Monday, May 19, 2014

Hopeful Ambitions: 2014 Goals Update


It's been a couple of months since I came up with my big goals for the year, and I want to try to blog about how I'm doing every few months. Unsurprisingly, I feel great about some and others I've completely dropped the ball on so far. And of course, there are some in the middle.

Personal
1. Cook dinner three times a week at a minimum and start meal planning.
    Hasn't really happened. It's harder here and I need to be more intentional. 
2. Read 30 books between now and January 1, 2015.
    Uh, I've finished three. So not really on schedule at all. But that's pretty good for me. I probably should
    have set a more realistic goal. 
3. Start a goodreads account for myself (and one for the kids).
    Done and done. I actually combined them into one and have a "shelf" for kids' books we've read. 
4. Watch 10 new documentaries between now and January 1, 2015.
     I've seen two, so I'm much on schedule here. I need to figure out a good time this month because there's
     one I really want to watch with Peyton! 
5. Practice some form of self-care daily.
    I think this was a good goal. I probably already did things throughout the day, but I feel more intentional.
    I think "I'm just going to lay down and close my eyes or I'm going to get out a new chapstick or I'm going
    to really enjoy this bath or take the time to pour the Coke over ice instead of drinking it from the can or         I'm going to go for a walk in the sunshine" and I know it's something that will improve my day, even if just     a little bit and I take time to appreciate it. 
6. Learn to navigate the subway by myself.
    I'm calling this done. I'm by no means an expert, but I'm to the point where I can navigate it pretty easily.
    If I'm by myself and have no time constraints, it's hardly stressful at all. If I have kids in tow without
    Peyton and we have to make it somewhere by a certain time, it's still nerve-wracking, but it's doable. 
7. Get my nose pierced. 
    Done. It was a fun little bucket list item for the city and I love it. [Although- and apparently this is not
    uncommon- it came out on the inside side of my nose. It happened over a week ago and I'm still dealing
    with some irritation/inflammation, but I had it checked and it's not infected. So I'm just following                     instructions to try to clear things up a bit.]

Organizational
8. Have weekly planning/budget meetings with Peyton.
    We did this for a bit and have slacked off. It was really great when we did it and we need to keep it up. 
9.  Have a designated lesson planning time each week.
     I started doing this too and have recently struggled. 
10. Back up blog(s) monthly.
      Nope. And I really need to so I'm not anxious over it. 
11. Consistently upload pictures to the external and Flikr. 
      I had a bunch of old iPhone pictures to get on Flikr (they're already on the external), so I've been
      plowing through those. 
12. Work through Storyline and figure out if I could benefit from using a tool like these Power Sheets.
      Haven't started. I may need to make that a June goal. 

Relational
13. Email Darlene (my close friend/mentor) weekly.
      I do this pretty consistantly and it's been an AMAZING gift. I'm so glad I'm doing it. It's honestly just
      such a safe place and it's been a good place to talk about things in my marriage and some other stuff that
      I've hardly discussed with anyone. I just know Darlene will have a wise word and also it's a friendship
      where I feel almost totally unafraid of judgement. Which I think is really special and incredibly rare. 
14. Call/text a friend from home weekly.
       I text Carrie and Ashley probably every few days and talk to or text with Ellis probably at least once a
       week. Again, this has been a really good tool so I don't fall into deep loneliness. 
15. Call Minnie on most weeknights that Peyton works.
       Just here lately, Minnie has been really busy. I wouldn't say we talk every night that Peyton works, but
       maybe one out of two unless something is going on. 
16. Write a hand written note twice a month.
       I haven't done this at all and I really want to make it a priority. 
17. Write our sponsored child monthly, at a minimum.
       Peyton and Annie wrote our little girl the sweetest letter. This is something I really want to be more
       diligent about. 

Family
18. Pray for Peyton and the children daily- in specific, passionate, and authentic ways.
      I would say that I've become a more prayerful person since moving and of course that includes Peyton
      and my little people. I really want to start getting some kind of reminder system going- for example,
      praying for Peyton when I put on my ring. 
19. Read to the children daily.
      We are reading more and more and I love it! One thing I need to focus on is finding ways to engage
      Graves. Too often I read to Annie at length and he's just playing near us. I do think there is great benefit
      to that and he's absorbing more than I know, but I want to figure out ways for him to be more involved. 
20. Have a "date" (take-out) twice a month with Peyton.
      I think we've been hitting this or getting close. 
21. Read five books together with Peyton.
      We haven't even discussed what to read. Need to get on that. 
22. Prayerfully consider the next steps in family planning and decide in what direction we will move        in that regard once we arrive home. 
      We've discussed a good bit, but we haven't decided anything for sure. 
23. (***See NYC Family Goals)

Spiritual 
24. Daily pray, read Reflections for Ragamuffins and do some form of Bible study.
      I don't do it daily. I need to. I've always struggled with consistency in this area and I want to do better. 
25. Find a temporary church home in BK- one that is manageable when I'm on my own with the 
      children.
      I need to write a full post about this, but we've actually found two churches we love being a part of- a
      church plant that has a service in a very diverse, relatively nearby neighborhood in Brooklyn in the                 mornings and then one where we've fallen in love with the worship and messages on Sunday nights in
      Manhattan. I'm trying to do both by myself on the weekends when Peyton works, but I'm giving myself
      a lot of grace. 
26. Privately journal prayers and thoughts more often.
      Haven't done it, would like to. 
27. Find some form of missional service to be regularly involved in around Brooklyn, or in the               surrounding boroughs.
      We've been helping weekly with a ministry in the South Bronx and it's been so eye opening and so
      fulfilling to be part of what God is doing in the renewal of this neighborhood.

Writing/Blogging/Creative
28. Take advantage of writing workshops, classes, ect. in the city.
      I gone to a writing group once and there's another workshop thing that is every Saturday that I
      REALLY want to try this Summer. 
29. Blog 4-5 times a week.
       I think I accomplish it more often than not. 
30. Write "creatively" at least weekly. 
       Most weeks this happens. And I love it. I really enjoy the craft. 
31. Become intentional about commenting on others' blogs.
      I've tried to do a lot better about this and I think I've improved.
32. Read three books about writing/creativity. 
      Again, I need to determine what they'll even be. 
33. Take pictures with my real camera at least once a week (in addition to the family picture).
       I've done better, but I still have a long ways to go. I took a photography class and I felt like it was                really, really beneficial, so I want to use those skills more. 
34. Teach myself some form of hand sewing (probably cross-stitching). 
       Haven't even thought of it much, but I do hope to do it.

NYC Family Goals:
Monthly:
- Meet up with new friends (we have several "friend of a friends" and shallow connections and we'd love to make those relationships more meaningful). Ideally, this will turn into more than once a month.
We've done pretty good with this now that our apartment is more functional since we were able to finally use our storage unit. 
- Do two "city walks".
We haven't done this at all. There's just been a lot of other stuff. I think that's okay as long as we're keeping busy with other things. 
- Get outside our borough. 
We've done this way more than once a month. I feel that was a huge undershot now, but yes, definitely at least once a week, probably. 
- Be involved in some sort of missional activity at least twice a month.
Right now, as I said we go to the South Bronx weekly to help out with a program for mommas in the area. That stops during Summer vacation, though, so we need to start looking for something else for the Summer months.

Weekly:
- Go on at least one educational outing.
We've definitely done this. 
- Make a trip to either(a) the library or (b) the Brooklyn Children's Museum. 
Not every week, but we usually have a great replacement activity (another museum, the botanical garden, ect.)
- Go on at least one "long" walk (> two miles).
We pretty much do this and then some. I feel like I'm in the best shape I've been in in a while! 
- Try one new restaurant/eatery. 
Not every week, but pretty often. 
- Attend church. 
I explained this one above.

So there they are. After looking over these, I feel pretty good. There's a lot I could improve on, but I feel like I've accomplished a good bit, too! I'm happy I accomplished some of the things that can actually be crossed off and aren't as ongoing. I also feel like we're doing great with our NYC goals. I'm going to try to break down some of the others as I make monthly goals. We'll see how it goes! 

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