To Do in 2011

I really like Jennie’s idea of making a list of things to do in the new year instead of resolutions.  The other day on twitter, Devan asked what the difference between the two are, and for me, I think the difference is that the list is more specific– actual items that can be accomplished and then crossed off– and resolutions are more abstract or vague.  Devan’s right though, when it really comes down to it, there’s no real difference.

In any case, I’m going to approach this year with a To Do in 2011 list; things that I can cross off as I go.  I’ve been asking myself what exactly it is I want to accomplish in the next 365 361 days.  I may continue to add to the list (or edit the list) for a while.  I’ll eventually put in on a sidebar or its own tab, as well as print a copy for my fridge.

To Do in 2011:

1.  Cut sugar consumption in half (at least).  (Evaluate monthly.)

2. Paint the family room and upstairs bathroom.

3.  Fix our bed.  (Or, more accurately, have David fix our bed.)

4.  Get a new mattress.

5.  Besides the book club book, read 2 other books per month.

6.  Spend 1 afternoon each month alone with Kate and Joan (individually).  (I already spend lots of time alone with Marin.)

7.  Order my medical records and find out what exactly went on during my last C-section.

8.  Print a photo I took on canvas.

9.  Enter a photo I took into the State Fair.

10.  Make exercise a habit.  At the beginning of each month, set weekly exercise goals.  (For January, my goal is 4x/week.)

11.  Fence the yard.

12.  Plant a vegetable garden.

13.  Plant raspberries.

14.  Visit East Coast Anne this spring.

15.  Meet some of my blog friends.

16.  Spend a weekend away with just David and me.

17.  Re-cover the dining room chairs.

18.  Earn an income greater than what I currently earn.

19.  Take a hands-on photography class, either locally or online.

20.  Have family game  night 2x/month.

21.  Publish something besides what I write on this blog.

22.  Clean out my dresser and closet and get David to do the same with his clothes.

23.  Clean and reorganize the home office.

24.  Paint that dresser purple for Marin.

25.  Paint/refinish the hutch from David’s grandparents’ house and move it from garage into dining room.

26.  Find peace and closure in The Situation that I don’t have peace and closure about.

27.  Clean out the freezer.

28.  Create the habit of having a meal plan when I go grocery shopping.

29.  Get Posie a cat tower so she can see out of the family room windows.

30.  Write a letter to the editor.

31.  Take Kate and Joan each to S.D. to stay (alone) with my grandma for a few days.

32.  Pare down toys, magazines, books, and stuff in attic.  Stop holding onto stuff we haven’t used or needed for years.

33.  Decorate the walls in our bedroom.

34.  Have a family day at the Science Museum.

35.  Take the kids to Minnehaha Falls.

36.  See Tea more often.

37.  Be a better phone-friend to East Coast Anne and Seester.  (I’ve been in phone-avoidance mode lately.)

38.  Make a delicious Corn Chowder soup.

39.  Take the kids to an indoor water park this winter to ward off the winter blah’s.

40.  Shut the laptop when the kids are home/awake more often.

41.  Install a clothes line.

42.  Be in more photographs with my kids, including a great family picture and a picture of me, my grandma, and my girls that I love.

43.  Sleep on the porch with the girls this summer.

44.  Try snowshoeing or cross-country skiing.

45.  Through a class, book, or something, learn how to better use photoshop, including doing a collage and putting 2 photos side by side.

46.  Spend 1 night a week with Grant [Edit: that would be DAVID to ya’ll] after the kids go to bed (watching a movie, playing farkle, etc.)

47.  Take the girls to a Nutcracker performance next December.

48.  Take the girls to a theater production this year.  (Like we did last summer when we saw High School Musical at MSU.)

49.  Rearrange photos/wall decor to my satisfaction (specifically in dining room, living room, and family room).

50.  Enroll the kids in a Jr. Ranger program at a national park.  (Even if it’s just Mt. Rushmore this summer.)

51.  Photograph my favorite tree in all four seasons.

52.  Finish and order my Shutterfly book of 2010 for our family.

53.  Enroll the girls in swimming lessons this summer.

54.  Go to bed earlier, try to find a way to get up before the kids to enjoy some quiet time alone.  (This doesn’t usually work; they hear me and come bouncing out of bed.)

55.  Take a yoga class.

56.  Host a summer solstice party in my yard/porch.

57.  Grow a patch of wild flowers for cutting.  Have bunches of flowers in vases all summer long.

58.  Pay our library fines.

59.  Try a new recipe every month.

60.  Abstain from McDonald’s for the entire year.  (Sounds easy, but it’s one of the only fast food places in town.)

61.  Say thank you more often, even just for little things, even if it’s just a text or email.

62.  Organize 1-2 other families to have “community dinners” on a regular basis (weekly or biweekly).

63.  Explore getting a gas insert or some kind of fan for our fireplace, so that it can be used for heat, not just ambiance.

64.  Stop swearing in front of the kids.  Swear less in general.

65.  Send a photo of me and my ceramic nativity scene to our elderly neighbor that gave me the nativity pieces when I was 3 years old.

66.  Help David organize a BWCA trip with some of his friends.

67.  Either start enjoying church again or switch churches.

68.  Reorganize craft supplies and restore order to the family room.

69.  Take the girls horseback riding.  Invite Beautiful Neighbor’s daughter to come along.

70.  Plant more clematis alongside the porch for privacy/color.

71.  Host a board games/Just Dance party this winter.

72.  Have David bring home the projector from the office and spend the weekend curled up watching movies in the attic.

73.  Make homemade ice cream more often.

74.  Get the girls new ice skates and take them skating.


Well, that’s a start.  Now that I’ve typed that all out, I’m confident I’ll be editing, changing, deleting, and adding to it over the next few days…


28 thoughts on “To Do in 2011

  1. Wow! That makes my list seem very small! The community dinners thing sounds really cool! I’d love to do something like that.

        • Last spring when we did it, there were 3 families, we ate together once a week, and we took turns hosting. The host family made the whole meal. We said something like “come anytime after 5”, so as people got home from work/school whatever, they’d start trickling in. Crack a beer, help with finishing up the cooking. It was nice.

          I think if we try this again, I’m going to suggest that the host family makes the main course (like spaghetti) and the other family(s) bring a salad or side, or dessert or whatever.

          (We also do community lunches w/ my playgroup on Mondays. We take turns hosting at our house. We make the main thing (like grilled cheese) for all the kids and moms, and everyone else brings the rest: juice, fruit, veggies, cheese sticks etc. It’s hectic but nice to see everyone!)

  2. WOW, that is a long list! I guess it is a whole YEAR, though, so still doable. I think I get too easily intimidated. I rarely even make resolutions because long lists overwhelm me and make me feel defeated before I even start. I have to go on a day by day basis with to do lists. Which is.. kind of juvenile. Maybe my to do list should start with, “Stop being so frightened of long to do lists. Even if you don’t do them ALL, you still might be motivated to do SOME, and some is better than none.”
    I am most amazed by the “cut sugar consumption in half” part, btw. I bet you’ll feel so much better, but I can’t quite bring myself to make such a commitment yet. Please write a lot about how great! and energized! you feel so that I become persuaded to model your efforts.

    • Sarah- I might not complete it all, but I’m good at re-prioritizing, so if I decide to not do some of them it’ll be because they no longer seemed important to me. Also, notice I didn’t say “cut out all sugar”, because I honestly don’t think I could do that. But right now I eat TOOOOOO MUCH of it, so half will still be plenty.

  3. I love to-do lists rather than resolution lists for just the reason you said, they’re specific, doable items. And then you add them all up and you have a really great year!

    (Thanks for the shout out, lady.)

  4. I much prefer the term To Do List or just goals. Resolution, to me at least, seems like something you plan to do FOREVER, whereas an item on your to do list is just that: A one-time item.

    Anyway, I have a few things for 2011 I’d like to accomplish…Nothing even close to what you have! But I hope to post mine this week.

  5. Good list! Can’t wait to see how you do. Showing my thanks more is also part of my resolutions. I put it in one of my “vision statements” that I have yet to get on my blog.

  6. YOU’RE COMING TO VISIT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! That is the best freaking news I’ve heard all year, and not just because we’re only on day 4……bring any or all of your girls, my girls will be SO EXCITED. Oh, and David can come too…..or you could leave him at home with a few items from this list…:)

  7. What a great list! Being able to cross things off the list gives such a sense of accomplishment. I haven’t been to Minnehaha Falls in years.

  8. Pingback: What Did You Get for Christmas? « Life in Tiny Town

  9. I saw Jennie’s list on her blog a while back, and thought it was a fantastic idea. I especially like the ‘crossing off’ part. It always feel good to cross things off a list! Thanks for the great idea, ladies. Just posted my slightly shorter list 🙂

  10. Have you thought about Photography as a way to accomplish #18? You have a lot more raw talent than my friends who are getting paid for their “photography”. I was thinking if I *ahem* do ever give birth again, you would make an excellent birth photographer!

  11. I made a list like Jennie’s too. I like yours!! I put Family Game Night on mine too. Number 26 tear up. I know we all have a situation, but it’s very brave of you to put that on your list.

  12. Pingback: Year End, Again (2011 Edition) « Life in Tiny Town

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