Some goals for 2010

Since the new year started I have been busily thinking about what I specially want to work on this year. In my thinking time I was blessed by the insight in this post at No Ordinary Me of the importance that everything we do and all we plan be done to bring God glory and not ourselves. This is something that I want to think about and implement each and every day.

 I thought it would be fun to share my goals with you all because perhaps you will have some tips for me in reaching my goals or maybe they are something you are working on too. I would love to hear what goals we might share, for then maybe we can encourage each other as we work on them. So please, share your ideas, what has worked for you and what hasn't, and join me as I try to live a life that pleases and honors God.

~Be more organized.  Okay this is on my list every year! But I think I often make some progress each year too. I also have new things that come into my life that I have to figure out how to organize so I guess this is rather an unending job but I will work at it! Here are some specific ideas I have for working on it at my house:
  • Keep my e-mail inbox cleaned out. Respond, delete or file e-mails promptly. I have been working on this lately, going through my very full inbox and have made a lot of progress. I no longer have any e-mails from 2007 in it! (And Ken is duly impressed.  Actually that is kind of a joke, he would never dream of having e-mails that old in his! He cleans his out every week.)
  • Address and get ready birthday/anniversary/holiday cards ahead of time so they can arrive on time. I just got a little file system made to hold the cards for 4 months at a time. Every few months I will go through my calender, address the envelopes and chose the cards and then they will be in my little file envelope ready to have a short note written in them and sent on time. Heres hoping it works!!
  • Prepare birthday/wedding/anniversary/baby/graduation/Christmas gifts farther in advance. I like to make homemade gifts but often find myself doing them at the last minute. I just tried something that I like and that is when I am making something that would work as a gift to go ahead and make 2 (or more) of them and then put them in my gift cabinet for when they are needed.
  • Work more diligently to use my file cabinets instead of often piling stuff on my desk!
~ Produce less trash/waste at our house. Waste is something that really bothers me and I really truly hate the idea of landfills full of trash. I have a feeling I might be getting radical here but when I look at the throw away society that we live in, I have this feeling that I need to be radical to counteract. I was very inspired by one couple who managed to produce only small bag of trash in a year. I really doubt we could manage that, but I am game to see if we could get down to that much per month. Here are some of my plans to further what we already do:
  • Be very aware of how much and what kind (whether it is recycleable or not) of packaging stuff that we buy comes in. Try to avoid packaging that ends up in the trash. A great way to avoid this (and something we do a lot) is to buy used.
  • Do more remaking of clothes. I have lots of plans and ideas for this and will probably do quite a bit of blogging on it.
  • Be very diligent to make things last (by mending, repairing and being careful) when possible rather than buying new. (Or perhaps see if we can do without it.)
  • Package up meat scraps (things that can't go in our compost pile) and take it over to my parents so they can feed it to their dog. I am keeping it in a container in the fridge and taking it to them once a week. This eliminates smelly things in our garbage and also their dog appreciates scraps.
  • Make more hankerchiefs and keep them readily available to see if we can stop the use of tissue. I have changed my habits already, now I am ready to work on the kids.
  • Don't even use paper plates and such when on picnics. Figure out replacements for plastic wrap.
~Save more money. This year I want to work harder at cutting corners on everyday expenses like food, clothes, toiletries and household items. The reason for spending less there would be so we can save more, give more and spend on things that are more valuable to us.
  •  In 2008 I really worked at keeping grocery spending low and it went pretty well, 2009 ended up pretty busy and I didn't work at it very hard and so the spending wasn't as low. This year I want to work harder at it again.
  • My goal is to spend $30 or less for the kids and my clothes and shoes this year. I don't think that should be to hard as we have basically everything we need, I have a lot of fabric and clothes that can be remade and I can make pretty much everything but shoes and socks (and the socks bit I am hoping to learn).
  • I have been working on figuring out recipes for dish soap and shampoo, I plan on continuing to work and perfect these as well as make any other cleaners that we might need. This has been saving us money as well as producing less trash which I am really happy about.
  • Work hard at using more of the foods that we can get for free or cheaply such as potatoes, grain, pumpkin, maple syrup, berries and other garden produce.
  • Be more organized and diligent in hopes that we will have a very productive garden!
~Find more ways to give to others. This has really been on my heart and something I want to continue to work on this year. Often we don't have a lot to give in the way of cash but I have been seeking out ways to donate things like time, services, things we can make, food and stuff like that. Here are some of my ideas:
  • Sell stuff (such as having a garage sale) so that we can give to Sudan African Mission. This mission helps provide medical service, drill wells, buy plows and much more as well as sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ. We have been feeling very burdened to help this ministry more.
  • Donate to the food shelf. Good coupon deals can be given and I also want to check but I think we can donate garden produce.
  • Make quilts to send to poor children in Uganda.
  • Make a meal for some homeless (There is a group that organizes for homeless to rotate from church building to church building and stay there and we are hoping to get involved with helping with that.)
  • Donate Blankets, Bags and Toiletries to the homeless shelter and other shelters that we have in town.
  • Make Mittens, Hats and Scarves for the Headstart mitten tree next Christmas.
  • Fill up shoeboxes for Operation Christmas Child.
  • Be aware of needs that people around me have and help whenever possible.
  • Respond to want adds on Freecycle when I can.
  • Try to share cheer with flowers more this summer.
~Get rid of clutter and simplify at our house. I think often that we have more cleaning to do simply because we have to much stuff! We are abundantly blessed and I think we need to share some of our abundance with others. :-)

  • Finish up old projects that are hanging around our house, preferably before starting new ones. Projects like a coat that I started to make when I was about 15, a hammock that has been in the works a couple of years, an afghan that I have been working on for a couple of years too, rag rugs, scrap books and couch pillows.
  • Read through and get rid of a stack of magazines.
  • Give away extra clothes so they fit better in dressers and closets. I am planning on getting rid of everything that I don't like so well (unless I have it for a specific task such as gardening or painting). I would rather wear the clothes that I do like more often.
  • Work even harder to use up craft supplies that we have on hand and not buy anything new.
  • We have also been working on, and hope to continue, to figure out better ways to store the things that we do have. We did some rearranging in the girls room and switched around where dress up clothes, doll clothes and dolls/stuffed animals were and that has been very helpful! We didn't have to buy anything new, just rethink what we were doing.
  • Figure out better storage and drying areas for winter stuff like hats and mittens.

~Work on having closer relationships with family and friends.
Having good relationships is important to me, and I want to thoughtfully work on it this year. Here are some specific goals that I want to work on in this area:

  • Think of one thing every day that I can do that will please Ken. You know, beyond the normal making his meals, packing his lunch, etc. And then of course DO IT!
  • Hug more. Especially with my family, I want to do more hugging of my children throughout the day (not just bedtime) and also with Ken. But beyond that I want to be aware of friends that just might need a hug. Growing up in Northern MN, that wasn't part of my upbringing but I think it can be a very good thing.
  • Praise others more. My children, my husband, my family and friends but also people I don't even know. I want to notice things that people do well (even the cashier at the grocery store) and comment about it.
  • Sing more! This is about mostly my relationship with God as I want to sing more praises to Him but also it broadens out to my relationship with everybody because when I am singing praises and thanks to God then I have a more joyful attitude that can spread to everyone around me.

~Be more what God wants me to be. This is my over all, all consuming goal. It isn't just for this year either, it is for always! Some of the things that I specifically want to work on are:
  • Be more humble.
  • Seek God's glory in everything I do.
  • Be more patient and gentle.
  • Judge less.
  • Love more.
  • Care about the things that God cares about.
  • Seek to tell the lost of salvation which is through Jesus Christ.
And the a few other little goals:
~Learn how to knit socks.
~Add somre more fruit/berry plants to our property.
~Make at least some progress towards my dream of keeping bees.
~Get the kids and I to drink more water.
~Grow some medicinal herbs and learn how to use them.

What are you working on this year?