Sunday, January 01, 2012

Goal-setting for 2012: Part II

Eh.  I kind of lost steam on the second half of these questions, but I promised myself I'd finish them.  I can't leave things undone, it bugs.  So here are the second half of my goals for 2012.  Enjoy.

IV. Goals for Your Children

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

a. Physically:

Addie:  I'd like Addie to either continue to run or to play some kind of team sport.

Henry: I would like Henry to figure out how to ride his bike without his training wheels.  (And, consequently, to stop being afraid to ride his bike.)

Actually, I typed that yesterday, when I started that post, and today he did it.  Check one goal off already. Score!

b. Emotionally:

I want to help Addie become more confident and to help her see just how awesome she is.  I want to help Henry let go of guilt about things he does.  Homeboy worries too much.

c. Relationally:

I really hope to get them both involved in some kind of group activities to widen their friend bases a little bit more.  I also hope we can get them together with the kids in our neighborhood a little bit more.  There are some great kids around here, but we we need to do some planning to make things happen.

d. Spiritually:

I could do a whole lot better of a job, here.  Just all around.

e. Educationally:

My kiddos excel in school, but I want to keep looking for ways to keep them curious outside of school.  More traveling, more exploring.  More adventures.  More reading.

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?

We're still at the same Elementary school and we all love it.  It's been a great school in terms of curriculum, discipline, and expectations.  As I said above, I'd like to continue to push them a little bit more at home.  Henry especially needs encouragement to read.  E and I are determined for both of our kids to be readers.  We need to find that kid a series and get him hooked, stat.

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

As I said last year, Addie is incredibly sensitive.  She pays attention to the slightest details.  I'd like to help her continue to find things (like running, riding bikes, playing) that help her to ease some of her anxiety, and to find creative ways to express all of the many, many things she is thinking all the time.

Henry's strength is his amazing ability to do math and solve puzzles.  That kid wows me on a regular basis.  I'd like to push him outside of video games and keep him interested in card games and board games and just about anything else where he has to flex the same muscle.  He loves to figure things out, and I think there are lots of ways to do that.

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

Addie--making friends.  Henry--guilt.  Addie just needs more practice and she needs to be involved in a group activity so there are more opportunities to expand her friend circle.  We know she has more friends than she gives herself credit for, but she worries about it.  For Buddy, I want to help him get rid of whatever hang-up he has right now about having to confess every single bad thing or negative thought he has.  It's a tough balance for him to figure out, and right now he's so worried he's done something that will land him in trouble, he can't stop confessing.  We're working on it.

V. Money Matters

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

I'd like us to figure out how the heck we are going to move out of this too-small house in this not-as-awesome-as-it-used-to-be neighborhood.

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

Our current income is f-r-o-z-e-n.  Like I said yesterday, we work for the state and a school district.  Everybody gettin' pay freezes up in here.  Well, I guess that's not true.  E gets a raise at the end of next year, but he also has to pay more into retirement and I think he's still furloughed once a month... so... it's not going anywhere, is what I saying.  And I fully anticipate that I'll be teaching next year for a salary of five pennies and a health care plan of approximately three band-aids and a can of Bactine.  Lowering expectations in 5-4-3-2...

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

Hi there.  We have a lot of debt.  Remember law school?  I am not going to tell you the number, Internet, but it would make you blush.  And not much makes you blush.  But it was important that he do that, so it's ours to deal with.  Plus that's a big part of why he works for the state--9 more years and then his loan is forgiven.  Win.

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

I repeat:  what's a saving's account?

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

We'd like to move and we're trying to decide if we're going to stay here until we're in our "someday" home or if there will be a stepping stone along the way.  It's looking more and more like there will be a stepping stone home, and that's fine with me.  Sometimes thinking about moving to property or out into the country (E's personal heaven) overwhelms me at this stage.  So maybe we look at movin' on up and we sort the rest out later int he future.  My goal here is to, as I said, figure out what we're going to do this year.

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

Not really.  I'll be honest and say I don't really feel like financial giving is something we can do.  So our giving will be more in things like what we did last year... coaching, etc.

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

Keep using a cash-only system for monthly expenses, keep paying down our debt.  Keep working on my master's program in the hopes that when our salary scale gets "unfrozen" I can move up a few steps.

VI. Relationships Outside the Home

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

I would like to a better job of following through.  Often a friend will just kind of drop off the radar and I don't really make as much of an effort to stay in contact as I should.  I know it's not possible to maintain all kinds of friendships all of the time, but there are people in my life who I don't see as often as I'd like.  But also (and I think this is related) I'd like to do a better job of not saying I'll do something when I don't think it's going to work out.  I'd rather be honest up front than have to let someone down later.

All of this to say I have the same goal as last year.  To be a better friend to the people in my life.

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

Hmm.  I feel like I get a whole lotta community in my job and sometimes that makes me negative.  But maybe there are ways to think outside of the box, here.  Perhaps thinking outside the box can be my goal. (Looking at last year I see that I didn't really know then, either.)

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

I have to go with the same answer, again.  My students.  High school is a difficult time for so many kids, and I think I can always have a more careful eye on the little souls in my room.  No matter how much I try to improve, there will always be kids in my classroom that I just don't get to know as much as I should.  I want to try to reach out more and listen more.  Notice more.  Ironically, the thing that most stands in the way of me doing this is my own introversion.  Since it's not natural for me to strike up a conversation with someone, I have to really push myself.  When kids are also introverted, it's a long bridge to cross.  I need to work harder.

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?

The older I get, the more I feel the importance of my and Eric's grandparents' influence upon our lives.  I know we're so lucky to have grandparents who are still alive and I know there is so much I can learn from them.  I'd like to make a regular effort to see all of our grandparents.  They are such a blessing.

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

I'll state (again) for the record that I think this is a lousy way to end this list.  So negative.  But anyway.  Sure, there are negative, damaging relationships in my life.  But most of those are complete and utter necessities and I will never be completely free of people who piss me the heck off.  But that doesn't mean I have to fix people or that I have to take it.  So in light of my being unafraid in 2012, I will make a more concerted effort not to let people bother me who do not matter to me.  The end.

Source: via Kiara on Pinterest

And in light of this "one little word" idea for resolutions, I present you with my one-word resolution for 2012:


In 2012 I want to stretch my imagination as a writer and I want to redefine my image of what life can be like for our little family.  So there you go.  It's kind of a kindergarten word, or a dopey teenage girl word, but I'm going to embrace it.

Happy New Year.

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