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This month I have talked about all the ways that I am trying to set myself up for successful goal setting in the New Year. I have my word of the year, I have figured out what my long range goals are and I finally was able to go through those goals to make them into more manageable goals using my word of the year. Now, since we are at the end of January, it is time to share some of those goals with you, my wonderful readers!
I know what you are saying, it is the end of January, how can you be writing out your goals now?! Well, although in years past I have loved having the opportunity to take the week between Christmas and New Years to get all of my goals written out and reflect on the previous year, the past couple of years that has not happened. Instead of getting upset about how I can seem to get my schedule to work, I have decided to embrace it.
Easing into the New Year throughout January has helped me to combat the after Christmas blues, it has allowed me freedom to know that I don’t need to make all the changes on day one. If you are looking for a much more eloquent explanation of this, I would visit Renee at Fimby – she explains this easing into the New Year and how it is working for her this year.
I am going to get my easiest-to-make goal out of the way first – read 100 books.
This has been a goal of mine since 2013. I think that I successfully read 100 books in one of the past four years. I know that I can do it, but trying to keep myself on track to read a couple books each week is difficult. I definitely go through phases of reading a lot, and phases of reading very little.
Because we have a literature based approach to homeschooling, I do a lot of read alouds with my kids. I have decided that instead of only logging the longer books, I am going to log everything that I read to the kids as well as the books that I read for myself. I think this will help give me a true picture of my reading for the year, instead of only logging the books that I read for myself and some of the long read alouds I do (Harry Potter) with the kids.
This is a big one for me this year. I finally came to the realization in 2014 that self-care was something I needed in my life. I worked hard to find some of that in 2015, and then it totally went off the rails in 2016.
I realized that if I don’t plan for that time, it won’t happen.
There is always someone else to take care of, something else that needs my attention, and my own self-care gets put on the back-burner. When that happens I get burned out, and that is no way to live. If I don’t take care of myself, how can I take care of my family.
I am going to make it a point to schedule time for myself. I want to have one planning weekend a quarter and a bi-weekly evening of quiet.
The planning weekend is partly homeschool related, I need to be able to sit and figure out where we will go next in our homeschool journey. I also want to use this planning weekend as a time to revisit my goals, see what is working, make changes and figure out next steps in the process.
This planning weekend will be an interesting attempt, and I’m not sure how realistic it is with three little ones, but I am going to try and get all of my ducks in a row so that I can at least try to get away for one day each quarter and get my “work” done.
I have seen two examples of this weekend off. One from Erin at the Humbled Homemaker, and the other more recently from Renee over at FIMBY. Both of these women have written some amazing words about the practice, and it is something I have come to desire in my own life. I plan to use the tips that these women have shared to create my own planning weekend retreat.
The bi-weekly evening of quiet is something that I started doing in the fall when I was at my breaking point. I would go down to my mom’s house, use her internet, and really just sit and do nothing. It was very welcome, and I plan to continue this in the New Year, especially now that the holiday madness has calmed down.
Keeping a Sabbath
As a Christian, I should keep a Sabbath, but I don’t. In fact, when Sunday rolls around, I try to cram as much stuff in after church as possible. It is the one day of the week where we typically don’t have plans, so I use the time to work like a mad woman; clean the house, get laundry done, write for my blog, do social sharing, try and tackle big de-cluttering or organizing projects.
It has to stop.
Since my word of the year is Margin, I know that I need to create that in my life, and taking a Sabbath is going to help me to re-center myself and prepare for the week.
I have written in the past about Unplugged Sunday and the need to take a rest from technology one day each week, but it is difficult, and something that I definitely need to work on.
I’m not entirely sure what our Sabbath rest will look like, whether we will use that time to get outside and enjoy nature, whether we will use it as a family game time, or if we will watch a movie and just enjoy each other’s company. This is more of a family goal, not just for me personally. I know that having this time to reconnect as a family is important, especially with how busy we have been over the past several months, and I think observing the Sabbath is a perfect way to do that.
I love to cook, I enjoy cooking from scratch, I love to see the bowls of beans and grains sitting on my counter soaking, I love the time it takes me to make meals, the entire process is fun for me – except when I forget to soak the beans, or miss the window of time to get the slow cooker going, or if I just don’t feel like eating a specific meal that day.
I have an awful time with meal planning. I am much more a spur of the moment person when it comes to what we will eat in a day, and I think it is because I enjoy cooking, and the challenge of coming up with meals using what we have in the house.
Unfortunately, this is the worst way to prepare meals for a family of five. I have come to realize that trying to make meals with three littles in the house is next to impossible. Come 4pm everyone is hungry, everyone is cranky, and I am also at my wits end – not a great combo when trying to get dinner ready.
Meal planning in and of itself is super easy for me, just write down a bunch of meals, nothing to it. The challenge for me is actually sticking to that meal plan. I can have all the ingredients in the house for a meal, and then either not want to make it because I don’t feel like eating that particular thing, or for the above mentioned forgetting to get the food prepared in a timely manner.
The change that I plan to make for my meal planning this year, in order for it to actually be successful, is to work more on freezer meals.
Freezer meals are not something new, there are tons of recipes on Pinterest that go on and on about freezer cooking. The problem I have is that I don’t typically have these types of ingredients on hand to make the freezer crock pot meals that everyone raves about.
In the fall I signed up for a course with Heather Bruggeman from beauty that moves called whole food freezer cooking. When the class was live, my entire family was sick, so I didn’t actually take the class. I did however download all the e-books and material for the class, and now I plan to work through all of that material in order to stock my freezer with some delicious and healthy meals for the future.
I think this will definitely be a game changer for me. Having the ability to take something out of the freezer (beyond the soups that I normally make) will be something that helps me when the evenings are crazy – and honestly, they are always crazy!
I am really excited about these goals for 2017. I think it is going to be an amazing year with a ton of opportunity for growth, both personally and with my family.
I know that throughout the year my goals will evolve, and I will add more to the list, but I thought this would be a good place to start.
What is one personal goal you are working on for this year?