We've been busy working on workbooks and coloring and doing June's speech homework and cleaning, and I have just waived the white flag of surrender and the girls are watching tv while I blog.
Love that tongue hanging out while she concentrates.
And Gwen waiting for June to finish yoga last night. Being the younger sibling stinks sometimes.
Here's my tip to have greater success at keeping goals--try them out before you officially set them. If I am trying to start a new habit, it never goals well for me to dive into it, full speed ahead starting on such-a-such date. No, sir.
What works for me is to test the waters here and there a bit. For example, I tried a new way of eating last year. So I cooked a few meals within my new guidelines over a few weeks before I completely forged ahead. It was helpful to get my feet wet.
So here are some goals for this year--goals I've already tested out a bit and they seem to be doable and positive.
1. No Yelling. Even as I type this, I chuckle a bit to myself because it seems ridiculous. Absolutely no yelling? I am the world's best yeller! What I don't mean by this is that I will stop using a firm voice. Because I won't ever stop using a firm voice. And if my kid is about to get hit by a car, then yes I will yell. But there's being firm, stern, intentional--and then there's absolutely losing it. And I have lost it too many times.
I was at the YMCA with June last Saturday and overheard a man totally losing it with his tiny kid. The kid might have been 3. And that age really is tough. The kid was hitting his dad over and over, and the dad LOST IT. But there's such a difference between a 3 year old losing it and a 33 year old losing it. Though I am not one to talk, I wanted to go over to the dad and tell him to shake it off, to put himself in timeout for a minute. Because the way he was acting toward his totally unruly son was making me absolutely sick to my stomach. And I've been there before, and I cannot continue to go there.
The thing is--I know I'm going to mess up on this one. But even an improvement would be huge.
2. Preschool Gwen. Preschool in NJ is just too expensive, and Gwen needs some attention from me, both emotionally and academically. I bought workbooks and letter/number magnets, and we have been plowing through the alphabet and numbers and shapes and a bunch of other things a few days a week. It doesn't happen everyday, and I don't care. I have seen great progress from her, but more importantly, she loves it and it's something we do together--just us.
3. No Zillow. This one smarts a bit. I am a zillow fiend. I love that app. The big problem is that we know our time in NJ is limited, and we know a few possibilities of where we could move, so I have spent copious amounts of time looking for houses in places we may or may not ever live in. It has become such a distraction that I am banning myself from the app until we really have to make some serious decisions (which isn't for at least 9 months, probably longer). I miss my friend, Zillow, but this has already been a really good thing for me. My goal here is to live in the present.
4. Pay Half of our Student Debt. We took out a loan for Dan to complete his MBA, and it's time to pay the piper. It has become ridiculously easy to justify making minimum payments on this thing, but no more. Let's get it done. Going along with my own zillow ban, I am also not shopping unless I really need something. We are renting so I don't need to constantly browse furniture or decor for a house we won't be in for much longer. We have clothes. We have food. I love buying books for my kids, telling myself we are building up a our own library. But we have a library down the street, so that will have to do for now. Time to cut back on the extras.
5. Read aloud. I have been reading articles and listening to podcasts on the benefits of reading aloud to children. So I have been trying to read an hour every night. This can be hard, but we're doing it most days.
6. Blog. Blog once a week. I may blog even more this month. I was thinking that since the winter is so long and boring, maybe I'll dig up some old high school photos and blog embarrassing moments or something.
7. Podcasts. Listen to podcasts while I drive. Not everyday, because sometimes you just want music. But podcasts are helpful too. What I'm listening to right now--Guardians of the Family (a great podcast about the role of women), Presidential (one podcast for each U.S. president) and Read-Aloud Revival (about reading aloud to kids). I also like to throw BYU devotionals in there.
8. Scriptures before anything else. Best way to start the day.
That's enough for now. Let me know if you have any good podcasts I should be listening to!