September Perspective and Goals

The purpose of this blog was to record my progress on the New Year’s Resolutions I made for the year, as well as to record ideas that I had and their practical applications. So, I am doing that by posting my September goals. I have not posted about my New Year’s Resolutions since the month of May, but I have made some progress on a few of my goals.

This month, I am going to:

1. Continue to follow my Bible reading plan. Actually, I have been doubling up on my reading, because I really want to achieve reading through my Bible in one year.

2. Exercise/Health: I have really regressed in the exercise category in the last three months as I completely stopped walking even though I had no medical reason not to walk. However, since Fall is approaching and cooler temperatures are headed my way, I plan on trying to do a little walking this month. I know it it will be good for me as I prepare to deliver my little one. When it comes to what I have been eating, I haven’t made any progress exactly. I started keeping a food journal in late August and I was appalled at how much sugary snacks I was eating and how little veggies I was taking in. I am working on improving that. I’ll report on my progress at the end of the month.

3. Spanish–Not a goal that I will be working on this month or the rest of the year. It really is not relevant to my life at this moment and many other areas need my attention.

4. Reading–Well, I am working on it! I read Purpose in Prayer by EM Bounds, and I read a biography, The Vow, by Kim and Krickett Carpenter. I am working on reading On Becoming Toddlerwise by Gary Ezzo and Robert Bucknam and I plan on buying and reading Wrestling Prayer by Eric & Leslie Ludy. For some fiction, I am reading the Scottish Chiefs by Jane Porter.

5. Writing/Blogging: Here I am! 🙂 I am coming back to blogging. I’m also hoping that my new bedtime routine will allow some planned time for journaling on a regular basis.

6. Relationships. Humph. I don’t know what I am planning to do this month in regards to relationships. I am praying about this area of my life, and I think the best plan of action for me is simply to follow the leading of the Holy Spirit on a day to day basis.

7. Love Letters–Will write Luke a love letter this month!
Other goals for the month will be to:

1) Change my bedtime from whenever (or later) to around 9:30pm. The goal will be for me to be crawling in bed at 9:30 and then falling asleep by 10:30pm. I can use the hour buffer to write in my journal or read a book.

2) Keep implementing the FLYLady System. I am working on the morning routine and the before bed routine. I know that as I read her book Sink Reflections, that I will be implementing other habits and routines as well.

So, those are the things that I will be working on this month. I am really hoping to make progress in the areas that I have mentioned. The first priority for me is to be working on my bedtime. I need to go to bed at a decent hour!

May 2012 in Review

42 more minutes until the end of May is official. I am up past my bed time and just starting to write this blog post. Honestly, I’m staying up because today has been a rough day for me, and I have been really good this month about improving my bedtime habits. There is no pausing time before June starts and I begin my June goals, but I want a break for just one night. I am giving myself grace.

I want to review the month of May. This past month, I committed to myself to work hard on my goals and do my best to accomplish them, even if I had to really force myself and discipline myself. I did work hard. I did not achieve all of those goals, and I can’t say that the month went perfectly. However, I am very satisfied with my progress and how much I have learned this month.

I learned that keeping goals that I set gives me self-confidence. Keeping goals that I set is one way that I can be honest with myself. In the goal-making stage, I need to be honest with myself about whether a perspective goal is realistic or not. In the midst of keeping any goals I set, I need to be true to myself and do what I said I wanted or what I said was most important. When I have reached a goal, I can reap the benefits of being able to say that I have integrity. My word means something, even when I am just talking to myself.

Now, I would not say that my integrity meter is very high if you only look at last month’s goals. But, what I would say is it is higher than it was before and gaining experience this month is a building block to accomplish and reaching more of my goals.

As I look back on the practical aspects of May, one of the first things that comes to mind when I ask myself “What worked in May?” is simply laundry. I knew that if I was going to be working on goals then the “have-to’s” of housework had to run smoothly. So, I tried to set up a laundry routine and each week I tweaked it as needed. I am proud to say that as I write this, I am pretty well caught up on laundry.

I think the reason that laundry did turn out to work so well is not because I stuck to my original routine without any flexibility, but rather because I took the liberty to tweak as necessary. I am going to be taking this approach to other housework goals that I set in the future!

So, pretty much that sums up my month of May. I want to leave May looking at what has been done, and not worry about the rest. Spiritually, I have become aware of several areas in which I really need to grow. As I leave May, I am not forgetting or ignoring those areas, but I am going to spend tonight remembering what has been for me on the Cross. I am going to Jesus for His cleansing power, to be washed in the blood of the Lamb; I am trusting fully in His grace this hour, because I am washed in the blood of the Lamb.

Goals for this week

I have a busy week coming up, but that does not mean that I want to forget about my goals or make no progress in my house or life. So, I want to post my most important goals for this week!

The every day goals:

  • Read a proverb with Ayealyn every morning and establish this as a routine.
  • Be in bed every night at 10:30pm
  • Meet all Swagbuck’s goals for the Swagbucks carnival.

Goals that require work throughout the week, but not everyday:

  • Knitting; get at least halfway done with dish cloth for Amanda.
  • Exercise by walking for 20-30 minutes three times this week.

One time goals:

  • Make Homemade Laundry Detergent.
  • Write Luke a Thank you note/Love Letter
  • Complete all “next actions” on emails in my inbox. Clear inbox.
  • Put away all my winter clothes; get out maternity clothes/switch over clothes.
  • Return Mom’s steamer to her.
  • Spend 1-2 hours planning my blog.

This week, I want to keep in mind that the goal is not perfection, just progress! I want to have a spirit of grace and joy in my home, not one of frustration and impatience.

Goals and Perfection

Every time I embark on a journey to achieve goals I have set for myself, I end up getting discouraged by imperfection. Multiple times in the last week I have become very aware of this fact; for instance one night, I was very tired by 8pm. I put my little daughter to bed, and I mentally insisted that I not go to bed and rest, but that I instead go downstairs and clean up the kitchen, vacuum the dining room, finish a meal plan and store list, then come back upstairs and clean the bathroom.

Now, when I am exhausted, I have a really hard time staying on task and focusing. By working on my goals, I’m hoping to improve my abilities in this area, however, growth does take time. Last night, all I managed to finish was getting the kitchen wiped down, the meal plan and the store list. Considering that those three things took me over three hours, I realize that I probably did have time to fit in a little more. But, I was constantly distracted, going back and forth to the computer, “jotting” ideas down and adding meals between sinks of dishes.

I was so discouraged because I just wondered how long would it be before I would be able to magically “get it all done”. I knew that I had not managed my time perfectly, but I also knew that I had made the attempt and I had accomplished the most important things on my list. I wondered “When is enough, enough?”. I pondered that question a little bit, but my head was foggy and could not come up with an answer. Even now, with clearer head, I wonder the same thing. When is enough, enough? How do I decide?

I have not come up with a way to draw a clear line in the sand about when enough is enough. I know there are times when I do need to get up and try to do better. I know that there are also times when I just need to accept some grace. I just do not always know how to tell the difference.

More than anything, what I really want is to be able to enjoy my family. I am writing all of this on my husband’s day off while he sleeps in because he worked all night last night. But when he and my daughter wake up, I want to be relaxed when I am with them. When I am pursuing perfection, I am anything but relaxed. My insides feel like a hamster running on a wheel getting nowhere and it drives me almost to insanity.

The solution is not to stop pursuing goals all together, but rather to pursue goals in God’s strength and resting on His grace. There will be times when I do not quite achieve my goals, and in those times, I need to be not frustrated, but rather, I need to be at peace, trusting in God’s ability to make all things work together. After all, God is far more interested in my heart attitude than He is in what my hands can accomplish.

 

Goals for May

My goals for May are as follows:

1. Bible Reading–continue to follow the plan for shirkers and slackers.

In regards to my spiritual life, I want to make morning devotions a priority. Lately, I’ve just been reading/praying/journalling at the end of the day, however, I want to learn to seek God first. So, morning devotions is a goal this month.

2. Exercise/Health–I will continue walking for a half an hour 3x a week. I need to get more focused on adding in fruits and vegetables into my diet however. One way that I will do this is to prepare fruits and vegetables to have on hand for snacking.

3. Spanish–I never got a Spanish resource from my local library, but I have a few resources on hold to be picked up this week. In addition, I will be attempting to listen to some Spanish Christian radio.

4. Book reading–I did not finish Career Renegade in April, so I will go ahead and finish it this month. In addition, I am reading a book about blogging. If I finish those and have time, I would like to read Purpose in Prayer by E.M. Bounds.

5. Writing and blogging–I want to blog 3x per week or approximately fourteen times during the month of May.

6. Relationships–this is a hard one, but I am going to put time and effort into spending time with two different girls my age who are also mothers.

7. Love Letters– I need to sit down and write two this month!

I also have two other goals for this month that are not related to my resolutions. I want to earn $15 in Amazon gift cards through Swagbucks. I also want to complete two knitting projects that force me to learn a new skill or stitch.

Hopefully, I will be able to report some progress at the end of the month!

 

Other’s Thoughts on Goals

I read two different blog posts talking about goals today. I wanted to share them and record my thoughts on each.

The first one was “The Wrong Bullseye” by Laura Parker and posted on the (in)courage blog. Laura spoke about the difference between our goals and desires versus the holy desires and goals that God has for us. She spoke about how we may want to get out of a store very quickly, but a goal of being more Christ-like should be our focus. This goal of being more Christ-like, and I would add Spirit-filled, is a willingness to be patient when the cashier moves at a snails pace or when the customer can’t find the change. For me, this post was a reminder to take a deep breath when my goals get interrupted. I need to remember that the most important part of my life is becoming more like my Savior.

The second blog post I read was a more personal evaluation of goals on the Money Saving Mom blog (written by Crystal Paine). I was rather awestruck by her list of goals that she was accomplishing this year! Quite honestly, I was even a little envious that she was successfully meeting the vast majority of her goals. But in a rare moment of reasonableness, I realized that she is years ahead of where I am in my life. I realized that the fact that I am attempting to continue to follow through on my goals is enough! I may not be on target with my goals, but I have not given up on them yet! I also realized that I am practicing intentionality, goal-setting, perseverance, and a host of other traits that will help me to achieve goals in the future. If I let Crystal’s post discourage me, then I will never get where she is right now. I’ll never be that successful! But, if I can look at her post and be inspired to keep on keeping on, I will be successful someday! So today, I choose to be inspired!

April Update

It is already almost halfway through April and the last time I published a post here was the eighth of January. This utter neglect of the blog shows that I have failed miserably in my resolution of blogging. I could explain all the reasons, why I have not been able to blog, or have chosen not to blog, but I feel like they are of no consequence because they in the past. In having these New Year’s Resolutions, I wanted to focus on the present or the future. I was going to do that by breaking my goals down by month as well as by continuing to try again when I failed. So, here I am, trying again!

Though April is half-past, I intend to continue my resolutions, picking up where I left off, or tailoring the goal to my present situation.

So, in regards to my Bible reading, I definitely am glad that I chose the plan for shirkers and slackers, because I have definitely shirked and slacked in that area. However, that is in the past, and for the rest of April, I intend to pick up right where I left off and press on with due diligence.

In regards to my health, I have been working on eating more fruits and vegetables. I slipped away from my plan to slowly add in more and more servings of fruits and vegetables in a way that I could track, but I definitely am confident that I am eating more of them on a daily basis. One factor that has aided me is my increased appetite due to pregnancy.

Exercise goals have changed as well because of my pregnancy. I am no longer working on sit-ups and push ups, but I am aiming to exercise by walking for a half hour three times a week. I really want to be in good physical shape when it comes time to deliver this baby. I want to have stamina for labor and delivery.

Spanish has gone the way of my other goals, but I am going to get up and try again. I plan on doing this by getting another Spanish language resource from my local library this week. In May, I want to try to go to the Spanish language group that I found online.

I have actually made some progress in my book reading. I know that I am behind, but I also know that I have at least tried to keep up a little bit. I know that I will be able to catch up just fine. The book I am currently reading is Career Renegade: How to Make a Great Living Doing What You Love by Jonathon Fields. By April 30, I want to have finished it and have written a review here.

Regarding my writing goal. I have to say that although I have not blogged, I have written. I have journal-ed as well as writing a few blog post drafts. So, I have not disregarded the idea of writing altogether. However, for the remaining two weeks of April, I want to write six blog posts. Preferably, I would like to have written three per week.

My second to last goal/resolution was regarding relationships. I am not going to lie, this is one that I let myself forget. I will redouble my efforts though. I will try to connect with at least two other girls over the next two weeks.

The last resolution was to write Luke twelve love letters. I am honestly not sure if I have written any at all. I know with the craziness of the past few months, he definitely deserves them! I am going to make time in my schedule to curl up and write him a  letter very soon!

My goals for the rest of April are concluded. I will report back on my progress, and hopefully have some other more interesting things to post as well!