5 Projects For The New Year

Wow. This year feels like it’s taking forever to get started. Between going to Disney on Christmas, coming down with the cold everyone else seems to have once we got back, and getting walloped with snow and (below)freezing temperatures, it’s been hard for me to get back into the swing of things. Like Kim, I always resist the idea of making New Year’s resolutions. I’ve written about all of my thoughts on the subject here but in short, I don’t like setting myself up for failure and as a natural procrastinator, tend to get discouraged before I even start.

Hiding from the new year…

However, there are a few things on my short list now that the frenzy of the holidays is over and I thought that I’d put them out into the universe in order to keep them prioritized. Lists are much more my speed since the feeling of ticking things off is damn satisfying.

1. Check in on my finances and automated saving. In general, this is a great time of year to look back on your performance, evaluate any goals you set for yourself last year, and make sure that any systems you have in place are up to date. For example, Conor and I paid off our car loan in 2013 and I got a teensy raise that will start this month. Part of my plan is to slightly increase my 401k contributions and our mortgage payments to capture some of this extra cash before I spend it all on oversized sweaters and leggings. If you’re looking for more ideas on financial goals, check out this post from last January.

2. Build work table in the Art Lab. Remember that project I started in the cellar? Things are happening, I promise! However, there’s one big project I need to tackle in order to bump it up to the next level. That would be building my work table. I sketched out some ideas with Conor and scoped out materials at Home Depot a few weeks ago. All I need to do now is firm up the dimensions, block out some time with the resident carpenter, and get. it. done.

3. Organize the cellar. Once I get the work table done, I’ll be able to relocate all the things I dislocated during the painting project. Basically, we used the Art Lab as a dumping ground for a year and then I moved it all out so I could paint in there. There are piles of stuff everywhere in the rest of the cellar and any semblance of organization broke down between painting, bringing in our outdoor furniture, decorating for the holidays, and cleaning the rest of the house for our Christmas party. Woof.

Once I get my storage pieces sorted out in the Art Lab, I can move all the “stuff” back in, cull down the things I don’t need, and get back to having separate zones for my projects, Conor’s tools, laundry, and long-term storage. Right now, going down there makes my eye twitch.

4. Get my cooking mojo back. I’m going to break out my own horn and say that I’m a good cook. Toot toot. However, I have not been good at cooking lately. Aside from the Christmas party I threw, I haven’t cooked much of anything for a while. Dinners have been a haphazard affair of pasta, pizza, and cobbled together snacks for the last few weeks and my body is not having it anymore. I need to get back to cooking real meals on the regular and trying out some new things. I’m going back through some of my best cookbooks for ideas and have some cute recipe cards handy to make note of the winners. If you have any favorite recipes for healthy and expeditious weeknight dinners, leave them in the comments! My waistline will thank you.

5. Make more things/Complete more things. Here’s where my list gets a little abstract. I’ve been so inspired by Jessie’s creative pursuits lately and want to get back to creating things and finishing projects for myself. I have lots of ideas that I keep putting off but it’s time to just dive in. Once I get the work table finished, that is. If any of it is worth sharing, you’ll be seeing it here.