Sunday, January 01, 2012

Goal-Setting for 2012: Part I

Yellow, there, 2012.  Oh, speaking of yellow and of 2012, I know you're dying to know what color the year is in my crazy head.  The answer is yellow-clear-white-yellow.  Very synesthetically pleasing, as was last year.  Let's hope the good colors bode well for a good year.

I am continuing with what I started last year: I'm going to answer these goal-setting questions for the upcoming year.  Not because I think you'll be fascinated, but because I did it last year and I had the best, most concrete and focused goals for the year and that helped me to get a lot done.  So you see, Internet, I'm just using you today so I can get something accomplished in 2012.  Feel free to read along or feel free to come back later when I post more pictures of my cats.  It's your deal, really.

The questions from Simple Mom are longish, though, so I'm breaking them into two parts again.  That seemed to work well last time.

Here we go.  Hold on to your hats and glasses, for this here's the wildest ride in the wilderness.  Not really.

2012 GOALS

I. Personal Growth

1. What healthy character traits would you like to see developed in your life this year? What are some specific steps you can take to develop these?

This year I have a very specific answer.  And pardon my French, but it's the best way to say it.  This year I would like to please stop being chickenshit around everyone.  I would like to please grow up and stop being afraid of people for everything under the sun.  Random and varied examples: What if that person hears what I have to say/write and they judge me?  What if that person thinks I am dumb/lazy/not smart enough/ugly/obnoxious?  What if that person doesn't like me?  What if I say/do the wrong thing?  What if I let that person down?

I would like to knock that shit off and grow a pair.  Jack Handey had it right.  I am good enough, I am smart enough, and gosh darn it, people like me.  And the ones who don't like me don't get me so I need to let that shit go.

Okay, I'm done swearing.  For a while.

2. What is your plan for maintaining accountability for progressing in personal growth?

Hmm.  Hard to gauge how I'll be accountable with this one, but I am sure I will know if I'm succeeding or not because if I am I won't be cowering under my covers, hiding from life.  I think the only way I'm going to make progress in that department is by continuing to push myself outside of the comfortable boundaries of my life.  (Read: pursuing school, reading, writing boldly, being awesome without apology.)

3. What are some of your learning goals for this year?

This year I'd like to continue to read a lot and write a lot.  A specific goal I have--one which, at this point is entirely for learning purposes rather than for purposes of actually getting anything out there yet--is to submit my writing.  (Basically, try to get published.)  Like I said, I don't think anything will happen, but I know I will learn a ton from just applying, which will help me to actually be published some day.

4. What books would you like to read this year?

Okay.  I have a giant list of things I want to read, and it changes almost daily.  But currently the next set up on the list are:

A Visit From the Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan (alredy started... finish it)
The Imperfectionists by Tom Rachmann (already started... finish it)
White Teeth by Zadie Smith (already started... not liking too much, but have to finish it because that's how I am)
East of Eden by John Steinbeck
Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides
Bless Me, Ultima by Rudolfo Anaya
What I Talk About When I Talk About Running by Haruki Murakami
Blue Nights by Joan Didion
just more of anything by David Sedaris
Drinking, A Love Story by Caroline Knapp

Source: via Mareah on Pinterest

And I most definitely, 100% did not meet my other reading goal for last year, to start or join a book club.  I would still most definitely like to do this.  I need to get on it.

5. Do you enjoy your job or jobs (include being a stay-at-home mother, if this pertains to you)? If so, what are your favorite things about your work? If not, what are some ways you can change this?

Unfortunately, I was enjoying my job more last year.  The things about it that I don't like--shortages of money for supplies, too many kids in each class, tough times for teachers when it comes to respect--have an impact on the classroom, but they don't have much to do with what I can do when I'm up in front of a class.  I suppose my goal is just to keep my head down and just keep teaching and pray really hard that the economy gets better in the near future.

II. Physical Health

1. What is one area of progress you’d like to see this year for maintaining or improving your physical health?

I would like to run. Regularly.  Increase my running speed, maybe just a little.  I'd like to maintain flexibility so I can keep running.  I would like to build strength.

2. What are some tangible, daily choices you can add to your life that will improve your health?

I can lace up my shoes and get out the door at least 3 days a week.  I can stretch after I run and make sure I foam roll.  I can work weights into my gym routine.  It's that easy, even though it isn't.

3. In what way would you like to be physically healthier by December of this year?

By December of 2012 I'd like to have better endurance under my belt.  I'd like to find a way to keep fitness in my routine even when I'm busy and in school.  I think this is going to mean placing more importance on sleep.  When I sleep well, I am always better prepared to run, and when I am better prepared I am way more likely to actually do it.  I'm not going to set a goal of a particular distance, but I will say I'd like to still be a regular runner by December of 2012 and not to have petered out by the end of the year when the going gets tough.

4. What is your plan this month for starting this progress towards a healthier you?

I've already got the mileage on my Google calendar for the next two weeks.  This is what needs to happen:  I need to lay out my clothes at night.  I need to get to bed on time.  Then I need to get up and get out the door.  If I can do that for one day, I can be regular in my fitness routine.  All it takes is one day at a time.

III. Marriage & Family Life

1. What are some goals you have as a couple to strengthen your marriage?

Hmm.  This question is hard because of how it is phrased.  I know that I would like some things for us.  Like, I'd like us to travel again, just the two of us.  I'd like us to keep our house more clean because (I know it sounds silly but) it means more peace at home.  But things we'd agree on?  Probably that we'd talk to each other about money, that we'd get maintenance counseling (alone or together) before we're in crisis-mode, that we'd do a better job of learning when to walk away from an argument, and that we'd set an example for our kids about how people in a marriage should act (and expect to be treated).

2. In what ways can you grow in intimacy with your spouse this year?

I HATE THAT WORD, intimacy.  (The thing is cool, but the word conjures pictures of creepy therapist-types.)  Not answering.  In protest.

3. What are your plans for having regular date nights? How will you handle childcare?

I'm gonna go with a big, fat wish that people who love us continue to be generous with their time and watch our children.  If that happens, the date nights will continue to follow.

4. What plans will you make to have “family meetings” together? What books would you like to read together this year?

As I said last year, we do okay with talking when it comes to the four of us.  E and I are 100% on the same page about parenting and how to talk to the kids.  I just hope to keep that going.

5. What will deliberate, regular family time look like this year?

I was just thinking about this the other day.  A few years ago we did a better job of eating dinner together every single night around the table.  I like that it makes us all focus on each other and really listen.  For Henry, it's good practice sitting still.  I was thinking I'd like to make more of an effort to keep the table cleared off so it's easy to eat together.

6. Do you have specific planned vacation time in mind for this year? What needs to happen to make this vacation a reality?

We didn't really do as well taking the kids different places as we'd hoped last year.  I ended up traveling, but as a family we didn't do enough.  E and I are talking about trying for Disneyland or Hawaii.  Who knows.  For this to happen we just need to get a realistic budget going and make up our minds to make it happen.  Often it's our indecisiveness that means we don't follow through.

7. How is your current physical living space working for your family? Do you need to make changes to this? If so, what are they?

We are finally in a place where we feel like our house isn't big enough.  I know this is totally selfish, but now that I'm writing so much I really feel like E and I should have an office space.  I feel guilty that it took me being in a program to notice it, but it did.  I know the configuration of our house isn't great, either.  We are definitely feeling like it's time to try to do something about where we live.  Of course, we're still in the research and planning stages.  But we're feeling like we could stand to stretch out a bit.


And, just like last year I split the list in two.  Tune in tomorrow for Part II of 2012 goal-setting.  TTFN.

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