New Goals…. a bit late?

I like goals and New Year’s Resolutions. But I like to give them a try for a few weeks before I commit to them. I have set my sights too high in the past and then I am disappointed when I ‘fail’. I read a book called, “The Yankee Way to Simplify Your Life” a few years ago and I was inspired again to try making goals.

A few things that changed my views on goals is that when you don’t attain your goal, it isn’t really a failure, it is just information. I like that. I also liked the part that said to make your target (goal) wide so it is easy to hit.

I made my goals in early January and have been ‘trying them on’ ever since to see if they fit me.

Spiritual

I wanted to spend more time in my scriptures, so I made it a goal to read every day. And for the most part I have. That goal fits. I don’t have a set amount of time or verses to read. Just spend time reading each day, and thinking about what I’ve read.

My blog doesn’t really show how religious we are at home. For me it is a private thing, between me, my family, and God. Although if you were our neighbors you would find us sitting in church with you each Sunday, rain or shine, and doing our best to live like Christians the rest of the week.

Music

Music is a big part of my life. You wouldn’t know it by reading this blog because this is mostly about learning and living on a hobby farm. But in ‘real life’ I teach guitar. One of my goals is to play piano. My goal has been to play 10 minutes a day. Not much, but I know I can get in 10 minutes of playing time on the piano each day. And for the most part I have. I have often spent much more than 10 minutes, but on days that are really busy I know I can at least get in 10 minutes. (Wide target!) More specifically, I learn one new hymn and one new children’s song each month as well as learning one piece each week from my ‘lesson’ book.

To push me forward more in my guitar playing I have been wanting to get back to playing classical guitar. Again, 10 minutes of classical guitar. I can do that. Well…. I haven’t always managed that one. But I still think it is a realistic goat, and so I’ve kept that one on the list even though I haven’t been as good about that as I have about piano.

I teach a student bluegrass band each week. And I let them pick the songs. That means I need to practice bluegrass each day, too. This one has been a goal that has fit into my life well. Sometimes it is 10:30 pm before I get to practice — but I get it done and it has made a big difference in my playing.

Books

I have a few books I’ve been wanting to read, or have started reading, but haven’t finished yet. So my goal is to read one chapter in each book each week. That’s a wide target and easy to hit! I have three books sitting on my nightstand and I rotate through reading a chapter at a time. If I have more time, then I read more (another tip–exceed expectations).

Learning

I’ve got a few video courses that I’ve been working my way through, but not quickly enough. My goal is to watch one lecture of The Joy of Science each week, and watch one lecture of Masterful Conducting  each week. The Joy of Science has been much easier to manage because I can turn that on while I’m cooking dinner or cleaning the kitchen. Masterful Conducting  has been much harder to get to because I have to be in front of the screen concentrating and practicing along with the conductor! But since I am the choir conductor at church, I need to keep plugging away at the course so that I can improve my skills.

I have a few other goals, but those are too personal to share on a blog. All in all, I’ve been happy with how I’ve made progress the first few weeks of the year. I haven’t had to re-work my goals at all this year. I think I have finally learned how to keep them reasonable!

However, the real test comes in the spring with kidding season (and milking), leading into planting season, leading into gardening season, leading into cheesemaking season, leading into harvesting and preserving season. My plan is to keep up on my goals in the order they are listed above, so the first things to go are at the bottom of the list (Joy of Science and Masterful Conducting). Some things won’t go at all (like scripture study, piano, and guitar) but they may end up being modified a little depending on how life rolls.

Got new goals you’ve been working with this year? I’d love to hear them. They might just help me to stay on track with mine or give me some ideas of what things to add to my list.

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