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.

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!

Why I make New Year’s Resolutions

I know I am a little late posting in regards to New Year’s Resolutions, but I have an excuse! My husband and I are buying a house. We have been in this process for months, and no, that is not normal from what we are told. Anyways, for the last week and a half, we have been in limbo finding out whether or not we were going to get the house. So my New Year’s Resolution making and finalizing was put off until now. However, thankfully, we are getting the house! So we are praising the Lord for that huge blessing.

According to Wikipedia, New Year’s Resolutions date back to ancient times and some of the origins actually came from traditions related to pagan gods. However, Christianity also seems to have a history of resolutions. Personally, I enjoy the “new” start and beginning. It gives me a chance to put the old behind me and start something new, like the “put off” and “put on” in Colossians 3.

I always make New Years Resolutions! I enjoy the idea of starting over and trying again. And yes, I always try again. People joke that their New Year’s Resolutions is not to make any resolutions! Generally, I have to disagree with that point of view. I mean, why not try again? Tenacity, persistence and determination all come from trying again and again and again. When you cannot go on anymore, but yet you still do, you develop perseverance. Those are all character qualities that I want in my life. So, every year, I exercise the “muscle” inside of me that gets up and tries again.

Other people seem to almost look down on those of us who make New Year’s Resolutions because they, in their words, “don’t wait for a special day in order to make resolutions!” But, for me, making resolutions on a fixed day of the year, specifically the beginning of the year, helps me to evaluate what is going on in my life. How did I do last year? What areas of my life need improving? I can look back on and evaluate a specific time period and act on my findings.

So, in the coming days, I will post how I make my resolutions and then I will also post most of my resolutions for this year!