(I’ll get back to my Thursday recipes and Friday Q & A’s next week.) Growing up my Dad was big into goals.  And when I say big, I mean REALLY big.  He talked about them all the time (still does).  He had all kinds of lists and charts about them.  He even wrote books about them.  Each Sunday he sat us all down and we did what we called “Sunday Sessions” where we would outline our goals for the upcoming week.  That gradually expanded into “Summer Goals” (which we do religiously around here…I talked about them a bunch back here and here) and school-year goals.  My youngest sister was pretty obsessed for a while with percentages and I’m so happy my Mom kept some of her goals cause they crack me up:

“Get in shape and don’t be lazy by 70%.” “Get only three cavities for the year.” “Become 30% more interested in others.” “Be 60"% nicer to others.”

LOVE those goals (especially the cavities one).  Gradually, through a bunch of practice, we started to learn that we needed to have a serious plan in order to make all those goals. When I was a teenager my Dad sat my siblings and I down and had us write down our “lifetime goals:” what we wanted to accomplish in life.  Then we went to “ten-year goals,” “five-year goals,” “one-year,” “one-month,” and right down to “weekly goals” that we incorporated into our Sunday Sessions.  We each had our own 3-ring binder with tabs for each to keep them in. We realized we had to have a plan and those smaller increment goals would help us get to the bigger ones we could always refer back to. Now, does it mean those goals I made were a failure because my biggest one when I was an early teenager was to be a cheerleader and I never even tried out?  Or am I a failure because at one point I wanted to become a curator at a fine-art museum and all I have left of that goal is that I adore art?  No. I don’t believe the point of having goals is actually to get to the destination.  I believe that goals help you seek out your divine purpose in life by helping you START SOMEWHERE, and KEEP MOVING.  (Dave came up with that wing-dinger phrase by the way, and I love it.)  We just simply can’t know our divine potential, but God does.  I believe He will help us get where He wants us to be if we work on progressing any way we know how. Dave is one of the best goal-makers I know.  During Family Home Evening right before New Years he had us all pull out our “technology” so we could download a new app he had found.  (Max and Grace have iPod touches that can do this stuff too.)  He had us look up and download something called “Good Habits.”  photo (1)He told us to choose some things we wanted to work on in the new year. Here are mine.  I decided to not get all crazy and overwhelm myself with too many.  These ones are helping me narrow down my choices for my “one word” I’m trying to set for 2013.  photo (2) I love that you can set reminders.  I get a reminder early each morning to read my scriptures.  Then mid-morning comes my reminder to give a compliment (usually in the form of an email or text…kind of like a thank you note…it makes me so happy when I’m grateful looking for the good in those around me). The “gentle voice” one is harder to be reminded of at a specific time because it’s something I want to encircle me always.  I’ve realized lately that my voice tends to be more harsh than I would like it to be when I’m in a hurry or trying to multi-task (which is pretty much all the time).  I’m trying to slow down enough to be the “eye of the storm” and BE the calm I crave for in our home and I’ve realized that starts with how I speak. Already I feel a little change coming inside me.  That little light inside me that sometimes gets so stifled with so much going on is getting more room to breathe. And that feels so good. Dave also had us write a description of what we thought life would be like on that day in 2013 (a year from then).  One example: 2012-12-31 iPhone 67445 Who knows what will come of this “plan,” but I love that she is “starting somewhere and plans to keep moving.”  It’s ok if her dreams meld into other things along the way, but starting somewhere will help guide her to where she wants to be, and lets her take initiative and ownership for what she works on. I love taking a minute to envision how life will be in the future and figure out the steps we need to make to get us there.  Thanks, Dad, for making goals such a big deal.  There’s nothing like the beginning of a new year to set some good ones and make a plan.

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  1. oh i love that app now, i sooo regret getting an android! ahahah… i wish i had gotton the iphone.. but i am going to see if there is something on there 😉

    I chose my word for the year, and i am going to keep moving forward!!

  2. Shawni great post. My good friend Francis Pendraza and his team created this really cool app for a
    Goals and dreams you might also enjoy. You can find it at the app store It is : everest.com
    Love ya

  3. LOVE this!! I especially love Dave's phrase. "Start somewhere and keep moving". Can I borrow this and hang it up at home? Goals are such an important thing to me. I don't always accomplish them, but yes, it does help me to keep moving. Thanks for this awesome post, Shawni!

  4. Hi Shawni,

    I found your blog a couple weeks ago and have had a really good time going through a lot of your old posts. I've come across some hardships lately while trying to get pregnant (you can read about it here: http://lifewithacrazypup.com/2012/11/07/a-healing-story/) and have found your site to be really inspirational and to help me keep my eye on the future, even when I'm going through some tough things of my own.

    I'm not of the same faith as you, but really… your messages are moving and powerful and people of all faiths can take so much from them. I also picked a word of the year for 2013 (after reading about your past experiences) and I'm looking forward to really putting my husband and family first. Thanks for keeping this site going, I'm sure it can be a ton of work! But — you really are helping so many women!

    Thank you!

  5. I love the cavities one! We set goals with our family this week and had to help my 6 year old figure out that his goal of reading the scriptures for 100 minutes every day was maybe a bit too ambitious for his age, so he reduced it to 20. What a great kid!

    I love reading your posts and the positive ideas you share about motherhood and just life in general. I've also adopted the one word tradition this year. Thank you so much for what you share!

  6. Shawni, It is only now that I realize I have been following your blog for 2 years. I first began when I was abroad in Sweden for 6 months and every last post is something I can relate to or something I appreciate. Oh, how I hope that when I have children (in the far future) this blog is still around as a reference and inspiration. I am 21 now and find nearly everything you write about so brilliant. Thank you, Thank you, Thank you!

  7. I love to make goals, sometimes a little too much (my husband teases me that instead of sitting down to write goals, I need to just do them!). Maybe thats why pretty much my whole blog revolves around goal setting as inspired by the Happiness Project (but I tend to bite off more than I can chew, so I needed a simplicity reminder). This is a great reminder to get my kids started on writing goals, so they can get the pleasure too! Thanks!

  8. I love your phrase "be the calm" in the eye of the storm. So often, I find myself getting caught up in the chaos and not being a calm gentle example for my three young kids. I've downloaded the app and "be the calm" in on my list! Thanks!

  9. Thank you so much for sharing all the wonderful things you do with your family. You are such a great example to me. I'm an app junkie, so I had to find an android app I like for keeping track of my goals. I found one called MyChain that is super simple with a widget you can use to easily mark your goals for the day. I also love the Compliment goal. That is my new one for this year.

  10. What a great post! I've already shared it with several friends. I have to say, even though adding percentages to goals seems a little funny, reading this helped me figure out how to nail down my goal of being on time this year. I know myself well enough that to say "I will be on time for everything" would set me up for a lot of discouragement, but saying "I will be in time more" is pretty weak. I've decided to say, "I will be on time 75% of the time!" I realize it's not perfect, but it fits with "Start somewhere and keep moving"! Thanks for the great post!

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