A list of personal goals for the year. Not resolutions: that word just bears too much pressure behind it. It reeks of trying to fix bad habits, which is the sort of thing I've never been keen on. I rather like to put a positive spin on things, imagining myself trying to attain to a higher level rather than simply maintain where I am while losing a few hated habits. Beside which, a resolution tends to be one short line without much description, which is the perfect recipe for failure. In writing out my goals, I have specific things in mind, and I map out the steps of the journey to get me there.
And so, my goals for 2011:
1. Getting into shape, inwardly. This is not a goal to lose a certain amount of weight, but rather a goal to be able to have a certain level of physical activity and to run for the bus without gasping for air. I have signed up for 10 weekly spinning classes at a gym, which should take me from February through to the end of April, at which time I'm hoping the weather is nice enough that I will hop on my bike once or twice a week to continue the routine. A good cardio workout, with bonus leg and stomach toning.
2. Spending time each week on something artistic. I got a fantastic new book for Christmas called "The Artistic Mother," which sort of runs itself like a 12 week art course. It specializes in poetry, photography and mixed media. It outlines weekly projects that help you get focused in creating art. This isn't something I have done before, usually preferring to freestyle. However, I have found that freestyling doesn't work so well with three boys under 5. This will also be great to get through the dreary and cold winter months during which I hibernate inside.
3. Organizing Family Home Evening lessons. Up until now we've gone by the seat of our pants, usually preparing something five minutes for showtime, if we're lucky. This year I want to sit down and do some planning. The boys have monthly themes they are taught during Primary at church, and I'd like to coordinate a little with that. At this age, repetition and reinforcement are the greatest modes of teaching.
4. Parent with purpose. This goes back to "the list" I've written about before. I want to create a list of 5 or 6 things for each of the boys to work on over the year. Some academic, some housework, some character. Over the next month I hope to come up with these lists and write down some plans of action to getting things done.
5. Improve my technique on the flute. Attending the community band each week is a start to this, but I could be doing so much more. The Conductor's confidence in promoting me to first flute was all but wasted the past four months, since I almost never practiced at home. I know I can sight read; what I need to work on is translating that to actually playing. I rarely play any fast passages, because my brain just doesn't compute the notes to fingering quickly enough. What is amazing is how far I've come, only having taken up the flute consistently for about one year. Now I'm inspired to push that even further.
6. Read through the New Testament with the Sunday School program. This is a little more difficult, since I don't get to attend the weekly class (I play the piano for the Primary kids.) But the New Testament is not long, and spread out over 52 weeks does not mean a huge amount of reading each week. Notice I said week, not day. Although I would love to say I can find time to read each day, my goal is just to keep up with the weekly reading assignments, and to finish the New Testament by the end of 2011.
That's the list for me. Anything else is bonus! But I feel that those six are manageable, cover different areas of my life, and are defined enough to produce some results. So here we go!