It's already practically halfway through the first month of this new year! How can it be?
In the beginning of January, I always spend a fair amount of time thinking of specific goals I have for the new year and I look through the previous years' goals to see how I stacked up. I dreaded looking back to see how miserably I had failed when to my utter amazement and delight, I found that I hadn't made any! I was drowning in milk at the time (my own and our cows'), had a brand spankin' new baby and apparently, enough sense to know my limits. Survive the day was my goal and it totally worked! Here I am!
But the fact is, survival mode is great when necessary but it can't last forever.
I continued to tread water throughout the year even as my legs were rested and I had gotten my breath back and could have made some actual strides. Contentment with what I could sanely accomplish given all the balls in the air (a good thing!) turned into complacency...not bothering to add any new (and important) balls once I had found my rhythm. The result over an entire year became poor stewardship of time, person and finances and a year behind me where I didn't make any real strides. That, coupled with several unforeseeable circumstances, has left me feeling pretty blue. And kinda like a failure.
And the best thing for me when those feelings hit is the next thing. I need some goals in my life. I need to stop thinking and start doing. A plan. A schedule. A goal. A list. One foot in front of the other, moving on to the one next thing. The key is focus. And focus was what I was lacking in 2016.
So here is a list of goals to help me get back on track this year. Some will be pretty typical of New Years' resolutions, some not so much. As usual, the more specific the goal, the more easily I can see if progress was made...so I am all about SPECIFICS.
* Memorize 12 key portions of scripture important for an apologist. (I still need to come up with this list.)
* make daily personal Bible reading a habit
* Put a few pieces of art around the house to make it more gezzellig. I recently added curtains to the living room and that helped substantially.
* write at least three letters per month
* buy NO YARN in all of 2017- use only from the stash
* make a baby album for Judah
* Read aloud a chapter book to children before bed at least 3 nights a week
* Plan/organize homeschooling at the beginning of each month
* Personal Learning- free online Shakespeare course and C.S.Lewis course from Hillsdale College and Wes Callihans' The Histories (devote at least two times per week)
And since I gained another 10 pounds just in Nov/Dec.- there have to be a few wellness goals too...
* lose 17 pounds in 2017 (I could lose 25-30 but let's make it attainable, shall we?) Method: no Coke. Less carbs/sugar and more protein/veggies.
* kettlebells or cardio at least three times a week
* Pay off hospital debt and save the necessary fundage for Andrews' dental work this year.
* Remember to give Matt a portion of his paycheck for his own spending/saving so he doesn't feel stifled and broke all the time.
* Grocery shop ONCE A MONTH all year long. I anticipate this being a big money saver, but a huge time saver as well. Every grocery day was a day off of school- sometimes I even used it as an excuse when I didn't feel like doing school. And it isn't all that fun shopping with five children anyway. I'll go on Saturday mornings, early. (And by myself or with Ineke.) It will be a fruitful change- but it will require much more planning and organization on my part.
* Restart the envelope system and budgeting that I slacked off on in 2016 There is a big difference in what money can accomplish when it is allocated to specific places and not just slipping through the cracks.
* Save money for the upcoming bedrooms re-do that Matt is already talking about this summer so we can pay for it in cash. ACK! Another home project...will they ever end?!?
* Look into changing car/home insurance suppliers
* Re-do a budget for the year and re-evaluate every month. Have a booze/budget meeting with Matt to keep him on board with our financial situation several times throughout the year.
* said bedroom re-do (adding insulation to walls, re-wiring, etc.) This is a cosmetic change only by accident. The main reason is very practical- safety and warmth.
* repaint the living room
* look into all that is involved with (and possibly start) dog breeding as a side business
* fix/replant/move the strawberry patch.
* add grapes (this is like the fourth year that I have had this goal and it hasn't happened. I hope this is the year!)
What about you? Do you make goals for the New Year? If so- spill 'em!