My Goal...No More Resolutions!

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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.


My husband and eldest granddaughter and I. This photo is what inspired me to set some realistic goals to get healthier.

My husband and eldest granddaughter and I. This photo is what inspired me to set some realistic goals to get healthier.

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.

Me this past summer on my 37th anniversary. Healthier and happier.

Me this past summer on my 37th anniversary. Healthier and happier.

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.

Take care,


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  1. Congrats! That's very impressive.

  2. Alison

    I found the Homeschool Goals Guide helpful, especially the part about breaking the school day into units. The suggestions were for lower elementary - I'd love to see some suggestions like that for upper elementary/highschool. As they are getting older and have more to do I am finding it harder to make a schedule that isn't overwhelming.

  3. Jill Jill

    Hi Alison.
    I am glad you found the Goals Guide helpful. I wanted to mention that there is a great guide for laying out how to plan high school on the HSLDA website. Look at the "Teaching My Kids" section and then go to high school. I also HIGHLY recommend Homeschooler's College Admission Handbook [available through Sonlight It is very helpful in figuring out how to plan and execute high school at home. Another helpful resource is the Parents of High Schooler's Forum on the Sonlighter Club Forums. There is a great wealth of information there. Please let me know if I can be of help.

  4. Heidi'sbooks

    Amazing! You look great. Thank you for an inspirational post.

  5. thanks for sharing this, Jill & congrats on your continuing health! the reminder about goal-setting vs. resolution-making is such a good one, and is very similar to what my husband often reminds me of - that we should be aiming for faithfulness, not perfection ;) blessings to you.