I really don't like making New Year's Resolutions. Actually, back up. More accurately, I don't like calling them New Year's Resolutions. I prefer goals...and I make them every year. I just can't help myself. (I'm sure many of you can relate!) Sometimes I keep them but more often I break them...and make them...and break them. It's a very consistent cycle of inconsistency. Every year I tell myself I'm not going to give up and every year I fall short of reaching all my goals but again, I am NOT discouraged! Why?
Because I think my goals are pretty high and there are a lot of them. Ever heard of the phrase, "Reach for the moon and you just might touch the stars"? That's my philosophy. Aim high. We may not get all the way there but by jove we're going to see notable progress!
This philosophy works for me because, despite my political ramblings, I'm an optimist at heart. (And if Ronald Reagan were president and conservatives were in Congress, I'd be even more optimistic! ;)) Anywho, it honestly takes some effort to discourage me. I see something that's possible, it may not even be probable, but it's at least in the realm of possibility so I go for it. I'm going to make it happen. I may not know how. I may not even have an initial plan but I'll enlist some people if need be and by George we'll make it work someway! If it doesn't work, oh well, we had fun trying. ;)
I ran a 10k this past year. My time wasn't pretty and in fact I think I finished next to last. But hey, next to last is NOT last! (See how optimistic I am? It has always come naturally. ;)) After that 10k in April, though, I kind of fell off the running band wagon in a big way. I'm back now and loving it again. The fact that I can still do a 5k on an average day without feeling like I'm about to die is very much notable progress!
So, now you know how I fared last year. Here are my goals for this year, which I've arranged in categories. I don't really compartmentalize my life like this but for these purposes it seems to lend itself well to some semblance of orderliness. ;) I've noticed that I tend to do better with my goals when I'm very specific about each one. For instance, instead of "exercise more" or "eat healthier" I set parameters that are attainable and not so abstract. I also tend to set more realistic goals when I see how the specifics pan out. For instance, if I recognize my goals will require more time than there are hours in a day, I try to scale back my expectations.
- Exercise at least 6 days/week, at least 20 minutes each day.
- Eat healthier by drinking 8 glasses of water each day, eating fruit and/or vegetables at every meal (fries don't count!), limiting myself to 1 sweet tea and 1 coffee per day.
- Lose weight, which should be a simple by-product of meeting the above goals. Also, food journal and watch intake amounts.
- Read through the entire Bible this year. Read a portion each day from my Daily Bible.
- Start every morning with a prayer.
- Journal every day.
- Strive to pray without ceasing and model Christian behavior.
- Read one book per month for pleasure.
- Read one article per week for self-improvement/educational insights. (finances, farming, politics, etc.)
- Study/Learn Mandarin Chinese by doing at least 1 lesson per week and having periodic sessions with native speaking friend.
- Be intentional with media time, watching only one show per night, no more than one hour of facebook per day. (This one is going to be tough!!)
- Blog at least once per month.
- Create a budget and stick to it!
- Consign. (see household goals)
- Keep coupons organized by going through them every Sunday and do not go shopping without them!
- Go back to envelope system for groceries. Add savings/leftovers to house fund.
- Buy a house and prepare for move.
- File tax return early, preferably by the end of January but definitely before April!
- Have a date night at least once a month.
- Have a designated family night at least once a month.
- Read bible every day.
- Learn a weekly bible verse.
- Read a chapter book together (at least one chapter per night/5 chapters per week) and end the day with a prayer at bedtime.
- Set up a chore chart and rewards system for the kids. Review it every week to keep things fresh.
- Start a load of laundry every morning at breakfast time.
- Go to bed each night with an empty and clean kitchen sink.
- Create a meal plan each week and stick to it! This includes grocery shopping/coupon matching once per week or every other week, depending on grocery needs.
- Spend at least 15 minutes each day organizing and "decluttering". Find at least one thing every day to either trash (other than everyday trash, of course), donate, or sell.
- Keep kitchen table clear of clutter. No papers, mail, etc!
- Write in the kids' and nephews' journals at least once per month.
- Incorporate LTC, 4-H, TrailLife, Tuesday School, LIFE, Easy-Peasy, and workbooks into weekly curriculum.
- Set and review goals for the end of the "school" year.
- Make lesson plans at least a week in advance.
- Schedule J's speech therapy and occupational therapy sessions into the "school" day.
- Do vision therapy exercises at home with J at least once per week.
- Play games so learning is fun!!
- Set a predictable schedule/routine.
- Start test-prep in March for testing in April.
- Plan field trips related to studies at least once per month.
- Plan a craft at least once every 2 weeks.
- Stay politically active by attending meetings, writing congressmen, researching and staying up to date on Common Core and PARCC.
- Participate in at least one service project a month as a family.
- Seek out opportunities to connect with others by...
- Send birthday cards and/or calls to family and friends.
- Send out Christmas cards this year.