7 Practices for 2013

I've already begun incorporating some of these practices and resolutions into my life. I like to ease my way into resolutions; never pushing too hard or expecting huge change. I sort of nudge and gently flow my way into healthier, happier ways of living. Last year I made one, small daily change that ended up having a huge, positive impact on my life: exercise. I plan on continuing (and building upon) that in the coming year. 1. Early bedtime + daily naps. I am already in bed by 9pm each evening. And each day, at 2pm, I take a 20 minute nap. I've learned the hard way that getting 8 hours of sleep every night is simply non-negotiable. There is simply no substitute for a good night's sleep. This is a practice I plan on continuing. The one area where I need improvement is in taking my daily nap.

2. 5:30am exercise. Taking care of myself first thing each day is so important to my overall well-being. I attend bootcamp 4x a week. I plan on continuing this. The one area where I need improvement is adding a stretching/yoga regimen into my weekly schedule.

3. Weekly date night + therapy. The sad truth is that we've totally neglected spending time together alone. But now that our oldest can babysit, we really have no excuse. I used to work on Saturday nights. This year, I plan on saving our Saturday nights for our marriage.

4. Disciplined writing time. I've discovered that I work best in the morning. However, I run out of creative energy by 2pm. My writing hours are 8:30am-1:30pm. After that, I eat lunch, take a nap and spend the rest of the day caring for my family. I need to improve my lunch time plans: healthier options, advance prep.

5. Read more. I've decided to read the Business section of the newspaper every Sunday. I don't understand business and money. But I want to learn! I've also decided to read poetry in Spanish. I took three years of highschool Spanish. I can get by--a little. I want to improve my Spanish by reading poetry and listening to music. I've also decided to read more fiction this year. I've focused almost exclusively on non-fiction and memoirs in the past three years. I need to branch out a little bit. Recommendations?

6. Try to read the Bible again. One of the lingering effects of fundamentalism is that I still have trouble reading my Bible for personal study and reflection. Going to Mass and hearing Scripture sung or read aloud (without an overlay of interpretation) has helped relieve some of my anxiety. But I would like to find a method of personal study that I can do at home, too. I also want to read the Catholic version of the Bible--including books I've always ignored like Tobit and the Book of Wisdom. Ideas for reading Scripture in a non-threatening way? 

7. Play with my kids. Sometimes I feel more like a janitor than a nurturer. I want to make more time for playing with my kids because THEY love that. Kids' love-language is play. I'm always glad I make time to take them on outings, read books together, act out a story or do something special together. I can make this happen by scheduling activities in advance. 

How about you? What are your practices/resolutions for 2013?