Okay, it’s time to check in with my online accountability group on our goals for this year to assess how my first month went. Anyone is welcome to join in, sharing their goals and progress either on her own blog or in the comments section here. Here are my original 2014 goals, and below are just my “SMART” January goals with comments on how they went–or not. Then I’ll add my incremental goals for February!
- I made a list of women to contact or visit and scheduled one or two per week for the whole year. This month I have 5 ladies that I want to encourage either through a text message or home visit, probably on Saturdays. Wow, a little on overdrive this month. I visited and called more ladies than planned, not because I’m a saint, but because some of them needed encouragement in their own sanctification process. So, not very fuzzy wuzzy visits, but I did hit a knock-out-of-the-park homerun on this goal. Inadvertently. I plan to simply text message or phone 4 ladies this month.
- Next week, I will check with some companies to see if they have opened yet after their holiday break to order materials. I am hoping to make lip balm to sell! Oopsie, kinda forgot to email. I did check, but the companies weren’t open at the time (from their Christmas breaks–companies often take 6-week-ish breaks around Christmas time here); and when they were open, I was super busy preparing for a new homeschool year and ministry; so I’ll have to get back to that. Actually I should be checking the mail for a package from one of the companies… First week of Feb–email the seller of the package I should have received in the mail. Second week of Feb–order lip balm pots from whichever company is cheapest. Third and fourth weeks–if pots come in, experiment with making some lip balm. The only reason I’m spacing it out like this is that we will be beginning our new homeschool year in February, and I know I will be very busy with that.
- I made a flexible weekly schedule to prioritize translating my children’s Sunday School lesson every week and see when I could fit in preparation for the women’s lessons. I tentatively scheduled the dates for the women’s group, which will begin meeting in February, on our 2014 calendar. Mid-January, I will plan what topics to teach for the women this year. The children’s lessons were translated weekly as planned, and I even got ahead one lesson for a week when we were away. I decided to teach on meekness this year, or at least part of the year, based on the book I’m reading by Matthew Henry on the subject, which is my “word” for the year. I haven’t broken the book down into lessons though. I think I’ll take that lesson at a time, if we even do this ministry. We were going to ask the ladies at church Sunday if they would support this ministry through their faithful attendance; but alas, Sunday was very rainy, and there were almost no women in attendance at church to ask. This does not bode well for our monthly gatherings. This Sunday, ask the ladies for their support. If they still want to meet, try for Feb. 15 as our first meeting.
- Host white friends from town once a month or bimonthly. Call or write to encourage white friends in Johannesburg area. I made a list of friends, and one family is coming over this Monday night. 🙂 Tomorrow I will try to obtain a few missing phone numbers for friends in Johannesburg. Here was an unexpected blessing of success this month. I got the numbers for two friends, called one, found out she was still in the area (I’d heard she’d moved to Joburg), and got together with friends twice in town (including the aforementioned lady once), as well as hosted friends twice at our house. Call the remaining “missing” phone number. Invite a family over.
Be more consistent in helping my husband through prayer, affirmation, initiative, thoughtfulness, gratitude, a teachable spirit, reading and investigating subjects he loves, and thinking about how to meet his needs. Practically, there are several points I can improve in and will elaborate more specifically later. I came up with a list of 23 practical things I can do to be more loving and communicate respect to my husband. I’ll do one a day! If you have any ideas, please send them my way! Well, I didn’t do one a day. But I probably did almost half of the days this month. 🙂 Try harder. 🙂 Maybe plan them on my homeschool app–with me as the student? haha.
- Be more consistent in discipline and prayer for them.
- Be willing to leave the computer (and “me time”) for them.
- Do the “fun stuff” and play more games with them.
This year, I put down one day a month where we try as a family to go out of the village on an activity or “field trip” (as much as can be done in Africa!) Because of a dental appointment, we went to town once as a family to visit a friend, and then we went away for several days this past week! Well…I have another dental appointment this month, so that may be the catalyst for another trip to town!
- I need to finish daily schedules and subjects. I’ve been researching online homeschool planners this week to see if any of those would be helpful–or just extra headache. I have a daily schedule (changeable if it doesn’t work), and several subjects’ lesson plans entered into a $20 app I bought for homeschool planning. The jury is still out on whether this app is helpful or a headache. I didn’t get some subjects entered in yet, though, and am wondering how much time I should invest in this planning app. In my “free” time, keep entering subjects in the app. Try to chart at least the science projects and lapbook and art projects in there.
- Revisit my philosophy of education to remind myself of my ultimate goals; think through how this year can help me get there. Evaluate last year. I evaluated last year and read through my philosophy, but now I don’t remember whether or not I need to actively do anything this year to adjust our trajectory towards our target! 🙂 Hmm, I’ll re-read it one more time.
- Be consistent in daily Bible reading. I want to read one chapter a day plus study notes. I think I only missed 2-3 days this month! This is improvement!
- Pray more for the children, my husband, and our people. When I do my daily “show-love-item” for my husband, I’ll pray for him as well. Not very often. I will try to pray for one child every day of the week after my morning Bible reading. Forgot to do this. Prayer for “our people”–not sure exactly how to schedule this, but at least when I contact/visit one lady a week, I will also pray for her. Yes, did this, but only in a perfunctory way. I need to be more caring and passionate in my prayers for them. Try harder. Maybe revisit these goals more often so that I remember.
- Try to exercise at least three times a week. Log my daily diet regularly online. Failed on the daily logging online. I think I exercised regularly at least 3 times a week, though! Get back to the logging online!
- OK, I made a list of all the clutter spots, and will clean one every Saturday. This is doable! For January, I need to do 4, or at least 3 spots. (Going on vacation the last week hopefully, so I don’t know if the cleaning will happen that week!) Exactly–vacation ruined this week. Then we got a load of hand-me-downs from the family friends we hosted this month, so I added that to my list of cluttered areas to clean up. So that means that I didn’t get to some of the items on my list; but I did at least put away 2 1/2 areas this month. Same goal for February.
- Ground my emotions in Scripture. Know who I am and what I’m gifted to do for God. Be content with that knowledge, and praise others for their strengths. I did praise others a few times. But this is hard to measure, and I will have to consistently work at meekness and initiative in this area.
- Keep up current correspondence (mostly through blogging, which I would like to write 3-4 times per week), and initiate with 1-3 other ladies. I did well on blogging regularly (except for this week), but I did not initiate friendship by writing other ladies that I do not currently correspond with. Initiate with one lady this month.
Here’s my tentative reading list for 2014. This week I want to finish Ruth Beechick’s Three R’s. This month I want to finish up to page 81 of Quest for Meekness. While on vacation the last week of January, I think I’ll read Betrayal. I did finish Beechick’s Three R’s and through page 81 of Quest for Meekness. I began Betrayal on vacation. I finished Circles of Seven, number 3 in a series of 4 in modern fantasy genre for young adults. This was my birthday present this month! Also, Seth and I finished The Lord of the Rings trilogy this month! Yay! Finish Quest for Meekness and Betrayal this month. The only reason I got so much reading done this month is because of our week away on holiday. It will be much harder this month.
Thanks for enduring to the end, if you read all this!