Just as a reminder, none of the goals that I’m doing this year are things I set out to do every day of the year, but instead try to work towards making them regular habits in my life. This gives me permission to miss a day and not be so hard on myself for missing it. I want to focus more on the process this year than the product.
A Better Relationship with God
1. Start a personal morning Bible study – I’ve been using the 8 week study in the book Holding On To Hope by Nancy Guthrie. It was given to me by a women’s ministry when I was in the hospital, and I have really enjoyed going through the study so far. I’m halfway through, but I have the feeling I will be investing in another one of her studies after I complete this one. I did really well on the weekdays, but the weekends were harder. So, in February, I’m going to focus on finding the best time to do the study on the weekends.
2. Maintain a personal prayer journal – I’ve been keeping this up pretty well. Incorporating it into my night time routine has helped a lot. It’s the first thing I do when I get into bed. Some days may not make a whole page, but I write for things to pray for, things I’m thankful for, and the highlights of the day every night. Considering my past experience with journals, that is a definite win so far.
Honoring My Husband
1. Send my husband Words of Affirmation every day – I think I may have to tweak this particular goal. Michael and I have started texting back and forth throughout the month of January, and I have done some special things that would fill his words of affirmation love tank – like writing on post-its and sticking them on the mirror, or writing him a letter to take with him to work. But to say I was intentional about this every day probably isn’t accurate. I mean, not in the way I thought it would be. The second half of the month was particularly stressful for him at work, so every day I was doing things that I thought would encourage him (like texts or little notes) or remove some of the stress (like making his favorite meals or having the house clean when he came home – which is another love language entirely). So, I want to try in the month of February to show my husband love every day, whether it’s a text or a meal or something else entirely. I’ll let you know how it goes.
2. Have weekly prayer times specifically directed about my husband – I had a hard time remembering this goal in the beginning of the month. I actually started putting it in my planner as a reminder. I’m good with daily routines, but I’m still working on the things I want to do once a week. I did do this during that stressful week. Basically, I set a timer for five minutes and picked an appropriate bible verse for what I wanted to pray about specifically. Then, I would say the verse out loud, then pray a sentence or two of specific requests or things I was thankful for, then I would repeat the verse, then say another sentence or two. I would keep going in that fashion until the five minutes ended.
Living A Healthier Life
1. Start running again – In the beginning of the month, I did try to run a few times. I wish I could say it felt amazing, but it did not. I don’t know if it was age, recovery from November, the stress, or all of the above, but I just couldn’t run like I used to. The cold windy weather wasn’t helping either. So, I wanted to find something I could do at home that would strengthen me and help me with my breathing and endurance. About the middle of the month, I started doing the 30 days of Yoga challenge on the YouTube channel, YogawithAdriene. They have been challenging, but I already feel a difference in my leg and arm strength, plus my breathing has gotten a lot better. Having that time in the morning to set aside for practice has also allowed me to carve out time in my morning routine for any exercise. So, when I do get back to running, I will have time for it already in my schedule.
2. Eat healthier and drink more water – I go to the internet for most of my recipes, and every now and then, I get obsessed with one site I use for almost all of my meals. This time it was BettyCrocker.com. The reason I like the site so much is because they have a lot of suggested recipes for families of two, plus all of the recipes I have tried have either been really easy or easily adaptable. It’s been awesome. As for water, I’m doing really well there too, and I can tell I have more energy, less allergies, and my skin is clearer.
Get My House in Order
1. Find a good home schedule that allows me less time cleaning and more time with family – At first, I used theconfidentmom.com downloadable planner. I really like this planner because it’s free, editable, and has great suggestions for daily routines as well as yearly reminders for holidays and birthdays. For a couple of weeks, I tried out the planner the way it was written, and it was okay, but it didn’t completely work with my interests, ability and particular lifestyle. So, I now use the planner for “cleaning schedule inspiration” and choose three tasks from the planner to do each day. Then, I incorporate those tasks into my daily routines in my Erin Condren planner. I love using this planner. If you want to know more detail about how I set up my day and use my planner, let me know.
2. Work on projects set aside in the kitchen, library, and master bedroom – I’ve been more focused on just setting up the day to day routines this month. So, these projects will be planned and accomplished in other months throughout the year. I promise I will share!
Become a Better Employee at my Job
1. Create an efficient and organized way to complete work tasks – Since I had a couple weeks off for the holidays and recovery, I spent a lot of this month catching up with everything I have to do. At some point, I hope to make a master list of all the things I do, and how long it takes me to complete each task.
2. Discover ways to defeat unfocused or unmotivated times during work (specifically the lull in the afternoon) – My Coursera class (see hobbies below) has really been beneficial for this goal. While I still have moments where I’m not focused, I am learning how to get back on track and accomplish the tasks I set out to do for the day.
Being Involved in my Community
1. Volunteer with the SPCA – I filled out the application, paid the application fee and got accepted into the volunteer program near our home. However, the orientation isn’t until this month, towards the end. Still, I’m excited to see what opportunities are ahead for this goal!
2. Focus on better and earlier fundraising ideas for the Alzheimer’s Association – The walk for this year, last time I checked, hasn’t been announced, so I’m waiting for that before fundraising. However, I did go to a Alzheimer’s Association hosted event – a viewing of Still Alice.
Developing Personal Time
1. Explore a new (or old) hobby each month – I took a free course on Coursera.org called Learning How to Learn. Basically, it was finding ways to work with your brain to create new habits and learn new things effectively. It was a really awesome course and a great way to start out the new year. I used a lot of the techniques to combat procrastination, enhance focus and improve my habits that they include in the lessons. If you ever have an opportunity to take a coursera class, I highly recommend it. I’ve taken other courses on social psychology and modernist poetry in the past that were also fabulous.
2. Schedule a pamper/relaxation time each month – I had a massage on Saturday, the last day of January. It was perfect timing, since the previous two weeks had been really stressful. I got a coupon for a $30 massage from Living Social. I won’t name the place because honestly, I don’t think I will go back to that particular person. She was very nice, but the place was so noisy. It’s one of those places were there are small rooms for each business. So, you can have someone cutting hair next to a masseuse, next to a teeth whitening place. The suite next to hers was full of loud kids and mothers screaming the kids names. Also, the massage itself was pretty good, but I woke up the next morning with bruises on my back, despite having plenty of water afterward. I plan to try to fit in a few more massages throughout the year, but just at other places.
So that was my month in a nutshell. January is usually what I call a “slow” month, but it certainly didn’t feel that way this year! If you are interested in knowing about any of these goals in more detail, let me know! I’m excited to try a few new things and tweak other things this month. I will let you know how it went in March!