the things I wanted to do. And then I tally them up, and see whether or not I succeeded in meeting my goals.

This year was a bit of a surprise. Some things, I thought I rocked. Some? I thought I tanked way worse than I thought had. So here's how it actually broke down.

It's on sale for $.99 until Monday!!!
Goal: Write daily
Target: 365
I didn't do so great. In fact, I did one worse than last year- I only wrote 292 days out of 365. I'm cutting myself a bit of slack on this- I did a lot of traveling in 2014, so that would be a problem for my writing routine. And while I might not have written every day... I did publish quite a bit. I own three lovely anthologies with work in them. I got an agent to represent my memoir! But the thing is, I know I can always at least scribble out a haiku about having no time to write... so I have no excuse. This year- 365 or bust.

Goal: Eat at least two meals
Target: 365
I'm going to call this one an unequivocal win. I managed to eat at least two meals during 358 days of 2014! In fact, it became so much my routine... I'm actually eating right now. That's right, I've finally gotten the hang of freezing leftovers and then moving them to the fridge the day before I know I'll have a hard time figuring out what to feed myself. Right now? Borscht. And I love borscht, even if the beets didn't particularly care for being frozen. It's become so much habit, it's completely come off my 2015 goals. I have actually succeeded in modifying my own behavior! Go me!

Goal: Maintained minimum hygiene
Target: 365
You'd think this would be easy. All I have to do is brush my teeth OR wash my face OR take a damn shower. But then, you probably never had a house full of toddlers and preschoolers if you think this is always easy. I'm happy to say I improved on last year's abysmal number... but sadly, only by three. I only managed to brush my teeth at a bare minimum 284 times last year. And actually, last year was an improvement over the year before. So I'm going to give myself a little break, and actually lower the number for 2015. I know, gross, right? But let's be honest. There are sick days, there are camping/travel days, there are times when I already know I won't have ACCESS to running water or a toothbrush or anything... so I'm knocking a whopping fifteen days off this goal. My goal for 2015: maintain my hygiene at least 350 days out of the year. Just splash some goddamn water on my face, almost every day of the year. At 284 times in 2014, I run no risk of overstepping this goal. But baby steps, right?

Picking apples!
Goal: Went outside
Target: 312
Hahahahahahah no.
Even though I intentionally gave myself one day a week to not even step onto the balcony, I did even worse on this than bathing- which is probably good. There was a lot of correlation between days I didn't brush my teeth and days I didn't leave the house- so you're welcome, world. I'm also cutting myself some slack. There were days last year that the school canceled for, I quote, "Life threateningly cold temperatures." No way in Frozen Over Hell am I making myself leave the house under those conditions. So I'm also dropping my standards here. I left the house 273 days last year. That's kind of depressingly low, but five days better than 2013, so... win? This year, I'm lowering the standard again. I'm going to give myself one day a week to be a shut in, and one day a month to just be antisocial. So, an even 300 for next year.

Goal: Sang
Target: 365
This is kind of depressing, but I did SO BADLY.
It actually kind of breaks my heart to say this, but in the month of October, I only sang during three days. Three days in an entire month that I didn't sing a single song.

I'm in shock. I love to sing. This goal has been a huge wake up call for me. I am vowing, not only to sing, but to resume what used to be my routine of doing vocal warmups in the shower. So when I'm showering (more frequently this year!) I'll be singing. Even warmup ditties. "See the swimmers swimming in the deep blue see," and whatnot.

That said, I also get that I do get sick. And when I get sick, I lose my voice. Pretty much every time. So I'm giving myself a little leeway here, too. One day off a week from singing, just in case the voice box needs a rest. So new goal- 312. Which is almost twice what I actually accomplished- my abysmal 176.

...I'm so ashamed.

Goal: Had alone time
Target: 260
I assumed it wouldn't be possible on weekends at the start of the year. but you know what?

296 bitches!!!!!!!

This one became so important to me I actually managed the behavior modification to make it part of my daily routine, too. So it comes off the list! I have officially learned to give myself "me time!" GO ME!

Thanks to all who sponsored me in the RAINN 5K!
Goal: Exercised
Target: 156
I didn't do too badly, honestly. I hit 137, up from last year's 123. That said, I don't feel like I got a solid two weeks of exercising in at ANY point last year, and I know the bulk of my most vigorous cardio came from dancing my ass off at every wedding people were dumb enough to invite me to. So while I don't feel exactly BAD about it, the goal stays. 156. If I improve as much this year as I did last, that should be an achievable goal.

Goal: Observe the Sabbath with the kids
Target: 35
Last year, I decided my goal of lighting Shabbat candles with the girls every Friday night was unrealistic, so I lowered the goal to 35. I figured, that more than accounted for date nights where I wasn't home, for days where we were traveling and in hotels or somebody else's home, and I should be able to nail it. I even felt like we did a pretty good job this year- all the kids know all the prayers, and they get totally thrilled whenever I remind them it's Shabbat.

I bombed. Oh, how I bombed. 22. A whole seven weeks worse than last year. This year I will do better. This year I will do better. The goal stands.

Goal: Read a book for pleasure
Target: 12
I was so embarrassed last year- I only managed to read nine- nine- books for pleasure in the year 2013. So I was determined to beat my previous goal of a book a month.

Finishing up "The Glass Castle" with a sleeping toddler
You ready for this?

I read 34 books in 2014. Take that, slacker brain!!!! I've decided that since, first of all, I loved reading as a part of my routing SO much, and second of all I often lost count of how many books I'd finished over a weekend (such nice weekends!), I'm going to go ahead and up my goal. This year? 36. Three books a month. Yes, graphic novels still count. (So get crackin' Kirkman!). But some extra fun? Now that the girls and I are reading chapter books together, I'm going to get to revisit a bunch of childhood favorites, and they DEFINITELY count. Anne of Green Gables, Pippi Longstocking, Little House in the Big Woods... these are all on the next few months' reading list. And that doesn't even count the dozen or so books I've got lined up on my kindle for after they're asleep. Should be a good year for books. :)

Goal: Finished a project
Target: 12
And how many projects did I finish this year?
Forty fucking one.
Take that, slacker hands!!!! In 2013, I felt amazing for finishing a whopping 13 projects. This year though, I finally got over some creative blocks, and I had a BLAST making things. Art, cakes, cards... and yes, I definitely counted the lavender honey roast duck I made for Thanksgiving as a project. I'm a vegetarian and let me tell you, that thing was pretty.

So I'm not going to push myself to do more next year- I'm just going to push myself to keep up. The goal for 2015- 36. Three projects a month. And yes, home improvement projects count. So when I repaint the trim in the living room, that is DEFINITELY a check mark for the day!

And that's how I did in 2014. I'm adding a new one, since I can't stand living in the kind of chaos my house has devolved into.

Goal: House cleaner when I go to bed than when I wake up
Target: 156
Three days a week. I think I can handle that. I hope I can handle that.

...but you know what? Something else has been seriously lacking in my goals. These have all been small, reasonable things. Something I can do and expect myself to do. But I haven't been giving myself enough credit. I have gotten better and better of expecting more of myself, not the bare minimum.

On facebook, I phrased it- "I resolve to be awesome!" But I don't do resolutions. I do achievable goals. So now here I am, adding another goal.

Opening up LTYM Chicago
Goal: Accomplish Something Amazing
Target: 4
One a season. Because you know what? I accomplished some really amazing things in 2014, and now I can't help but expect myself to meet that new standard.

I became a professional speaker- on behalf of RAINN and about sex positive parenting. I was a BlogHer VOTY. I stood on stage for Listen To Your Mother. I got an agent for my memoir. I was published in three anthologies. Those are serious accomplishments. And I deserve to expect them from myself.

So today, I'm already checking one off my list for 2015. Because this? This is my 700th blog post on Becoming SuperMommy.

Seven hundred posts.

That is no mean feat. That is hours and hours and hours and hours, months, years, of pouring my heart and soul into the internets and actually learning from it. Gaining the love and support and friendship of amazing people all over the world. Becoming a better person. Becoming a better writer. Becoming a better friend.

...Becoming SuperMommy.

I'm still not there yet. I am by no means SuperMommy, really. But I'm giving myself a little credit. I'm giving myself the benefit of the doubt. I am patting myself on the back and saying, "You know what? You kind of rock."

So all of you should pat yourself on the backs, too, because you're amazing. Without you, I wouldn't be here. I wouldn't have a stack of anthologies with my name in them, I wouldn't have a finished memoir and an agent representing it, I wouldn't have a list of appearances and interviews... all of that was your doing, and I am unfathomably grateful.

Here's to 2015, lovely readers! Here's to you!

I love you all.


  1. Congratulations on meeting so, so, so many of your goals for 2014!! I'am so happy and so excited for you! I am also so thrilled that I got to see you in person not once, but twice in 2014!! Hopefully we can do the same or beat that in 2015!! Wising you all the best for you and your beautiful family in the New Year!

    1. I would LOVE to beat that in 2015!!! I promise to even brush my teeth!!!!!

      Happy New Year to your family as well! <3



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