Saturday, January 23, 2010

In More Depth: Spiritual Goals

Earlier I posted an abridged version of my list of goals. Here is a more in depth look at my goals and how I plan to carry them out. First on the list: Spiritual Goals.

Study the Book of Mormon Daily

I seem to go through phases where I am very dilligent about reading the Book of Mormon, and at other times I become complacent and make excuses. Typical excuses like not having enough time, being too tired, etc. I've read it enough to know that my day is so much better when I read. I've seen how I'm a more patient and tempered mother and wife. Why I discontinue reading is a mystery, even to me. I also find that it's more meaningful if I have personal study time. Study time with my husband is good, but I seem to get so much more out of it if I can at my own pace and make my own interruptions, instead of listening to my husband's tangents and stories. Don't get me wrong, I love the man and his stories. But sometimes that just isn't what I need. So, this goal is pretty self explanatory:

  • Read the Book of Mormon every day in the morning before my son and husband wake up. I am specificially not giving myself a set amount of chapters or an amount of time that I HAVE to read. I want to be able to move at my own pace and study the things I want to study. I don't want to get caught up in a time limit or tring to get through it as fast as I can because I have to read 3 chapters a day.

  • I would like to complete the Book of Mormon (cover to cover) by the end of the year. That gives me 343ish days to read 531 pages. I'm pretty sure, with the rate at which I read, that I can complete this with flying colors. For number's sake, that's roughly 1.5 pages a day. But I'm not setting myself to that. As a mother and wife, I'm bound to be interrupted some days. I'll take each day as it comes.

Pray More Regularly

For some reason, this is another one of those things that I can always find an excuse for not doing. I'm too tired, not enough time, blah, blah, blah. I really have no good excuse for not praying and studying the Book of Mormon regularly. Don't get me wrong, it's not like I don't ever pray. I just need to make it more regular habit.
  • Begin Book of Mormon study time with a prayer

  • End each day with a personal prayer

Bear my testimony at least once this year during Fast & Testimony Meeting at church

I'll be honest, it's hard for me to, on the spur of the moment, get up in front of a congregation of people and tell my my inner most thoughts and feelings. I have a hard time putting my feelings into words while speaking. I'm afraid that I'd just stumble over myself and end up standing stuttering and sputtering and not knowing what to say. I do, indeed, have a testimony, but I find it hard to put into words. Honestly, I don't ever remember getting up to bear my testimony in Sacrament meeting. How sad is that? My new calling requires occassional lessons which also calls for bearing of my testimony. I'm helping that voicing small amounts of my testimony at different times will help me get up the courage to bear my testimony in front of my whole ward. So plain and simple: Bear my testimony at least once this year duing Fast & Testimony meeting at Church.

(Side Note: For those that don't know what the heck I'm talking about, this is for you. Once a month, usually the first Sunday of the month is Fast Sunday. Everyone over the age of 8 who doesn't have medical reasons for not eating, goes without 2 meals. Some people go for 24 hours, I've heard people that say that they do 12 hours. Really, there's no hard and fast rule about this, at least not that I know of. The point is to show a willingness to sacrifice. For the meals from which we obstain, we are asked to give that amount as a fast offering. On Sunday that is Fast Sunday, during our normal Sacrament Meeting, ward members are given the opportunity to bear their testimony in front of the whole congregation.)

Attend the Temple at least once a month

There is no reason I can't easily attend the temple. Living in Utah, I'm insanely close to the temple. It's not even funny how close I am. Unfortunately my attendance has been lacking. But, that's about to change! Our ward, as other wards from what I've heard, is focusing on temple attendance and geneology this year. Each ward has a day of the month set aside as their Ward Temple Day. Our ward's day is the first Friday of the month. I'd like to say that I'll be able to attend that, butmy husband's schedule changes so often that unfortunately I can't commit to it right now. In reality, because of my husband's ever-changing schedule, I can't commit to any particular day every month.
  • At the beginning of the month, I will review our schedule and set aside one morning, afternoon, or evening to attend the temple.

  • I will write it on the calendar as if I had made an important appointment with a friend, family member, etc and KEEP the appointment - no excuses (except illness, dismemberment, or death)!

Attend church every week, unless we're sick

I have to admit, 9:00am church is tough. Even thougher with a Monkey Man and Hubby to get ready. What's sad is it was even hard to make it on time when we had the 1:00pm block. Only because it interefered with Monkey Man's naptime. Now, us being on time depends on when Monkey Man wakes up in the morning. I do enjoy the fact that we can come home from church and put Monkey Man down for a nap almost immediately! So, even though we may be late for church some weeks, we will be there. Now that I have a calling that requires me to be to church every Sunday, I don't think this one will be an issue. But it has been an issue for us in the past, so that's why it got put on the list.

Have consistent, weekly Family Home Evenings

This is something we've NEVER been successful doing. As a newly married couple, our work and school schedules were so varied that it was hard to find time to be together, let alone plan and carry out a meaningful Family Home Evening (FHE). After Monkey Man came along, our life was thrown for an even bigger loop. He was not the kind of child to sit still or be calm. Any deams of us gathering around and learning about Jesus were kind of shot out the window. But now that Monkey Man is getting bigger, I think it will be easier. He LOVES to learn about Jesus and has a longer attention span. So, we're going to give this one a go.
  • Have weekly FHE with the three of us. Our church sets aside Monday nights, but our schedules may prevent us from doing this on Mondays. We may end up picking another day/time.

  • Short lessons will be rotated between myself and my husband.

  • Each FHE will begin and end with a short prayer.

Have daily family prayer

We were very good about setting aside time for family (couples) prayer in the beginning of our marriage. Once Monkey Man came along, we were so exhausted and started to let it slide more and more. It was easy then because we would do it before we went to bed. No matter how late either of us worked, we didn't go to bed until we were both home. However, Monkey Man goes to bed sometime between 7 and 8pm. Usually, I'm the one home putting him to bed. We also don't always have somewhere we need to be in the morning, so doing it in the morning doesn't always make sense, either. So we need to come up with a better schedule for family prayer.
  • On the days when Hubby works nights and won't be home before Monkey Man goes to bed, we'll say prayers before Hubby goes to work. On the nights when he is home when Monkey Man goes to bed, we'll say prayers together before we put Monkey Man to bed.

I have to say, the fault is mine for some of these things. My father wasn't a member of the church, so growing up, my family didn't participate in family prayer, scripture study, FHE, regular church attendance (though my mom tried very hard in this respect), etc. I think that making these things a prioriting for our family will help keep us protected from all the spiritual dangers out there in the world. I'm excited to begin implementing these things with our family.

Friday, January 22, 2010

My List of Goals

I've been mulling all of these goals over for some time now, and I think one thing that I need to do is make a list of all my goals. I've also been doing some reading on goal making. I want to be able to make realistic, attainable goals. But one thing I've come across is that my goals need to be written out, and they need to be posted where I can see them daily. Posting them on my blog won't help me to see them, but I plan to print them out and post them so I can see them.

So, folks. Here we go. I know this isn't a full fledged, detailed list with dates and numbers and everything. I'm listing the goals, and I'll go through and flesh out exact details in other, smaller posts. I've even categorized them for you (and for me)!

Spritual Goals:
  1. Study the Book of Mormon Daily
  2. Pray more regularly
  3. Bear my testimony at least once this year during Fast & Testimony Meeting at church
  4. Attend the temple at least once a month
  5. Attend church every week, unless we're sick
  6. Have consistent, weekly Family Home Evenings
  7. Have a daily family prayer

Homemaking Goals:
  1. Plan and prepare a weekly menu that will include healthier meals
  2. Plan at least 2 new meals per month
  3. Create a home cleaning schedule to create a cleaner, more pleasant home
  4. Focus on a new fruit or vegetable each month

Mommy Goals:
  1. Plan more activities out of the house, even during the winter
  2. Plan more creative activities at home, especially during the winter
  3. Research learning activities and "preschool" type activities to do with Monkey Man. Implement them!
  4. Set up playdates at least once a month to create a more social environment for Monkey Man

Weight-Loss Goals:
  1. Find excercise videos and other workout methods that can be used at home during the winter. Research local gyms and consider justifying the expense.
  2. Put an exercise plan into place.
  3. Buy a scale so that I can see an actual number and results other than the loosening (or tightening) of my clothing
  4. Keep a food journal for 1 month and use it to adjust my eating habits to aid in weight loss
  5. After I get a scale, I can have a better idea of exactly what I need to lose. Right now, I know I need to lose at least 100lbs, possibly more like 150lbs. Eeek!

Social Goals:

  1. Invite 1 family over for dinner each month
  2. Plan, prepare, and carry out at least 2 parties in 2010
  3. (Same as a "Mommy Goal") Set up a playdate at least once a month to visit with friends

Financial Goals:
  1. Continue budget shopping, using coupons, clearance sales, etc AND cut grocery budget by another $10 each week this year
  2. Save for a new carseat for Monkey Man
  3. Save for new tires for our car
  4. Cut out all unnecessary expenses from our budget

I think that's it, folks. I think each of these are realistic. Some are longer term goals (I won't be losing 100 lbs in a month) and some are things that I just need to make into habits. But, I'm happy with my list and that's what really matters. My plan is not to start every single one of these goals right now and overwhelm myself. Instead, after I get them all written out in more detail, I'll be picking out a couple to tackle at a time. After I've got those down, I'll continue with them, and move on to focusing on a few more.
If you have any suggestions for making these things easier, please feel free to comment or share them with me through email. I'd love to hear from you!

Thursday, January 21, 2010


First of all, I'll start by saying that this, on my part, is going to be an "anonymous" blog, for now. Maybe, in the future, I'll come out and fully introduce myself. For now though, I shall remain nameless! I will tell you about myself, as that's the point of this blog, right? I know that in doing so, I run the risk of alienating some readers or not attaining the personal connection with readers, but this is just how it needs to be. I hope you'll understand and that you'll stick around.

I am a 24-year-old stay-at-home mom to a very handsome and rambuctious 17-month-old little boy. I love the opportunity to be a mom and I am so grateful for the opportunity to stay home and raise him. Not every mom gets to do that and, when you crunch the numbers, I really shouldn't be able to. But we make it work. My "job," if you will is to make our budget work. I NEVER buy anything full price - ever. I always have a coupon or buy it on sale or get a discount. Unless of course it's an absolute emergency and I am without coupons. But, I digress.

We are an LDS (Latter Day Saint, or Mormon) family trying our hardest to follow what we believe. If you're unfamiliar with Latter Day Saints and what we believe, feel free to check out for more information. One of my goals is to increase my testimony and better my spiritual side, so there may, at some point be some discussion of my beliefs. I do not want this blog to become a place for debate about religion. I intend to moderate all comments and any inappropriate or debate-type comments will be removed or unpublished. I want this to be an uplifting site, both for myself and for any potential readers. You may email me directly with any questions and I'll answer them to the best of my ability.

My husband and I have been married for about three and a half years. We've had our fair share of trials and are working through them. He just finished up his degree and we're currently working on getting him a better, higher paying job. But then again, who doesn't want that?

As I said in my profile, there are some things in my life that need to be changed. Some of those things can't be changed, but I'm on a mission to change the things that can be changed. This is my way to document it, to keep track of how I'm doing, and to maybe inspire or help some others out there like me. I am in the process of making a list of my goals and I'll be posting more details about them soon. I feel like the process of writing all of this our will help me be accountable. I hope that any readers that come along will help me remain accountable.

I'd love to hear what you have to say, so feel free to email me or leave comments. You can email me at: If there's anything specific you'd like me to talk about, please feel free to make a suggestion. I'd love to hear anything you have to say!