Category Archives: Goals

Piggy Banks

We have debated for a long time if we should give money for routine family chores or not.  It finally came down to 1. we want to teach them about money and they need money to do that and 2. they need an incentive to complete their jobs.  We are not paying them a lot of money to do their routines and as they get older we will change how they can earn money at home.  Realistically I think we are saving money by doing it this way(stickers or candy cost more than a penny each usually) and hopefully it will be a good start to them managing their money well.

They get one penny for completing each job on their routine chart.  This means they can earn up to 18 cents a day, five days a week.  On Saturday they can earn 10 cents for doing their clean up within the time frame given.  This means they can each earn up to a dollar a week. To help with teaching money management I made piggy banks for each of them using acrylic baseball card holders that I found at Michael’s on clearance.  I’ve had the banks for awhile but I just finished personalizing them for my younger sons.

piggybank1

Each bank has three sections, spending, tithing, and savings.  They put 80% into spending, 10% into savings, and 10% into tithing anytime they are given money.  They cannot use their savings or tithing money but their spending money is theirs.  They may choose to spend it immediately or to save it for bigger toys/events.  The next step to making this even more effective is to not buy them any random toy without taking the money out of their account.  I tend to bribe them to be good at the store with dollar toys or candy.  It doesn’t happen every trip but I think I will stop it entirely except in extreme emergencies.

piggybanktopweb piggy-bank-open

On Sunday we will go through and exchange change for bigger denominations of money so that I can keep a steady flow of change.  I have them count and help me to exchange the money so that hopefully they will also begin to understand how much each coin and paper is worth.  We will also give them regular opportunities to choose whether to buy things or not.  Today we are going to the grand reopening of our favorite local bookstore.  Maybe they will buy something or maybe they will wait until later.  I’m excited to see what they choose.

Overcoming Laziness

Yesterday was hard for me. I didn’t want to start the day. My list of things to do just kept growing in my head and I let it paralyze me. I have what has been dubbed ” slobvision” by A Slob Comes Clean . I’m too comfortable living in a constant state of clutter. I think part of it is that I feel I won’t use things if I can’t see them. You know, out of sight, out of mind. So, much of the chaos could be solved by finding places for things in well- organized cupboards or drawers instead. I also tend to save too many things for potential use later without having a specific project in mind. And I tend to make piles, nice sorted piles, that clutter up my living spaces.
There is one thing that knocks me out of my slobvision, other people coming over to my house. My poor family is not enough (in my defense, at least half the messes I’m ignoring are caused by them while I’m cleaning up a different room) to make me clean up. Friends or strangers must be coming over for me to get motivated enough to see the clutter that we live in regularly.
Recently my husband applied for an out of state job. While he is still at the beginning of the application process, my brain is calculating all of the what ifs of the future if he gets that job. I’m several steps ahead in my mind and all of a sudden I can see all of the places my kids have written on or dirtied the walls, all of the dust in the crannies of the doors of my cabinets, and all of the piles and boxes yet to be unpacked after two years of living here. I can see all of this now because in my head I’ve jumped ahead to him getting the job and us having to move and sell/show our house. And so yesterday I was overwhelmed by my to do list.

I took it easy yesterday. I still did dishes and I packed away most of the Christmas decorations but I also let myself take a lot of breaks. I let myself ease into this task before me. We may not need to sell our house in the near future but I would like it to be a little more show worthy. Tonight my husband and I will be making a list of all the little details that I can now see that need to be addressed. Some are home improvement details that we just didn’t quite finish and some will require creating different organizational spaces for things or just getting rid of stuff. We will prioritize our house to do list by doing first those simple, small, detail things that would make our house show worthy. We will start small by starting with the main bathroom and working our way out from there. We’ll make the list tonight and pick a project to work on together each Saturday. I am determined to take advantage of this brief clear vision of the reality of my house. I will continue to tell myself that we need to be prepared for the possibility of moving at anytime. I think that changing our house in these small ways will make our time in this house more enjoyable too. Really, it’s a win-win situation.

Progress

We are still on vacation but I have started my goals.

I have walked a mile on our treadmill each day of the new year.

I have done dishes and laundry.

I have had fun with my family! Snack and a movie at home is our New Year’s day tradition.  Yesterday, I go to go on a date with my hubby!

I have read my scriptures each day.

I wrote on my blog 2 out of three days.

I got books from the library to help me study for my teaching tests.

I am being accountable for my goals.

Today we have some sickness in the house so our original plans have changed.  Matt and I will take down Christmas decorations and focus on deep cleaning the house.  Then I will have room to create again!  Yay!

New Year… New beginning…I hope

It’s time for the New Year and the New Goals.  I realize that it is an arbitrary line.  Any good goal has a start date and an end date though and this is a convenient time for me to reevaluate.  When I have start and end dates I can continue to reevaluate and adjust my goals throughout the year.  While I have not been good at documenting my progress, I am slowly, oh so slowly, becoming better at my follow-through in real life.
My house is consistently cleaner than when I was younger, even though there are more people in the house to mess it up now.
Most days I do a load of dishes.
Most days I do a load of laundry.
Most days the kids papers and the mail are sorted immediately.
Most days lunches are packed and dinners are made.
The TV is on less.
My kids are great at entertaining themselves at home.
I have set up most of the rooms in my house the way that I want them.  My house is set up for my kids to easily access books, crafts, and toys.
Electronics are used by permission as rewards for limited amounts of time.

I continue to make goals throughout the year and some I complete and some lose their importance. This year I want to do a lot of things.  We are in an odd stage where a lot of changes may occur.  To make the things happen that I want to happen, my word for the year is “Structure.” While my personality is structure opposed I realize that this is the only way that I will accomplish the goals that I want to accomplish. I have always been a messy organized person, meaning that it looks like a mess to everyone else but I know where everything is.  I’m also naturally lazy.  These are two aspects of my personality that fight against structure and organization. They are two aspects of my personality that aren’t working so well for me anymore.  A lot of structure is being imposed on us with school schedules and activities so I need to learn to work with it better.  As I searched websites for tips I came across this quote from Habit Hacker, ” help us master the art of habit….so we have more time for the habit of art.” I recognize that with more structure or more good habits, I will have more time and energy for what I truly want to do- enjoy my kids and create!

To make my goals I started by using this lovely printable from 30 handmade days.  I like that it made me think abstractedly about my goals before I then narrowed them to more focused goals.  She breaks it down into an overall theme word (which I have described above) and then into these four sections- I want, I need, I will share, I will succeed.

I want
to make money for our family- specifically by substitute teaching or by selling things I make
to be creative- specifically write a children’s book, write a blog, learn to draw
to be with my boys- quality time
I need 
to read my scriptures daily
to get my teaching license
to find my crafty business niche
to blog, network, and sell
to excercise
I will share
My process- learning to create, learning to market and sell, learning to write, learning to structure my structure resistant personality
My projects
My art
I will succeed at
building my craft business
structure/organization
being with my family

I have made quarterly goals in order to achieve my overall yearly goals.  First on the list are these six habits.
Blog everyday
Craft/write everyday
Read scriptures daily
Run/walk a mile everyday (yearly goal of walking/running 300 miles this year)
Maintain a cleaning schedule
Pass the NMTA (scheduled on Jan 11th for the first two parts in order to get my teaching license)

I think one of my first crafts will be new chore charts for my kids. 🙂  Actually. it will be thank you cards for the neighbors.  We have been truly spoiled by neighbor gifts this year!  There is no better way to start the New Year than giving thanks!

I give myself permission to change my goals as needed.
I give myself permission to fail some days and not feel guilty about it.
I give myself permission to start over as needed.
I give myself permission to succeed in learning from the journey and not just the end goal.
It is o.k. to change my focus i.e.  I may need to worry more about substitute teaching than crafting as a way to help bring in money for our family.  Or I may need to focus more on the needs of my family.  My journey may give me new perspective on the direction my goals need to take as the year goes on.  That’s allowed and encouraged!  Wish me luck on this New Year and please follow along!