January 2013 Review

January wasn’t as great as I’d planned for it to be. I had to dig deep daily to practice happiness and cultivate all aspects of my life. Several challenges have forced me to take a giant step back to reassess life and my plan of action. I don’t plan to lose, though. Even though this month picked up my avatar, threw her against the wall, and brutally beat her down, she’s not out. She’s regaining her composure and preparing a return attack — and don’t forget that formidable scythe she carries. I came to 2013 to win. So while I may not have had much time to focus on cultivating a thriving life worth loving, I’ve had plenty of time to sit back, think, and plan. I’ve had plenty of time to digest the brain dump that was Cultivate 2012. I still found time to cultivate my dreams, and I still found time to cultivate my family. Farewell, January! You were filled with a great number of lessons and tests, but you’re not going to set the tone for the rest of the year. Tomorrow is a chance for a fresh start.

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#Cultivate2012 Feedback

Congratulations! You’ve finished Cultivate 2012!

Thank you so much for joining me on this journey. I’d like to give to gather some feedback for next December’s Cultivate 2013 prompts and give you a mission for 2013. Here’s the feedback form:

  1. What was your favorite prompt? Why?
  2. What was your least favorite prompt? Why?
  3. What segment made you think the most?
  4. What segment burrowed under your skin like a tick?
  5. What would you like to see in December?
  6. Would you like to write a guest post for December? What segment would you prefer?
  7. Do you plan to continue on with Cultivate 2013?

Now here’s your mission for Cultivate 2013: Create an outlook for each month. Review the end of each month. Learn from mistakes. Grow and change. Cultivate your life worth loving. Use the media that appeal most to you. Thrive!

Signing off for Cultivate 2012,
Meredith

P.S. I’m taking a hiatus until the end of January. I need to digest the brain-dump that was Cultivate 2012 and formulate my battle-plan for 2013.

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#Cultivate2012 Clutter

Do you hoard things? Take a look around your house. Are you finding things that nurture you or weigh you down? What can you give away or throw away? Can you maintain a monthly, quarterly, biannual, or yearly decluttering plan?

I find that we hoard too much paper. Bills, ads, school fliers — our piles of paper accumulate too quickly and get thrown into the trash too little. (Yes, I know they should be recycled — we don’t have a bin in our subdivision, and I’m not looking for perfection here. I need a system first!)

I’ve tried some methods already out there online, but it doesn’t take much to fall off the wagon. I need to set up regular times to go through everything — times that work around our schedules. We can’t keep getting weighed down by ink and paper. It’s funny how the very mediums that bring me so much joy also bring me so much stress.

I think we’ve got too many clothes, too. I’ve got clothes I don’t wear anymore that I should donate. I need to go through my children’s clothes to donate my younger two’s smaller clothes. It takes up valuable space in our closets, dressers, and boxes in the attic. We need to stay on top of these things to prevent a backlog of clutter.

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#Cultivate2012 Weekly Chores

What chores and tasks need to be repeated on weekly basis? Do you keep up with them? Is there a better way to manage them?

We need to make sure the bathrooms, kitchen, windows, and dusting get done once a week. Again, we aren’t involving the kids as much as we could. It wouldn’t take much to get the smaller to kids to clean kitchen cabinets with soapy water. They’re at the perfect height to wipe them without having to get on their hands and knees. I hate scrubbing the toilets, but my oldest loves cleaning. He can do something that he won’t mind as much as I do.

Again, we need to instate a chore chart method. It’ll be easier to keep up with if the kids get incorporated into these necessary tasks. They need to learn these tasks for their future, and they need to feel involved. These tasks can build their confidence just as much as take the pressure off me and my husband.

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#Cultivate2012 Daily Chores

What chores and tasks seem to pile up daily? How can you manage your days (or delegate these chores and tasks) to make these items disappear faster?

Everyday we build piles of dishes and laundry. The cat trails her litter. The kids drag out their toys. The mail piles upon the counter. It’s time to make chore charts and rewards systems — it’s time to get the kids ALL more involved. We can’t just expect me and my husband to do it all anymore.

I think if we taught my oldest how to load and unload the dishwasher, we might have less stress with that necessary daily chore. We need to get my daughter folding her own laundry. We need to train our littlest to put away his toys instead of leaving them out. I need to get my husband on the same page as me, too.

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#Cultivate2012 Least Favorite Space

What’s your least favorite room/ space in your home? What makes it so frustrating/ annoying? How can you nurture this room/ space to cultivate a better atmosphere?

I think the laundry room annoys me the most. We have shelves that seem only to house clutter and junk. Junk piles on top of my dryer. The attic is above the washer — and has stolen more than its fair share of important items and documents. It feels like we never make any progress on it, and it currently feels too cramped to comfortably do laundry.

We’ve got to change this. The laundry room is where we wash our favorite clothes and linens. We need to throw out the junk we don’t want, donate the old, small clothes, and reorganize the shelves. We need to get into the attic and repeat that same process. It’s time to get things minimized and manageable.

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#Cultivate2012 Favorite Space

What’s your favorite room/ space in your home? What makes it so special? How can you maintain its ability to cultivate your life worth loving?

I actually have three favorite spaces in my home — the front porch, the back deck, and the bar counter. Since it’s been too cold to sit outside, I’ve been trying to make time at the bar counter. I like to sit with my tea, laptop, and/ or notebooks and think. The extra space allows me to spread out my supplies and relax. I also get to enjoy staring at my kitchen. I love the shady trees that surround my deck, and I love the mountain views from my porch. Sitting outside always refreshes my attitude, too. The wind rustling through the trees, the birds singing, the clouds floating by — it’s relaxing.

While there’s not much I can do to maintain myt porch and deck so they can cultivate me during the colder winter weeks, I can nurture my bar counter better. It tends to attract clutter when I’m not home. I’m considering some new ways of maintaining our home to prevent that from happening. I’m sure we can fashion some “inboxes” or erect shelves to keep our home a little more orderly — and to keep that bar counter open for enjoyment. In the warmer months, it’s really all about pest control — I do NOT love the wasps and spiders that over-run the outside of my home.

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#Cultivate2013 January Outlook

What is your personal outlook for 2013? What do you hope to accomplish this year? What do you need to nurture in order to cultivate your intentions? Write, sketch, color, photograph, create a vision board — do what feels right. 2013 is yours for cultivation!

I’m envisioning another year of progress and cultivation. I’m going to live, thrive, and love. I’m going to grow and transform. I’m going to heal, build, maintain, learn, and teach. I’m going to relax, enjoy, decompress, and dream. I’m going to optimize and plant roots and seeds. I’m going to blossom. I hope to accomplish much this year, including feeling healthy and comfortable in my body, reducing my stress levels, healing my family, bridging the gap across Canyon Poverty Trap, celebrating my 30th with a grand party, loving my life, and following my heart. I need to nurture my health, my family, my relationships, my home, my self-esteem, and my writing. I need to nurture that which brings me joy. Overall, I believe 2013 will be a banner year in my life, and I look forward to the continued journey ahead of me.

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