Over the New Year's holiday I read a blog post from Jon Acuff called, "Why I Quit New Year's Resolutions (And What I Am Doing Instead)."
This really resonated with me because I routinely bail on my New Year's goals by February. Acuff described my experience perfectly - the goals don't work because they are determined without any clue what the new year will hold by way of opportunities and challenges.
The idea of tackling the year - and my goals - in 52 day chunks seems like a great way to change the course for me. I am gradually working on my first set of goals, and I feel optimistic about them because I know if they stink, I will get to change them up in late February.
Jon recommends setting goals in seven areas: Mental, Spiritual, Physical, Financial, Social, Family and Career. Here are mine for the first 52 days of 2013:
Mental - read one book per month (so one in January and one in February) on a device (Nook, Kindle app, iBooks). This is to help me actually use the books I have downloaded onto a device - and reading is always a winning goal.
Spiritual - download a devotional/Bible reading app and use daily. I want to be more intentional about my spiritual life this year. A colleague posted the following on Facebook: “We never grow closer to God when we just live life. It takes deliberate pursuit and attentiveness.” I don't know where she posted it from, but the sentiment challenged me. I have found a great Bible reading app and a couple devotional ones that I am doing every day. I'll post about those another day.
Physical - Join Weight Watchers in January. It's time. It worked well for my husband and I when we did it 6 years ago and I'm ready to get back to it.
Financial - only use gift cards or cash to buy books. We have worked really hard to pay off our credit card, but trips to the book store, at least for me, get pricey. It's too easy to swipe the card and worry about paying for them later.
Social - engage with friends in person - not just Facebook. This one is a little wimpy. I would love to make it more of a "invite friends to our home once a month" sort of goal, but I have issues with feeling comfortable with others seeing our house. It doesn't make sense. We've done a small "gathering" the last two years before Christmas and have really enjoyed it. But I have many more years of house-shame to overcome. Maybe that should be my goal instead - banish my house-shame by inviting people over.
Family - reclaim our bedtime reading routine, starting with Wings of Fire/The Dragonet Prophecy. We've gotten out of the habit of reading together at night and I want to get back to it. So far in the new year, we are doing better about being consistent.
Career - Put 10 new books out in the library every week. Before Christmas break I killed myself, working late even when I was sick, to get a big crop of books cataloged for the library. Now they essentially just need their coverings - laminate or those plastic sheets that libraries use on hard cover books with paper jackets. I brought three bags of books home to work on over break, and I ended up taking all three bags back to school, untouched. I really embraced the idea of a "break" for Christmas break, but I am still committed to getting new materials into kids' hands asap. So, we'll try for 10 a week and see how it works. Hopefully I can actually do more.
So, those are my goals for the first 52 days. What goals have you set for 2013?