Monday, June 27, 2011

Goals...the never-ending saga

Goals. They use to seem more straight forward.

As I became a wife and mother 1) my goals seemed to be focused on other people and their agency can just get in the way  and 2) many times my goals end up taking the form of of a schedule (ie need to read my scriptures, at such and such time, need to exercise this many minutes a day) and while we have some semblance of a home routine, interruptions and the unexpected seem to dominate.

So, how have a adjusted? 1)I've had to remember that I can only change/improve me and that that is enough (ie I can't always look to others behaviors, my kids or husband being better, I can only plan and prepare MY reactions and attitudes...guess what? It makes all the difference. I always laugh because I can have great days were I just love Benny to bits, and days were everything annoys me, and at the end of both, when I look back, he did everything the same! 2) while scheduling is important, scripture first, routines for prayers, I needed to have some simple goals that focused me, rather than long lists of all the things I wanted to improve (that can just get depressing).

I found myself thinking back to my mission a lot (the time a learned about setting goals, especially the potentially frustrating kinds that deal with helping others make good choices.)

So I got out the old Preach My Gospel and read this section: How do I use my time wisely?
(Missionary service correlates so nicely with motherhood...just love my little investigators!)

Some littel tidbits:

"You are assigned to do the Lord's work in a specific area [My family!]
"Meaningful goals and careful planning will help you accomplish what the Lord requires of you."
"The Lord will help fulfilling this sacred assignment"
" Goals reflect the desire of our hearts, and our vision of what we can accomplish."
"Through goals and plans, our hopes are transformed into action."

"Carefully considered goals will give you clear direction and will help you fill your days with activities that help [your family] strengthen their faith in the Savior and progress towards...full activity in the Church. Challenging goals will help you work effectively and lead you to stretch and grow." (ha ha made me think of stretch marks!)

Okay PS, we're so luck y to have such great resources, the manuals of the church are just jam-packed with true principles, set forth so clearly to help us govern our lives, rooted to truth.

One of the suggested activities, was to list all your activities for the last three days, and then evaluate each and decide if it influenced "key indicators" (basically things that help those your teaching come closer to Christ and take necessary steps to receiving his gospel..again insert little sippy-cup-guzzling- investigators). Then you were to consider activities "you may need to stop doing".

It was an interesting exercise--unfortunately I couldn't cross laundry off my list, drat!

The very first step in setting goals, of course, is follow the Spirit.

Something the Spirit led me to do a few years ago, pretty sure it was at New Year's (classic goal setting time), was to simply think of a verb for each of my family members, just one word, that would be my focus for that relationship that year. I prayed to know the right word, and some came easy and others took more thought. Each year it is interesting to see how the verbs develop and change with our situations. For example, I think the first year I did it  I got "Be kind to Ben". He was finishing up school, a brand new father, it was a time decisions and probably a lot of doubt and trepidation about becoming a provider not just for a wife but our family. The next year, he had his first "real" job and the word I got was "Support". which is what I did all year, as he carved out a place for himself, putting in long hours and facing tons of stress. This last year though, there was another shift. Three kids, a bit more established at work,  and the Spirit whisper "Involve Ben", help him see how to not just provide for us but be a part of his kids lives.

Sometimes I think I know what my word should be. The first year I got "Accept Aaron", which was a  wonderful (and necessary) first step. The next year, as we got more into his therapies and interventions I got "Believe in Aaron". He made some huge and incredible progress that year. This year, my instinct was to say okay, this year is when we really buckle down and expect a lot of him-- I wanted a word like "push" or "challenge"....what the Spirit whispered so sweet and clear, "Protect him".   I've had to make a lot of decisions about things this year, and that admonition to protect him has guided me in so many ways.

McKye. The first year I just go to Cherish him, to marvel at the way language and other social skills, so hard for his big brother, came so easy to him in their natural, miraculous way,so often taken for granted. That didn't last long. his abilities led to my being told to "Teach McKye", and so began watch seemed like a sprint to expose him to just as much as his little sponge of a toddler brain could absorb  This year I got "Watch McKye", to pull back and instead of trying to teach him, let him teach me. Just watch him discover and interact with his world. I laugh, because if I ever started to forget my word for McKye, it wouldn't take long for him to remind me: he's always calling out "Watch! Mommy! Watch!"

Levi's easy. "Love Levi". Which right now, in all his chubby-baby-glory, with his instant-gummy smiles and  bright flirty could I do anything but love him?

The hardest one to come up with (and I didn't even think to do one at first) is the word for me. the first year I was pondering, and I had the thought, well what's Heavenly Father's word for me? "Treasure". 
The next year though I got "Discipline yourself". This year took a long time.I thought maybe I was suppose to "forget myself".

I'm just suppose to "Be myself".
Which is the essence of all goals ...becoming.
I'm a wife and a mother, a daughter, a sister, a friend. But I'm also just me. And it's good to remember that. That my goals aren't always about becoming something else, but who Heavenly Father knows I truly am, the best me, my potential. And after all that's my only real goal, the underlying desire in all my other little goals: to become like Him.

I'm so grateful He's willing to help me and whisper to me along the way.

Great talk on doing and becoming:
I know I've linked to this before but I just LOVE this talk!


Julie said...Best Blogger Tips

Chelsea, this is so cool! Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts. I have learned something from you tonight that I really needed. :-)

Melody said...Best Blogger Tips

Just discovered your blog...and already I'm as inspired by you as I was at the MTC. I love the idea of using a verb to focus your relationships on; thank you for sharing it.

As I've read a little here in there in your blog, I'm a little curious about he deaf?

I love you!

Nathan said...Best Blogger Tips

I liked that. I think I'll try it.
Once again, I really do enjoy reading your blog, looking forward to chatting about it with you next week.

- Nate

P.S. I don't have Ben's e-mail address, will you express our family's condolances about Henry?
It sounds like it's been a tough month for the Bretzke family.

Chelsea Belle said...Best Blogger Tips

Excited to see you guys too Nathan.

Melody ( oh my sweet Melody) Aaron is autistic...I try not to be on a soap box TOO often, but perhaps i should add a link on my page to clarify.

Melody said...Best Blogger Tips

He's lucky to have you as his mother.