Setting New Year's Goals

It's New Year's Resolution time, folks!  The other day I posted my 2013 resolutions.  Today I want to touch on how to set resolutions.  It can be tricky to come up with some things that aren't the typcial "lose 5 pounds" and "give up caffiene" (although those are good, too!), or things that you'll just break 10 minutes into the new year.

Here are my Top 10 Resolution (Goal)-Setting Strategies!

1.  Don't be turned off by the word "resolution":  I think the word resolution gets a bad wrap because of the many broken and forgotten resolutions over the years.  Think of them not as "resolutions", but as goals.  These are things you want, not just obligatory thoughts spouted at a New Year's Eve party. 

2. Don't set them hastily: Take some time to think over what you really want for the next year.  Your goals can be more than just self-improvement.  They can be financial, for your family, for work or in any other facet of your life.  In 2012 I didn't even set my resolutions till March! Don't feel the pressure to have them all ironed out tonight by 11:59pm!

3. Set some easily attainable goals: There's nothing wrong with setting a goal you know you can achieve.  It will boost your confidence and spur you on to complete some of the harder ones.

4. And set some lofty goals: Set some goals you might not reach.  Don't be afraid to put "get a promotion", "lose 50 pounds" or "save $10,000" on your list.  Even if you don't reach your goal, you will have achieved great things by the end of the year!  There's a cheesy saying that goes something like, "shoot for the moon because even if you miss you'll land among the stars".  As cheesy as it may be, it's true!  Don't think of a "miss" as a complete failure!

5. Make a plan of action: This is SUPER important!  You aren't going to read more because you put it on a list.  You're going to read more because you got a library card, carved out time to go there and carved out the time to read those books.  Every goal needs an action plan or it's just flacid words on a page.  You don't have to make the action plan before you're allowed to put it on your list: maybe your initial action is to figure out how to make one of your goals happen.  But don't wait too long to start in on that plan or December 2013 will be here and you won't have made any progress.

6. Don't get discouraged: You have ALL YEAR to reach a new year's goal.  Don't feel like you have to attack all of them on January 1st.  If you get to July and realize you're still not drinking enough water, don't consider it a failed goal--start right then!  Your goal isn't incomplete till Jan 1, 2014, so keep plugging along!

7. Resolutions aren't all about "quit" and "don't": A lot of us want to cut things out of our lives or quit bad habits.  Don't forget that resolutions can be about adding things to your life, too.  Maybe you want to learn something new, add an activity or even slow the pace of your life down.  Goals to add to your life and reach for more peace are completely valid resolutions, too!

8. Keep your list a manageable length: Consider the types of goals on your list.  If you have lots of time-consuming, difficult goals, keep your list short.  It can be longer with more easily attainable goals, but remember to keep the list manageable either way.  The longer the list, the greater the chance of you forgetting about a resolution or running out to time to reach it.  Also, if you find there's something preventing you from starting a resolution (you wanted to lose weight, but got pregnant; you wanted to learn to play the piano, but broke your hand) or you're like me last year and a resolution just stops being important to you, don't be afraid to remove it or "put a pin in it" and go for it next year.

9. Pray about it and/or enlist help: Pray about what to put on your list, how to achieve the goals and while you're working toward them.  Share your goals with others so they can help keep you accountable for them.  Ask for help if you need it--there is always someone out there who has reached the goal you're working for: find them and tap them as a resource!

10. Make it fun: These goals are probably not life or death--have some fun dreaming them up!  What items are on your "bucket list"?  Remember that even if some of your resolutions turn out to be failures, that doesn't make YOU a failure!  A try and a fail is better than no try at all.

So there's my top 10 list--I'm a regular Letterman, eh?  Do you have any other tips that work for you?


New Year Resolutions--It's that time again!!!

You can see my full New Year Resolution 2012 post here for my incredibly late goals for this year.  I actually thought about my 2013 resolutions a little sooner this year (two points for me)! 

Let's start with a short 2012 recap:
1. Redo the sunroom--Complete!  (unfortunately we don't live there anymore...)
2. Read the Bible more--Better than before, but made the list again this year
3. Sew something--Fail.  Not even going back on the list.
4. Stop picking my fingers--SO.MUCH.BETTER!!!  Not perfect, but I consider this a success!
5. Drink more water--Goes in shifts :S
6. Worry less about working out and eating right and just enjoy--umm...I'm pregnant now, so...success?
7. Accept things from God instead of asking for them--Semi-fail.  Kind of did it, kind of forgot about it.
8. Have some "me" time--took it off the list b/c I didn't really care about it.

Whew!  Looks like a typical New Year Resolution list, eh?  Well, here's the list for 2013:

1.  Read the Bible more & build my faith/relationship with Him--We have a daily reading plan at church and that sounds like a good place to start.  There are a lot of facets to this--I'll try to keep you updated on how it's all going.
2.  Reduce screen time--We started talking last night about how we grew up without cell phones and kids today grew up with them.  I want to strategically reduce my and Nora's screen time--TV and (for me) phone.  I'm looking forward to sitting in the quiet reading my Bible and then a magazine in the evenings instead of keeping a hawk eye on Facebook.
3. Have a healthy pregnancy--Of course there are things outside my control, but I want to be intentional about healthy weight gain, exercise practices and eating habits.
4.  Have a healthy post-pregancy--This entails healthy weight loss, caring for my post-partum mental health and working really hard at breast feeding including seeking out any help I need.
5.  Give more gifts--I want to be more mindful of people and their lives--thank yous, sending cards, get-well gifts, birthdays, anniversaries and more.  Possibly start a gift closet or tote.
6. Save Money
7.  Make Action Plans--It's not enough to set goals or to want something, I plan to make Action Plans this year to make my wants/goals a reality.

So there.  Seven resolutions for 2013. Do you set resolutions?  Have you set yours yet?  I didn't set mine till March 2012, so it's not too late!!!


Amazing Children

So today I had the TV on during the intro to the Jeff Probst Show.  He said something about learning to be a Dad to two "amazing" children.  It made me think of just how often I hear people describe their kids as "amazing".  It's a relatively overused word, but the more I thought about it, the more true I realized it is. 

You've never heard someone describe their kids or neice or nephew as "average", or "less-than-amazing".  That's because no one thinks that!  It doesn't matter if your child is accelerated, normal or behind in growth or development, there is not just SOMETHING, but A TON OF THINGS that are amazing about him or her. 

God made us fearfully and wonderfully.  He designed our bodies and brains in ways that mystify science.  Simply the way a baby grows in the womb, the process of birth and the astounding way that babies start learning and have instincts from day 1 is amazing.  Add to that the individual personalities, gifts and intricacies of every single person and you have a truly amazing miracle from God. 

I am always astounded by the way a human can throw a basketball into a hoop.  Sure, it takes practice and a little instruction, but you don't have to be taught it like you do math.  Your brain perceives where the hoop is, how big it is, the angles involved and sends a signal to your arms and hands to throw the ball in the appropriate arc to get it in the hoop.  Even if you miss but get close, it's still an amazing feat when you think about it!  Then take into account the way you see your baby develop the pincher grip, coordination, how to throw and catch a ball--you are watching a miracle as her brain develops!

That's just a little ramble that went on in my head today.


Project Soy: Day 1

So last night Zach and I were talking to a friend about NR's bowel trouble.  If you're not in the know, she has trouble pooping a lot of the time, but she's not textbook constipated because her stool isn't hard.  Sorry, non-parents.  This is the stuff our conversations are made of these days.  Look forward to it.  Or add one more reason to your list of why you're not having kids, whatever floats your boat. 

Anyway, I mentioned that NR didn't have any trouble until she was almost a year old.  I always connected the start of her troubles with the same time frame that she started eating more "people food" than baby food.  But last night I realized that the start of her trouble also coincides with us starting her on cow's milk.

So project soy was born.  We had to stop at the store anyway, so we went ahead and picked up a half gallon of soy milk (at $2.99/half gallon.  What!?) and see if it affects her.  She already eats a ton of fruit, prunes and prune juice, I add flax to some foods and she doesn't get cheese, bananas or rice/rice products and occasionally gets a non-stimulant stool softener and still the problem persists.  So we're going to try out the soy for a while.  She drank her first cup of it today and liked it, so that's a win.  We've known several people who say switching away from cow's milk helped their kids in that area, so it's worth a try.  I'm hoping for miraculous results.

We bought original Silk.  Does anyone else have suggestions for non-dairy milk?  Any tricks or places to look for it cheaper?  Does Aldi ever carry non-dairy milk?