Focus on Habits, Not Resolutions and Goals!
Nope, not a fan of New Year’s resolutions. I do not need to set myself up to underachieve in one more area of my life. We’re already behind in our Language Arts program and the Latin Words flashcards still have the cellophane wrapping on them. But the start of a new year seems too significant to allow it to just pass by. Let’s face it, this time of year begs for reflection, hope, and planning but I’m encouraging you to ditch the resolutions and those pesky cousins…goals.
Grab a pen and start writing about your year. What was fantastic and what flopped? Keep what worked and ditch what didn’t. This exercise can be done in note form.
Hopes and Plans
What are your hopes and plans for this year? Write them down; get them on paper. I know, these sound just like resolutions and goals, and the truth is I’ve repackaged them a bit. But keep reading. Goals do give you a direction and something to aim for but that’s about it. Too often I’ve made the mistake of thinking that goal setting will get me to where I want to be and the truth is that it doesn’t!
Build a Habit
As you focus on your hopes and plans, I encourage you to think in terms of habits. What habits can you change or develop that will help get you closer to your hopes and plans for the year ahead?
By the way, when you are deciding on which ones to focus on, start with the one that causes you the most stress, anxiety, and worry. Y’know the one that keeps you up at night? Yeah, that one…choose that one!
Once you’ve identified the biggest, most challenging goal ahead of you, it’s time to start figuring out what habits need to go, change, or be developed. Think it through, write it out, then start implementing the habits that will you help you get to your destination. Even small, seemingly insignificant habits can have a huge impact over time.
A Personal Flop
One of my flops in 2019 was reading novels aloud to my children. It didn’t really happen. That changed in 2020 and it was addressing habits that really made the difference. I changed the time of day and location from late afternoon on the couch to first thing in the morning, in pajamas, on my bed, under the covers with my kiddos. What a great way to start a homeschool day and the new habit changed everything. Sidenote, did you know that you can wake up, exercise, do your personal devotions, shower, and then put your pajamas back on and crawl back into bed with your kiddos?
A 2021 Hope
At the top of my hopes and plans list for 2021…BEDTIMES! This is going to be big for us and many habits will need to be addressed to make this plan a reality. I will need more time to sit and think through things but my guess is that it will need to start with our dinner time habits. An earlier dinner time would certainly make room for a better bedtime routine.
I hope you can see that stating resolutions/goals isn’t really enough. You need to develop habits…good ones!
by Adrianne Curwen
Adrianne is a wife to a public-school educator/administrator and a homeschooling Mama to seven children, ranging in age from 7 to 23. She believes that we have a unique opportunity as homeschoolers to design individualized education that suits giftings, interests, and passions. She and her husband have used a blend of registered homeschooling, enrolment with independent DL schools, and participation in public trade school programs to design individualized programs for their children. She is passionate about using as many read-alouds, picture books, novels, and conversations to educate her children but also gets excited by the amazing homeschool-designed curriculum that’s out there. Adrianne is thrilled by her new role as Communication Specialist for Classical Education Books and is grateful to have an opportunity to learn something new. She is grateful, every day, for her saviour, Jesus Christ, and has no greater joy than when she sees her most important missions field walk with Him.