What are your goals for 2009?
Lose weight? Get out of debt? Spend more time with family?
What about learning to enjoy life a little more? If you're like most Americans, that's likely to be on your list, according to multiple online surveys.
But how to get started on that resolution may be a bit trickier than most. It's a little nebulous.
For DeAnne Flynn, a Utah-based author, journalist and mother of seven, the key may be learning to focus less on non-essential things and focusing more on projects and people that "matter the most."
She has a book titled "The Time-Starved Family" that details 16 ways a parent (or non-parent) can cut back and achieve better balance in his or her life. Each of the suggestions has been tested by Flynn and her family and are things she said have helped add a level of calm to their busy lives.
Some of the tips include realizing you can't do everything, learning to say no, examining why you are doing some things and getting organized. The tips are broken up into concise chapters with stories, statistics and other well-placed advice.
"It's food for thought," Flynn said of her book. "These are 16 doable ideas for any family at any stage. They are things that any family can do. It's just good practical advice that can help improve the sanity in your house."
You'll find yourself drawn to several stories in the book, including one about the time Flynn was late taking her daughter to an audition for "The Nutcracker." The experience was a lesson in organization, prioritizing and simplifying, said Flynn.
In her family, they have tried to cut out non-essential lessons and hobbies and have focused on being together as a family for dinner and other family-centered activities. It's something that has required constant evaluation and attention, according to Flynn.
"We're still adding a little here and there, and cutting back when needed, but that's the point," she said. "Just being more aware of what we want in the end helps us all to keep our priorities straight."
For her, "The Time-Starved Family" is just "good advice" she wishes she had been given earlier as a mother. The 16 ideas are meant to help parents reassess their lives and priorities, she said.
"I think, honestly, we don't need as much as we're doing," said Flynn. "The 16 ideas in my book are meant to make parents think about their overall plan — providing them with the tools and inspiration for their 24-7, no 'do-overs' job."
For more information, log on to: www.deanneflynn.com. Her book is available through Deseret Book and other major booksellers.