Sunday, January 02, 2011

Goal-Setting for 2011: Part II

Hello blog friends.  Today's post is a continuation of yesterday's, Goal-Setting for 2011: Part I.  Basically, I pooped out before I got to the end of Simple Mom's List of Goal-Setting Questions, so I threw in the towel.  Awesome, right?

But I'm keeping my promise, so I'm back here today to finish up.  Yep, just me and a cup of coffee and my free Physical Education T-shirt from the CAHPERD conference a few years ago and my favorite pair of cut-off sweat pants and some frizzy date-hair and smudgy makeup that I didn't take care of last night.  Oh yeah.  Fancy.

Let the fancy goal-setting begin.


IV. Goals for Your Children

1. What are ways you’d like each of your children to grow in the following areas?

a. Physically:

Now that life is relatively calm and stable, I'd like to get the kids into something physical.  They played soccer a few years ago, but since it was when E was in school I ended up resenting the thrice-weekly drives across town for practice and/or games and the sitting in a chair in the 105 degree heat waiting for practice to finish.  Okay, you caught me embellishing.  Maybe it was only 104 degrees.  Or something.  But I'd like to get the kids into something so they can be active.  Last night E was saying he'd like Henry to start some kind of T-ball/baseball, and I would really like Ad to do Girls on the Run.  I've been looking into it for a while and I know she talks about wanting to run with Mommy someday.  We'll see.  I'm most interested in finding something that works for them and for us--something that doesn't feel like a burden, either.

b. Emotionally:

They're such sweet kiddos.  There's not much I'd change.  I guess I would hope to foster courage in both of them, especially at school.  They take after me that way; they can both be a little timid in public.  Hopefully we can continue to encourage them to try new things, meet new people, and ignore any worries about what other people think.

c. Relationally:

Ad has had a rough year at school--her class is nearly all boys (of whom she has zero interest) and her friends are all in other classes.  There have been a lot of tears on the drive home from school this year.  In the new year I hope she can continue to reach out to new people or to find her old friends even when they seem like they're far away in other classes.  Henry seems to be content to shift between his kindergarten and first grade friends without a care in the world.  I just hope to encourage him to be friendly, and to help him deal easily with the natural trials and tribulations of the playground.

d. Spiritually:

As ever, I hope to be a better teacher to my kids.  I hope to foster values in them that they'll carry into adulthood, and to be a good model for them.

e. Educationally:

They're so good in this area too.  All I can hope for is that education remain important in our house--both informal education and curiosity and formal education.  I hope to keep them well-supplied in books and things that stretch their imaginations.  I hope to recognize their achievements in school and out.  I hope to keep stressing the idea that sometimes we have to do things we don't want to do in order to get things we want to have.  Perseverance is a theme in our house.  I'd like to keep it that way.

f. Other:

2. How will your children be educated this year? What are some resources you’d like to explore to help your children develop intellectually and academically?

I love my kids' school.  I didn't really know what I would think of it when we enrolled Addie for kindergarten, but I have been consistently impressed with the high standards learning and behavior I've seen.  In several ways, my kids' teaching has influenced how I teach.  I can't think of a resource that I could use that we're not already using, but I would say that consistency and routine when it comes to mornings and afternoons have been amazing at helping us to get ready for school peacefully and finish homework on time.  I think that's the best I can hope for.

3. What are your children’s strengths? How will you help them use these well?

Addie's strength: sensitivity.  The best things I can do for her are to really listen and to honor her feelings.  I can help her by showing her how sensitivity can be channeled into a positive, even when it feels like it might be a negative.  I can help her not to feel overwhelmed.

Henry's strength: charm.  The best thing I can do for him is to give him guidelines about how and when to use his charm and what the appropriate boundaries of his humor might be.  (He's still learning...) Really, though, with him I think the best thing I can do is step back and let him roll.  In addition, I can help him by taking him seriously when he needs it, listening to him and snuggling him when he's not feeling so charming.

4. What are your children’s weaknesses? How will you help them overcome these?

Yeeks.  I don't really like writing about their weaknesses.  I guess I'd say Addie's is being overly-bothered by things, as I kind of alluded to above.  Henry's is his temper, which flares from time to time.  Both things seem completely normal to me, so I think my best bet is just to let them know I love them, set limits, and try to model healthy behaviors.

V. Money Matters

(This whole section is giving me the pit-sweats and I haven't even started writing.  Money makes me nervous and uncomfortable.  Hate.)

1. What is one specific area of progress you’d like to see this year in your financial health?

I'd like us to keep using a cash-only system for monthly expenditures and to pay down some consumer debt.

2. How is your current income? In what ways can you make this increase?

How is my current income?  AWESOME.  Okay, maybe not.  We are furloughed and had our pay cut this year.  E is also furloughed.  It sucks.  But we have enough.  We can make this increase by waiting out the economy.  Otherwise we don't really have any options for more money for about two years.

3. How much debt do you have? In what ways can you eliminate a sizeable portion of it (or all of it) this year?

How much debt do we have?  A lot.  How can we eliminate it?  One dollar at a time.  Maybe two.

4. How is your savings account? In what ways can you save more money this year?

What's a savings account?

5. What are some of your long-term financial goals? In what ways can you make progress on them this year?

Long-term: move.  Progress now: pay down law school, current mortgage, consumer debt.  Save.

6. Are you giving regularly? If not, in what way can you give financially this year?

Not really.  I'll have to think about it.

7. What is your plan this month for starting progress towards better financial health?

We've done a decent job of budgeting and managing our finances since E started his new job with the state.  We should just keep doing what we're doing.  It's hard to get out of debt when you're living paycheck to paycheck, and it takes a while to recover from that even once you're not anymore.  All we can do is to try to be smart and to look ahead.

VI. Relationships Outside the Home

1. In what specific way would you like to grow in relating to your friends this year?

I guess I'd just like to be a better friend.  I'd like to be more patient with people, more interested, more dependable, more giving, more sincere.

2. What are some ways you can be of service to your immediate community?

Again, I don't know.  I'm not really great at this.  I'll have to give it some thought.

3. Who are some specific people in your life that can use some encouragement? What will you do to encourage them this year?

The last few years I have really felt like I need to do a better job encouraging my students, noticing them, supporting them.  It seems like the longer I teach, the more there are kids who are slipping through the cracks everywhere in the world.  The death of a former student this year reminded me that it is so difficult to know what's going on inside a person.  The more I can foster a personal connection with my students, the better.

4. Who are some people in your life that you admire? What are some practical ways you can positively use their influence in your life?

There are so many positive people in my life that I admire.  I've written about some of them over the course of this year, and of course there are many more that I haven't written about yet.  I think that just surrounding myself with good people and healthy relationships is a step in the right direction.

5. Are there any damaging relationships in your life? What will you do this year to make these relationships better?

Ooh, I hate that this is the last question.  Negative!  If this was my own question list it would never end this way.  Anyhoo, I'm not about to call out any people by name on my blog, either.  But I will say this: the last decade has been, for me, about looking at how I spend my time and if that is good for my soul.  Things change as a result of growth and priorities shifting, and that means that people go in and out of one's life.  I feel good about the changes in my life, not just like I have been forced to accept them.  At times it's been hard or painful and I know it makes me much more guarded now about who I let into my life, but I feel like I am able to better define for myself what's healthy in 2011 as a result.

One more thing... This one, not from Simple Mom as the above questions are.  I don't remember where I saw this, but it was in the comment section of a blog.  The commenter talked about one-word resolutions as being a healthy thing for 2011.  I like that idea, so in complete contrast to the above (and two-part) post, I present you with my one-word resolution for 2011:



  1. Really great post. I love to hear about the ways people would change their lives. And I love the last resolution - peace. I am looking for that in my life too - definitely a journey to get there! Hope everything you wish for comes trues!

  2. Pretty nice post. I just stumbled upon your blog and wanted to say that I have really enjoyed browsing your blog posts. In any case I’ll be subscribing to your feed and I hope you write again soon!