New Year’s resolutions create unnecessary pressure, often resulting in failure and disappointment. How many people use their brand new gym memberships and diet meal-replacement shakes after January anyway? Instead, this year I’m setting written goals, and making specific plans to achieve them. Progress and development, that’s what I want. Finishing in a better position than where I started, that’s what’s important.
And after spending the past several months stalker-ishly following Crystal Paine’s posts on living intentionally, I’ve been inspired to inject more meaning and purpose into my time and actions. Ms. Paine has become one of my own personal heroes (she IS Super Woman), which is why I clearly derived some of my goals from some of hers. Imitation is the greatest form of flattery, right?
But it can be much more than that, if done correctly. In the preface of Eat That Frog: 21 Great Ways to Stop Procrastinating and Get More Done in Less Time, Brian Tracy explains that he went from uneducated-and-broke (my words) to brilliant-and-wealthy (my words again) by asking people in positions of power what they do each day, and then………. Doing those things. Seems simple (notice, I did not say “easy!”) enough. Now I’ve decided to take a crack at it.
Many of my goals come with required reading. A) Because I like to read. If I give myself some easy wins, maybe it will give me the momentum I need to accomplish my other goals. B) To learn from the pros. If I do what they do, maybe I can grow to be successful in my own way.
To imitate vs. To grow. To make a resolution vs. To plan. To-MAY-to, To-MAH-to, you say? Maybe so. Either way, I’ll be making progress this year.
My goals for 2012:
- Read three books related to professional development.
- Create and maintain a blog. (Half complete. Woot!)
- Apply for at least three jobs that will allow me to develop my journalistic skills.
- Create a homemaking binder.
- Create and adhere to a (flexible) time budget and task list.
- Practice weekly menu planning.
- Cook and try one new recipe per month.
- Become a minimalist. De-clutter physically (house, car) and virtually (email, social networking) for at least 30 minutes each week.
- In addition, get rid of 100 items every six months (end of June, end of December).
PARENTING (subset of domestic goals)
- Develop a daily “curriculum” that fosters Josh’s creativity and learning.
- Begin and complete the 1000 Books Before Kindergarten program through our local public library.
- Take Josh on a hot date each week. It can be free, but it cannot include visiting relatives or shopping!
- Enroll Josh in swim lessons.
- Complete the Your Baby Can Read program. I must admit, I’m not really excited about this goal. But Josh’s dad insists that he do it. Ugh. I suppose it can’t hurt, right?
- Finally begin to pay back my student loans.
- Establish and contribute to a 529 account for Josh.
- Continue using coupons like a crazy woman; finding new ways to save money; and building a stockpile of grocery, personal care, and household items.
- Have a mostly free (notice, I did not say “cheap!”) Christmas for family and close friends (by using coupons and rewards, and making handmade gifts).
- Read three books related to personal finance.
- Pray more frequently. Repair my relationship with God. Seek wisdom, understanding, forgiveness, and peace.
- Read the Bible daily following the chronological plan.
- Find a church home.
- Have Josh baptized.
- Read three books related to spiritual development.
OUTREACH (subset of spiritual goals)
- Research local organizations to find one that supports a cause that moves me. Then contribute as a financial donor and/or volunteer worker.
- Create and distribute 12 Blessings Bags (one per month.)
- Donate surplus items from my stockpile to a local homeless shelter or food bank every three months.
- Send a care package to a soldier for Christmas.
- Donate two toys for Christmas: one for a little boy, one for a little girl.
- Mail expired coupons to our military families overseas. (I accumulate hundreds – if not thousands – of them that I never use, and they can use them up to six months past the expiration dates.)
- Read at least 12 books (one per month). Absorb knowledge and wisdom that I can implement in my daily life.
- Complete at least 12 DIY projects (one per month). Become more crafty and resourceful while saving money.
- RUN!!!! Daily would be good. This semi-sedentary lifestyle just does not suit me.
- Take at least one picture of Joshua each day.
- Acknowledge loved ones’ birthdays in a more personal manner than sending a message via text or Facebook.