Do you make New Year’s Resolutions? Some years I do and some years I don’t. I don’t remember if I made any last year (which tells you that if I did, they weren’t all that effective!), but I did set a new pattern for my daily Bible study that really worked and I kept up with, so maybe that counts as a resolution kept.
I am a goal-oriented person, and I don’t limit my goal setting to Januaries, but I do find that the new year is a good time to reflect and take stock of my priorities. This year, as I have watched Hannah grow so quickly, I realize that one of my biggest needs is to be more deliberate with my time and to allocate my time more appropriately in my priorities. In the day to day activities of mothering and homekeeping, it’s easy for me to fall into routines that are not necessarily bad, but aren’t getting me closer to my goals for myself or my children. As I thought about these things over the past few weeks, I compiled a list of new goals for myself and for Hannah, which are, in no particular order, as follows:
2007 Goals for Hannah
1) Be diligent in worship training
Week by week as we work on worshipping together as a family, it’s important for me to remember the value in worship and that each small step is valuable in the ultimate goal of teaching Hannah to love the Lord and enjoy His worship. I’m trying to make this a daily thing, not limited to Sundays. Thank you to all of you who have given me helpful hints and encouragement in this!
2) Keep a book list
I read on a homeschool website that one of the best things we can do for little children is to read out loud to them from good literature, in addition to reading short books to them. I’ve started reading a chapter or so a day to Hannah while she plays next to the rocking chair, and she seems to enjoy listening. This year I’d like to keep a list of the books we read together (the longer books not the myriad short books) to see how many we get through and which ones we like best.
3) Work on numbers
For Christmas we got Hannah a “How to Teach Your Baby Math” kit and so far she LOVES the number games. If you haven’t read the book by Glenn Doman, I’d recommend it – I learned a lot about how the minds of tiny children develop and learn languages and grammar (both spoken languages and the “languages” of other knowlege sets like math and so forth). Doing the program takes some discipline on my part and a little prep at night to get things set up for the next day (but only about 5 minutes), but I would like to continue this for the year and see how it goes.
4) Work on letters
Along those same lines, I’m also working with Hannah on uppercase letters right now, and would like to move through lowercase letters and then through basic phonics sounds, using some of the information from the “How to Teach Your Baby…” series supplemented with a great phonics book I have called “The Ordinary Parent’s Guide to Teaching Reading” by the lady who wrote “The Well Trained Mind” books. Please note that goals 3 and 4 aren’t necessarily implying that I expect Hannah to be doing trigonometry and reading Dostoevsky by her second birthday, just that I would like to lay the basic groundwork for math and reading this year, as long as we can keep it fun and fast. It sounds like a lot, but the math and letters games combined take up less than 15 minutes of our day, broken up into about 12 different chunks throughout the day.
5) Introduce the concept of potty training
Yes, I’m being careful about this. I know some people manage to potty train kids by 18 months, and if Hannah decides to do that, it would be fabulous, but really I just want her to have a basic idea of what a potty is and what goes on there by the time she’s two. Apparently girls train faster than boys, so who knows. No pressure, I just want to introduce the concept.
2007 Goals for Me
1) Grow spiritually
This category includes things like keeping up my daily Bible study, which I’m pretty consistent about because it’s a concrete thing I can “do,” but also things I’m not consistent about, like having a disciplined prayer life versus my usual practice which is to toss up prayers when they come to me, in a scattershot way. Not that those are ineffective, but I find not having a set-aside time for prayer keeps me from praying deeply and consistently for long-term needs, especially for other people. I’m also working on keeping my focus on trusting God and remembering not to worry.
2) Be more deliberate and work toward priorities
I have a tendency to get bogged down in innumerable little tasks that don’t really get me anywhere, versus the things that bring more long-term benefit and satisfaction.
This year I’d like to get better at sewing, namely by figuring out how to get my sewing machine to make button holes and learning how to knit. I really need to become more proficient in this area as I am already having a hard time finding appropriate and cute but affordable clothing options for Hannah. Don’t get me started on the things the fashion industry now deems appropriate for toddler girls! I’d also like to find a birth sampler pattern for Jack, maybe different than the one I did for Hannah, and complete it by the end of the year.
Note: It’s not that I don’t have goals in other categories, like strengthening my marriage or fitness or whatever, but those are ongoing categories and I don’t have anything new to add to them right now.
If you have any resolutions you care to share, feel free to leave comments! Or you could wax eloquent about why you DON’T make resolutions. Either way.