Where did March go? (New Year’s goals review and plans for April)

Did I just say April? Wow!

March has flown for me, and I honestly can’t think of why. However, it is that time again to review the month (specifically the plans we made for March) and to make a new list of how to execute those New Year’s goals, resolutions, plans, and priorities in April.

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I’m going to do my best to make this short and sweet. I will divide my March list into three categories: accomplished or improved; effort made, but not enough; and did not happen.

At this point I would like to say that there are still four whole days left in March, and I do actually plan to do some of these things in that time. = ) Hopefully.

Accomplished or improved

*Chalkboard ready for the next day in the afternoon (being generous)

*Park every week with the girls

*Getting to church earlier to see Paul before services start (seriously, just writing down that little goal made a big difference in how I prepared all month!)

*Plan for spring cleaning (the plan has begun, but is not yet finished. It’s much more fun to put effort into the planning than the work!) = )

*Get caught up on laundry, fold as it comes out of the dryer. I am pleased as punch to announce that none of our hampers are currently over half full. This will come as a shock to any and all who know me and these conditions are still considered by the National Laundry Service as unpredictably sustainable.

*Piano lessons have been restarted! Yay!

Effort made, but not enough

*Clothes ready the night before, prayer in the morning instead of checking weather/email/facebook

*Exercise three times a week. This is perilously close to being in the did not happen category.

*More science with school

*Evaluate weekly activities; eliminate those which bring more stress than benefit

*Work on Awana verses. In all fairness and self-defense, this one could almost be in the accomplished or improved category.

Did not happen

*Read at night

*Make list of things we might need for baby

*Organize Mckayla’s room

*Go to church library

*Make list of expectations for girls

*Purchase organizing stuff

*Dream up an entryway project

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Well, with all that, here are just a few additional comments regarding the original list.

~ I taught the girls to wipe down the sink and toilet with a lysol wipe and have scheduled a day for them to do that every week. So far they’ve done great and remembered on their own. This is an accomplishment in the “chores” department. As well, they are doing very well making beds in the morning and putting shoes away right when we come in the door.

~ Our surfaces are overall a tiny bit more cleared off and clean. Why is it so hard to keep them that way?

~ I have an idea for something to do on the girls bathroom wall.

~ We are really enjoying reading the biography of Louis Braille! I’ve learned so much and been so inspired.

~ Weekly homeschool planning has not happened for a few weeks now. This hasn’t devastated our days or weeks, but I want to get back on track.

~ Night time sleep is beginning to look a little more prioritized! Keep it up!

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Okay, so those were all general things from my original list in January 2014. Now I will try to think through specific things to accomplish or grow towards in April. I think I will try to make a more concise, attainable list as it seems March was somewhat overshot.

*Begin spring cleaning. Try to finish the top two-thirds of the house (ceilings, walls, and furniture).

*Continue to work towards being early for events (church, appointments, etc.) not just on-time.

*Keep a Bible and pen by the bed. Take the minutes you have to read and make notes, even if it’s not the extended time you would like.

*Think through any birthdays or events happening in April and May. Try to plan ahead.

*Work to spend twenty minutes after the girls go to bed being productive in the house. (Happy sidenote: I’m sleeping in a slightly different position and my back is feeling much better during the day!)

*Choose reading, writing, or playing the piano with day and night time “free time.” And don’t just write this, do it! Grrr!

*Make a small list every week of specific prayers for the girls, Paul, and others. Think through even in a small way what I’m really asking for on their behalf.

*Exercise four times a week. Yowza. What was I thinking? I need to come up with a major reward if I actually do this. = )

*Organize the girls room. And Mckayla’s room. And what’s left of our room. And spring clean. And climb Mt. Everest.

*Buy a candle

*Plan the upcoming homeschool week on Friday afternoon

*Read more from our current poetry book

*More training time with the girls, talk about expectations

*Listen to Hope as she practices piano and violin at least two times a week.

*Teach Sophia long-vowel sound words. She wants to read so badly!

*Cuddle with Gracie

*Play with and tickle Mckayla.

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Those last ones aren’t really list-worthy; but as the baby due date draws near and I spend more time resting, I want to consciously spend sweet time with the girls.

I don’t believe I succeeded in making the April list short. I think I will copy and paste it to a notepad so I can view it more easily throughout the month. Oh dear! This is Easter month! I have some new ideas of ways to celebrate that will definitely take some thought and preparation, but that will have to wait for another post.

Until then…. thanks for reading!

Three months down, nine to go.
Three months down, nine to go.

New Year Resolutions; my plan from last year and how it worked

Pictures 2 357I’m a huge NYR lover, always have been.

The past two years, though, I really wanted to make a way to keep myself accountable all year.

Two years ago, while we were driving home in the freezing cold in the middle of the night, I made a list of seven things on the notepad of my phone. Then I set reminders on the beginning of every month so I could look back at the list and remember. It worked pretty good! I was at least mindful of it all year and did make progress, even though it’s never as much as you would want (at least with me).

But last year, I really stepped it up a notch. My first goal was to set monthly goals; the rest of the “year” goals had to do with different things I wanted to accomplish or “be” this year.

I would say nine out of the twelve months I did this and then evaluated at the end of the month how I’d done. Overall, I was pleased with the results.

But all this is just babbling; let me see if I can give you the idea in a quick, understandable fashion.

My New Year’s Resolution plan from last year

Pictures 2 362Write out a list of the goals you have for this coming year. Think through all areas of your life.

Make general goals to work towards the entire year.

Plan to make monthly goals in all of these areas, breaking up the general goals into more specific ideas.

Every weekend sit down and make a list of things that you know you can do that week. Check them off as you go and keep remembering your specific purposes for that month.

At the end of each month, it’s helpful to evaluate how you did in accomplishing your goals. Keep in mind that as you go, you will realize that some “kinds” of goals are helpful and attainable and others just didn’t work that well. As you set your new goals for the next month, use what you’ve learned to make your goal-setting more productive.

This system really did work well for me. I definitely was mindful of my resolutions all year, and felt that the weekly and monthly goal-setting made accomplishment much more practical.

pictures-2-365.jpgI’d love to hear your thoughts on New Year’s Resolutions. What are some that you have kept? Which do you find are the most easily forgotten? Are there methods that have helped you continue your purposes throughout the year? 

This year, if you’re interested, I’m slowing things down to hopefully focus on just one thing that I sense is dangerously lacking.

And here is an example of the monthly goals I made in November.

Happy New Year!