Tuesday, January 01, 2013

A Fresh New Year

I always love January 1st . . . there's just something about a fresh new year, a fresh start . . . it's like a blank page, waiting to be filled with the story of my life.  In fact, it's literally a blank page, as I take out a new notebook to use for the next 6 months or so.  Over the years I've tried many different planning systems for my life and my days.  I've used a home management binder (worked well for a while), various "daily dockets" and other printable planners . . . but in the past couple years I've gone to a simple spiral notebook.  I buy a bunch of these every year when they are on sale for around 20 cents at Walmart before school starts.  I use them for pretty much everything, but especially my daily to-do lists.    One notebook seems to last me about 6 months, so this year I almost filled up two of them!  I also write down my yearly/monthly/weekly goal lists in there, jot down blog post ideas, book reviews, even  quick little lists of stuff I need to remember to pick up at the store next time I'm in town.  Anyway, this is what is working well for me in this season of my life, and I thought it might be helpful for someone else, too. :)

I also wanted to share a recap of how I did with my goals for this year.  There were a LOT that I didn't accomplish, and a few that I did.  Everything that's crossed off is a "DONE." :)  Hopefully tomorrow or the next day, I will share my new goals for 2013!  Many of them will be similar, but I'm planning to make a little shorter of a list this year. :)

Goals for 2012

Personal Goals:
  • Walk with God
~Finish "Fruit of the Spirit" Bible study
~Pray through The Busy Mom's Guide to Prayer monthly--nope, I totally slacked on this!
~Start an ongoing additional prayer list notebook--and forgot about this! :(
~Pray daily for my husband and children--didn't do this consistently either--shame on me!
~Read One Thousand Gifts and complete a list of 1000 everyday blessings--I got more than halfway through the book and then got sidetracked, and so did my list . . . planning to finish the book and make progress on the list this year!
~Review Titus 1 and memorize Titus 2-3--and I completely bombed on this one!
The good news is that even though I didn't accomplish many of these goals, I did see good progress in my consistency having a daily quiet time with God.  I'm hoping for much more progress this year!
  • Health and Fitness
~Lose 15-20 lbs this year
~Exercise for 20-30 minutes, 5-7 days per week--this was so/so this year . . . I did really well for probably 2/3 of the year, and not so great for the other 2/3!  
~Aim to drink 3 bottles of water per day
~Keep a food journal (maybe not for the whole year, but to get me on track for better
weight loss)
~Eliminate all sweets/most refined sugar for the month of January, and severely cut
back on sugar after that
  • Mothering/Child Training
~Spend one-on-one time with each child daily--I don't think I consistently did this daily, but I do share special time with each of the kids pretty consistently.
~Include them in my work: cooking, laundry, cleaning, etc.
~Teach Sam to follow simple recipes--not yet . . . this is in my plans for the new year!
~Consistent training and discipline--I feel this is always going to be a work in progress. :)
~Listen to them!!--As is this!
~Love them!!!
~Play with them and read to them
  • Reading
~Read at least 2 books per month for a total of 24 books this year
~Continue to review books for my blog
I actually read 46 books this year--WAY more than I expected I'd be able to do!  I'm hoping to share more about some of them soon, as well as a projected reading list for 2013.
  • Friendships/Encouragement/Hospitality
~Write encouraging notes to friends via email or regular mail
~Open our home to others at least once a month--I forgot to keep track, but I think we had people over probably 9-10 times this year.  It wasn't monthly, but some months we had friends over more than once, so I think we made some progress. :)
~Go to moms' group once a month
  • Creativity/DIY
~Tackle one DIY and one sewing project per month--um, nope!  This was a total fail.  I did accomplish a few sewing/crafting projects, but not nearly as many as I'd hoped to do.
~Use Pinterest for inspiration :)

Marriage Goals:
  • Read through one or two marriage devotionals together--This is one of those things we always start with good intentions and then forget about!
  • Monthly date nights--We probably had at least 8-9 dates this year, so not too bad!  Plus we have lots of in-home movie dates, too. :)
  • Go on an overnight or weekend getaway sometime this year--Nope, that didn't happen . . . maybe this year!
Homemaking Goals:
  • Develop routines!
~Work on one habit per month
~Follow Flylady or similar system for motivation and inspiration
~Deep clean the house--1 room per month
  • Decluttering
~15 minutes/day in Flylady zones, 5 days/week
  • Chores for kids
~Find a chore system and USE it :)

I'm embarrassed to say that I did terribly with ALL of these homemaking goals . . . and my home shows it. :(  This is one of those areas that's a constant struggle for me, but with God's help I am hoping to make some strides this year!!

Financial Goals:
  • Budgeting
~Develop a workable budget and stick to it
~Update PearBudget weekly (save receipts!)
~Have monthly budget meetings with Jim (if he wants to)
~Take the cash-only grocery challenge (maybe!)
~Look into switching cell phone plans

Ditto on the budgeting goals . . . this is another big problem area.  We don't use credit cards and we have no debt except the house, but we still aren't as wise with our money as we should be.  Another area to continue working on!  We did switch cell phone plans and are using a pre-paid plan now, which is saving us a LOT of money.
  • Giving
~Continue to tithe 10% of our income
~Support a missionary or mission organization/Christian charity monthly--While we didn't do this specific goal, we were able to contribute to three different Christian charities this year.  It's such a blessing to give!
~Start a benevolence fund for special offerings at church or to give to specific needs
that we hear about--totally forgot to do this, but I think it is still a good idea!
  • Emergency fund/savings account
~Put $200/month into savings (more, if possible)--We did this some months, but not others.  We continue to save as we are able--hoping to build up that emergency fund more this year!
  • Saving
~Start saving toward a new vehicle
~Save for vacation and a getaway--We were able to take a vacation but not a getaway.
~Save monthly for insurance and taxes--We did this some months, but not others.  But God always provides what we need at the right time, even if we weren't able to consistently save for it as we'd hoped!
~Save for Christmas and other gifts
~Save for next year's school curriculum

Homeschooling Goals:
  • Scheduling
~Plan a workable schedule and try to stick to it--Schedule?  What schedule? :)
~Finish this school year by middle to end of May, begin again in late August
~Complete 2nd grade with Sam, start 3rd grade
~Complete Kindergarten with Julia, start 1st grade
~Register both kids under our umbrella school for next year
  • Field trips
~Plan several fun field trips for the 2nd half of this year and 1st half of next
  • Incorporate more of a Charlotte Mason approach
~Read A Charlotte Mason Companion--I didn't get this one done yet.
~Read Educating the Wholehearted Child--Started, but didn't finish it yet.

Family Goals
  • Reading
~Read through the "Little House" series--We got part way through the first book, but that's all so far.
~Read through the "Imagination Station" series--We read through all of these except the 7th book, then we just got books 8 and 9 for the kids for Christmas, so now we have three to finish in this series!

We have also been reading through the Happy Hollister series--favorites from my own childhood.  I think we've read at least 10 or more of these so far.  We read a LOT around here!
  • Family Fun
~Weekly game night or movie night--While these aren't "official" scheduled events, we manage to have lots of family fun nights. :)
~Outdoor fun--sledding, skating, hiking, walking, etc.
~Occasional treats at McD's, bowling, mini-golf, etc.
  • Adventures
~Plan one or two overnight camping trips--Sadly, this didn't happen!
~Vacation to Ohio
~Hike to Cherry Pond, climb a mountain, drive up Mt. Washington, etc.--We did some hiking, but no mountains this year.
~Trip to Story Land--if possible :)
~Other spontaneous adventures
~Make everyday life an adventure!

So, there you have it.  My list of goals and the mixed results. :)  The areas I need to work on definitely stick out like a sore thumb!  Look for posts later in the week of my new yearly goals, as well as goals for January.  I feel like it's really helped me a lot to break them down into little chunks--helps to keep me focused.  And if any of you are sharing your own goal posts, please let me know so I can check them out! :)


Anonymous said...

Thank You for your wonderful Blog! It is a Blessing and Encouragement to me!!!! :) Thanks for taking the time to post!!!!! Have a great day!
~ Kathleen :)

Gina said...

I love your concrete list of goals! So often I have vague goals that are not specific enough.

And I like your spiral notebook idea! I have a notebook that I use for all my writing/blogging stuff and it is nice to have everything together instead of scattered on bits of paper.

Blessings in the new year.

Mrs. Josh said...

I loved reading your goals and what you were able to accomplish. It looked like you did great. :) I love keeping track of things in a notebook too.:)