Mom's Corner with Michelle Blaylock
Set reasonable goals for new year
Happy New Year! I always feel so refreshed on Jan. 1. One of my kids asked me why we have to make resolutions on Jan. 1, then added, "By the way, Momma, what is a resolution, anyway?" Well, you don't have to make your resolutions on Jan. 1, it's just more convenient that way! Secondly, a resolution is nothing more than deciding to do something or setting a goal.
In all honesty, if you need to make a change in your life, the best time to start is as soon as you realize a change is needed. I mean, think about it, if you're going to give yourself a year to do something, does it really matter whether it begins Jan. 1 or Aug. 10? It's still a year. The important part is that you're bettering yourself, your life, or your family's lives.
First of all, don't set a goal for yourself that is impossible to reach. You'll only get discouraged. Make it a reasonable, achievable goal. If you want to lose weight, don't set a goal of losing 10 pounds a week -- you can't do it!
Secondly, realize there are different types of goals and many different ways to perceive a goal. What? Ok, there are daily, weekly, monthly and yearly goals. There are goals for one's body, mind, spirit, attitude, etc. Setting a yearly goal is great, but it needs to be broken down to at least monthly goals, otherwise you will lose track of how you're doing.
Next, think about how you want to achieve your goal. If you want to lose weight, how do you plan on doing it? Are you going to follow a strict weight loss program, or just try to be more conscious of what you're eating? Are you going to try to include an exercise regimen, or will that be a separate goal? Also, I find what works best for me is to change things in stages and plan my changes that way. For example, I want to work on decluttering my house. That's a worthy goal, don't you think? How now brown cow? If I look at my entire house, I guarantee you I'm going to sit down with a bag of chips and soda and binge. Why? Well, there's no way I can de-clutter my entire house in one fell swoop, so I'm not even going to try -- if I think of it like that anyway.
Instead, I'm going to start by de-cluttering my desk and keeping it that way for a week. See my problem isn't de-cluttering, it's staying de-cluttered. Next, I'll work on my kitchen counter top and then keep both the desk and the counter cleared for a week. See how I plan in stages and then build on those stages? This approach works best for me.
Several years ago, I decided my major goal would be to become more organized with emphasis on keeping track of appointments, dates and schedules. And with six kids, that isn't as easy as it sounds. Again, I worked in stages. First, I carefully examined what I needed to keep track of. I also asked my husband what he thought I needed. Secondly, I looked at what kinds of calendars and organizers were available. At that time, PDAs were just coming out and were far too expensive for me.
I quickly marked off electronic data keepers. I decided that as a family we needed something that was big enough to write in at a comfortable size. I didn't like the idea of having to write in little-bitty letters and abbreviations. What next? I took the plunge and bought an organizer.
I ended up getting one that was normal paper size and that looked something like a briefcase. It served me well. I did eventually change to another type organizer and finally I did get a computerized data keeper (PDA) that I love.
I still had to work on my goal of keeping track of appointments and such, but now I had the necessary equipment to achieve that goal.
I also find it more motivating to write down my goals because then I feel more committed to them. Another benefit to writing down your goals is being able to check them off when you achieve them. It's also great to include a friend who will encourage you, keep you on track and celebrate with you when you reach each goal.
My last caution on resolutions and goals is not to get too carried away.
You can't remake your life in a day or even a year, but you can change something. I like to pick one thing from each area of my life to work on. If I achieve that goal, I can always expand on it.
So what are my resolutions and goals this year? Well, for my body it's to continue to lose weight, add more walking to my day, and exercise at least twice a week. My next area is my spirit. My goal is to follow my daily Sunday School lesson (Doesn't that sound simple?).
My family goal is to work on developing a better system for chores and teach the kids to follow it (Also, to make sure we adults are diligent in that respect as well).
My home goal is two-fold. Part one is to work on painting and decorating. Part two is to work on de-cluttering (imagine that). I think that should be sufficient for the time being.
I plan on taking it one day at a time and always remembering, "After all tomorrow is another day." (-- Scarlet O'Hara Butler, Gone With The Wind).
If you have a tip or idea to share please send it to: Mom's Corner, P.O. Box 1496, Hartselle, AL 35640 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.