Glancing back and looking ahead

Funny way to put it, but with another new year upon us, I thought I’d better take a peek back at my goals for 2011 and see how I did.  While I’m at it, I want to also give a little thought to the upcoming year.  So there you have it.

Last year, I proclaimed the following goals for 2011:

GOAL:  Finish The Chronicles of Narnia series with my family.  We have just started the second book, and we are all enjoying it so much!

STATUS: Completed!  We read the entire series together and loved it!

GOAL:  Travel!  My husband and I both got passports for the first time (shocking, I know), and I would love to use them!

STATUS: Completed!  My husband and I both got our first stamps in the new passports when we visited Costa Rica in March.  We have not used our children’s passports yet, but they still had a travel opportunity within the U.S. when we all visited Virginia in August.  They were both great trips!

GOAL:  Continue trying out new recipes with an emphasis on healthful foods.

STATUS:  Yes, indeed.  I’m not perfect in this area (or any other, for that matter), but I continue to experiment in the kitchen, particularly with our CSA foods.

GOAL:  Go on lots of bicycle rides with my children this summer.  Last summer marked the end of training wheels at our house, and it makes such a difference.  We can really move now!

STATUS:  We did some biking together, but not as much as I would have liked.  My bike had some issues, and I didn’t get it fixed right away.  We did more “mom walks or jogs while the kids bike way ahead” trips to the park, which worked out pretty well until my bike was in good working order.

GOAL:  Plant an herb garden and make good use of it!!

STATUS:  Done.
GOAL:  Consistently get enough sleep.  This means making sure I go to bed at a decent time!

STATUS:  This is a total work in progress.  It’s still an area of struggle for me.

Some things I have in mind for 2012:

*  Train for and run my first marathon!  I am excited and slightly terrified by the prospect.  My goal is to train well and finish.  Seriously hoping for no injuries to get in the way.

* Continuing to enjoy being active with my kids.  This includes things like sledding in the winter (if we ever get more snow), and biking and swimming in the summer.

* Explore trails around the Minneapolis/St. Paul area.  I got my husband a book called Best Hikes of the Twin Cities for Christmas, and I look forward to checking out some of these recommended hikes.  Before we had kids, we did a lot more hiking and camping together and both enjoyed it.  I’d like to get back to it a little more.

* Be more deliberate in my prayer life.  I am not sure exactly what this is going to look like, and I probably won’t have it figured out by January 1st, but I’m looking into some books that might help me find the structure that I’m looking for.  Prayer is already part of my life, but I want to give it more priority and more thought in my everyday life.

* Plant and use an herb and vegetable garden.

* Continue avoiding caffeine.  I still have a little whenever I eat chocolate, but I no longer drink soda.  I want to keep this up, because I think it has been good for me.  It’s been nine months now!

* Keep cooking!  Cooking at home most of the time is good for our budget and our health.

* Keep reading!  We haven’t decided on the next great series to tackle as a family, but we have enjoyed many books together.  I want to continue reading both with my kids and for myself.  There is so much to be gained from a good book!

* Keep learning!  As a homeschooling mom, learning is naturally a high priority for me.  A very important goal of mine is to give my children the time and attention to help them learn, as well as the books, materials,  and activities that will enhance their opportunities to learn and grow.  I also hope to be a role model for lifelong learning.  As I’ve said before, I am not perfect in this (or any other) area, but it is very important to me, and I will do my best!

As I write, I can see that I don’t have much that’s brand-new for me.  I see mainly “continue this” and “keep on doing that,” but you know, maintenance can take as much effort as a new achievement.  I won’t beat myself up about it.  My main focus at this point in my life is on caring for my family and looking out for our health, and I think these goals reflect that.

What are your goals for 2012?

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!

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Happy New Year!

I went shopping yesterday, and walking into the store, the signs of an impending New Year were in full force! Displayed prominently near the entrance were party favors AND digital scales. Throughout the store, speakers droned on about Slim Fast and treadmills. Apparently a New Year equals a renewed attention to one’s weight.

I think goals are great! I love the feeling of accomplishment when I have met a goal. I love the satisfaction of crossing items off my to-do list. I enjoy trying out a new hobby. However, I am a little perplexed by the plans for drastic diet or exercise changes at the start of a new year. I feel much better about committing to smaller goals, and building on them. I think, for me at least, it is more sustainable and more enjoyable.

For instance, when I decided I would like to start running (see post about how that came about), if I had tried to run a marathon that first summer, I can only imagine I would have crashed and burned. I probably would have hated it and quit long ago.

Instead, I took the summer to build up to a 5K. It felt great to go from zero to 3.1 miles! Since then, I have participated in relays with distances up to 10K, and I have run a bit farther than that in training. It’s incredible to look back and realize that three years ago, I probably couldn’t have run around a block.

On that note, I am pleased to say that I registered for the Fargo Half-Marathon this coming May. This is a distance I have never run, so it will be a challenge. Yes, I am a little nervous. My goal is to train well and to finish. 🙂

Other things I want to do in 2011:

* Finish The Chronicles of Narnia series with my family. We have just started the second book, and we are all enjoying it so much!

* Travel! My husband and I both got passports for the first time (shocking, I know), and I would love to use them!

* Continue trying out new recipes with an emphasis on healthful foods.

* Go on lots of bicycle rides with my children this summer. Last summer marked the end of training wheels at our house, and it makes such a difference. We can really move now!

* Plant an herb garden and make good use of it!!

* Consistently get enough sleep. This means making sure I go to bed at a decent time!

I suppose none of these are what you’d call earth shattering, but they are valuable to me. I think there is great value in reading (more on this some other time), so I am thrilled to be reading the Narnia books aloud as a family and am committed to finishing the entire series. I think that if I train for the half-marathon, spend time being active with my children, and focus on eating fresh and healthful foods, that these small things will contribute to maintaining, or perhaps improving, my health. Adequate sleep is so important, and something I sacrifice too easily. As for travel, well, that’s for fun! Nothing wrong with fun! 🙂

What are your goals for 2011? Wishing you all a safe and happy new year!