Tag Archives: resolutions

2016 Goals Update

unnamed (12)Time for an update on how my 2016 goals are going!

Make one extra mortgage payment.  This hasn’t happened yet, but we are making great strides with skimming extra money off where we can (like with groceries).

To be honest, though, this goal is the one I am prioritizing last.  The bigger picture goal, of course, is to just pay off the mortgage and be completely debt-free.  Whether that happens via an extra mortgage payment per year, or in one lump sum, we will be thankful regardless.

Journal and devotions daily.  I have learned making this goal a reality really hinges on whether or not I get up early.  Peanut has been dealing with sickness of late, which makes for some irregular nights and challenging days, so I sleep when I can.  I try to give myself grace–if I can’t journal daily, that’s okay…I get up the next day and try again.

I have also begun to count family devotions as my own devotion time.  I appreciate the opportunity to delve into devotions privately, but also treasure the ability to share that time with my family too.

Screen time to four times daily.  I think I may have bitten off more than I can chew with this one.  We don’t have a landline, and as a stay-at-home-mom, my cell phone is my link to the outside world on many days–texting is how I communicate with many people, I call my father daily, taking pictures to send to the kids’ grandparents with my phone technically involves “screen time,” and things like emailing my daughter’s preschool teacher requires time with a screen.  My volunteer position also requires quite a bit of time in front of a screen lately.

Although I may not be able to scale back to four times daily (yet) for an hour a day (yet), it is still my goal.  For now, I keep my phone in one spot rather than carry it with me everywhere, which has actually proven quite helpful in eliminating unnecessary phone checks.

Invite six families to supper.  One down, one scheduled, four to go!  Making great strides with this one.

Posting my goal progress on here keeps me accountable.  How are your personal goals coming along?

Ronnica’s 2016 Goal Update

I’ve written a few posts already this year with my goals. Today, I’ll talk about the progress on these goals.

First, how am I doing on my resolutions?

I’m doing a good job cleaning most days for 30 minutes. My apartment is still not where I would like it to be, but it’s much closer than it was in December.

I’ve not been as faithful to distraction-free time with God first thing in the morning. I’m a habit person, but I feel like my schedule keeps changing, so I haven’t had a chance to build the habit. I know if it’s important to me, I’ll make it happen, though it may look differently as I’m temporarily shifting to a much earlier shift.

I’ve completed my organizational projects. I’ve successfully been able to keep no more than 2 pairs of shoes in my entry way. I noticed the other day that I had 3 pairs there for the first time in over a month, and I immediately rectified the situation. I definitely solved my problem without spending a dime.

hanging coats and bagsMy coats and purse problem has also been solved. They’re now hanging at the door, and I love it. My spices and pens have also benefited from their new situations. I was right in thinking that taking care of these things has encouraged me to take care of other areas of clutter as well.

I can’t provide much of an update on my spending goals, as I’m writing this mid-February. January’s “Buy Little” month started me off right. As good as it feels to sock away extra money for the month, my favorite part of “Buy Little” months is how it dampens my spending for the following months as well.

How have you been doing on any goals you set for 2016?

Amanda’s 2016 Goal Update

unnamed (12)I have done New Year’s Resolutions in the past, and made several for 2016.  Time for an update on how some of those are going!

Journal and devotions daily.  This one is a work in progress.  As I am getting up earlier, I am finding a lot to occupy my child-free time each morning (housework and showering, for starters).  I think carving out time for daily journaling and devotions will simply be a matter of making them a priority, but if it will require more, then I will simply get up a few minutes earlier each day.

As an aside, although I have not been journaling and “devotioning” (new word!) as often as I would prefer, I have begun reading a chapter a night to Bean from the Little House series.  It’s been a great experience for us both.  We have also implemented family devotions each evening, which is great for everyone…but not the independent devotional time I’d like to have at the start of each day.

Invite six families to supper.  Making great strides on this one.  I have personally invited three families to supper, and one is already on the calendar for next month.

Screen time to four times daily.  In  word:  no.  Not even close. I feel like I have made some improvements on this (in that I have gone from checking  my phone dozens of times a day to single digits), but nowhere near four time daily, and certainly not an hour or less a day.  To change things, I’d plan to download an app similar to BreakFree on my new phone.  Fingers crossed!

So basically, my resolutions are all works in progress.  Seems appropriate, since I still have ten more months!  Come back on Thursday to see how Ronnica’s goals are coming along!

Ronnica’s Resolutions for 2016

Sometimes I think that I just write this blog to provide myself some accountability. I’m pretty sure I’m 75% more likely to do something if I have put the idea to paper, and three times as likely if I share it with others. (I’ve arrived at these numbers less than scientifically.)

Now that 2016 is here, it’s time to share what my goals are for the year. Because I have my 101 in 1001 list, I don’t make formal goals for the year, but I do want to use the opportunity that comes with a new year to try to work on things that I’ve been struggling with.

The biggest area of opportunity for 2016 is the general mess of my apartment. I know what needs to be done, I just need to do it.

To this end, I’ve decided to dedicate 30 minutes each day for cleaning/straightening until I get it under control. Hopefully it won’t be something that has to take 30 minutes a day forever, but I need to change the momentum of my mess.

A part of this effort has been identifying a few organizational steps that I can take to maximize my efforts. I’ll be sharing more about those projects in a future post.
journal and BibleSimilar to Amanda’s resolutions, I also want to focus on starting my days more intentionally. I know from experience that how I start the day sets the tone for the rest of the day.

While I’ve broken myself of the habit of sleeping with my phone, it has become the first thing I turn to when I wake up. I am still going to allow myself to check for any incoming texts (otherwise I will be focused on what I may be missing), but then I will be putting it back down until I have completed my Bible reading and journaling time. No TV, radio or music whatsoever during this time either.

I hope by allowing God’s Word to be the first thing to speak to me (instead of whoever’s posts or tweets I happen to run across) will help shape my day and make it easier to notice His promptings throughout the rest of my day.

With both of these resolutions, there are going to be days I fail. Maybe even weeks I fail. I’m not demanding perfection of myself, just a willingness to change and some effort even when I don’t want to give it.

I’ll be updating in February to let you know how these efforts are going in addition to the results of my 3rd Buy Little month.

What are you working on this year?

2016 Goals

unnamed (12)Last year, I discussed my take on resolutions.  It wasn’t anything earth-shattering–the typical annual list of goals; you can see a few listed in the picture to the left.

I didn’t accomplish some of them to the extent that I’d hoped (we only had a few families over, versus the six stated in the resolution, for instance), but others (like the Mama Time-Out) were quite successful.

Since sharing my goals with others holds me accountable, here are a few of my 2016 resolutions.  Not all are directly related to stewardship, but the trend does seem to be in the directions of being more mindful with my time–something that I want to improve upon in the new year.

Make one extra mortgage payment.  This would obviously cut down on what we owe on our home.  Not sure how we will get to this point, so please send me any tips you may have!

Journal and devotions daily.  Next month, I will discuss an experiment on early rising I have undertaken.  I hope to devote more time to journaling and time in quiet reflection during these early morning hours.

Screen time to four times daily.  I find myself heading to my phone to do mindless browsing of social media and websites a ridiculous amount of times each day.  I’d like to limit this to four times a day, for a maximum amount of 1 hour.

Invite six families to supper.  Although we didn’t get this completely accomplished in 2015, it is a goal that is both reasonable and challenging, so I am keeping it for 2016.

What goals do you have for the new year?

Updates on the Striving Stewardess

Since the Striving Stewardess has been around for a few months, we wanted to take a few minutes today to update a few of the previous blog posts we’ve done. After all, we’re constantly learning and adjusting.

Ronnica’s Updates

The Art of Sabbathing
My schedule has changed since I wrote the post on Sabbathing. I now have Sundays and Mondays off, so I’ve moved my weekly Sabbath from Saturday and Sunday.

I’m still figuring it out, though, as I don’t find purposeful rest natural. I still find it a useful practice to be purposeful in work and in rest (even if that purpose is to remember that I’m limited).

debt thermometerDebt Loss Motivation
My thermometer is filling up! I’ve been blessed with extra income opportunities which has helped me pay down my debt faster than I had hoped possible.

My Buy Little Month has also helped,  allowing me to put an extra $200 towards my loans, but more on that on Monday.

At this point, I’m trying to stretch myself to have the debt paid off by August. The thermometer continues to be a great visual to excite me towards my goal of being debt-free in six months.

How It Works: Going No ‘Poo
Ironically, shortly after I posted this, I shampooed my hair a couple of times. Even shampooing it once throws it off a lot, so it takes a while to get the natural oils in balance. I’m still getting used to the dry Colorado climate, too, but I’m still pretty happy with my hair routine.

I plan on giving up conditioner as well (replacing it with vinegar) in the next months. I just want to simplify even more.

Amanda’s Updates

More Thoughts on a New Year

I chose to make some New Year’s Resolutions, some of which I shared here with you. January was a challenging month for the “Reduce expenses by 5%” goal; since we get paid every other week, that extra paycheck was super tempting.  Fortunately, there are eleven more months to work on this!  The others are progressing nicely—especially the “Mama Time-Outs.”  I find I’m better able to do all I need to do if I can take a step back and approach a challenging situation anew.

The Fall Purge

What can I say?  Christmas happened, as did a third birthday for Bean.  We are back to clutter central, especially in the upstairs portion of the house, where the bedrooms are.  The good news:  the fall purge will help make the spring purge go much smoother!

How it Works:  One Car

Since starting this blog in early November, we have added to our family—an 85 pound 10404208_10102487618250049_7789266923233122086_n“teacup mastiff” who answers (most of the time) to Wally.  This addition has made extended journeys involving all six of us something of a packing challenge, to say nothing of a smidge uncomfortable.  Looking at what our future may hold (kiddos in school and activities, for starters), we have discussed getting a bigger car more seriously.

We have also toyed with the idea of getting a second car, though that’s certainly not in the short-term plan, and is definitely a last resort.  Right now, priorities being what they are, we make do with our family of six in a Honda Civic just fine—so long as no cross-country trips are in the future!

The takeaway:  Flexibility is key not only in making a one-car household work, but also in making plans for the future.  Stay tuned to see how we continue to “manage the gifts we’ve been given with grit and gumption”!

More Thoughts on a New Year, Amanda’s Take

2015 goalsRonnica’s post yesterday will make this one pale in comparison; her words ring so true for us all!  That said, I find that sharing my goals with others holds me accountable, and increases my odds of actually accomplishing what I set out to do.  (Case in point:  The Fall Purge would not have been as successful had I not broadcast on here that I wanted to do it!)  There’s something to be said about community, even if it is an online one!

To that end, cliche though it may be, I do actually make a list of resolutions at the start of each new year.  If my goals for 2015 were to be assigned a theme, that theme would be “Trying to Be a Good Steward(ess) of My Gifts” (Surprise surprise!).  Here is a sampling:

Reduce spending by 5%.  Ideally, I would reduce our spending by 10%, but I know that’s not realistic with a child going into preschool, an aging house, and hungry, growing kids.  Five percent is a good round number and will enable us to work toward the second goal, which is to…

Increase giving by X%.  We have been given so much, and want to be a blessing to others.  I’m keeping the percentage private for now, but we would like to tithe at some point.

Invite six families to supper.  I’d count friends as gifts, wouldn’t you?  It’s important to nurture relationships, and inviting folks to supper is a great way to get in good one-on-one face time, especially in this day and age.  We all have to eat!

Take More Mama Time-Outs.  Kids are definitely a gift we’ve been given, but I don’t always remember that–especially with a “threenager” in the house and a toddler who needs a little additional help in certain areas.  It is all too easy to get exasperated, maybe even raising my voice, which helps no one.  I’ve found closing my eyes, and counting backwards from twenty helps center me again, as does uttering a quick prayer.  This “time-out” reminds me what gifts my kiddies are, and lets me focus better on the task at hand:  raising them to be happy, healthy, productive adults.

Are there any resolutions I’m missing?  What goals do you have for the new year?

New Year Thoughts, Ronnica’s Take

Happy 2015! Last year was such a year of change for me: new state, apartment, job and church. I hope this year will be one of establishing myself here in Colorado.

I love Christmas and all its festivities, but I also love the new start a new year can bring. It’s the promise that I can be a new person, the person I failed to be the year before.

Each new year I make up a list of things I want to do in the new year. These resolutions are supposed to guide me into that person that I want to be. Each year I was able to keep those rules for a week, a month or even several months, but ultimately, I fail.

detailed listsNo matter what rules I put in place, they’re never enough to set me on the path I want to be on. Rules and resolutions can’t save me.

As a Christian, I know that only Jesus Christ and his death on the cross saves me. In the same way, our gracious God and his power is all that can transform me into a godly woman.

But I’m a recovering legalist. I know that my self-made rules won’t make me the woman I want to be, but I return to them over and over again. I’ve only blogged here for two months, but that’s probably long enough to make that clear.

So instead of setting several rule-based resolutions this year, I’m only going to make one. May God be more glorified in my life this year as I seek Him and share the grace I have received with others.

While the rules won’t change me, Christ can. And he has promised he will. While I won’t be fully transformed until after death, I can take comfort that God will continue to grow and mold me as long as I live.

Photo by George Redgrave