We made family goals at the beginning of 2009. We've reviewed last year's goals in preparation for creating new Resolutions for 2010 (please read the request for recommendations at the end, even if you skip past everything else!), but we thought we'd post them here too with a statement of how we did and what we learned. We didn't keep all of our resolutions with perfection, but improved a ton overall, and became confident in our abilities to make more changes for 2010. There are a lot of LDS references here that I'm not going to take the time to explain further, so sorry for those who feel a little in the dark with what I'm talking about.
1. Temple attendance: Monthly at ward temple night. The part about attending with our ward was added later, which made keeping our goal super easy. It was already scheduled for us every month - we didn't have to make the decision monthly, a no-brainer.
2. Fast Sunday: Plan ahead for a purpose, read talks about fasting before fast Sunday. Overall, we did better with preparing for Fast Sundays than we had done prior to 2009, but we definitely weren't perfect. Setting an alarm on our cell phones for Saturday reminded us to not eat (much) past dinner on Saturday and start our fast that night.
3. Sabbath Observance: Read lessons ahead of time, take notes in church, better media choices, leave early for church, discuss the lessons after church. We really enjoyed preparing for Sunday lessons throughout the week, although our habit of doing so tapered off in the second half of 2009. Our stake president suggested that a good activity for Sunday afternoon is to discuss the talks and lessons that we heard at church. So, we started that while eating lunch or on our drive to family dinner and have learned a lot from each other in Gospel discussions that stemmed from reviewing the day.
4. Get to know the ward: Invite couples for dinner, deliver goodies to new families once/month. We invited a few couples to our house for dinner at the beginning of 2009 - that was the beginning of some wonderful friendships that have strengthened since. I think we managed to deliver goodies only 3-4 times, but as we welcomed other new families, we've also grown to love and feel at home in our ward.
5. Budget: set up a budget, review budget monthly, track expenses. We set up a budget through mint.com, which we totally recommend. Well, I wouldn't really call it a budget - but at least we track our expenses. Once we tracked for a few months, we were able to make decisions about how much extra $ to put toward paying off my school loans and contribute to various savings accounts. Actually sticking to a budget... that's still a goal for 2010!
6. Emergency Preparedness: set aside $ monthly, prepare for the winter, 72 hour kit. Oh how we love emergency preparedness! We're not pros, but have enjoyed getting 72 hour kits ready and have some good ideas of a food storage that works for our small family and small space. Like all of our resolutions, we have a ways to go but know we'll be blessed for the efforts we've made.
7. Review goals monthly: first FHE of the month. A definite must for keeping so many resolutions! Most months we reviewed our electronic copy of our resolutions, crossing some off, adding ideas for how to keep others, and highlighting those we were going to work on for the month. Spoiler for 2010: we're reviewing our goals weekly during Nyland Family Council!
I'm not going to post all our goals for 2010, but I do need some recommendations for a couple that I made. First of all, I want to read more books this year (I won't mention how many, it's a little embarrassing how low the number is... okay, it's 6). I feel like it's been really long since I've read a book that I could put on a "favorites" list. So - all you readers out there, here are a list of books that are my favorites. If you've read one that would feel at home on list, please share!
- The Alchemist, Paulo Coelho
- My Name is Asher Lev, Chaim Potok
- Ender's Game, Orson Scott Card (the only sci-fi on the list, but I still think it fits)
- The Life of Pi, Yann Martel
- Chocolat, Holy Fools, etc. by Joanne Harris
- The History of Love, Nicole Krauss
The second resolution I need help with is to learn a new skill. I just don't know what skill... it's scary for me to think of learning something new, but I think I'm too content with the skills I have now (as few as they may be!). I just need a lot of ideas that I can choose from. I have really low attention to detail, so crafty/artsy things make me the most nervous!