goals…how to make ‘em and break ‘em

To answer just a couple of your questions from yesterday:

1. Yes, my deep freeze has an organization system….the dividers came with the freezer. Awesome.

2. Will I share recipes? If I remember to I will try to do that. We just make stuff we already like…a lot of the meat isn’t cooked before it is frozen…

After yesterday’s post I feel a little funny doing this post today. I thought about just saving it for next week, but oh well. Since some of you asked and Chris keeps prodding I thought I’d share a few of my weekly goals. I’m not too sure about sharing these here. I am quite sure many of you can accomplish all of my weekly goals in half a day, but I can’t. I know one day I’ll look back at these and laugh that I had to be so intentional about what seems like little things. One day my kids will be more self reliant and won’t require so much attention for basic needs. My goals may or may not be totally different then. Who knows. With several young kids in our house it is very easy for the days to just become a run on sentence of fixing food + cleaning messes + changing diapers + tending to hurt spots + nap time enforcing + picking up toys….and repeat 50 times before bedtime.

For me it is easy for the days to become a blur of daily grind repeating itself. I have a list of daily goals that I try to accomplish each day. I also have a list of weekly goals. My weekly goals aren’t anything impressive or big, but they are things that often get overlooked in the daily grind of keeping up with my kids. I have to be intentional about them or they don’t get done.

Each week I give myself one goal in the following areas: Home Organization, Project completion, Something for Someone else, Each Kid

Home Organization: Last week’s home organization goal was to clean out the coat closet. Hated doing it. Love that it is done. This week is getting shelves up in the kitchen for my craft stuff. Next week is clearing out storage boxes under my bed. Eventually I make my way around every little area in the home and then start back at the beginning.

Project completion: As a project addict I always have a couple projects going on. I make sure each week one big one is completed. Last week it was building the add-on to our front porch (I watched kids, my dad & Chris did the building). This week it is painting that add on. Next week it is finishing up my next Design Aglow project.

Something for Someone else: This is the most important weekly goal for me. I want to make sure each week I am doing something alongside my kids that is for someone else. Last week we wrote letters to the boy we sponsor through Compassion International. This week we wrote ‘thank you’ cards for several people. Next week we are going shopping for food to take to our church for Thanksgiving baskets given to those in need.

Sometimes goals go as planned. Sometimes they do not. Last week when we wrote letters to our ‘sponsored son’, Biggest Brother wanted to color a picture for him. He wrote “Bad guys stink. Good guys are the best.” He was so proud and I just couldn’t tell him that it probably was inappropriate to send. So I sent it…with a note to Compassion International telling them they could throw it away, but I had to tell my son I sent it!

Each Kid: I also write down one weekly goal for each kid that I know I want to make sure I do. This week for Big Brother it was work on his front flip on the trampoline. It is a big deal for him, so I want to be intentional with helping him on it because that shows him I value what is a big deal to him.Ā  It is more worth my time investment than a lot of things.

Making goals is not a natural thing for me, but in recent years I have found I need it. I don’t really think too long term these days. I know the things I want instilled in my kids when they become teenagers. I want to make the investment in Today. For me to feel like I am living in Today and not just surviving it….I need goals to help me stay focused and to accomplish all that I want to in these years as a young family. It is what works for me. It keeps a level of sanity in my often distracted head.

I hesitated a lot before posting this. Among those of you that only really know me online I think there is a bit of a myth that I have it all together. I don’t. That is so very far from the truth. I’m a regular mom who loses her cool all too often. I feel overwhelmed by laundry. I want to tie my daughter to a chair at times so she stops emptying every drawer in the house. Every time I step on a Lego I want to say something I shouldn’t. I don’t have it all together and I hope sharing my weekly goalsĀ  doesn’t leave any of you thinking I do.

I would also love to hear ideas from you on how you manage to get done the things you want to get done….

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  • Missy - Ashley, thanks so much for posting this!! I am such a list person myself and while I know that, I don’t put that into good use as much as I should. After reading this, I am seriously going to Wal-mart in the morning to buy myself a white board for my closet where I can list my goals for the week. What a great idea to break it down as you have. Thanks again!

  • peta - Bless, Ashley. I love your goals. I am inspired. Thank you for sharing.

  • Cara - Wow, what an awesome post! Your blog is a favorite of mine, and you have inspired me once again! You asked for other ideas, so I thought I’d share this post: http://livintheyehlife.blogspot.com/2010/05/meaningful-monday.html I feel God gave me a good idea for what works for our family, but I definitely love the idea of both daily as well as weekly goals!

  • Sarah - i have to keep a list or my mind will go in 100 different directions! I also try not to make too many goals. i can’t get done everything i used to get done. i work full time, commute an hour each day, and have a 20 month old. i acepted the fact that i just can’t do everything i used to so now i only try to set maybe 2 goals for the weekend in addition to my daily goals. it seems much more achievable, and if i happen to get more done (like this weekend!) than i hoped then i’m even more happy about it.

  • Holly T - Where do you write your goals, in a book, on a chalk board, or just slips of paper. I like my to do lists, but I am loving the weekly goals idea. Just wonering where you keep all your thoughts?

  • Brianne Pitts - I love your attitude. I think you are a great mom. A mom that is trying and isn’t always perfect, but keeps trying nonetheless and is working for the bigger picture: making memories with your kids, and giving them the attention they need. I love that. Your post was very inspiring, as are most of your posts. They just make me want to be a better mom, and enjoy my children and show them they are so important to me by giving them my time. Thanks Ashley. Oh, quick question: How do you make meaningful goals for your younger children. I started implementing this idea into my week (great idea) and was able to come up with fairly good goals for my oldest child but was struggling with a goal for my 2-year-old. Anyway, thanks again!

  • Candice Forte - Ashley, you are an amazing woman, mom, and photographer. I am always in awe, even when you have a human moment. This is a wonderful post! I love the idea of having goals. What a great thing to give a day direction and meaning!!! Thanks!

  • betsy berre - thank you for this post. God used it to reinforce what he was already teaching me and changing in me…a desire to make a home, a desire to nurture and care for my husband as well as my kids, and real love for staying at home and spending time and effort making that home comfortable and welcoming to visitors and to my own family.
    so thank you. God used you and your words to inspire me into further action. i made goals too!

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  • Melissa - I loved this post! Thank you a million times over. I am a list maker but I am terrible at prioritizing because I do what I like best first then everything else just has to find time- even if it will only take a few minutes. This helped a ton and has my mind going! Thank you again!

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  • Kandi - Wow thank you so much for this post. My kids are really young and have and need a lot of attention right now, and sometimes I feel like I am not accomplishing enough throughout the day. This post was really encouraging!

  • Lisa Keith - One thing I learned about getting things done, I heard about from a personal coach when I was trying to finish my doctoral dissertation and had writer’s block. I was told to work in 60-60-30 increments. for example: set a timer such as on your phone, and write ( or whatever) for 50 minutes. Then set the timer for 10 minutes and lay down in complete quiet. Then work for another 50 and lay down for another 10. Lastly, take a 30 minute biologic break for bathroom, movement and food. Then if you can or want to, do the cycle again. I found I could do up to three cycles in a row on a good day and I didn’t get as tired as if I just pounded out the writing in 6 straight hours. So, I tell my students to work the 60-60-30 sessions. It helped and I was able to break through my writer’s block and finish my dissertation!!!

  • Avoiding insanity | Home on 129 acres - […] A few months ago I found Ruth’s 10 Tips for Getting More Done Every Single Day. I really liked her advice for setting priorities, using a timer and regrouping. But it was her tip about setting weekly goals in specific categories that really resonated with me. This great idea originally came from Ashley Ann at Under the Sycamore. […]

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