Happy New Year! It's 2020! I am so excited for this year. I am always excited for every new calendar year, new school year, new month, birthday. I always love the idea of starting new!
At the beginning of each school year and each calendar year, we always sit down as a family and write out our goals together. Well, they say them and I actually do the writing. I always like to see where they think they need to improve or grow or learn, and Mike and I always help direct them with some ideas too.
I remember when Ella was a baby, she was a little behind her siblings' timeline for sitting up and talking. That year we set a goal for her to learn to say 100 words. We took a sheet a paper and wrote "Ella's Words" at the top, stuck it on our refrigerator and then when anyone heard her say a new word, we'd excitedly write it down until we got to 100. We were all incredibly happy when she met her goal. The whole family was so invested in her and her growing vocabulary and we all celebrated her success. She'd have eventually learned the words had there been no list and no goal, but creating the goal and celebrating the goal was so good for her and for our family and for our "team" spirit.
This year at school, Carly's class is doing a 40 book challenge. They read 40 books and write a summary of each. In order to meet her goal, she needs to read a book per week. On the computer we are tracking the books that she reads each week and the reports. I know she'd read if she had this goal or not, because she loves reading, but writing them down and reaching for a certain number has really kept us on track on weeks that we are off for breaks and out of our routine. We had to visit the public library over winter break to get new books to meet her goal, something we honestly probably would not have done had we not been working towards those 40 books.
We believe that good goals are measurable, realistic, and should be written down and celebrated! There will definitely be a treat in store for her when she meets her goal!
My goal this year is to read the Bible more and write down specific verses that I know I need to work on and remember. I bought myself a "planner" where each day of the year is a black page so that I have a space to write. In previous years, I have bought myself a "Pretty" notebook to try to lure myself into quiet time to read, and I have always kinda- sorta- maybe did it when I found the time, which definitely has never been consistent. I'm hoping that a better spot to write will help me! My goal is to write something every day this year and see how that changes my heart and mind and life. I don't want to just write for the sake of writing, but for learning and growing and living the most loving, wise life possible.
If you need to buy a planner, or weights or a water bottle, or sneakers, flashcards, etc to meet your goal, DO IT! You are worth it! Your kids are worth it!
When we have our meetings to discuss our goals, we also think about things that we don't really like in our life. Things that we need to change. Habits that we need to break. (Speaking of which, one of our kiddos broke the habit of sucking her fingers at bedtime and OH MY GOODNESS, our house became 50 times more peaceful! Don't give up on yourself or your babies. Some habits take YEARS to break! Believe in yourself and that this is your year!)
You'll need a plan. Something to replace or prevent the old thing. It turns out that Band-aides work wonders for finger sucking habits. Just throwing that out there!
It's really fun to think about things that we want to learn or teach. Maybe narrow down a sport or lesson that we want to try and then GO FOR IT! One time my girls decided that they wanted to be good at writing cursive, and we did it! We sat down and worked through all the letters together and now they can both read and write cursive. Maybe it's learning to braid or sew or play soccer or checkers. The possibilities are endless! Think about what skills you want and then make a plan to make it happen.
What about you? Have you thought about goals? For yourself? Your family? It's not too late.
Find some time this week with a yummy snack and sit together and think. If you have kids, help them think.
*What do we need to give up? (Sugar is at the top of our list! We certainly aren't giving it up all the way, what would even be the point of living! Kinda kidding! But seriously, we have to take it down several notches! )
*What valuable things can we add in?
*What can learn? How can we grow to become better versions of ourselves?
*What do we need to invest in to help us reach our goals?
Make this year count! It probably won't "accidentally" happen. Be intentional. Write it down. Celebrate your success! Celebrate each other's success! Cheer each other on.
And hopefully you'll find, much more Joy in the Chaos of this life!