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Tuesday, January 5, 2010

More than just a resolution

New Year's resolutions are floating around everywhere in the blogosphere right now. Everyone's got some, it seems, and I think that's great. Do what you can to improve yourself.

One great thing about blogging and reading the blogs of others (though there are far too many. I couldn't possibly read ALL the ones I'd like to read) is that there comes to be a sort of support system among bloggers.

For example, there's the Body After Baby Challenge over at Mama Notes, where a bunch of moms support each other to lose that baby weight and make healthier choices. You already know I'm participating in that one.

Well, I decided to take part in another challenge as well, and to me, this one is FAR more important than losing pounds.

Over at Engaged Marriage there's an eight-week challenge called Improve Yourself 2010, and I'm in.

The area of my life I decided to focus on is parenting. I am not a horrible parent, but I could definitely improve, and my kids are worth it to me to try to be a better mom for them. Anyway, I truly believe that improving myself as a parent will spill over into other area of my life and improve those, too.

So, the first step in this challenge is setting SMART goals:

Specific
Measurable
Attainable
Relevant, and
Time-Bound

This isn't going to be easy!

OK, here we go.

"Specific – What are you going to do? Why are you doing it? How will you accomplish it?"

My goal is to be a better, more engaged parent. I have a lot of ways I plan to work on ths goal.

I am going to take care of my kids by caring about ME through diet, exercise, taking my vitamins, trying to get adequate sleep and not feeling guilty about taking some necessary ME time.
After all, if Mommy's not in top form, how can I expect to have the energy to focus on my kids? Instead, I'd be the tired, crabby, junk-eating, yelling version of me that slips in when no one's looking. I don't like her, and neither do the kids.

I am going to take better care of my kids' bodies by cleaning up their diets (removing much of the processed junk), making sure they're getting the right amounts of fruits, veggies and vitamins, teaching them excellent dental care and making sure they get plenty of fun exercise.

I am going to stimulate my childrens' minds by reading more to both of them and limiting screen time (Wii, TV and computer). I will also look for more ways to make everyday experiences into learning experiences.
I used to be better at all of these and have slipped over the years. (That means I've become lazy, plain and simple!)

I am going to be better to my childrens' souls by being more patient with them, stopping and redirecting when I start to raise my voice or get irritated, refrain from talking down to them and I am actually going to get down at their level and PLAY with them rather than just occupying them.
I can already tell you, this one is going to be the hardest for me. I have a short temper sometimes, and I get annoyed by regular, typical child behavior, even when it's my own kids. That's just ridiculous, and it's not fair to them. They didn't ask to be born, or for me to be their mom. They are pure and innocent and they need not suffer when Mommy is tired or crabby or stressed.

and finally, I am going to manage my time more wisely, which will reduce my stress level and allow me to accomplish the aforementioned goals.
How am I going to do that? Well, it's not going to be a simple feat, that's for sure!
I am going to do my best to keep up with the housework on a smaller basis, so it doesn't pile up into huge time-sucking messes. I also want to reinstate the chore chart I used to do with Logan, so he knows that moms aren't slaves. Plus, it will give him an opportunity to earn an allowance, which worked well before.
I also plan to limit my own screen time, especially where the computer comes in. I'd ideally like to get my blog writing and reading done before the boys get up in the morning.

Now we come to the M.
"Measurable – Establish concrete measures of your progress. Your goal must be quantifiable."

So, how the heck do I measure what I want to accomplish? I guess I'm going to make a weekly yay/boo list detailing the things I did that were steps in the right direction, and the things I did that indicate a need for improvement. Hopefully I can work toward all "yays" and no "boos."

A is for Attainable.
"Attainable – Challenge yourself, but be realistic."

Well, I think the goals I outlined above are definitely realistic and attainable. I also think some of them will be quite challenging. that's why they're goals.

R is for Relevant
"Relevant – Be sure your goal fits into your overall lifestyle and greater desires."
Definitely a check on this one! Being a mom is my job and my life, and I definitely want to be the best mom I can be.

and finally, T is for "Time-Bound – Every goal needs a completion date associated with it."

OK, well... This is going to be difficult to measure in terms of time, but I think a good goal would be to see a marked improvement (distinctly fewer "boos" and lots more "yays") by Mother's Day.
Doesn't that seem appropriate?

So, by Mother's Day, I want to consider myself a better mom. I want to notice a difference in my attitude and my children's attitudes. Fewer tantrums and whining episodes. More laughter and learning. For all of us.

Of course, since this is an eight-week challenge, I am expecting to see changes each week in terms of how I conduct my life, my parenting and my responses to and interactions with my children.

And there you have it.

2 comments:

Dustin | Engaged Marriage said...

Wow Krystal, these are incredible goals! I am very excited for you and proud of you for giving this so much thought and passion. I really look forward to working alongside you in the challenge over the next 8 weeks.

By the way, if anyone else would like to join the challenge, improve yourself and win some awesome prizes, the deadline to sign-up is TONIGHT before midnight!

Lauren said...

Great goals! I love the SMART thing, my mom always tells me that when I set goals. You can do it!