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How to Through A Larger Than Life Small Wedding on a Budget

This one is as simple as crowdfunding your honeymoon. It might sound strange at first, but do you really need another blender or set of dinner plates? Instead of having your guests purchase a bunch of things you’ll end up trying to return anyway, why not let them chip in for…

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How Due Date Calculators Can Change Your Pregnancy for the Better

Learning that you are pregnant can be one of the most joyous occasions in a woman’s life. As many of us know pregnancy can happen spontaneously or after much trying.  Regardless of how a woman becomes pregnant, it is vitally important for her to know when she…

It's New Years Day, Where's the Change?

I woke up this morning later than I wanted (who could have imagined four and half hours of Season 4 of I Love Lucy could make you feel hung over). My house is still messy. I still need to lose 25 pounds (ouch) and my book isn't close to being finished. It's the same as last year.

When I was a kid I loved the idea of the arrival of a New Year. It was this opportunity to start fresh. It was like being born again without the diapers and having to learn all the basics (so I thought). New Year's Eve would find me writing down my impossibly long list of Resolutions. Resolved: I will no longer be this Sandra Hamlett but a more perfect version.

Then I'd wake up on New Years Day snuggled within my warm covers, sleep dust in my eyes and still glowing with the memory of the list that was going to bring me to perfection. Then sometime after breakfast when the day still marched to the same precise rhythm it always did and I'd already violated half my resolutions, I'd give up on the whole idea of the transformative power of a New Year and return to the comfort of my flawed self until the next New Year's Eve.

At 41, I've given up on the whole idea of resolutions. I choose manageable goals (no more than 5) instead. Unfortunately I'm in a rut and have been recognizing the same goals for the past couple of years without actually achieving them. 2009 is the year I go beyond goal recognition towards goal achievement. Let's proclaim 2009 the year of Project Management (how unsexy is that?)!

So without further ado here are my five goals for 2009:

1. FINISH MY NOVEL- I must have a readable draft by the end of the year.
2. FREELANCE- For as long as I can remember I've been wanting to become a freelance writer but procrastination has always stood in the way. I'm determined to have a real byline this year.
3. FINANCES- We must get control of our finances and stop living by the cross-your-fingers-and-hope-it-works-out method that we've been following. I want to create a budget and stick to it.
4. HOME IMPROVEMENT- There's a list of small projects taller than my toddler that needs to be done around here. Most of them would take 20 minutes or less but we've been putting them off for years.
5. SEW- My wonderful husband bought me a sewing machine for our first Christmas in our new house five years ago and I've avoided it like the plague. There's something about the whole mechanical process that scares me. Give me the most complicated knitting pattern and I'm game but turning on the sewing machine makes my heart race.

So here's the big scary list of goals. Now the real trick is to treat them like projects and manage them throughout the year. I'll be checking in to let you know about my progress. So what are your goals, hopes or dreams for 2009?

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