Saturday, January 14, 2012

No More Excuses

"If it matters, you make the time.
If it doesn't, you make excuses."

Ann Voskamp @ A Holy Experience

I read those words from Ann's blog just a few days before heading off to northeast Arkansas for Christmas with the larger Goode family.  I was still in holiday mode though, with no real goals or ideas for the New Year in mind. 

And yet, they continued to twirl and whirl through my thoughts. 

I didn't even have to try to memorize the quote, it just stuck.  Something deep within grabbed hold of it and wouldn't let it go.

After spending the New Year's weekend with Jim's family, we headed back to Texas where we had a few days to get ready for my mom's visit.  Another Christmas celebration and a Cotton Bowl Watch Party later, and it was time to say goodbye.

So, in total, I have had about six days so far to think about my goals for 2012.  We have several BIG events that will crowd my calendar this fall...someone turns 50, a new grand baby should be arriving the next day and that's just the beginning!

Outside of those long range plans, the following are the things that I want to make time for in 2012:
  • Read through the Bible in a year - My friend, August, brought this one to the forefront for me when she set up a closed group on Facebook to help encourage each other in this area. 
  • Exercise 30 minutes a day - I'm not there yet, but it is on my To-Do list every day and I managed more days than not last week.  Unfortunately, it has been the total opposite this week! 
  • Weekly Meal Plans - This is a time consuming job that I don't necessarily like...BUT it saves me so much time during the week to already know what's for dinner.  And the stress it relieves is worth the time and frustration I feel at the time.  The only meals I plan are breakfast and supper.  For breakfast, I choose two things that I can switch out every other day.  For supper, I look at our calendar to see how many nights we are home.  I then plan that many meals minus one...because I know we are going to either have a night out OR have left overs at least once a week.
  • Eat breakfast every morning - Like exercise, I'm not there yet...but I'm doing much better since I took the early morning guess work out of it.
  • Spend more time with the grandchildren - My ideal would be to spend time with one grandchild on an individual basis every month with at least three group outings spread out through the year.  I know that doesn't seem like a lot of time, but remember that I still have children at home too.  Of course, this doesn't include family gatherings or holidays.
  • Remember to count my blessing - I know it sounds rather lame, but for now that item is actually on my To Do List!  I know that it should be easy to count 1,000 gifts...but I have neglected the discipline of taking the time to notice and record His Grace Gifts to me.  My goal right now is to record at least one a day. By December 31, 2012 I want to at least have 365 entries. 

There are several more items that I am trying to do 'most' days...from the boring things like setting up the coffee pot before I go to bed (boring but oh, so appreciated on a cold morning!) to the wise things like taking my vitamins (which I have always been terrible about doing). 

I know, I should probably take it slower and only add one thing at a time.  But I have given myself the space to focus on one thing (right now it is the morning Scripture reading) while keeping the other important matters on my mind.  Even in the Scripture reading, I missed most of the first week.  But it is excellence that I am striving for, not perfection.

How about you.  Have you made any changes for 2012?  Goals?  Resolutions?  A game plan?  I would love to hear all about it!

(I hope to be able to share more of this journey with you soon.  We had very heavy rains here last week and it did a number on our home Internet.  Don't get me wrong, I would rather have the rain than Internet these days...but, it is hard to post during my lunch break at work as we are, thankfully, busy again.)


Brenda said...

PTL first let me say you weeks encouraging you have great great year with these goals.

I do like what Ann writes.

Have been pondering many thoughts for the year and so far acted on some. Yea!

Tammy said...

I LOVE that quote - thanks for sharing!

I too struggle with the vitamins.. I have never been a good pill taker.

As far as breakfast, that used to be hard for me. I still feel so rushed in the morning that it is easy to forget. So, I plan easy things... You can boil eggs and make muffins on the weekend for the whole week. Add in a banana and you're set. These are things you could eat while you drive if you are stressed for time.

I have not started trying to exercise. I hope to start for 15 minutes a day over the next week or two.

One goal I have reached more days than not is leaving work at work and coming home on time. One night I came home late and it put me in such a bad mood. I have really noticed how much more time I get with the kids and how our evenings are not rushed at all. It has been really nice and a big eye opener.

Anonymous said...

I haven't made any resolutions in such a long time but this year I've actually given it a fleeting thought. Most of mine center around my duties at the church and reading the Bible on a daily basis. Needless to say, I didn't start well on reading the Bible every day. Doing better on my blog.

P.S. Love the quote so much I copies and pasted it to my list of quotes that I keep.
Thanks for sharing


Tammy said...

Responding here to the comment you left on mine. (Not sure if you will get notification if I leave it there.)

After dinner, I pack my lunchkit. I pack my breakfast and my lunch and any non-cold items I set out on the table. That is also another suggestion I wanted to give.... get everything packed up the night before. It definitely helps me. I throw in a yogurt, banana, muffin, etc. to have on my way to work. We have also been cooking enough dinner for me to have a serving for leftovers for lunch. It makes it sooo much easier just having to scoop leftovers into tupperwear and into my lunchkit. It has definitely helped with the rushed mornings where I do not have time to plan, fix and pack because it is already done. I stick my lunchkit full of my food in the fridge so in the morning all I have to do is put the ice packs in.

Hope this helps!