Monday, December 30, 2013

Goals for the new year.

Well, it's that time again.  Every year I try and write goals for the following year.  Last year, life was so busy that I never really got around to writing my goals. Maybe that's part of why it seemed so chaotic all year.  I can definitely say if you had told me I would be working on my Master's by the end of the year, I would have told you that you were totally out of your mind.  But here I am almost a month into the Master's program.  We just never really know what life has in store for us.  Thank God that he does. I know I could never have survived this past year without that knowledge.  So, I'm ready to start working on my goals for this next year.  I start by breaking down the different areas of my life.  What things would I like to accomplish in each of these areas?  First and foremost, I want to draw closer to God.  I know with the addition of school, my time will be more limited than it has in the past.  But I definitely want to find a way to increase the time I spend communing with my heavenly father.  I have a couple of new apps that give me the Bible in a whole new format.  I may switch to one of these tools away from my hardcopy book.  Even though I prefer reading from an actual book, being able to take my Bible along will make it easier for me to spend time in the Word wherever I may be.  I plan to find a good devotion app that I can use on a daily basis, and while I started reading through the bible this past year, I have not gotten all the way through it, so I will continue with that program throughout this new year.  When I write my goals, I usually try to break them down into steps to help get the habits engrained in my routine.  That way I can accomplish my larger goals.  I build in rewards as I go for making those small steps towards those goals.

Another goal I will be working on this year again, will be weight loss.  I definitely need to work on this as over this past year I was diagnosed with diabetes, so getting more weight off can only help my control of the diabetes.  I don't really have a plan for how this weight will come off as last year, I started the program that has worked better for me than any other, but during this past year, they closed their doors.  While this program worked the best for me, I will have to find another way to accomplish the weight loss.  I would like to say that by the end of the year I will be at goal weight, but that would truly be unrealistic, so I will break it down into manageable chunks to be able to attain my goal.  And along the way I will build in rewards for accomplishing those steps.  So, for my weight loss goal I would like to lose 50 pounds by the end of the year.  In order to do that, I will have to get better at logging my food intake and increasing my exercise.  So, by the end of January, I will be consistently logging my food into a food diary.  Again, I have an app that I can use for that, so I will start logging everything I eat again.  Another step that I need to take there is eating more frequent meals consistently.  Not only will that help with my weight loss, it will make huge gains for my diabetes to be able to do that.  It is a circle because the low blood sugar contributes to the weight gain by allowing my body to think it is in starvation mode.  So, by the end of January, I want to be consistently eating three meals a day with 2 snacks.  If I can accomplish this goal, I will order myself a new stamp set.

My other goals will include financial goals.  One of my biggest goals this year, will include adapting to my reduced budget, as well as trying to save some money for Christmas next year.  I have already started a program there of trying to save money over a 52 week period to have the money for the Christmas presents next year. In addition, I am going to make more gifts this next year, as those I made this last year were definitely a hit.  I would like to start saving for an emergency fund.  I'm not sure I will be able to accomplish that while the budget is so severely limited, but I am going to give it a good effort.

I will include some goals on where I would like to be with the remodeling of the house.  As well as some goals relating to developing better organizational skills and routines that help me keep things less cluttered and increases the comfort level of my home.  This will involve doing some major reorganization and decluttering.  I definitely will have some goals to help me reclaim my craft room over the next few months.  I need to have a place to work on my school away from the family.  In addition, I will have some goals that pertain to how much time I spend working on school work.  In order for these goals to get accomplished, I will actually plan time in my calendar for these things.  I also write up goals for me time. One of the things I have difficulty with is taking time for myself to just relax and do things that I enjoy.  I find it hard to take me time when there seems to be so many other things that need to be done in my house.  So, I actually have to build that into my schedule and set some goals to get me on track.  I feel good about writing my goals this year. I feel like I've been wandering in the dark this last year without any set goals.  I put these goals in several places.  I will put them into my electronic devices where I can look at them from time to time, and I will print them off and put them in my control journal where I keep my routines so that I can look at them there as well. 

Will I accomplish all my goals for the year?  Probably not, but if I am moving in the right general direction, then that is what is important.  These goals are not an all or none proposition.  They are just guidelines where I want to go.  If I don't reach all these goals this year, then I can revisit them and include some of them again next year.  But the biggest things will be developing the habits that move me in the direction of my goals.  I find this activity is better than writing resolutions, that expect me to make changes overnight.  That is never a realistic view.  It takes approximately a month to develop a habit and make it stick, so expecting to make an overnight change sets us up for failure.  I hope this post helps people see how to go about goal setting.  I will put some of my goals up when I finish developing them along with the steps I need to take to get myself to the goal.  But we have to continually reevaluate our goals and see if they are still something important to us and the progress we are making towards them.  I will post a few examples of my goals after the first of the year.

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