My Goals for 2014

It’s a new year! For me, that means it’s time to set new goals. Yesterday I reviewed my 2013 goals. Now it’s time to decide what I want to do in 2014.

Those listed below will be goals for the whole year. Here’s hoping this will be a great year for all of us!

2014 Goals

1) A Year of Blogging Well
If you’ve been following my blog you’ll have heard of this blogging challenge I’ve given myself for 2014. It involves writing 100 posts during the year, including more pictures, and generally giving this blog some attention.

2) Give Time to God in Prayer Every Day
This might be adoration, rosary, the liturgy of the hours, or just meditation/journaling. The important thing is making a commitment to this. Every. Day. It should be a time for me to lay everything at His feet and just remember that He is the most important thing.

3) Budget–even if it kills me 
I don’t like playing the guessing game of “how much is there now?” when I log into my bank account. I need to keep track of my expenses. More importantly though, I need to be thrifty as I save up for a car (eventually).

4) Be Computer-Free One Day a Week
I can still watch movies on netflix and check my texts. I’m not talking about going completely offline. But I think it’s important for me, and perhaps many of us, to get away from the distraction and pointless noise of computers–and especially the internet. This will be Saturdays for now.

5) READ
Since I went off to college it’s been difficult to read. Most evenings I spend doing homework, watching TV occasionally, and/or who am I kidding mostly (you guessed it) on the computer. I have a list as long of my arm of books I’d like to read. It’s time I got down to it. I miss the days when I would check out 5 books from the library every 2 weeks.

6) Make Time for Other Hobbies
I’d like to crochet again (my roommate and I have been talking about it). I miss drawing too. I love to draw. It would be nice to once in a while spend a lazy Sunday afternoon doing something fun and constructive.

7) Make Exercise a Regular Part of My Life
I know this won’t happen right away. I also know it probably won’t happen at all over breaks. But at least while I’m at school it would be nice to get some exercise. That might mean a workout video or just going swing dancing Sunday night. I could also go to the pool on campus or use the tennis court right next to my dorm (after it warms up a bit)

8) Commit to a Weekly Cleaning Time for My Dorm Room
In general, I just want my life to be more organized and clean-cut. Keeping my dorm room clean should hopefully help de-clutter my life too. It should also help me to not feel like a fail of a roommate. I’m fairly good about not leaving stuff on the floor for my roommate. Instead, my mess stays on my desk (and that area), inside my closet, and under my bed. I’d like to keep these areas tidy. Hence, a once-a-week cleaning time.

In addition to these year-long goals, I’ll also be posting goals for each month. Then I’ll review them at the end of the month when I set the following month’s goals. Some of my monthly goals may reflect or even duplicate my year-long goals, others may be completely unrelated. Before I finish here, I want to list my monthly goals for January too.

January Goals

1) After I get back to school, clean up my room in preparation for this new semester

2) Figure out my schedule in a typical week of this semester (including exercise, reading time, homework time, weekly cleaning etc)

3) Write 8 blog posts

4) Come up with a budgeting plan

In addition, I want to keep up with/work on my new year’s goals: praying every day, no computer on Saturdays, etc

So there you have it, my new goals including 8 things for me to do in 2014. These goals will take diligence. It’s going to be a challenging year but a good one. If I succeed I will have cause to be proud of the person I become. Hopefully, putting these goals down in writing and publishing them here will encourage me to accomplish them. I’ll also be posting them on the wall in my room when I get back to school.

I’d love to here about your New Year’s resolutions or goals. Leave a comment below!

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7 Quick Takes Vol. 22

— 1 —

Another week that flew by! It’s been another quick week. Somethings I did in the last 7 days include writing a letter in Spanish, and completing a bulletin for this Sunday (I do that every week though). And now it’s the weekend!!!

— 2 —

I also got to teach a mini lesson this week to 2 other students in my math for elementary teachers class. The others talked about the roman and egyptian number systems while I explained the Babylonian number system (pretty poorly I might add).  I’m glad though that I’m getting this experience before I go out into the real world of teaching. Now I know.

— 3 —

I’ve also been working my campus job, which involves mostly doing homework and watching people take tests. It’s a fairly chill job but the responsibility of it was pressed upon me. After all, we have to make sure no one is cheating.

— 4 —

Speaking of responsibility…yeah. I’ve been fairly irresponsible lately. I don’t care as much about keeping on top of all my reading for my classes as I did last year. I’ve been forgetful. I’ve slept in (I always do that though). It’s just not been good. I wonder if it’s because I’m on ministry and use that as an excuse. But I think I’m just lazy.

— 5 —

My prayer life is something I’ve been working on (kind of). It’s not as good as I would like and I’m having trouble making myself pray. But when I do it’s great. I do lectio divina in adoration and it’s perfect for me. God speaks to me in that time and I feel His comfort. I think that’s His way of encouraging me to pray more. Hopefully it works.

— 6 —

Benedictine’s Oktoberfest is tonight! I know when people say Oktoberfest we usually think of beer but that is not what this is about. We do pretzels and bavarian potato salad and cake and I think bratwursts, so, German food. Different dorms do different foods and you go around and eat what you like. Last year there were also games: 3-legged races and such.

— 7 —

I have a headache. Sad but true. I’ve had it all day. It’s one of those weird pressure headaches. I might be coming down with a cold. Actually, I’m pretty sure I have one. I think I’ll sleep in tomorrow and get some much needed rest.

The weekend is here! Time for fun, friends, and sleep.

For more Quick Takes, visit Jen at Conversion Diary and check out the link-up!

2013 Goals: June Review/July Goals

Well, another month has come and gone and the year is half over. (Doesn’t it feel like it just started??) Anyways now it’s time to take a look back at the past month, the goals I had, and how I did and to look forward and plan 5 new goals for July.

My 5 goals for June:

1)Say at least one decade of the rosary every day
Um, I guess I really didn’t do too good at this. I got maybe 10 days out of the month. But overall, I think my prayer life is improving.

2)Finish “How to Find Your Soulmate” and at least one other book–and write reviews for both
Yes and no. I finished Soulmate and you can read my review/reflection here. Bus I haven’t finished my second book. I did start “Rediscovering Catholicism” by Matthew Kelly but I haven’t gotten very far yet.

3)Make a decision about Spanish next semester
This took a back burner as the month went on. I think I am going to take Spanish though. It will be good for me, if I become a teacher and I’ve always wanted to learn.

4)Apply to more jobs, and get at least one interview (hopefully)
I did one better. I found a job and have been working at the cafe for over 2 weeks. You can read more about how I got the job here and about the awkward intersection between faith and my coworkers here.

5)Refresh my math skills (or lack thereof) in prep for my math for teachers class in the Fall
This one is a big no. I haven’t even cracked the book this month. Although, come to think of it, I have been doing math at work…so does that count?

BONUS) Write that letter to my future self
Yeah, no.

Okay, so in all seriousness I didn’t do too good this month. Hopefully I can apply myself more in the weeks ahead. There’s still a number of things that I meant to do this summer that I haven’t gotten around to. And for me, summer ends in just over 6 weeks. So July, it’s you and me and we are going to do this. 🙂

July goals:

1)Work on the following for school: Spanish and math

2)Write essays for application to education department 

3)Get my driving permit

4)Finish “Rediscovering Catholicism” and one other book. Write reviews for both.

5)Write that letter!!

So there we have it. Hopefully I can do better this month than last. It looks like a few of these will require diligence and consistency. Some scheduling is probably in order to help keep me on top of the school-related assignments and possible the reading. Only, I know I don’t stick to schedules without consequences looming over me or rewards being held out like a proverbial carrot. So, this month, I’m going to add a reward or consequence to each goal.

1)Work on the following for school: Spanish and math
If I do…
and get far enough, I get to spend a lazy day wearing comfy clothes, enjoying myself, and relaxing

2)Write essays for application to education department
If I don’t…I can’t go on Twitter for a week or until I’m done writing the essays (whichever comes first)

3)Get my driving permit
If I don’t…(through my own fault) I must tell the whole long blog post on why I can’t drive yet (I’m pretty sure I’m going to get it though).

4)Finish “Rediscovering Catholicism” and one other book (probably the book on St. Kateri). Write reviews for both.
If I do…I get to read the “Freedom Writers Diary” (which I’m looking forward to) next in my Summer Reading.

5)Write that letter!
If I don’t…I can’t eat  chocolate for a week (ouch!)

So there we are. 5 goals. 2 rewards. 3 consequences. 1 month.

Is it Moral to Shop at Walmart? ~or~ On Cooperating with Evil Through Everyday Purchases

Sometimes the number of companies I should be boycotting because of their support of abortion, contraception, or gay marriage seems overwhelming. Is there any store I can buy from without supporting something immoral? This has been something I’ve been thinking about since I got home. At school, I simply made my weekly trip to Walmart (the only superstore in our town of 10,000) and didn’t think too much of it. But does shopping there, or perhaps another store, mean I am cooperating with evil or in some other way sinning?

There are many facets to the issue of “ethical consumerism” and I probably don’t know them all. Neither do I pretend to be a theologian. These are just my thoughts and questions. I’ll be drawing a lot from this article and its discussion on immediate vs mediate material cooperation in evil.

To start, I want to talk about Walmart.
Plenty of people shop at Walmart regularly, even good Catholics, and never think anything else about it. I did. I mention this because of something obvious yet often overlooked: Walmart sells contraceptives. I don’t know this for definite fact but they do have pharmacies and no reason not to stock your basic supply of the pill, and probably Plan B as well. That is to say, they sell “medications” that can kill an unborn child. Moreover, I know for a fact that Walmart sells condoms (and other things). A quick look around the sexual health page of the pharmacy section on their website reveals that. This all leads to the question: is it morally acceptable to shop at Walmart? Aren’t we then supporting a company that supports things that we as Catholics see as immoral?

According to the above-linked article mediate material cooperation means that “[w]hile doing something that is in itself good or indifferent, a person…gives an occasion to another’s sin, or contributes something by way of assistance.” and this can only be done if the principle of double effect is met. Double effect means, among other things, that the evil is not intended and that there is “sufficient reason”.

Now, honestly, when I’m at school Walmart isn’t my only option and the prices at the other stores (there are 2 within walking distance) certainly aren’t exuberant. They could also give me most of what I need. So any argument that Walmart is my only choice or that there’s “sufficient reason” for me shop there seems invalid.

In a way this leads to my next topic.

Money vs. Support
I used to think that buying something from a company that took a pro gay marriage stance was immoral. But really, when you think about it I’m not sure if this makes sense, after all no money is going towards, say an LGBT activist group, right? But it may not be that simple. So, does shopping at a store that takes an immoral stance (but doesn’t give money in that direction) equal mediate material cooperation?  Well, are we providing an occasion for sin or contributing something that assists another in sinning? Well…if this business keeps getting customers they’ll stay in business, and if they stay in business they can continue to publicly promote immorality. Right?

Now what if the company did give money to something immoral, say Planned Parenthood (the country’s largest abortion provider), but we weren’t buying from that company directly? Let’s say they had a how-to video up on youtube. If we watched that video (and thereby gave them a view) would we be giving occasion for sin or assisting in some way? Would we be giving occasion for someone else (another consumer) to sin?

What about lesser sins?
We tend to make a big deal about what companies are supporting abortion or what TV show is featuring a set of lesbian moms. But what about the shows that constantly encourage cohabitation and the messed up hookup culture? Or just a show where people lie all the time and get away with it? Or what if we have a company that doesn’t support abortion but provides insurance benefits for contraception or unmarried couples living together? Or what about a company that in some way could be seen to support the horrible labor conditions in China?

Where do we draw the line?
Now what if we have a company that gives to an organization, like the Susan G. Komen Foundation, who in turn donates to Planned Parenthood? Do we stop shopping there too? What about (follow me) a company that is partnered with a company that donates money to an organization that donates to Planned Parenthood? Odds are I’ve described most major companies. They are all interconnected right? So how can we know where we should shop, who we should buy from? If a store sells items from a company that has a connection (direct or indirect) to abortion, gay marriage etc can we shop at that store?

I don’t have all the answers. Not by a long shot. And I’ve certainly got plenty of questions. I will offer some advice my priest gave me regarding this once: not to become zealous. Also, you should know, I have a tendency to be scrupulous so please consider that in regards to what I’ve said. In fact, set what I’ve said aside for a moment and read this piece from the National Catholic Register. It’s a lot more reasonable than my rant. As the author notes “ethical consumerism is a field ripe for scrupulosity, and a miserable, hysterical, paranoid [person] can’t follow her vocation.” So where ever we shop or don’t, whatever we choose to boycott, we shouldn’t make ourselves hysterical.

I wish there was a way to wave a magic wand and change the world, to eliminate evil so we don’t have to have these dilemmas. But this is the world we live in. And, as I have been reminded recently, we are called to be in the world though not of the world. I must remember this even though my introverted and contemplative soul can kind of hate the world sometimes. The world is wrong and it’s confused. But this is where God put us, and not so we could run away and go live in a cave surrounded by no one but fellow faithful Catholics (though that sounds pretty amazing). No, we mustn’t turn our back on the world. It needs us because it needs the message we are meant to share with it. We must work to change the minds and hearts of others, while always working on perfecting our own hearts and minds. That is how we change the world…rather than with a magic wand.

7 Quick Takes (Vol. 10)

7quicktakes1

— 1 —

It’s my 10th quick takes post! This would be a lot more exciting if I hadn’t taken those several weeks off…. Ok, over that.

— 2 —

Last week I mentioned I was going to be in a choir, for my friend’s high school graduation Mass. We had the Mass on Wednesday night and I think it went fairly well. It’s been a year since my own graduation Mass. A whole year. And overall, I’ve loved this year.

— 3 —

This week begins my family’s big re-roofing project…it’s going to be quite a project. I most likely won’t go up on the roof (and that’s fine with me), my dad and brothers will be doing most of the hard work.

— 4 —

A couple days ago I got to babysit. It was great to watch those little ones, play with them–and get paid for it! I would love for that to be my work for the summer, but we’ll see what God has in store…

— 5 —

I’ve also been making bread–yum! Homemade bread is yummy but it’s torturous smelling it while it cooks! We use a bread machine which takes almost all the work out of it. And all that goes into it is what we put in, there’s no need to add preservatives or artificial anything. My mom says it’s cheaper too. I don’t know about that, but I love eating it.

— 6 —

It’s been over 3 weeks since I got home…my summer is almost a quarter gone. It went by fast and I don’t think I’ve done much. It’s time I set myself to it and really got done those things I planned to do while I’m on break.

— 7 —

I miss college, I admit it. The schedule, not sharing my room with three people, being able to make decisions (even little ones) for myself, having stuff to do, having my friends around, being in such a downright Catholic place–it’s great! But I should be thankful that I’m home and with my family and look for the upsides in that. Still, I’ll be glad to get back.

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!

After One Year of College: What I’ve Learned, What I’ve Done

A lot of the time we think that college is almost a waste of money, that all it’s really good for is giving us a piece of paper that hypothetically helps us get a job. I don’t argue that college is expensive. And I certainly don’t argue that it can help you get a job. But there are a few things that college has done for me after just one year that go beyond a piece of paper. Here are some of them…

Things I’ve learned and/or realized in my first year of college:

  • Your friends make all the difference
  • Home is not perfect
  • I like to be in control of my own schedule and know what’s coming, also
  • My planner is my best friend
  • Some professors really care
  • There’s so much I should have done differently in high school
  • I like to have my mom to talk to
  • The city of Kansas City actually spans 2 states
  • What an ectopic pregnancy actually is
  • The 4 temperaments and my temperament as a high-functioning phlegmatic/melancholic
  • You can open your textbook once and still get an A in some classes (certainly doesn’t work in most classes)
  • I need to control my emotions more and grow in temperance, fortitude, and charity
  • I can ace an interview
  • I have the spirit of an English major
  • I don’t have to write fiction, I can live without it
  • I have a tendency to let my friends distract me when I should be studying
  • Gummy bears can be motivation for studying
  • 5 hours really isn’t enough sleep
  • I love Nanny 911
  • English majors can be kinda eccentric or pretty quiet
  • Follow your dream
  • Certain things are worth getting up at 7am on a Saturday
  • I need to investigate vaccines more
  • You can get to know people pretty well pretty fast (like you’ll understand the meaning of an eyebrow raise after 8 mos.)
  • I rely on my phone, a lot
  • I’m actually a good student
  • The “Catholic bubble” can be dangerous
  • Just how stupid and non-loving most movie romances are
  • I don’t want TV to be the center of my house
  • Nutella is yummy
  • Kids need structure
  • People-first language
  • Get down to your student’s eye level
  • PTSD symptoms can be found in urban youth
  • “Disability is a natural part of the human experience”
  • A little bit about ABA therapy for children with autism
  • I’ve learned to let go a little bit
  • Special education really interests me
  • When it comes to the grounds for a solid friendship the deeper issues like family and morals matter much more than the shallow ones like what type of movies you enjoy
  • I go to a pretty amazing college 🙂
  • BC is where God meant me to be

Things I’ve done in my first year of college

  • Been about 3 yards away from Paul Ryan
  • Aced an interview
  • Went to my first March for Life, which means I also
  • Survived a 26 hour bus ride to the March, and
  • Visited D.C. for the first time, and
  • Saw the Library of Congress
  • I Saw Rick Santorum speak
  • Got onto Pinterest
  • Heard Immaculee Ilibagiza speak
  • Stayed in a hotel with some great girl friends
  • Went on a trip to Kansas City’s Plaza shopping district
  • Went to the Nelson-Atkins art museum
  • Went to the National World War I Memorial
  • Successfully wore a beanie for a week
  • Lived independently
  • Donated blood for the first time
  • Went 48 hours without my cell phone, Pinterest, or Facebook
  • Persevered in my dream to go to Europe (so far…)
  • Used nail stickers
  • Calculated expenses
  • Declared my major in Elementary Education with concentrations in English and Special Ed
  • Nurtured my faith-life
  • Saw Matt Maher in concert
  • Saw Audrey Assad in concert
  • Prayed outside of an abortion clinic
  • Saw Archbishop Naumann of KCK at least 3 times, probably more
  • Got on the Dean’s List first semester
  • Got on the President’s List second semester
  • Made it to daily Mass a lot
  • Went to a emotional panel of post-abortive women
  • Was signed up for an hour of Adoration each week of second semester
  • Was offered a position with campus ministry and the scholarship to go with it
  • Successfully helped out at Baccalaureate Mass; our work got a resounding approval from our chaplain/boss
  • Heard Leah Darrow speak
  • Had my first real job
  • Went swing dancing
  • Learned the nightclub two step dance
  • Voted for President
  • Stayed up to watch part of the St. Kateri canonization Mass
  • Was a tutor/teacher’s aid as part of my Intro to Ed class
  • Completed a 10 page paper
  • Hosted a prospie (prospective student)
  • Started a blog 😉
  • Was part of a chorale group
  • Rested in the peace of knowing BC is where I was meant to be

I always knew college would be about a lot more than just book-learning for me. But I don’t think I realized how much I would accomplish and learn and do. And this is only after one year!

Assessment of 2013 Goals: February

Goals February 2013To start, you may have noticed I’ve created a new graphic. The plum-on-sea-green was bothering me.

Now, February…it may be that it’s only 28 days, but really it seems this month has flown by fast. It’s already March. With all this snow it doesn’t quite feel like it. But it is.

And it’s time to look back and see how many and how well I’ve accomplished my 2013 goals.

Thing is, I don’t think I’ve accomplished many of these goals. I can go through numbers 1-12 without much more than a “nope”. But I’d like to think I’ve made some progress on goal 13) b) be more diligent but don’t take things so seriously, in that I’ve been using my planner a lot more. But I do still procrastinate.

There are a few things I’ve worked towards but not many. Today I was actually figuring out what classes I’d need to take if I was to do a special ed major in addition to my elementary ed. In a way this involves considering goals 4) figure out how I can study/travel abroad, 5)work on learning Spanish, and 9) take a summer classor 2.

So far, I’m really not doing a very good job at these goals. I imagine myself somehow accomplishing everything all at once. And maybe that’s a silly dream. But maybe I’m getting down on myself too early. After all, it’s only February… I guess we’ll see.

7 Quick Takes–The First of Many?? ( vol. 1)

Ok, so, I recognize that since the semester began I really haven’t blogged much. Which is sad. But a friend and fellow-blogger introduced me just yesterday to the idea of “7 Quick Takes Friday” over on the blog  conversiondiary.com. The basic idea is that you give 7 short thoughts for readers to enjoy. Apparently it’s kind of a popular idea and lots of bloggers do their own “7 Quick Takes” each Friday. Well, I decided I would do my own “7 Quick Takes” except on Sundays. Why Sundays? Because Sundays are the day when I have the least amount of homework/class/whatever else (normally at least). So without further ado…

7quicktakes.jpg

— 1 —

So, this weekend, yeah… Let’s start with that vague and parenthetical “normally at least”.  I usually try to get homework done on Saturdays so I don’t have to do it on the day of rest. This weekend that didn’t happen. I was lazy. I procrastinated. I was moody. And I just didn’t want to do homework. Maybe it’s because Thursday was a snow day or because Friday was horrible, but homework barely happened yesterday. So there’s a bit to do today and tomorrow during lunch and such. Why do I do this to myself?

— 2 —

Friday was bad. I admit it. I was tired, hungry, and forgetful. Then I had an interview for a leadership position next school year. I had a similar interview onWednesday, which went well. But Friday’s interview was not so good. After my Wednesday interview I went to Mass and was very grateful and happy. Friday I also went to Mass after my interview…I was not so happy and warm-fuzzy. But I remember thinking along the lines of “praising God in the storm”.

— 3 —

Today is Benedict XVI’s last Sunday as pope. Here’s a picture from Facebook of his last Sunday Angelus:

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Next Sunday…we Catholics we’ll be Pope-less. There’s something both mournful and frightening about that. But we won’t be complete orphans, and I think we know that. Yes I think it will be weird not having a pope until at least the 15th (which is when the conclave that will elect the next pope starts). But the Holy Spirit will guide the Cardinal’s in their decision and guide the Church during this interim.

— 4 —

The Oscars, celebrities, and a non-expensive dress. I decided I’d troll the internet a little, because I feel like I might be running low on ideas and what do I find on the very first page of Yahoo! news? An article about Helen Hun’t Oscar dress. She wore H&M can you believe it?! What a travesty! Faux Pas! But wait, she’s doing it to be green, oh how inspiring!! Okay, green-ness aside it would be kind of cool if she did this for the right reasons. Can you imagine if celebrities actually wore regular clothes? Are re-wore them too? (I’m not be sarcastic now, just so you know.) I mean, what if celebrities actually dressed like people? And didn’t spend zillions of dollars on their red carpet outfits? So, these ideas start circulating in your head until you see the last line of this short article: “accentuating the dress with $700,000 worth of jewelry.” All hope for humble celebrities has died.

— 5 —

I like Ireland, and Irish music.  I keep finding myself daydreaming about traveling there while listening to “Erin Gra Mo Chroi” or something. Someday I might…. Just throwing this out there.

— 6 —

Peanut butter. I need to do something with that jar of peanut butter I have. Cookies perhaps?

— 7 —

Catholic Meme of the Week: (this could be a regular thing perhaps…) This one was posted Friday by the Catholic Memes Facebook page:

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Ah Lent!

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!

So, I actually found this post a little tricky to write…I’m not sure I’ll have 7 thoughts to share…. Maybe this next week I’ll keep track of things I want to share so I can have some ideas ready. Or maybe be a little more whimsical. Well…this has been an adventure…tell me what you think!

Assessment of 2013 Goals: January

Goals January 2013Ok. So it’s been a month since New Year’s and its time to look at my goals for the year and see which ones I’ve accomplished, if any. I said i would post to this blog at the end of every month (in this case, shortly there after) and assess my progress. It was a way of keeping me accountable. Because I have 13 goals I should be accomplishing about one a month. So let’s see how I did….

I figured I would have to admit I really haven’t done much of anything yet, but actually there are a couple things I’m doing to work towards goals.

Goal 4 was figure out how I can study/travel abroad. While I haven’t entirely figured this out, it’s looking more possible every day…aside form one thing: my major. I’m seriously considering adding special education to my elementary education degree. This is something I’m passionate about and something I think I would enjoy doing in my life. However, it’s more work and thus gives me less of an opportunity to study abroad. So I need to go in to see the education department and ask them what they think. I’ve heard that here at Benedictine College they try to give all majors the opportunity to go abroad. Maybe that means I go in the summer or maybe it means I take some summer classes before I go. But that would be doable.

Another I’m making progress with is goal 13) b) be more diligent but don’t take things so seriously. Mainly, I’m working at the be more diligent part. Earlier this week I went to a leadership seminar that is required training for anyone applying for a leadership position such as RA or campus ministry leader. One of our talks was about time management and spoke of how we should sit down Sunday night and plan our week (in pencil). And that’s what I plan to do this evening.

Honestly, I guess I haven’t made a whole lot of progress but I feel like I’m getting better, that I’m striving after things and that certain things are being worked towards. I’m not as set or determined about accomplishing these goals as I was when I originally had the idea to keep myself accountable via this blog. I’m more loose about it (which maybe also is part of 13) b) about not taking things so seriously).

But that aside, I think my progress is ok, but it could certainly be better. I think in this next month, actually in these next couple weeks, I may actually accomplish a few of those 13 goals. Stay tuned to find out!

13 Things I Hope to do in 2013

New Year's Goals graphic

This year, instead of just coming up with a few vague ideas of what I’d like to accomplish and forgetting what they are within a month and a half, I’m actually setting goals. And I’m think I’ll use this blog to keep me accountable. See, I’m not a very diligent person. But I want to accomplish some things. And maybe keeping to these goals will help me to be a more diligent person and thereby help me in more important areas of my life.

I’ve decided I’m going to write a post at the end of each month and see if I’ve accomplished any of these things and maybe I’ll even add to the list. I’ll also probably write a post every time I accomplish one of these things.

So, without further ado my 2013 new year’s goals:

1) donate blood. Never done this. But I’d like to.

2) get my license. I won’t go into why I don’t have one yet, just know it’s a goal.

3) write a letter to myself to open in the future. Not sure when in the future yet, probably either the end of the year or 3 or more years in the future.

4) figure out how I can study/travel abroad. This is something I really want to do, just not sure how yet…. Aside from the money, my major makes things difficult.

5) work on learning Spanish (unless I’ve chosen Italian). Another thing I want to do. If I’m going to be a teacher Spanish could serve me well. It’s also, something I kind of just want to do. Though taking Italian may make studying abroad easier.

6) create melted crayon art. Just because.

7) go on a shopping adventure. This might be something I do over the summer. I’d love to grab a couple of girls, maybe one of them will be my sister, and have a blast! Possibly in the city, but here would work too.

8) get a summer job. A college girl’s got to make money.

9) take a summer class or 2. This may help to accomplish goal 4.

10) read 5 new books. For me, this is kind of a low number, but I’ve got homework to do as well, and obviously I’m not going to count coursework books.

11) visit a religious community/ go on a retreat with one. As a discerning woman, I figure I should.

12) write more. I’m thinking of doing my own writing challenge this summer, similar to National Novel Writing Month, although I might do something a little less full-blown. While I enjoy blogging, I have something of a passion for fiction writing but I didn’t get to do much of it this semester.

13) be a better person. Okay, so this may sound like one of those vague resolutions I started off this post by shunning, but actually it has some more concrete goals as its components. a) pray more. Diligence! b) be more diligent but don’t take things so seriously. This may seem like a contradiction. But so am I. I procrastinate and yet have a habit of getting very stressed about my future. This leads to c) laugh more, worry less.

So, not including goal 13, I’ve got 12 goals, 12 measurable things to accomplish this year. That equals an average of one a month. Now, I might add to the list, but I’m not taking any off of here (except maybe crayon art, but only if I add a different fun and creative activity). This is my list, and if I fail, I fail. But hopefully this will be a great year. I’ve just got to put in my best and let God take control (but you know what they say about telling Him your plans).If you want to make God laugh ribon

Happy New Year!

And Merry 7th Day of Christmas!