by Tiffany S.
from Virtuous Daughters, October 2007~Volume 10, Number 7
Continued from Last Issue...
In my yearly plan, I like to write down at least three practical new year’s resolutions, and one spiritual new year’s resolution. It’s best to decide these in December (for the next year), but it can also be done in the middle of the year. Write these goals on a clean page in your notebook—you will probably be referring to them often. These will be your “big goals,” the ones that will be done over a period of time. Here are a few ideas:
Spiritual—read the Bible in a year; memorize an entire book of the Bible; share the plan of salvation with at least __ people; read the Bible daily without skipping a day; conquer wrong habit or character flaw; have a daily prayer time; begin some type of ministry; keep a daily Bible reading journal...
Practical—learn to do calligraphy, sew, garden, or some other type of skill; read 20 new books; complete a huge project, such as organizing your attic or basement; finish all “unfinished” projects lying around; make three meals every week; complete a home-study course...
These things may not sound like much for one entire year, but as you will soon see, you will be incorporating many other projects and goals into the year through the monthly and school year planning sessions.
At the end of every month, I like to plan goals for the next month. I try to have at least one goal for each of the following categories, but your goal and your categories will probably be quite different from mine. Here’s just an idea of how I do it—modify my plans to make them work for you! (This entire article is simply to offer tips I have found helpful—some people have their own system and may not like mine at all! J)
Beside each goal, I give a brief but detailed description and a check box to check off when it is accomplished. At the end of the month, I scribble a note beside the goal as to how I did. Sometimes—very often in fact—I do not manage to complete all of my goals. When this happens, I either “roll over” the goals to the next month’s list or I drop them all together. The object here is really not to accomplish everything but to aim for more than mediocre. I once heard that if you aim for nothing, you will hit it every time. How true!
I wanted to also touch on how I write out my school year goals. I have found it helpful to plan at the beginning of each new school year. (Since we take off school in the summer, it is good for me to have fresh goals for the new school year.) I would recommend to any girl several books that give me ideas of new and important skills and qualities to learn. They are: Keepers at Home (Zakula), The Joy of Womanhood (Zakula), and The Godly Daughter Checklist (Ellison). Each of these have various skills and projects that are helpful to learn! At the beginning of the school year, I write out many goals (from these and other sources) for each month. Then, as the months progress, I pick and choose which ones look like they will work best for me and my family at that time. I schedule way more than I can do, because I know it’s better to aim too high than too low, and this method also gives me a broad selection to choose from.
Every day, I look at my notebook and folder to help me plan the day. Sometimes I also have an abbreviated “to-do” list of more urgent and critical responsibilities on my desk. There is no place on my goals lists for the everyday things, such as staying in touch with family and friends, playing with my siblings, helping my parents, making phone calls, household chores and responsibilities, making meals, watching the little ones when my parents are away, or doctors’ appointments, because I recognize these as part of life and there is no point in writing them out!
I would also encourage you to allot a good amount of time for reading and studying God’s Word—and don’t rush through that. It does set your attitude for the entire day! I have been reading the Bible through this year and realized awhile back that I was reading through the chapters too quickly. (This was partly due to reading in bed when I first woke up—consequently, I was still sleepy!) As a result, I felt as if I’d been taking a drive across the country so fast that I could hardly even tell you what state I was in! I knew if I couldn’t tell you what book I had read from that day, I had a serious problem! I slackened my pace and also began getting out of bed to have my Bible study, sitting either on the floor or at my desk, which greatly improved my mental clarity! Let’s all be sure to make the most time for the most important things!
To Be Continued...
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