Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Finishing Strong

I'm reading an excellent book right now, The 15 Invaluable Laws of Growth by John C. Maxwell.  I've been challenged, stretched and convicted.  I see many weaknesses in my life that I must work to change and since we are heading into the homestretch of 2015, the timing is good for me to be reading this book.  I want to finish strong.

I also would like to revisit my yearly goals on this first day of September and see where I am in accomplishing them.  The goals are listed below and my update under each is in blue.

* Consistent quiet times with the Lord each week.
* Go on a retreat this year to write, meditate and connect with the Lord.

This has been going well, though I do need to do a better job of not getting distracted.  I would like to get a way for a few days this fall and will plan to do this soon. 

* Build up my husband with my words, and not tear him down.
* Take over a couple tasks to take the burden off him.
* Continue date nights

The first one is always a work in progress and it seems I fail more often than not, especially when I'm stressed.  :-(  We haven't gone out specifically for a date night since July so I'm thinking it's time!

Health & Nutrition
* Lose 25 lbs.  I did lose 26 this past year but still have a ways to go.
* Consistent, weekly exercise.

Fail, fail, fail.  This area is a constant struggle for me but I do know that I need to get control of it because I don't want to end up with major health issues.  I have a few warning signs of things so I must work on my discipline here.

* Put money way in an emergency fund every week.
* Pay off two bills (outstanding debt)
* Make up spreadsheet for our finances.

Well, we did put money away and then had an emergency which depleted it again.  So back to squirreling away some money.  We didn't get the bills paid off yet, but are putting extra on each bill every month so that we can pay them off early.  Spreadsheet is done.

Household Organization* Find a system for paperwork & mail and stick with it so I don't have piles of clutter.
* Come up with a cleaning schedule so things are getting cleaned consistently
* Find a more efficient plan for the garden so I can grow more
 and then consistently weed.

I don't really have a system for paperwork other than trying to take care of it right away so it doesn't accumulate.  It's hit or miss and I do need to do a better job with this. 
Consistent cleaning is going well.
Garden is a bust this year.  Nothing grew well.  Weeds took over.  I think my gardening days may be over.  My heart is not in it and the amount of money and time it takes is not something I think I want to invest in anymore. If I do anything next year, it may be on a very small scale.

* Make a conscious effort to invite people over (at least twice per month)
* Focus on building relationships and less on "doing"

This summer I don't think I've had anyone over.  Summers are harder to do this around here because everyone is off doing things.  Now that school is getting ready to start I need to refocus on this area.

* Finish new book I'm working on. 
* Read at least one book each month.
* Work on not feeling guilty when I say no to people.  This is a tough one for me, but necessary if I'm going to be focused on the things I feel I should be doing.

I've been reading.  I haven't worked on the book at all since we were on vacation in July.  I'm always trying to not feel guilty about saying no to people and this one I fail at a lot.  So my solution much of the time is not to say, "No."  But that obviously, is not a good solution. 

One of the things that will be happening in the next couple of months is that I am closing my sewing/craft business altogether.  After looking at my finances, I realize that I clear about $100 per month and given the amount of time and energy I put into the business, it makes absolutely no sense to keep doing it.  I told Dan that I need to work on clearing out my inventory and stop making new items that will end up not selling. 

My focus is on ministry and while the business certainly helped establish some relationships, it's not what I was called to do.  Obviously, I'll still be crafting, etc. for gifts but I need to focus on other things in my life. 

As I said, I want to finish this year strong.  My desire this year was to live intentionally and that requires some major reflection and restructuring.  Not always fun, but I'm working hard at it!