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11 Things I Want To Accomplish In 2011

Posted By Tara Kuczykowski On January 3, 2011 @ 3:13 pm In living on less | 56 Comments

Notice that I did not title this post "11 Resolutions For 2011." I am horribly bad with resolutions, and I know I'm just setting myself up for failure if I go down that road.

So instead I'm sharing with you 11 things that I want to accomplish in 2011. Not all of these are about saving money -- in fact, most of them aren't -- but I want to share more of "me" on Deal Seeking Mom this year! (I guess if you count that, we're at 12 things, LOL.)

Many of you wrote to say how much you enjoyed the Preparing Your Home for the Holidays series, so I'd like to introduce more similar content by sharing my wins and missteps as I tackle these accomplishments over the next year.

{1} Start making some of our grocery staples from scratch. I've always wanted to try my hand at homemade yogurt, granola, and pasta to name just a few, and I'm planning to tackle at least one of these each month. You can check out my attempt at making sourdough starter on Unsophisticook!

{2} Make the switch to purchasing more organic grocery products. I'm concerned about how this will affect our overall grocery budget, especially with the quantities of milk my five kids are known to go through, but I feel like this is an important change that our family needs. Of course I will be looking for ways to save while doing this, and I'll be sure to share any tips or deals with you all.

{3} Start recycling. I've been growing increasingly concerned with the amount of trash that our large family generates. I've always wanted to recycle our waste, but we don't have the ideal space to store or recyclables between pickups. However, ideal or not, I'm committed to finding a place for it, and this will be a new family project for our household.

{4} Finish the Back To Basics series. I've had a number of you inquire as to whether I would be continuing this series, and I'm ready to dive back in! I have some other series I'd like to share with you as well, so look for more content posts in 2011 -- and of course, I'll still be sharing the best of the best deals that pop up each day.

{5} Become better at time management. I get a lot of emails asking how I manage to "do it all." I don't. I'm not Super Woman, and something has to give somewhere. I've made a lot of progress over the past year in learning to say no and cutting back on blogging commitments, but I know that there's still room for improvement. My time is valuable in its own right, so I'll be sharing more tips for saving time -- and time is money, right?

{6} Organize my digital photos. I have 8+ years of digital photos scattered across numerous DVDs and old, unused laptop computers. I don't want to lose these precious moments, so I want to get them organized and safely stored. In addition, I want to take more photos to document my kids growing up -- and I want to actually be in some of them. I'm usually the one behind the camera, so we have far too few family photos.

{7} Do a whole house decluttering. We have too much stuff, literally, and I know much of it we can live without, so we'll be working room-by-room to remove all of the extraneous items that are taking over our house and to better organize what we do keep. "A place for everything and everything in its place" -- a rule to live by.

{8} Save for a down payment on a new house. We haven't decided whether to build or buy, but our goal is to be ready to start looking by this time next year. We've got a good start on our savings, but we're really going to need to ramp it up to achieve this. I definitely think it's doable though!

{9} Exercise at least 3 times a week. This is important to me for a number of reasons. First of all, I know I just feel better when I exercise regularly. I was doing really well until I got a horrible sinus infection in November, and it's been pretty much downhill since then. I also believe that it's important for my children to see that I'm committed to exercising regularly because I want them to maintain a healthy and active lifestyle as they get older as well.

{10} Learn how to knit. Well, actually, I know how to knit -- I made the most adorable hat and booties that all of my kids wore as infants. But I really want to try some more challenging items. Plus I need an offline hobby that will allow me to relax and rejuvenate.

{11} Create a chore chart. It's become quite apparent that we've been underestimating our kids' abilities as far as contributing to the upkeep of our household. After all, two people can't possibly maintain the messes created by seven. So we've slowly been giving them more responsibilities, but I really want some sort of visual tool to help them keep track of their contributions and keep them on track. My challenge is that most charts are created for much smaller families, so I either need to do some more research or create something from scratch. Suggestions are welcome!

What kinds of things are you looking to accomplish this year? And are there other topics you'd be interested in seeing covered on DSM?

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