SST # 8: I’m Baaack

Small-Success-Thursday-550x330I haven’t written a “small success” post in quiet a while. In all honesty, I kind of forgot about them. I was reading through my Feedly RSS feed (another thing I haven’t done in a while) and saw another blogger’s “small success” post. I was so excited. And then I got even more excited when I realized it was Thursday. So, here I am, back in the small success saddle.

I (almost) hate to do this, but my small success isn’t very small at all – I GRADUATED! Yes, I did! As of May 31, I have a Masters of Theological Studies from Ave Maria University’s Institute of Pastoral Theology!! Can you believe it? I’m still in disbelief. I posted pics and a video of the big moment over at our family blog if you want to see. I really love the concept of reflecting on the small successes that I so often overlook in my daily life, but it would be impossible to look back on the past week and not rejoice over my graduation. Three long years have finally come to a gloriously triumphant close.

If I took my graduate school experience as a whole, I think the greatest “small success” that I achieved in my time as a student is learning to love God with my mind. We all know that we’re called to love God with our whole heart, our whole soul, and our whole mind. (Mt 22:37) The heart and soul have never been a problem for me. Well…execution is often a problem for me. I fall and fail in loving God with my whole heart and soul many times a day. But the concept of loving God with my heart and soul makes sense to me. I understand how to do that. I always have. My mind is another story.

I never really stopped to think about it until I was immersed in this deep sea of intellectual information: history, philosophy, anthropology, laws, doctrine, documents. Somehow, despite being surrounding with what appeared on the surface to be just a bunch of facts and things to memorize, my heart was burning, longing for more. From my very first moment in the classroom, I became one of the disciples on the road to Emmaus. (Lk 24) My entire graduate education became this three year long retreat* where I came to know God in a new and exciting way.

For the very first time, God wasn’t just a feel-good, heart thing for me. I was finally able to connect faith and reason and use them together, as they are intended to be. I’ve always been taught that faith and reason go hand in hand, but now I’ve actually experienced it. Now, I know what it means to love God with my mind. Because of this, I was really sad when I realized that graduation was quickly approaching. I didn’t want to loose this newfound intellectual relationship I had discovered with the Lord. Especially since I had realized that I had barely scratched the surface of all there is to learn about him. Now that I have graduated, I come away from my time as a student with a deep desire to further discover God with my mind, and the skills to know how to do so. Now comes the daily journey, on which I will often fall and fail, to love God daily with my whole mind, as I have finally learned to do.

 


* I have to admit, doing the assignments was far from retreat-like. I slaved and toiled and stressed and procrastinated and drove my family crazy. But, while I was in class, and even when I was on a roll with any particular assignment, it was very much retreat-like in that I was connecting with God in ways that were new and real for me. Just like those disciples heading to Emmaus, my heart was burning.

“Babe, we need to have a talk…of the morbid variety.”

I’m sure my husband was thrilled to hear that just after I walked in the door last night after spending the last 10 hours up at church. Nothing says “I’m ready to relax and unwind with you” like a comment like that, right? But it had to be done. I’m getting on a plane on Thursday and spending 4 whole days of my life away from my family and then getting on another plane to come home. And I know, I know. Josh is very quick to remind me that I’m more likely to be killed on the way to work than in a plane crash, but I’m a mom. I need to know there’s a plan in place for my babies. And my hubby too.

The truth is we’re really bad at this kind of planning. Neither of us are insured to the level I want us to be, and we don’t have a will. It’s not that I’m worried about distribution of assets…we don’t really have any of those. :0) But my babies…I just don’t know where I’d send my babies. I want a will so I know they will be provided for and raised the way we would raise them. I want adequate life insurance so whoever is entrusted with such a huge task will be able to do so without a huge financial burden. But I just don’t know who that who would be. How do you make that kind of decision?

Josh and I have had variations of this conversation many times over the years, but we’ve never come to an answer we’re happy with. That’s why we don’t have a will. Does that make us the most irresponsible parents in the world? It sure feels like it right now. In this instance, I’m not quite as worried because, if something did happen to me, Josh is still here, and, thankfully, we are on the same page when it comes to parenting. But any time we walk out that door together without the kiddos, it really bothers me. I guess that’s one reason to be grateful that we don’t go out alone very often. In fact, Saturday night we went out without any of the kids for the first time since January. And it was the first time we went out alone since…I don’t even know…I think August of 2009? But that’s neither here nor there. The point is, we are not properly prepared.

If something were to happen to us, I know both sets of our parents would think they have rights to the kids. And, yes, of course we want our parents to be very much involved in our kids lives, but we don’t want them raising them. Neither set agrees with our parenting philosophies and that’s fine; they don’t have to. But if we were gone, we’d want someone raising our kids who does agree with our philosophies and priorities. But can you really sign a legal document that declares that your kids shouldn’t be raised by family, rather friends?

Obviously, you can, but that just makes me feel so guilty. I don’t know why. I know what’s important to me. But I think the difficulty arises because family is also hugely important to me. It just seems so insulting not to trust family with raising my kids. But the fact is, I don’t. Well, trust is too strong a word. Of course, I would trust them to provide for them and love them, but I don’t think they would give them the same priorities and values that we are working so hard to instill in our kids.

These are the moments that it’s really difficult to be a parent. It’s not the endless supply of dirty diapers and 3 different kids getting up 3 different times in the night. Those moments are trying and exhausting, but not frightening. The fear that comes with parenting can be almost debilitating if you sit around and marinate in it too long.

Interestingly, as I wrote that last line, I had the epiphany that, like so many other causes of stress in my life, it all comes back to fear. You would think I would have realized that before just now, but I hadn’t. The Lord really seems to be trying to teach me not to fear. To have faith. To trust. Those are such difficult lessons for me. I am a control freak, in part, because I know if I’m in control things will go as I see fit. No need for faith. No need for trust. No room for fear. I just make sure things happens exactly as I plan for them to happen. But, lately, I’ve been realizing that’s not good enough for the Lord.

I’ve been on a journey of learning to “let go and let God” since October 2008. Yet, he continually he peals back another layer, phrases the lesson a slightly different way, or illustrates his point anew, just hoping I’ll finally get his message. I’m trying. I really am. But this is such a hard lesson for me. Surrendering all to another is so difficult, but it seems especially difficult for me. Did you know that the Lord tells us not to fear 365 times in the Bible? He left us a message for every day of the year to let go of fear and trust him. Isn’t that awesome? I know I’ve strayed entirely off point, but the Lord continually amazes me and I am truly baffled by his constant, patient, and unfailing love for me.  All I can say to that is thank you, thank you, thank you Lord! You are so good to me!

But, wrapping up the initial point of this entry, because I wouldn’t feel satisfied if I didn’t, we are truly unprepared should something unthinkable happen. Now, however, I am much more peaceful about it than when I first started writing. I know that our parenting is in line with the will of God and he will protect that. If he sees fit to bring us home early, he will ensure that my kids are provided for just as he provides for us. That’s not to say that we don’t need to make the appropriate provisions too, just that, as always, God will provide.

Little Signs that I Must Be Doing Something Right

God must have known I needed a little pick me up today because each of my delightful children gave me a little glimpse of the fact that I might just be doing something right.

At lunch the boys were discussing our aquarium and what kind of fish they would like to add in the near future. Andy said we needed a Nemo, his daddy, and a Dory fish. Jack enthusiastically agreed. Andy quickly informed Jack that they would be his fish, not Jack’s. Jack protested and the two went back and forth several times. Suddenly, Jack stops and responds, “Annie, (Yes, he says Annie, not Andy. I find it endearing.) you can have a Nemo, a daddy, and a Dory AND I can have my own Nemo, a daddy, and a Dory.” I loved it! My sweet boy’s first attempt at resolving a fight with his brother on his own! Not bad for 2 1/2, huh?

Shortly after lunch, I informed the boys that I was going to let them watch a movie so I could rest on the couch. (This exhaustion thing is getting a little out of control.) They were both thrilled, as they don’t get to watch much tv. Andy immediately responded with “Hey, can we watch the movie about those Israelites (I would give anything to have had a tape recorder because I have no hope of phonetically spelling or even really remembering just how he said Israelites.) and the promise land at Jericho?!” Of course that was more than fine by me! My sweet children, as I’m sure is true for most children, have such a thirst for learning more about God and the Bible and anything involving our faith. It’s so refreshing to see their eagerness and innocence, especially in contrast with the world they live in.

So, three cheers for my boys. And thank you God for these little signs that I must be doing something right!

Celebrate Family. Celebrate Life.

Andy and Jack. Summer 2009

Andy and Jack. Summer 2009

I spent a lot of time yesterday discussing the Tebow Superbowl Ad. Maybe it was the hormones. Maybe it was because Josh was working OT again. Maybe it was because I had a long day and didn’t have the energy to do much else besides sit with the computer. Maybe someone will benefit from what I had to say. Whatever the reason, I stand behind what I said. The thing that bothers me is I spent too much time reacting in frustration instead of talking about what’s really important. I spent too much time feeding into the drama and not enough time elaborating on the intended theme of the ad, Celebrate family. Celebrate life.

Both children and family are huge blessings and most definitely huge reason for celebration. Ask any woman who is desperately trying to conceive a child. Children are not burdens and I don’t know when they became such in the eyes of our society. Children are a gift. Children may mean you take one less vacation or you make decisions regarding your career or you closet that you wouldn’t have made before having them, but since when are we afraid to sacrifice for something worthwhile? Unlike what Ms. Gettelman said, this is not “losing your future.”

Children bless and enhance your life in the way that no career, vacation or shopping spree ever could. Having a family is the most fulfilling decision you can ever make. Yes, you will have hard days…a lot of them. There used to be a time when we understood that anything worth having was worth fighting for. What happened to us? Now, we want everything handed to us in the most convenient fashion as quickly as possible. I don’t know who set us up to expect that, but they did us a great disservice. As Dacia Wiegandt often says,

“The reason most people fail instead of succeed is that they trade what they want most for what they want at the moment.”

What do you want most in life? If children and family is on your list, I highly recommend you stop putting it off until you reach a certain point in your career, until your bank account reaches a certain balance, or until whatever else you’re waiting for. First of all, even when you reach those goals, something new will pop up. Like Joanne Bertalan always reminds me, “there’s a new devil at every level.” Looking into the future, you can’t truly comprehend or predict what your life will be like when you reach goal x, y or z. Secondly, once you have a child, your priorities will probably shift anyway. Why waste so much time building a life that you may or may not want once you are fortunate enough to have a family of your own? Again, this is not “loosing your future.” This is maturing and seeing the world from a whole new perspective.

I speak from experience when I tell you that when you openly and lovingly accept a child or children, you will be provided for. It may not be in the fashion you initially expect, but you and your family will have every need met. See what we are told in Matthew 6: 25-34:

“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat (or drink), or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing?

Look at the birds in the sky; they do not sow or reap, they gather nothing into barns, yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are not you more important than they?

Do not worry about tomorrow; tomorrow will take care of itself.”

Can any of you by worrying add a single moment to your life-span?

Why are you anxious about clothes? Learn from the way the wild flowers grow. They do not work or spin.

But I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was clothed like one of them.

If God so clothes the grass of the field, which grows today and is thrown into the oven tomorrow, will he not much more provide for you, O you of little faith?

So do not worry and say, ‘What are we to eat?’ or ‘What are we to drink?’ or ‘What are we to wear?’

All these things the pagans seek. Your heavenly Father knows that you need them all.

But seek first the kingdom (of God) and his righteousness, and all these things will be given you besides.

Andy's Birth Day. December 2005.

Andy’s Birth Day. December 2005.

I can tell you, God is faithful to His word. One could say I found myself in a “crisis pregnancy.” At the very least it was unexpected, unplanned and inconvenient. And believe me, more than one person suggested I “terminate” it. I am so grateful that I was raised to know better and received enough emotional support from those around me to keep from feeling forced into that decision. Let me note, when I say support, I don’t mean the people around me were thrilled or even happy. I lost a lot of “friends” over the decision to carry my child to term and raise him myself. But let me tell you, neither he nor I wanted for anything during that pregnancy or even now. God provided us with everything we needed.

People I’ve never met sent me hand-me-downs. My grandmother bought us a stroller. Some friends threw me a shower. A woman at church made me this awesome basket of stuff she knew I would have never thought to buy in advance like a thermometer, diaper rash cream and gas drops. Josh was offered a new job, albeit not the job we “wanted” nor one he liked, but the one that provided us with enough income to support our little family. I had everything I needed to take care of that baby because I trusted in the Lord. Actually, that is a huge overstatement. At that point in my life the best I could do was say “Ok, I’m having this baby. Please help us.” My definition of trusting in the Lord has definitely matured since then, but God provided for us anyway.

I can assure you no other “accomplishment” in this life compares with being handed your child for the first time in the delivery room. No other “success” compares with watching your child achieve a new skill or make a good decision on his own. No other “recognition” feels as good as little arms around your neck and a little voice telling you “Mama, I love you so much!” Children are a great gift, the most rewarding “job” that has ever existed. It’s so sad to see the way our country throws them away and devalues them to nothing more than a burden.

A Piece of Our Story

ourstoryAs I was praying for a friend in the shower this morning (Yes, in the shower. When you’re a mom its one of the only times you can actually have a complete thought or form a coherent prayer.) I was moved to share the following story with her. As I typed it out on her facebook wall (It was in response to something she previously posted. I promise I don’t just go around giving random bits of personal advice on facebook. :) ) it occurred to me that there are probably many other people our age in similar situations who may also benefit from hearing this piece of our story. I gave her the condensed version, but here’s the whole story.

Shortly after Andy was born, Josh and I moved to the Dallas area to be closer to my family. As a new mom, I was terrified and was sure I was going to need lots of help from my own mother. After living here for about a year, both Josh and I were extremely homesick for Memphis. We missed our friends. We missed the culture. We missed our Tigers. We definitely missed the BBQ. (Texas aint got nothin’ on Memphis BBQ!) Around the same time, Josh had the opportunity to apply for a promotion that would move us back to Memphis! It was meant to be, right? Well, that’s what we thought…or at least really wanted to believe. Needless to say, he got the promotion (He’s so amazing!), we packed our stuff and headed home.

Never once during the whole application/interviewing/moving process did we ask God if He wanted us in Memphis. We prayed for Josh to perform well at his interview. We asked for safety during the trip. We prayed for the people who were kind enough to help us move. But, like I said, we never prayed about whether this decision was in line with the Lord’s plan for our lives.

We spent the next few years in Memphis, loving being amidst our friends, the culture, our alma mater, and enjoying the delicious Mississippi Delta cuisine. Naturally, we grew as people, our marriage grew, and our faith grew during that time as well. As our faith grew, we learned that we are not called to act and then pray for the Lord’s blessings, rather to pray for discernment of the Lord’s will and then act. That’s what we started doing. We started asking the Lord to show us His will for us. We prayed that our actions would be in unison with His plan and for His glory. Boy, we had no idea what a can of worms we were opening.

We started praying to live our lives in unison with the Lord’s will for our life in October 2008. That same month Josh suffered his first pay cut at work as a result of the economy. Another followed in December. By April 2009 Josh’s job had become extinct. Saying that I was scared is an understatement, but it was a strange fear. Because of my faith, I knew that everything would be ok. It was most definitely a stressful time, but the Lord provided for us in the most surprising ways.

Midway through our time of unemployment and just as our personal savings was running out, we received the largest check I have ever personally held in my hand in the mail. My grandmother had sold her house to move into a condo. Because she didn’t need the money and the grandchildren aren’t included in her will, she divided her profit after purchasing her condo among her grandchildren. I will NEVER forget opening that envelope. Or the amazement that followed the days after. She hoped we would put it toward a down payment on our house, but I’m sure she wouldn’t be disappointed to know that her great-grandchildren survived from that money.

In August 2009 Josh heard from an old supervisor. He said if Josh was still in the market for a job he needed to act now. The following week Fidelity in Westlake was having a hiring event. Obviously, Josh wasted no time resubmitting his resumé. He had a phone interview the next day. He was asked to come to Dallas the next week. The day after he interviewed, he was offered the position. Praise the Lord! After months of unemployment, dead-end leads, constant job searching (by this point we had resumes out in multiple states), we were THRILLED to have a job offer. I, however, was not so thrilled about moving back to Texas.

There’s nothing wrong with Texas. In fact, now that I’ve gotten to know it better, I really like Texas. But all I could think about was how homesick we were before. As you can tell, things we’re happening fast. Josh was scheduled to start his job in just two weeks. We had to pack, plan a move, find a place to live, etc, etc, etc. I put it all in the hands of the Lord. I was completely overwhelmed and knew there was no way I could make everything happen in just two weeks. I’ll spare you the details, but let me just say the way everything came together was nothing short of miraculous.

So here we are, right where we started. Working for the same company at the same location. What’s different is this time we know it’s right. We know God wants us here. We don’t know why, but we are confident that this is exactly where we are supposed to be. Oh, and remember that check from my grandmother? We spent the last penny of it the day before Josh’s first pay day. Coincidence? I think not. :)

Moral of the story: Ask God what His will is for your life and make your decisions accordingly. It’s much easier and cheaper in the long run if you just do it right the first time.

Making Sense of the Senseless

challenges aheadRecently someone stated to me that “God does give you things you can’t handle.” I, unfortunately, didn’t respond as I wish I would have, mostly because I was shocked that this particular person made such a statement. My gut reaction was a blaring, “That’s not true!” Yet, I couldn’t come up with anything intelligent to say. As I thought and prayed over that statement the past few days, I’ve come to a few conclusions.

In life we are absolutely faced with challenges, hardships and obstacles which are too much for us to bear on our own. These hardships are not necessarily from God. However, God still promises to give us the strength to tackle them, grow as a person, and move on.

“I know indeed how to live in humble circumstances; I know also how to live with abundance. In every circumstance and in all things I have learned the secret of being well fed and of going hungry, of living in abundance and of being in need. I have the strength for everything through him who empowers me.” ~Philippians 4:12-13

It’s absurd to believe that every hardship we face is a test or refinement from the Lord, when we are very well aware of the presence and effect of sin in the world. In fact, in the situation I’m referring to, the hardship being discussed is most obviously NOT from the Lord. It’s a result of a sinful person’s free will.

God gave each of us free will and he’s not going to take it away. Even when that means someone turns away from Him and chooses a completely unfulfilling and dangerous life of drinking, drugs, promiscuity, repeatedly putting oneself at odds with the law, repeatedly exposing oneself to violent individuals, driving recklessly, and surrounding oneself with other lost and equally poor decision makers. That’s the whole point of free will. God gave it to all of us, allowing us to freely choose him. Or, in some cases not choose him. Yes, it’s painful to watch someone you dearly love use their free will in such away that not only says no to God, but very regularly puts her life in danger. I know all about this pain, as I’m experiencing it too. The difference is I’m not allowing someone else’s poor choices to affect my relationship with the Lord. Allowing that doesn’t make the slightest bit of sense. All that does is invite Satan’s power to extend past the sinful person (Obviously, we’re all sinful people, but I’m speaking of this specific person.) and take hold of your own life as well.

What’s really amazing is when you stand back and look at the situation, you can see God’s hand on her life. He is calling her. He is giving her opportunity after opportunity to see the error of her ways. All we can do is pray, pray, and pray some more for this individual’s conversion and the conversion of her peers. All we can do is be a continual example of Christ’s love and light in the world and in her life. That’s it.

What we absolutely don’t need to do is lose our own faith simply because of another human’s choices. What we don’t need to do is shield this person from that natural consequences of her behavior. When she makes a choice with financial ramifications, she needs to be allowed to suffer financially. When she makes a choice with legal ramifications, she needs to be allowed to suffer legally. Continuously sheltering her from natural consequences is only teaching her that she can do whatever she wants with no resulting circumstances. If she lives in an environment where she can’t even comprehend cause and effect in its simplest most realistic terms, how can we possibly expect her to understand there are eternal consequences for the choices she makes? I personally don’t believe that the fear of hell is sufficient motivation to maintain a relationship with Christ. However, in this circumstance, this individual has no regard for consequences of any kind. Allowing her to experience consequences would probably be a really good first step toward her personal rehabilitation and eventual conversion.

Now, in regards to the original statement, I discovered this. As far as God protecting us from situations we can’t handle, He says, “No trial has come to you but what is human. God is faithful and will not let you be tried beyond your strength; but with the trial he will also provide a way out, so that you may be able to bear it.” (1 Corinthians 10:13) But, again, I think free will comes into the discussion here. God can only open the proverbial window in response to a closed door when we turn to him and seek His help. And, actually, that’s only the tip of the iceberg. Instead of just asking for help, it’s much more efficient to turn the situation over to Him entirely. I can tell you in the situations where I had the good sense to completely surrender my situation to the Lord the outcome was so much more than anything I could have constructed myself. God always knows better, so I don’t understand why we, as humans, find it so hard to surrender to him. However, that’s a topic for another entry on another day.

The passage in Corinthians goes on to say in verse 23 (NLT) “You say ‘I am allowed to do anything” – but not everything is good for you. You say, “I am allowed to do anything.” – but not everything is beneficial.'” I think that’s the key. Just because we can, doesn’t mean we should. When temptation presents itself, we must make the decision to turn to Christ and rise above the situation with His strength, not our own, for our own will never be enough.

So, here’s the moral of the story. Yes, we will be presented with situations which we are not strong enough to endure. Often times these situations are the result of sin. And, when we are faithful to the Lord, He will be faithful in giving us the strength to endure the situation and eventually rise out of it. In a nutshell, it is true that God won’t give you anything you can’t handle, as long as you have the good sense to turn to him in your time of need. More often than not you will need His strength, as your own won’t be enough. SO, more accurately, God won’t give you anything you can’t handle with His strength. This doesn’t mean you won’t hurt or suffer. This doesn’t mean that God is promising us an easy life. This means that God is faithful to those that are faithful to Him. It means when you are hurting, the very best possible thing you can do it turn to the Lord and ask what His will is for you in this situation, then act accordingly. God uses the painful situations in our lives to teach us, to mold us, to make us more like Him. We need to embrace these situations, despite the pain, and grow with the Lord. “To learn, you must love discipline; it is stupid to hate correction.” Proverbs 12:1 NLT

New Beginnings

sunny beginningsWhen I was younger, one of my favorite times of the year was back to school or the beginning of a new semester. I relished shopping for school supplies, often coordinating my pens and folders by color or theme, and the potential for success that lay before me. I made similar resolutions each time usually related to organization, time management, and procrastination (or more specifically, not procrastinating). I absolutely adore new beginnings of any kind. Naturally, celebrating New Years and making new year resolutions is something I really enjoy.

This year I put a lot of thought into what my resolution would be. I’m not really a fan of the generic goals like lose weight, get finances in order, get healthy, etc. All of those are great, but they basically predetermine your failure. They’re just too generic. There’s nothing measurable or concrete about them. Yet, I kept coming back to the same generic statement. I just want to be a better person. I’ve been hovering around this thought for a little over a year, but haven’t done much about it. Why? My guess would be because it’s too generic and I never formulated an action plan. So, to make my new year resolution, I decided to break down this concept of being a better person. If it goes well, perhaps I’ll continue expanding and elaborating on the same theme each year. For now, year one of becoming a better person, here’s what I’ve come up with.

I took a look at my life and picked out the major pieces that define who I am as a person. After all, how could I improve who I “am” if I don’t know who I am to begin with. I came up with these subheadings to “me”: spiritual, personal, wife, mother, entrepreneur, friend. I ultimately decided to sufficiently improve me, I would make a small, daily goal for each of these categories. In effect, instead of making one broad resolution, I’ve made several small daily resolutions.

  1. I will pray the Rosary each day. (This will probably require getting up a little earlier so I have the time to myself.)
  2. I will read the chapter in Proverbs that corresponds to the day of the month. For example, today is the second so I read chapter 2. Following my chapter I will play a round of “Bible Roulette” to allow the Lord to speak to me/learn a little more about the Bible.
  3. I will read at least one chapter of something I enjoy each day. (This one kind of stresses me out. I have no idea when I’m going to sit down and read for pleasure, plus I’m really bad about not taking time out for me, but I think this will be a much-needed daily “recharge” time for me.)
  4. I will greet Josh with a smile and a kiss and tell him I’m glad he’s home each day. (This sounds obvious but after several years of marriage and dealing with kids all day, Josh doesn’t usually get the welcome he deserves when he walks in the door.)
  5. I will spend individual quality time with each boy each day. (Research shows that just 15 minutes of quality one-on-one time with a child does wonders.)
  6. I will do one proactive activity for my business each day. (I’m not focusing so much on building new business right now, since the baby will be here before we know it. However, I definitely don’t want to lose all my momentum in the meantime, so this is what I’m starting with.)
  7. Each day, I will attempt to brighten one person’s day.

So those are my 7 daily goals. I got a new planner (the kind with both a monthly and a daily view) to help me track my goals. Each day, as I complete each goal, I will write the corresponding number in my planner. This will allow me to see which goals I’m struggling with and help me get back on the proverbial horse after I fall off. For me, tracking it the most important part of goal setting. It’s really easy to set goals, but sticking with them and eventually achieving them all comes down to the tracking. I think I’ll also report my progress here in my blog, since its important to have some accountability. It’s much to easy to make excuses to myself, but if I have to tell someone else what a slacker I’ve been, I’m much more likely to stay focused.

It takes 21 day to form a habit, so if I find I’ve accomplished (accomplished meaning successfully made it a true daily activity…like eating) one of these goals, I may replace it. I may also modify these goals as needed. My tracking sheets will speak for themselves.  But, for now, this is my plan to become a slightly better person this year.

Here’s to a great 2010!