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Aug 31

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How Goals Help Me Aim for Excellence

I love setting goals. There is something about listing out the things that I want to accomplish on paper that helps me gain perspective on my life. I have been working through some exercises on goal setting in the last several weeks in conjunction with an upcoming review on the 7-Minute Life Planner. This has reminded me how important writing down your goals is to striving toward excellence in life. I have found that if I just keep all those goals and ideas in my head, there is usually not much action taken on them. When I commit them to paper, it is sort of a contract with myself to attempt to meet some of these goals.

When writing the goals down, I have found keeping the acronym SMART in mind also helps me.

S – specific

M – measurable

A – attainable

R – realistic

T – timely

This past week I set the following goals and here is the update on how I progressed. It was rather a busy week for me and I learned some goal-setting lessons that I will share at the end of this post. The goals that were met are marked with the strike through.

Personal:

  • I am going to shoot for being in bed by 10:00 pm with my light out by 10:30 pm. – This was definitely a work in progress. I don’t think I made it to bed but ONE night this week by 10:30.
  • Adding exercise back into my routine, even if it is only a 10 minute stretching routine – This happened about twice this week. I am going to keep it up one baby step at a time.
  • Reading at night before bed. – I didn’t get into bed early enough for this, however I did read in the tub once this week :)
  • Keeping a THM food journal to help me stay on track – This happened thanks to the new goal planner I am using.

Homeschooling:

  • Continue tweaking Luke’s checklist and help keep him on track  – This is working but still taking a lot of encouragement from me. We are using a student logbook that I will share about in an upcoming review.
  • Working in some daily planning time to my routine  – This didn’t happen daily, but I was able to have two larger planning sessions that made me feel very accomplished!
  • Grade and file last week’s work  – Done and I am liking my new system this year. Hoping that I can keep it up for the long haul. My main goal is not to finish out the year with stacks and stacks of loose paper!
  • Keep Lydia’s preschool time each morning and provide activities for her to do during the boys read-aloud time.  I am really enjoying the special time I am having with Lydia each day. It really doesn’t take long and we are just reading good books right now and working through some school readiness books using Sonlight’s P4/P5 curriculum. We are using Get Ready for the Code as well. I gave her some worksheets and educational videos to watch this week when the boys were doing school and she seemed bored with playing alone.
  • Sit in with Drew during some of his Pre-Algebra lessons. – I helped him with some percent and fraction equations that he was struggling with, but I didn’t get to sit in on any of the lectures this week.

Marriage/Mothering:

  • Lunch Date with David this week. –  This didn’t happen.
  • Night time date at home since I don’t have to work at the hospital this week. – This didn’t happen
  • Take the kids swimming. – We didn’t go to a pool together, however Lydia attended a swim party and the boys attended a party where they had an 18-foot water slide, so technically this goal was met:)
  • Go for a walk with the kids. This also didn’t happen. Life got in the way.
  • Try to take advantage of hidden moments to give each child a little bit of one on one attention. – I was able to bake brownies with Luke and take Lydia to a party, just she and I, but I will have to put Drew at the top of the list next week.

After looking over this list of goals from last week, I noticed that making time for David and myself ended up being the things that got put on the back burner. I am going to have to change that. I know that if I let my priorities get out of whack and live in the tyranny of the urgent, I will quickly lose steam. Here are my revised goals for this upcoming week.

Personal:

  • Keep up with my Beth Moore Bible study, Children of the Day, working on it 5 days a week.
  • Exercise three times this week (even 10 minute stretching counts, baby steps here)
  • Shoot for getting to bed by 10:30 at least three nights this week.
  • Read for pleasure at least 30 minutes, three times this week.
  • Take one online class on Project Life/Photoshop Elements that I have been trying to get around to for months (shoot for Tuesday afternoon)

Homeschool:

  • Keep up to date with my record keeping in my homeschool planner.
  • Grade and file all work.
  • Add Math to Lydia’s routine this week.
  • Begin PE with the boys. Two sessions this week because of Labor Day being a vacation day.
  • Evaluate Luke’s progress with Math Facts and create a plan to begin to master them. Determine when multiplication is being introduced in his current math program.
  • Set up Drew’s first photo editing class with Anna.
  • Attend the homeschool group kickoff picnic on Saturday.

Marriage/Mothering:

  • Spend Labor Day with the family at a water park.
  • Birthday party for Drew and my nephew Friday night.
  • Tweak evening routine with the addition of karate back into the schedule this week.
  • Make a special dessert and plan an at home date for Thursday night after the kids are in bed.
  • Take a walk with the kids and the dog on Wednesday.

My first problem that I identified from last week was that I failed to keep the goals in front of me. I do much better if the goals are listed out where I can see them each day. I am planning to print these goals out from this post and keep them in my Bible this week where I will see them each day.

The second problem I identified was not timing the goals. I decided to give specific dates to as many goals as I could this week to see if that would assist me in completing them. I have so many things that I have thought were impossible to accomplish that I now think can be done if I tackle it one baby step at a time. I am going to continue to work through some more goal setting exercises and I will write a post on this in the upcoming weeks. Thanks for letting me share a peek into my life with you. I would love to hear from you what you are working on this week!

Permanent link to this article: http://conversaving.com/2014/08/31/how-goals-help-me-aim-for-excellence/

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