Goodness. Honestly, being forced to slow down has been good for us. We've had time to read, reflect &; REALLY plan for 2012.
A few months ago I set out to "goal set" with a prayerful heart. I had been telling my husband for weeks that I didn't want to set goals according to my own agenda this year---but that I wanted to set goals with my most important roles in mind. I have the temptation to see what someone else is doing and want to jump on that bandwagon….and when my attempts to “match” don’t work out, I get down on myself & my skills.
I’m sure I’m not alone in playing the comparison game.
With a few months of prayerful processing, journaling & the planning sheets from Moneysaving mom, I've put pen to paper on what is really on my heart for 2012. Instead of setting out with grand ideas of what I want to do, I first put in writing what my priorities are (or ought to be). Truthfully, if you were to glance into my life even a month ago you would think my priorities were facebook & reality TV.
Starting first with my priorities and listening to what God has laid on my heart led me to set goals---and put meaning behind them. I think it's also helped put pure intentions behind my goals & actions recently. I don’t feel like I’m playing a comparison game or working to be someone I’m not---I feel really excited about what God has laid on my heart & actions I’m taking to be fruitful in these areas.
-Having a growing and authentic relationship with the Lord
-Continuing to nurture and deepen my relationship with my husband
-Nurturing, loving, teaching & enjoying my children with lots of patience & grace
-Continuing to live a frugal lifestyle
-Seeking to provide a healthy lifestyle for myself and family
-Working to maintain a clean home and organized life
-Serving others and being faithful and fruitful in areas of service
-Developing new skills and sharpening others as a homemaker
Using the formula provided by Money Saving Mom, I first identified my priorities—then focus areas within those priorities---and then smaller goals to fit in those focus areas. Sounds tedious, but what a wonderful exercise this has been!
For instance, my relationship with the Lord holds its place as my first priority. Nurturing that relationship in my opinion requires time in God’s word, a devoted prayer life, reading additional books to challenge my heart and mind, etc. One of my smaller goals that fit under these focus areas is reading through the Bible this year following a chronological plan.
I have done this process for each of my priorities—listing “focus” areas & then creating many smaller goals off of that. Hopefully I’ll be able to share more about that throughout the year!
Do I expect to meet all my goals? Maybe not. I’m still a mom of two little ones & a wife to a husband whose schedule requires more flexibility & patience on my part than I’m generally willing to give. I’m only guaranteed one evening a week at home with him & thus plans (meals, projects, dates, etc) change…all the time! But I’m thankful to have some sense of direction & a plan to achieve and sharpen myself in some areas.