A year and a half ago I was what doctor’s call morbidly obese.
I knew I was overweight and I had made various resolutions over multiple decades to lose weight. I would say something like, “Starting on Monday, or January 1st or the day after my birthday I resolve to lose weight.” I had a vague idea of how I would get there; I wouldn't eat so much, I wouldn't eat cookies [my personal Achilles heel], I wouldn't skip breakfast, and so on. I ate healthy food most of the time so a lot of advice that I read which said to eat more veggies, drink more water and don’t eat out so much didn't apply to me.
What I found out is: resolutions don’t work.
The reason? The minute I ate a cookie or ate too much or didn't lose weight I broke my resolution. And that was that.
But, in the past year and a half I have lost 80 pounds and am not only lighter, I am more physically fit and have a lot more energy. My success didn't come from making a resolution, but from setting goals. I think in order to make any type of lifestyle change, setting goals is a much more productive method than making resolutions.
In order for me to lose weight I had to set realistic goals and then make a practical plan to meet those goals. One goal was that I had to increase activity, so I set sub-goal of walking 30 minutes five times a week.
I didn’t resolve it. So, if I didn’t do it I hadn’t broken a resolution; I just adjusted my goal and kept on. One goal was to write down everything I ate. One was to join a support group. I did these things one by one with each smaller goal supporting my bigger goal to become healthier.
Today as I was out walking and thinking about the changes the past year and half have brought to my life I remembered how I used this same goal-setting strategy when I was homeschooling my five children.
When I resolved to give my children a good education and then I found that one of the children was lacking in some aspect of that education, I felt like I was a failure.
But, when my husband and I set a few goals for each child in the beginning of the year and then I made a list of a few ways I would try to help each child reach those goals, the task became much more manageable. I could adjust and adapt the goals as we went along, but when we had something to aim for and a plan on how to get there, each child had a much better chance of being successful.
A few years ago, Sonlight asked Kelly Lutman, Judy Wnuk and I to put together a booklet on how to set realistic Homeschool Goals. With decades of homeschool experience and 11 children between us, we set out to make a helpful booklet filled with practical advice. As a way to start 2013 out right I wanted to let you know that you can get a free copy of our finished product [in PDF format] by going here: Homeschool Goals Guide
I hope you will find the guide helpful and may you have a blessed and productive 2013. I am praying that you will reach many of your goals this year and that you will enjoy the journey as you reach them.