Last Saturday (just in time!), I received my 2013 Timekeeper/Household Planner and have begun putting it to good use. I used the 2012 planner last year, and it fit my needs so well that I knew I had to get another one for this year. The front cover says "The Time Keeper, Finding Joy in a Well-Kept Life." I like the sound of that ~ "well-kept life." While I don't think I'll ever reach perfection in this area, a product such as this surely helps.
I've already penciled in scheduled events, appointments, etc., began writing down this week's grocery list in the shopping list section, and in the "Notes" section in the back, I've written down a few personal goals for the coming year. Here's what I've come up with:
The first would be "save more to give more." Written from a Biblical point of view, two books really grabbed my heart last year. Radical and Crazy Love. I was ready to hop on a plane for a mission trip after reading these! I would still love to go on a mission trip, but after many months of discussion, for several different reasons - main one being childcare for my little ones - I just don't think that can happen right now.
So, after I read those books, I found myself at sort of a standstill - I didn't know what to do next! I started feeling guilty about certain purchases and would think about starving children that don't know Jesus, and I would just end up doing nothing in either direction. There had to be an answer. And there is. If I can save more and be a better steward of what God has blessed me with, then I should be able to bless others AND meet the needs of myself and my family without feeling guilty about it. So many are in need - sometimes friends, sometimes acquaintances, and sometimes strangers. I just have to be out of "selfish mode" to be able to see these needs - to follow where God is leading. Be a servant ~ whether to MY FAMILY or those outside my family ~ and do it in such a way that God gets the glory and people see Jesus - NOT ME! Doesn't sound easy, but it's definitely something I need to, want to prayerfully work on.
One important way I've come up with so far to help save more is to get back to more consistent couponing. While I use few food coupons (healthy/organic coupons are hard to come by, although there are some!), I can still definitely use the toiletries, paper products, detergent, etc., coupons. It would seem that when I'm not getting things extra cheap and stocking up, I'm not restocking until I've run out of what I'm using, and generally things are not on sale at the time I need them. I tried to tell myself last year that I just didn't have time, but I think if I stayed off of Facebook for one evening, I could use that time to get my coupons clipped and organized.
Another way is to get back to CVS and their Extrabucks!! On my old blog, I used to update my CVS purchases regularly, and it was so much fun - not to mention the awesome stash I had under my bathroom sink! I tried it again this week for the first time in a LONG time and did so well that I had to go back for a second time! Here's what I purchased for around $13 (forgot to place some shaving cream that I purchased in the picture):
My plan is to update regularly on ways I'm saving money, as well as my CVS expeditions - great way to hold myself accountable.
Number two on the list would be more consistent Bible study. Since I work at night and sometimes in the mornings, it has been hard to come up with a set time, but I'm hoping to get this figured out. Getting up earlier? Hmmm.... And of course, I hope to fill up my Thankful Journal in the coming year, and although I plan to do this throughout the day as needed, a consistent time each day would be great.
Number three > consistent exercise. This was a goal last year, and I made it to sometime in the summer. Trying to get further this year.
Number four > continue to simplify my home but beautify it in the process. This is an area I've been quite lax in for the past few years - the beautifying part. I'm thinking Pinterest is going to be a big help!
Number five > better planning in my home school. My plan is to get up early tomorrow morning and spend as much time possible planning/scheduling the rest of the year. I want to add more fun and make it less like a classroom. I've always wanted to give my children a bit of a classroom feel, as in the back of my mind I've always thought I would want them to be well-prepared if they had to suddenly attend a regular classroom for some reason, but I think I've gone way too far over to that side the first half of this school year. I need to bring back the fun that leads to excitement about learning.
Sounds like a lot, and if you've read all of this, you're probably thinking, "did I really need to know all this?" My answer would be "probably not." LOL But, as I've mentioned before, I do this blog for myself more than anybody. I find the accountability that comes with it to be huge. Like several weeks ago when I blogged about doing a food detox cleanse (never updated about that), I contemplated not doing it but since I had it on the blog, I followed through (and I'm so glad I did!).
So there you go ~ a few of my thoughts for the New Year, and I better get going as there is time to get started right now!
Many blessings to you in this New Year!