Wow, where to start? It’s been something like 4 months since my last post. To be honest, I was sort of going to let it go and stop blogging. However, something keeps bringing me back. I think I just love to write…whether anyone reads it at all. So I’m going to do my best to keep this place up and hope you’ll continue to follow along (if I haven’t lost you already). If you follow me on Instagram, you have probably noticed that I’ve made that account a fitness account. I will likely keep it that way, and keep life, etc. here (including fitness). I do have a lot of content to share in the coming weeks – our Punta Cana trip, some living room updates and the fact that I have decided to run a half marathon (currently in training!)

All that being said, I wanted to kick off my first post in 2018 with a little list of 18 things I want to accomplish this year.

18 for 2018

(No particular order)

1) Run a half marathon. In late December, I got a wild hair and signed myself up for the Myrtle Beach Half Marathon on 3/3. I started training in early January and I’m about half way there. I did hit a week of sickness that made me lose a week of training, but I’ve kept pushing through. On Saturday I ran 8 miles – the farthest I’ve ever run at one time! Before that, a 10K was my longest run. I still can’t believe I did it. And it’s even harder to believe I will be doing 9 this Saturday. I am glad I am pushing myself to do this…it is making me stronger mentally and simultaneously helping me with my fitness goals.

As you can see, I’m certainly not the fastest runner, especially when it comes to longer distances, but my focus is just accomplishing the 13.1 miles at the end of this. My goal for 13 miles is about 2.5 hours. I hope that is realistic for me.

2) Get myself and my family more involved in church. Currently, we are regular attenders, with a few off weeks here and there, but I really want to take advantage of the many great things our church offers. I attend the Chosen Women’s Conference every year in October and am already signed up this year, but I want to do more. I have signed my husband and me up for the Unite Marriage night next week and I plan to send my oldest son to the middle school overnight camp in the summer. Additionally, my sons go with their cousin in Charlotte to a week-long church day camp in the summer through their church. I started sending Tanner to the middle school worship night every 2nd Sunday of the month too. My husband and I have always noticed we just do better as a couple and as a family when we are committed to church.

3) Date nights with my sons. I’ve done this before, but I’ve let them fall off the schedule – at least the one-on-ones. I want to invest in my relationships with each of my sons and spend good quality time with them. If you have fun date night ideas for a 12yo and a 7yo, I’d love to hear them! I’m going to have to switch it up here and there.

4) Tackle the house to-do list. I have so many things I want to do and there are a few things that have just been on the list too long. Namely, our master bedroom, the kitchen and the garage play room. (Oh, btw, I moved the play room to the garage and the gym to the old play room spot.) The garage is taking some careful orchestration because we will have to buy a small shed to put on the side of the house in order to clear out some of the lawn equipment and tools to make room to have a nice area in there for the kids. The area has already been started and is usable for them, but I want to go all the way and make it feel like an extra room to the house. More to come on the house to-do list in another post.

5) Focus on paying off debt and staying in a budget. We are looking good to pay off the credit card (it’s not out of control, thankfully, but nonetheless, I don’t like having a balance.) We are going to focus on spending less by sticking to our budget…the ultra-organizer in me created a massive spreadsheet that records down to the penny what our bills are and what our paychecks are and keeps track of how we pay everything by week and what money we have leftover. I’m pretty damn proud of it, mostly because so far it’s working. It really makes me think before making random purchases that I’ve never given much thought to in the past, but they add up.

6) Commit to 4:30am weekday workouts. I started this in December and it always feels great to have it done and out of the way. I fell a little out of it when I got bronchitis the other week, but I am getting back on it this week and plan to keep at it. This will also involve giving up weeknight wine because I’ve learned I do not go if I’ve had wine the night before. So I’ve had to make a decision to do what is important…and actually, I feel much better. Sorry, wine.

7) More beach days. During the last half of last year, I started going out to the beach more, even if it was just for 30 min to take in the ocean breeze and sunset before I headed to The Barre Code on Monday evenings. I really enjoyed it and I as corny as it may sound, I think it was really good for my soul. Not many really know, but I went through a lot last year in the way of having to let some people go that had made it clear they were not the friends to me that I was to them. It was hard and hurtful, but at the end of the day, you can’t control how people are to you, you can only control the way you react to it. I was tired of reacting passively in order to keep the peace, and ultimately decided that honesty was best. The thing about being honest is, some people can’t handle it and won’t reciprocate and try to work through things. I did it in the most mature way I could, stated my peace and genuinely wished them well. I had to trust in myself and the path I was going on and sometimes it was nice to just stop and breathe, feel calm in that solace on the beach with my thoughts and know that positive things were happening as a result of hard decisions I had to make. I intend to keep going out to the beach whenever I get the chance…it is a happy place for me and it would be a shame to live so close and not take advantage.

8) Invest in and spend time with good friends. #7 brings me to my next one…spending time with friends that do care and take genuine interest in me and my life. I was lucky enough to grow deeper relationships with some great girlfriends over the last year and I look forward to many more good times spent and our friendships continuing to grow. They are raw, real and supportive…which is not easy to find, especially in your adult years.

9) Date my husband. My husband and I are terrible at this. Our dating is basically binge-watching something on Netflix in the last couple hours of the evening that we have to ourselves once the kids go to bed. We rarely get dressed up and go out unless it’s a special occasion. It’s just so darn expensive to go out and hire a sitter and I feel bad to ask my in-laws all the time. Once a week dating is unrealistic for this reason. I have a goal of setting out to do one night a month.

10) Paint, paint and paint some more. This was a goal of mine last year and I had started, but after a couple months dropped it again. I still think about it all the time, so I know it’s something I need to figure out how to work into my life and dedicate the time. When we get the garage completed for the kids hang out area, I have plans to use part of it as an art studio for myself. I’d really love to sell my art someday just to see where it goes. For now, I just need to focus on picking up the brush more.

11) Get flexible again. I have worked a lot toward this and I still can’t believe how hard it is now versus my dancing years. I mean, that should be obvious, but mentally as someone who in the past could always pop into splits (often without stretching) and do back bends, etc., it is incredibly humbling to realize my body is no longer in that place. My goal here is to stay encouraged, just keep working on it and be cognizant to stretch after workouts. I’d love to start a daily yoga flow in my home gym and even join a yoga studio, even if it’s just for a short period of time.

12) Eat clean. While I want to continue to do meal prep, etc. for myself, I also want to put the energy in making sure we also have clean meals as a family. For the most part, when I do cook a meal, it’s a healthy one, but my crazed schedule often creates inconsistency in the home-cooked meal department. I want to find better options for my kids’ school lunches as well as create a menu plan for dinners and a grocery shopping schedule that truly works.

13) Read more books and listen to interesting/educational podcasts. I’m new to the podcast game, admittedly. But it took me no longer than 48 hours to become addicted (I think this is why I waited so long to get into them). I have been intrigued by the many business-centric and self-love/happiness podcasts available and now rather than always doing my car concerts, I listen to a podcast. (Currently loving How I Built This w/Guy Raz.) I also would like to commit to reading more (nonfiction) books. I have a lot of reading with school (which of course is beneficial), but I would like to read at least one book a month outside of that.

14) Volunteer at my kids’ school at least once a year. Unfortunately, I am not the stay-at-home mom, or even the working mom that has time to be a “room mom”. I tried that before and it just always felt half-assed when I was doing so many other things all the time, so I’ve resolved that it’s just not for me in this season of life. However, I do want my kids to see me as an involved parent and I need to take it beyond helping with homework. I’d love to do something special for each of them once a year – whether it’s attending a class party, a PTA event, etc. I actually signed up to do a PTA breakfast with Tanner and a family show and tell sort of thing with Breckin next week. And they both fell on the same day…one finishes a couple hours before the other, so it works out perfectly.

15) Organize. Organize my files at home, computer files, picture storage and books, etc. I need to create backups for my computer files and clean out my physical files. Make sure we have our documents in order – will, POA, financial account information, etc.

16) Declutter. Go through every box/tote in the garage and get rid of holiday decor, etc. that is no longer used. Go through my husband’s miscellaneous boxes of screws and nails and make him take them to his workshop (where they will actually get used). Get rid of even more clothing and shoes – kids included. So many things to declutter.

17) Take advantage of living in Charleston, SC. There are so many great events in our city and I want to get out and be a part of them. I told my husband I need him to come out of his antisocial shell for me because there are so many things I am always saying I wish we would do or I wish I had known about and with a little planning, we could just make it happen. Get a sitter if needed and take advantage of all the fun things this city has to offer. I used to do the French Quarter Art Walks all the time and that is definitely one I want to get back on my schedule.

18) Social Media Free Day. This is a new concept, but I would love to see myself take at least a day off from social media per week. Maybe Sundays. If it’s not going to be a whole day, maybe it will be a designated time of day that I focus on family and home, not my phone. It will be interesting to see if I get a lot more accomplished by doing this.

I plan to have some posts on here periodically updating with progress on this list – whether it focuses on the whole list or just one thing off the list, i.e. showing you how I do it (organization techniques, etc.) Hope you’ll stay tuned.

Morgan is a 30-something artist living in Charleston, SC with her husband and their three kids. She has a California Boho fashion and décor sense and lives a healthy lifestyle.

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