Advent/New Year/Resolutions/Challenges

Challenges 300.jpgWhen do you make New Year resolutions, and what do you call them? Are you mostly successful or do you lose resolve somewhere about mid-February?
December 1, 2013 is the first Sunday in Advent. Because this is the season we prepare for the coming of Christ, and Advent marks the new liturgical year, it’s the time I make New Year’s resolutions. I prefer to call my resolutions “challenges” because that is how they often feel when I’m struggling to implement them. I try to keep a balance between spiritual & temporal improvements. Sadly, the worldly lists win out.
I track progress of the challenges in a notebook. Each challenge has its own page. I group some together on one sheet to simplify things. Looking through challenges from previous years, I find that there is a recurring theme in the areas in which I struggle. Food, Organization and Finances.
Clearing the Clutter is one that gets revisited regularly and pushes me off the Path to Organization. Why is that? Do I set goals too lofty to be achieved in too short a time frame? This time, I divided the house & barnyard area into 12 sections. So, I will be decluttering and deep cleaning one household or barn area each month. That is doable and will keep me focused on one area at a time.
Food Challenges include: meal planning, waste no food, stockpiling, alternatives to GM ingredients & losing one pound per week. The first three will also help reduce expenses which ties in with the financial goals. I love when that happens.
Winter is the perfect time for the Mastering the Milk Challenge. Milk production has dropped enough that I’ve moved to once a day milking. That gives me some extra time to master new skills. A half gallon+ each day is a lot for just 2 people. It never goes to waste because the chickens love sour milk. However, the only time I want milk to sour is if I do it on purpose. Now it’s time to roll up my sleeves and find all the ways to use milk.
A happy by-product of our sheep flock is all the beautiful fleeces. Unfortunately, the wool processing has fallen behind…very far behind. There are fleeces in the work room and fleeces taking up valuable room in the barn. A Fiber Challenge is definitely in order, so I can reclaim some space and get on with the knitting projects I planned long ago. This is a fun challenge because it “forces” me to devote time each day to working with fiber. That is, after all, my happiest task.
I like everything here to pay its way. My dogs give me companionship and help with farm chores. The sheep and rabbits pay for themselves and the goats are on their way to doing the same. Now, I want the Internet to do the same. There are many ways people make money online. One pretty easy way is through Amazon Mechanical Turk. It doesn’t take much time to make $3. Three dollars a day for 22 days each month pays the Internet and phone bill since they are bundled together. Now that money is freed up to pay down debt in the Financial Challenge.
Care to share some of your resolutions along with any tips on how you persevere?

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