In my last post I talked about my plans for the New Year. I’ll be starting out 2018 as a Mama of two under two AND three under three, so in many ways just surviving seems like a sufficient resolution. But the prospect of a whole year of simply surviving felt a little depressing to me, so I decided to pause and think (and pray) about what would make this a meaningful year for me as a mama, a wife and a woman. Here’s my 4-step process for how I’m creating my purpose and tracking my progress this year:
START WITH: A Big Picture Resolution. For me it is Col 3:14-17, which I came to during my Bible study time after praying for guidance (this is my guiding principle for the year): “Put on love…and let the peace of Christ control [my] heart. And be thankful…do[ing] everything in the name of the Lord Jesus.” (Col 3:14-17).
FROM THERE, I BRAINSTORMED: I came up with my Big Dreams for 2018 by asked myself, “With Col 3:14-17 as my guiding principle, when I’m at this point in my life next year, what will I [and most importantly God] have liked to have accomplished?). Here’s what I came up with:
- Daily Prayer time & spiritual growth (focusing on joy and patience)
- Improved spending habits and a less materialistic heart
- Create a Family Culture
- Intentional faith education for my kids
- Modeling Christ’s love for my kids (1 John 3:16)
- More intentional, less distracted quality time with my kids
- Improved boundaries and discipline for my kids
- Daily home care and lifestyle routines
- Become a more engaged, disciplined blogger
- Finish my novel
- Develop healthy & consistent exercise routine
- Monthly goal setting and reflection: Set new goals at the beginning of each month with the aim of taking daily meaningful steps towards my Big Dreams. Reflect at the end of each month on how well I did in meeting my goals.
NEXT, I TURNED THE BRAINSTORM INTO MONTHLY GOALS: I am taking this one month at a time, so have only done in-depth goal setting for January. The reason for taking this one month at a time is because I want to reflect on my progress at the end of each month, and from there set new goals. For the month of January I asked myself: what can I reasonably expect to accomplish in order to take steps towards my Big Dreams? Here’s what I came up with:
January: Establish and stick to daily prayer & home care routines while adjusting to life with a newborn, a one-year-old and a two-year-old.
- Daily: “Discovery Prayer Process”/Bible Study + Rosary
- Daily: 1 chapter (or section) a night of a soul-strengthening book (Currently I’m reading The Mission of Motherhood by Sally Clarkson and love it!).
- Daily: Bedtime Dynamic Catholic prayer process
- Daily: 15 minutes (minimum) of blogging
- Daily: Wash, dry & fold 1 load of laundry
- Daily: Run the dishwasher at least once (if not twice)
- 3x a week: Breakfast Bible reading with kids
- 5x a week: Afternoon “tea time” + reading time with kids (Start with Bible if we didn’t do it at breakfast)
- 1x a week (preferably more): Take a walk (this is difficult with winter temperatures in the single digits)
I also jotted down some future goals I have so I don’t forget them:
February: Buy & read “Our 24 Family Ways: A Family Devotional Guide” by Clay Clarkson; Start BBG postpartum program; buy large white board for book outlining; maintain and expand upon daily routines; give up online shopping (i.e. don’t even set eyes on Amazon or other online stores) for Lent
March: Implement “24 Family Ways” devotional in our daily routine
June: Buy PowerSheets planner & start using
December: Jesse Tree with kids (for Advent)
FINALLY, I BROKE MONTHLY GOALS INTO DAILY TASKS: Looking at the week ahead, I asked myself what small tasks could I accomplish each day to move me towards my monthly goals. It’s helpful to have a basic planner for this process (see below for how I wrote out my plan for today):
Monday, January 8th: Prayer time & rosary in the morning after settled in at the hospital for my induction (including soul-strengthening book reading); Publish blog post (morning); Start working on next weeks blog post; Dynamic Catholic Prayer process before going to sleep (post-birth)
I did this for each day of the week, then went back though my calendar and made sure I was meeting my monthly goals (eg. daily prayer time, number of Bible lessons for the kids I wanted to do each week, etc.)
A big change for me this year (a goal in itself) is to check in and reflect upon my progress, and to always be taking small steps towards big goals. I’m going to make my first blog post of each month this year a reflection on my progress towards my goals from the previous month, and a plan for my goals in the upcoming month.
Are you doing anything special to hold yourself accountable to your resolutions this year?