Two months into my Life Plan: 2014. It has been a cold winter and the months seems to be dragging on. I’m looking forward to spring when I won’t have to be battling the winter blues on a daily basis. My littlest man is three months old already and I spend much of my day holding him while he sleeps or playing with him while trying to get him to giggle. Such a precious sound! I’ve also been enjoying a lot of story time with my older two boys who have learned that, if they come sit by the rocking chair, I’m usually willing to read. I also have a skill when it comes to stories: I don’t mind reading the same book 10 times in a row. Most of the time anyway.
Life Plan 2014: February Summary - Aimed at the Heart

Goal updates:

Faith:

Read the Bible in one year: Mostly doing alright. I have missed a day or two but have been able to catch up by doing double reading the next day. I’m currently reading Numbers and Mark.
In depth book study: I have been taking my weekly “catch-up day” in my Bible reading plan to read Ephesians. I’ve read it in NIV a couple of times and, in March, I plan to read it in The Message translation.
Focused Daily prayer time: In January I had my prayer time in the morning. In February, however, Baby Bear shifted his schedule on me and is now sleeping until 5:30am and goes for a nap at 7:30am. This leaves me enough time for my Bible reading but not my prayer time. So I have been taking my prayer time around 9pm before I head to bed instead. I still need to make a prayer prompter to have more focus for this.

Wife:

Monthly “out” date with Adam: Oh my. We totally forgot to do this. We have been taking most Thursday evenings to focus on doing something together but I’ve added “plan out date” to my Sunday afternoon planning session.
Shared interest “doing something” time: We have really been enjoying playing an online card game called Hearthstone. He told me I would like it and I told him it was stupid. Turns out that he was right. I love that it involves some thinking and strategy. I also love that it is a video game that I actually can stand a chance at winning. Sort of. His card decks are all still better than mine because he plays much more but, once in a while, I get some really good cards and get to whomp him.
Kiss Adam daily: If I don’t remember this then he does. So this happens most of the time. It may sound kind of silly that this needs to be a habit we create but it is so easy for us to get caught up in the day-to-day routine and completely forget to show each other love in this simple way.

Mother:

Play: The last couple of weeks my boys have been playing so well with each other that they rarely ask me to play. There have even been times that I’ve grabbed a book and asked them if they wanted a story (they always say yes). So I haven’t been playing a lot with my older boys. I’ve been playing a ton with Baby Bear though. I need to take some of my own advice and make a stronger effort to simply enjoy my children.
Their faith: Hanging my head in shame right now. I can’t remember the last time we read the Bible at dinner. We’ve read from their Jesus Storybook Bible but not the The Narrated Bible. We rearranged our office/dining room a few weeks ago and, as I sit here typing this out, I have noticed that the Bible got moved onto the piano. Going to put it back on the dinner table as soon as I get up for bed.

Homemaker:

Cleaning: I have been mostly focusing on completing my Monday tasks, which mostly consists of laundry. I have been really good at washing everything but folding and tidying usually takes me the whole week. This week has been great though. Monday: Laundry. Tuesday: Baking. Wednesday: Bathroom. Thursday: Office. Four in a row! I hold Baby Bear during most of his naps so I make good use of my ring sling to get my spurts of housework done.
Food: I did not do any freezer cooking last month. I also did not make yogurt or bread. I’ll try again this month I guess!
Project:
February’s goal of digital organization was mostly a success. I have most of my email inboxes cleared out and my digital calendar has been very helpful to me. I am mostly using the method described in Paperless Home Organization. I don’t use my to do list app a lot though. Partially because it doesn’t sync well between my devices and partially because I just don’t have that many to dos. March’s project is to plan my square foot garden.

Hobbies/Blog/Personal:

Reading: My two non-fiction books for the month were You Can’t Make Me (But I Can Be Persuaded) by Cynthia Ulrich Tobias (highly recommend if you have a strong willed child) and Your Retreat: A guide to giving yourself a personal planning day, a free ebook by Erin Odom from The Humbled Homemaker (great book but it didn’t really apply as I already had my plans in place. I’m keeping it in mind for my end of year planning session though). My fiction choice was a novel called The Language of Sparrows by Rachel Phifer (a truly beautiful book about surviving hard times and opening yourself up to being who you were made to be. This book really spoke to me!)
Writing: My daily writing habit is still sitting at about 2-3 times per week. I think I need to revise my strategy a bit on how/when I am writing. Schedule a specific time is tough with our loose family rhythm but I think that I should find a natural lull in our days. A moment when my kids don’t really need me and, instead of reading, take 30 minutes to write instead. Perhaps after lunch when Baby Bear takes his nap and before snack time.
Website: I updated my header in February but I believe I’m going to change it again as I don’t really like it (if you have any suggestions, I’m totally open to hearing them!). My tweak for March will be to add a specific disclosure page. I’ve started doing a few affiliate links and want to explain my referral and affiliate policy in a little more detail to you.
Blog: Continue guest posting at TOTS Family and consistently post once per week. My TOTS post last month was about breastfeeding as a third time mom and I posted each Monday with an extra post thrown in for Valentine’s Day about Free and Simple Ways to Show Love. I typically write and schedule my posts a couple days before they are published. It would be great to get a bit further ahead with scheduling but, for now, this method seems to be working.
Planning Session: I take an hour on Sunday afternoon to sit on my bed, with the door shut, with my laptop, smartphone, and tablet. (Yes, I’m a gadget person!) I plan meals, activities with the kids (playdough, painting, special coloring sheets), housework, office work, and blogging activities. It has been helping a lot but my mind is rather fuzzy lately and I have been working hard on beating the winter blues. I hope and pray that the sunshine and warmer days will come soon so I can get rid of the cloud that hangs over me lately.
Quiet time: I still haven’t made quiet time part of my daily routine. And it shows. I’m going to refocus and keep working on this one.
Health: Drinking water: I have been drinking more tea with the cold weather so my fluids are definitely up. Eating fruit: smoothies help and I have been buying a wider variety of fruit so I don’t get bored with eating just apples and oranges. Strengthening my back: I need to go to the chiropractor and still need to find exercises to strengthen my back so it stops popping out of place.

Reviewing goals regularly helps keep you headed in the right direction. Do you have a regular time to review your goals? If you have written a blog post on your goals, we would love to have you link up and share your goals with us. You could grab the button and put it on your post to help spread the word that we are writing these posts. Or leave a comment with a summary of how your life plan for 2014 is coming along.

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