I’m looking forward to this year. It has to be better than last year. At least I’m choosing to have a positive attitude about it. I have some ideas and a few things to help me start the year off right. Planning is important. Not just planning, but goal setting is an important part of success. In order to stay inspired and motivated, we must have a visual representation of our goals. Making lists, budgets, and detailed descriptions of our goals is helpful. I've always liked the idea of making a vision board but have never designated a spot in the house for one. Maybe I'll do that this year. It would probably be a good project for our whole family. We have a lot of things we are wanting to do and this is the year I really want to see productivity this year.
- The Blog Well Planner by Katie Hornor - Having a plan and goals is the first step in successful business practice. My struggle though is to have a beautiful plan and schedule made out then I get discouraged and totally lose my motivation to actually step up and do what it takes to accomplish my goals. Katie has made a quarterly planner that really breaks things into bite-sized pieces. I seldom use daily planner pages, but the way she works each month of the quarter up to it, I think the daily pages will be much more workable. I intend to have this open on the table when I’m home and to carry it with me when I’m not so I can utilize it to it’s fullest. I’ve always called my planner, “My Brain.” I need to reestablish my relationship with writing everything down in one place again.
- The Blog Connection Community - This is a community of mostly over forty ladies who are supportive, motivated, and encourage productivity. This is an active community of mature Christian women who have drive to accomplish their goals.
- Purge - I’m seriously considering budgeting for a dumpster for a few months and doing a major purge. (We are in the boonies and it is about $100 a month to have a dumpster out here…) We’re short on consignment shops and the ones we have are severely overstocked. I’ve sent some things off to Goodwill through Amazon's Give Back Box program but it is a hassle and I’m not sure I can buy enough from Amazon to have enough boxes to get rid of all I should, besides that brings things in instead of just sending things out… Kinda counter productive. LOL. I hate preparing for garage sales. All that hard work sorting, cleaning, and pricing just to have a few people show up, swap or lose the prices, and only want to give me pennies for the hard work. I’d rather provide dumpster-divers with quality junk to rummage through.
- Minimize - I’ve been reevaluating our possessions since the wildfire last March. Clothing is something I’m working on minimizing. We do need at least two weeks worth of clothes because we can easily be out of electricity for that long any time of the year. I have enjoyed some YouTube videos by Justine Leconte about minimizing wardrobe and have come up with a personalized plan for myself. I’ve been replacing older items with more versatile items in natural fibers.
- FlyLady - As I reorganize and purge, I’ll hopefully get back on a FlyLady type routine again. I have used FlyLady for nearly 20 years now and it has been the best system. If you’ve never seen her material, please visit her website. Her book would be a great gift for a new homemaker.
- Water Management - I’m praying for lots of moisture. Hubby is having to haul water once a week this winter and was hauling it at least twice a week over the summer. I’m about ready to designate this parched land as a desert. We need to install some kind of rain collection system and garden in a way that makes the best possible use of the least amount of water.
- Graduates - We have two working to graduate this year. I’m struggling with a change in perspective on academics. The gap between our first two and the rest of our children has provided an insight I definitely didn’t have with our first two graduates. Kathryn concentrated on writing through her high school. She is now a published author with two of her own novels and one coauthored novel. Kristyn concentrated mostly on her animals which she happily makes her living from now. I really struggled with their attention to other assignments. I realize most of those other things really haven’t made any difference or been any benefit to their further life or education. Anything I stressed over feeling they ‘missed’ has been easy for them to catch up on, research, or learn about since their graduation. If anything, they have more motivation now since mom isn’t assigning it. Self interest or need seems to be the best motivation.
- Character - Something I’m very glad I diligently pursued teaching is Biblical Character Qualities. They’ve helped them grow and overcome struggles beautifully. My favorite reference is The Power of True Success.
- Boys - I have loosened my concentration on non-basic academics. Our study has been more interest oriented. I still worry, especially about the boys since this is my first experience with boys. I have to keep reminding myself, where I fall short God will fill in and take up the slack. Still, it’s hard not to worry what others will think about my quality of education when the boys go into the workforce. I always hoped they would have businesses of their own but I’m not sure if that will work out. It has been so hard for us to make a living from our various businesses. At this point I’m not sure the boys want the headache of their own businesses. They’ve seen the struggle four-fold and it hasn’t been pretty. Working for others isn’t always a good answer either. Kathryn and their dad have both had employers and customers who haven’t paid which is disheartening and discouraging, not to mention leaving finances in a real bind. I’m praying fervently for God’s leading for both our boys.
- Society - Another thing I’ve changed is our concentration on social interaction. I found friends to be a distraction that ended in harsh lessons. The friends Kathryn and Kristyn have made since the maturation of graduation have been lasting and true compared to pre-graduate society which was extremely selfish and insensitive. I have found the more we concentrate on good working relationships within our household, the more confident they are around others of all ages. Except for an extremely shy one that takes after me, none of our children could be accused of being socially inept. I am confident the shy one will step forward when the time is right.
- Portfolios - I’d like our graduates to have a few things to “show” for the effort other than a paper transcript. Though I’m not sure what difference it would really make. Had the wildfires burnt our house down last year, the older girls’ portfolios would have gone up in smoke and I don’t think they would have missed them as much as I would have missed their scrapbooks. It’s funny how our priorities can change.
I look forward to seeing what 2018 has in store for us. I know, no matter what happens, God is with us. He helps, provides, and protects us every day. I will set my goals and make my plans, but in the end it is always HIS plans that are best. What big plans do you have this year?