New Year, New Goals

I just love fresh starts.  I may have mentioned that hundreds of times already in previous posts, but it is so true!  I just love the possibilities that fresh starts bring.  So, of course, I am the sort of person who makes New Year’s Resolutions, though I have gotten better at making them over the years.  I used to write things like “get healthy” or “be better at…”.  Those types of non-specific, non-measurable goals are impossible to attain.  Now, I keep my resolutions more specific and I make a sublist to go along with them to outline how I am going to go about achieving them.  I won’t bore you with all of my goals this year, but there are a few that I will share, including one in which I have put myself “out there” so to speak publicly to increase the chances that I achieve it by being accountable.

One of my goals is to set an alarm on weekdays and wake up before my kids do.  Yuck!!!  I am a night owl.  I have to force myself to go to bed before midnight and mornings are not my friend.  Normally, I drag myself out of bed when the kids get up, which is sometime between 7 and 8 a.m. and more often than not, I lie there wishing I could go back to sleep.  But I know that in order to homeschool the way that I want to, I need to get off to a better start and greet my kids each morning with a cheerful heart so that their days get started in the right way as well.

This morning, I set my alarm for a few minutes before 7 and when it went off, I admit to briefly entertaining thoughts of going back to sleep, but I stuck to my plan and got up, had a shower, and was dressed when the first of my kids started to come into my bathroom.  I was able to greet them with a smile and “good morning” instead of a grumpy, “what time is it?”  Later, while the kids were eating their breakfast at the kitchen table, I brought in our devotions book and read to them while they ate and then we started our day off with a prayer before we went into the homeschool room to start their math and history lesson.  Wow!  What a different way to start the day!!!  Everyone is so much more cheerful than usual today, even still, hours later.  Mornings are generally the time in our house with the most bickering, squabbles over toothpaste and toys, or downright fights between the boys!  This morning, the sounds in the house have been different and that is reward enough for me to be willing to set my alarm again for tomorrow morning.

The public goal I have set is one that I have some trepidation about, both because achieving it overwhelms me and because I am scared that I will fail and also because admitting that I have this problem and being completely real and honest about it is frankly, embarrassing.  I have given myself a Challenge, a De-Cluttering Challenge.  To follow along on my progress and to see the pictures that I so did not want to share, you can check out Day 1 here and Day 2 here.  Now that I have shared those pictures, I want to go and hide, but I can’t because, as you can see, I have work to do!!!

So, what are your goals for 2011?


2 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by M. Aubin on January 3, 2011 at 7:57 pm

    Good luck.

    Way to get up in the morning and create a good day.

    Great start on your decluttering – keep going – even 20 items a day will get you there.

    Sending good wishes.


  2. You are WAY too hard on yourself, Sharla! But I so understand the desire to de-clutter. My office looked pretty similar until last August when I also tackled the mountain of paperwork. It was cathartic, in the end, though I kept wanting to quit!

    Two other things have helped me since August:
    1. The website: She helps people create a structure around de-cluttering and cleaning, and I’ve found her very helpful. I think it might be of interest to you, too.

    2. I created a schedule for myself (6 days/week). One of the most significant parts of this schedule has been to create morning and evening routines, that include certain cleaning tasks every day, and also allot 15-30 minutes a day for de-cluttering work. I typed out my daily schedule and tack it up to look at the night before (though I have mostly memorized the daily routines now). I don’t always stick with it, but I do more often than not and it’s made a fairly significant difference in our household (and in my peacefulness about it).

    I need to work on getting up before Matthew, too. I have ‘only’ one child and I have a hard time getting this done – I can’t imagine how you do it with seven!!

    I have a very long way to go on this stuff, as it is not my forte, but I’m working on it and liking the results.

    I wish you well on your goals for the year, Sharla!!

    This is the first year in my life when I didn’t even THINK about New Year’s resolutions…until I saw your post! I kinda like that I didn’t think of them, cause I usually end up failing to achieve them!! But then, I suspect you’re more disciplined than me!

    Happy New Year, my friend. May 2011 be an awesome year of fresh starts for you.




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