Determined to start out on the right foot last year I did something I hate doing…setting goals. I prefer to just work hard and see how the story unfolds. But I had this nice homeschool lesson planner all printed out and ready to go, and I couldn’t just leave that goals page empty, could I? So I filled it out on the fly, and actually surprised myself all year by the amount of times I glanced at it to stay on track. Anyway, I thought it would be fun to evaluate how these goals faired at the close of the year. So here we go…
Check! This one surprised me! I would say we actually thrived.
2. Find a good routine that works for the kids.
I think we have a good thing going when it comes to routine. It has required a few minor tweaks throughout the year, but overall, it’s working. I have found it necessary to get the kids to make their beds and get dressed BEFORE breakfast. Otherwise, they disappear into their room after breakfast to “get ready”, but without constant “encouragement” from Mom and Dad they got lost in play and it takes forever! I really like to get all the lessons done by noon even though it can be a bit stressful for me on days we are lagging behind. I think I just need to learn to relax. We love having our afternoons and evenings free to do swimming lessons, recorder lessons, trips to the library, play time, create time, family time. I’m happy to say that rushing to catch the bus, packing lunches, and homework are a distant memory.
3. Evaluate whether homeschool works for our family.
This was the BIG question last September as we procrastinated and finally, with great fear and trembling, sent in our “letter of intent to homeschool.” But this year was full of so many pleasant surprises, and I can honestly say we have loved this life of learning together more and more as the weeks have passed.
4. Connect with other homeschool families and participate in field trips, etc.
To be honest, this one I struggled with. We did attend lots of field trips, but it took awhile to really feel a part of the community. I remember looking at this goal about a month into school and feeling like I had voluntarily failed at this one by not joining the local weekly homeschool co-op. I had to juggle my family’s need for community with our need to take baby steps and ease into this new life. Thankfully the Lord has surprised us with community in other, unexpected places and ways. Being a new homeschool mom, I found it difficult to know who else was new. My experience this year has reminded me of the importance of being the one who will reach out, strike up that first conversation, and offer a smile to any unfamiliar faces.
1. Twice monthly date nights
We did okay with this for the first couple of months. We tried doing one date night out and one at home per month, but unless these are scheduled and actually put on the calendar in advance, they just don’t happen. Definitely an area for improvement!
2. Monthly budgets
Hmmmm, how to evaluate this one. The budgets were made. They were not always kept, but they were made! (A little aside here…if you’re looking for a really cool, FREE way to track your spending and budgets, check out Mint! It’s awesome! Another thing that has kept us a bit more on track this year is zero based budgeting. There’s a good explanation of it here.)
1. STOP snacking in the evenings.
This is an awful habit I get into while pregnant, and it is sooooo hard to give it up! It’s something I’ve just been getting serious about in the last few weeks. In fact, as I sit here typing I can feel my tummy on the verge of a growl. What I wouldn’t give for a bowl of Rice Works right now! This evening as I came downstairs to watch a bit of TV, there was my husband munching away. Bless his thoughtful heart, he said he was trying to finish it before I came down so I wouldn’t be tempted. What a guy!
2. Healthier meal planning
Doing okay here, but I think there’s always room for improvement. I mean, have you ever met anyone who says they eat as healthily as absolutely possible??
3. Earlier bedtime
HA! Do you know what time it is right now? Starting a blog is not conducive to meeting this goal in case anyone was wondering!
1. Count blessings each week.
I’m sorry…I’ve tried to count 1000 gifts, and I am just not disciplined enough of a journaler. But once a week I figured I could do. Still trying to be consistent here. Some weeks I nail it and some not.
2. Daily Bible reading
In 2014 I read through the Bible chronologically for the second time and loved it (just as much as the first time); but I thought in January that I’d like to try something different, maybe slow things down and chew on a few verses each day instead. To be honest, I’m itching to get back to reading more of the Word each day. Can I overcome my perfectionistic tendencies and start a read-through-the-Bible-in-a-year program in June instead of January?!
3. Jesus, grow the fruit of Your Spirit in me this year – especially patience (and love, and joy, and, and, and!!!)
This will be my plea until the day I die. I aim high!
4. Memorize a verse of scripture weekly.
We have been doing this as a family using a cute CD called Sing the Word by the Harrow family. I found it on iTunes. The kids absolutely love singing along to it everyday at breakfast as Little Mister turns his head to find these singing kids who are apparently hiding above our kitchen cupboards. (He is also trying to figure out how Twila Paris hides in his CD player every night at bedtime!)
Well, that’s a quick recap of my goals for this past year. What about you? Did you put pen to paper and record your goals? If so, what was on your list? Would love to get some ideas for next year!