I saw these questions over at Simple Mom’s and just couldn’t resist answering them. I love that they are detail-oriented because it’s one thing to say, “I’m going to lose weight” and quite another to actually list HOW you’re going to do that.
(Feel free to write your own answers in the comment section. Or if you blogged about it, leave a link and I’ll pop over!)
I. Personal Growth
1. What healthy character traits would you like to see developed in your life this year? What are some specific steps you can take to develop these?
(Here is a list of character traits if you’re stuck for something specific).
A. Ambitious – I’m ready to expand my current business as well as work outside the home. I want to be so busy that my mind never has a chance to slow down and get sluggish. I will concentrate on building up my professional website as well as send out applications to bookstores (starting out as part-time and then seeing where that takes me).
B. Compassionate – I’m a hard nose. I don’t have a lot of patience for people who I perceive as being lazy and/or manipulative. I will actively work on seeing the situation from all sides and stop being so judgmental.
C. Creative – I will actively work on producing more writing this year. I can do it, I’m just scared to try. I will swallow my fear and jump in with both feet.
D. Devout – I will work on sharing my faith more, both here on this blog and in real life, when the opportunity presents itself. I have no wish to push myself on other people, but if people are searching and I can help, then I will help.
E. Relaxed – I will chill out. I think I’ve actually gotten better about this, but I still have some work to do. I am a very controlling person and I’m learning, bit by painful bit, to just let it go.
2. What is your plan for maintaining accountability for progressing in personal growth?
This blog is a pretty good place to write about my accountability. I mean really, what do you NOT know about me?
3. What are some of your learning goals for this year?
Ahh, easy one. I plan on learning more about CSS and Kevin and I want to take a photography class together.
We would also like to sign up and attend one-day computer seminars offered at a community college.
4. What books would you like to read this year?
I have a bookcase and two huge plastic containers full of books I need to read. That’s another goal of mine this year – READ, READ, READ. I can’t write unless I read.
You can keep track of the books I’m reading on my books page, if you’re interested.
5. Do you enjoy your job or jobs (include being a stay-at-home mother, if this pertains to you)? If so, what are your favorite things about your work? If not, what are some ways you can change this?
Yes. And no. I’m grateful that I’ve been able to stay at home with my boys, but now that they are teenagers and don’t need me around as much, I’m MORE than ready to get out into the world and get a job.
I do earn a little money on the side maintaining websites for local schools and I really enjoy that. I’d like to expand that and see where that takes me.
II. Physical Health
1. What is one area of progress you’d like to see this year for maintaining or improving your physical health?
I’d really like to tone up overall, but more specifically, my arms. I have really flabby arms and it takes a lot to get them into shape.
I’d also REALLY like to get a handle on my digestive tract. It’s slowing me down (if you know what I mean) and I need to accept the fact that now that I’m older? I can’t eat the same foods anymore.
And when I thumb my nose at that fact? I pay for it like a solid week.
2. What are some tangible, daily choices you can add to your life that will improve your health?
Watch what I eat – i.e. stay away from beans and chocolate.
Get back on my exercise routine. The problem is, I’d rather work out in the morning – just get it over with. But the mornings are when I’m the most mentally awake so if I’m going to get any writing done, it has to be in the mornings.
So, I need to discipline myself to workout at night. Which won’t be easy because I have a husband who demands attention.
3. In what way would you like to be physically healthier by December of this year?
More toned. About ten pounds lighter. And internally peaceful.
4. What is your plan this month for starting this progress towards a healthier you?
I was going to try and get started on my workout routine tonight, but Kevin has a gig so … scratch that.
I will start the treadmill beginning tomorrow night. I’ll alternate nights – treadmill, then EA Sports the next night. I have found that walking is KEY to getting me on an exercise track. (Ha! Pun intended).
III. Marriage & Family Life
If you’re married, proceed to question 1. If you’re single with children, you can skip to question 5.
1. What are some goals you have as a couple to strengthen your marriage?
We plan on taking a photography class together. Photography is one of the things we had in common when we first started dating and we’d like to get back into it and post bigger, better and more interesting photos to OUR photo blog. (http://writefromkarenphotos.wordpress.com)
2. In what ways can you grow in intimacy with your spouse this year?
I think it’s crucial to spend time together as a couple. Kevin is my best friend and as a result, we already spend so much time together. (Especially since I don’t have any girlfriends I hang out with so honestly, he’s like the only person I can talk – well, him and YOU all).
However, with that said, Kevin’s job is liquidating and come March, he will officially be unemployed. He may be around much more than I can stand, hence the reason I’ll most likely be looking for a job. A little space? Goes a looooong way.
3. What are your plans for having regular date nights? How will you handle childcare?
We have lunch dates. We go out to lunch every Wednesday and that will not change – even when he’s home full-time. (And as long as my schedule can accommodate it. But even if we can’t get together on Wednesdays, we’ll likely get together on some other day).
We’re lucky in the childcare arena – our boys are teenagers and can handle being on their own.
4. What plans will you make to pray and/or have “family meetings” together? What books would you like to read together this year?
We have Bible study, as a family, every Sunday morning at 10:00. We listen to a teaching from the Truth or Tradition ministry (either a video or audio) and then the boys take turns reading a chapter out of the bible.
The Truth or Tradition ministry offer many classes and we’re currently in the middle of Revelation. We plan on continuing these types of classes.
They have truly blessed us.
5. What will deliberate, regular family time look like this year?
This one is a toughie. Since our boys are teenagers and have their friends, school and other interests, it’s sometimes hard for us to get together as a family. Though we do eat as a family around the table every night for dinner, we really don’t DO much together in the way of entertainment, unless you count the times we go camping and our one family vacation every summer.
We’d like to get back to into the habit of playing board games again. We did that for a while, but then sort of fizzled out. I have the “Settlers of Catan” game on order and as soon as get that, we’ll likely start the games night routine once again.
6. Do you have specific planned vacation time in mind for this year? What needs to happen to make this vacation a reality?
Yes. We are planning on taking another cruise – IF we can financially swing it.
We try and take one big family vacation every year – we drove and camped in the Rockies one year – flew to Washington DC and did the museum thing one year, took a cruise to the Western Caribbean last summer and this summer, we want to go to the Eastern Caribbean. Even though it’s expensive, we figure, we only have a few years left with the kids before they graduate and start leading their own lives so we plan on taking advantage of the years we DO have with them.
We also took beach vacations in Florida several years. We’ve had some pretty awesome family vacations, actually.
You can’t BUY those kinds of memories, folks.
7. How is your current physical living space working for your family? Do you need to make changes to this? If so, what are they?
We live in a 1900 square feet ranch-style home – three bedrooms, one and a half bath, two living areas, a formal dining room and a galley-style kitchen – we are very comfortable living here. We feel like we have just enough space for all of us.
Oh sure, we’d love to have a bigger, brick home with a basement, but every time we contemplate that route, we think of the mortgage payment and since we have our current home paid off, we just don’t want to go down that particular road again.
We’ll improve our current house and stay debt free, thank you very much.
We do need to do something about parking cars, though. We had a partial driveway put in last year so Dude could drive his car into the backyard, but now that Jazz will be driving in another year (ACK!!) we’re running out of space. We don’t want to end up as THOSE eyesore neighbors who have a car junkyard in their backyard so we’re seriously thinking about building a garage. But geez louise that’s expensive so … we’re still looking at options on that problem.