Written by Steady Mom contributor Cortney of Praiseworthy
Last night I said good night to my two daughters and smothered them with kisses. And I mean really smothered them with kisses. They giggled and laughed and their eyes lit up. Usually I read stories, say prayers, and then sing to them while they fall asleep. But that routine includes a single kiss and an “I love you” and that is it.
Not this time--this time the kisses were endless, the hugs were squeeze-me-tight-and-don’t-let-go, and their eyes sparkled with sweet and pure joy. I loved it--I loved every minute of it. And so did they.
Each year I set goals and try to start the new year with a good guideline for myself. When it comes to being self-motivated, time conscious, and task oriented--that’s me, totally ‘type A.’
So goal setting has always been a big part of what I do. But now, only a few weeks into the new year, I am at the point where my goals and resolutions are beginning to prove themselves either worthy and attainable, or impractical and forgettable.
Showering my daughters with a nightly smothering of kisses has never been on my list of New Year's resolutions or goals.
I have always been taught that goals should be specific and measurable. For example, instead of saying, “I will do the laundry,” it is better to say, “I will finish folding and putting away all the laundry before dinner.”
In the past I have set goals that were specific to the roles I play--goals for improvements in all areas of my life, as a mother, a wife, a homemaker, a student, and a musician. These were goals meant for long-range progress, which usually included things I planned to do regularly that would help me be more productive or more proactive in those areas of my life.
This year, however, I decided to start over by building a better foundation for my goals, and I made a list of priorities (Thank you Steady Mom for the Steady Days Mission & Vision statement worksheet!).
In no particular order I determined that my priorities are to:
1. Eat and feed my family wholesome and healthy meals
2. Eliminate debt
3. Increase my faith and personal spirituality through gospel study
4. Teach my daughters to be kind and loving, most importantly teach by example
5. Sew--as much as possible
6. Exercise--continually push myself
7. Keep a clean and organized home
8. Write--as much as possible
9. Reach out to others
10. Strengthen my marriage and family relationships
These are not specific or measurable. They are not goals; they are simply the things that are important to me. But now I am able to look at the things I need to accomplish, to determine whether or not they would be supportive of one of these priorities.
And now it's easy to eliminate the unnecessary.
I am learning that being organized doesn’t mean you can’t be flexible. I have stages and phases and periods of growth just like my kids do. With growth comes accomplishment, and with accomplishment comes change. So it is good when my goals change, as long as they continue to reflect my priorities.
And when I’m focused on my priorities instead of my goals, then the time I spend smothering my daughters with kisses isn’t forfeited for the luring satisfaction of another task and meeting another goal.
No--I need the loving reassurance of those hugs and kisses and bright-eyed little girls much more than any other accomplishment.
Cortney is a young mother of two who seeks to bring beauty and love to her family through various creative outlets: photography, writing, sewing, cooking and entertaining to name a few. You can discover more of Cortney's creative ideas at her blog, Praiseworthy.