Monday, 9 January 2012

tools for 2012

I know that New Year's was over a week ago, but here I am still talking about it. I think it's the return to school today that has me dreaming about new routines and goals.

Over the weekend, we talked about some of our goals for 2012 as a family. Zoe wants to make more friends. Eden wants to help poor people and would like to do people's nails and do face-painting in order to raise money for them.

Eden had 4 main goals: help poor people, invite Nolan over, get to reading level C, and go in a play. She also wants to marry Nolan. I suggested that this goal might not be attainable in 2012, so she wrote "Big Goals" above that one.

And me? My word for this year is "cherish" - and I'd like to spend more time consciously doing this. More on that in another post. One of my goals is to finish projects, which I talked about in a previous post. Another hope is moving to a new house - both Derek and I feel ready for this (we don't always agree on everything, but on this - we seem to have come to an understanding). Not sure what that will look like yet, but perhaps this is the year. Yet another goal: publish. I'd like to publish something outside of the Mennonite world this year. That was one of my goals last year, and it led to me starting this blog and taking a job mid-year as a web writer for an adoption agency. So who knows where it will lead this year.

Do you get into this goal-setting, or do the January blues kick in for you? Here are a couple of fun tools that friends have passed on to me. Perhaps they will help you too to ring in the new year. Click away!

2012 Declutter and Organize Calendar (with Sundays off!) Brilliant and doable. I've got one printed off already.

Unravelling the Year Ahead 2012: Susannah Conway leads a wonderful e-course (I've taken 2 of them so far!) and has this free downloadable to help chart your path in 2012, including choosing a word for the year. The geeky part of me just loves little exercises like this.

Setting goals with kids: Three Stars for 2012. If you happen to have a child who wants to save the world, and another who wants to make a friend, perhaps working through goals for the year could be of use. It helped in our household, anyway.

If one of your goals is more quiet, read this New York Times article: The Joy of Quiet by Pico Iyer. It's a keeper.

Read this New Year's prayer of hope written by Carol Penner.

Have you heard of Women's Christmas? I hadn't until a friend told me about it yesterday. It's an Irish custom, called Nollaig Na mBan, and it's celebrated on the day of epiphany - January 6th. The whole point of this day was for the weary women, who carried the weight of the household chores and responsibilities, to have a day off after the hustle and bustle of the holidays. The men would tend the hearth while the women retreated/partied.

If you're interested in learning more, Jan Richardson has developed Journey of a Traveling Heart: A Retreat for Women's Christmas. Here's the great part: you don't have to do it on January 6th! You can make time for this when it suits - and do it solo or in a group of women. Jan has some great questions - about journeying through this year and the unique gifts we can offer. She includes her poetry and artwork in it too - it's a treat to look through it. I'll be printing this one off soon too. And maybe next year I'll host a Women's Christmas.

One last thing: a beautiful song written by Bobby McFerrin to listen to as you take a quiet moment (although I guess technically music doesn't equal quiet). It's called "Psalm 23" and it is dedicated to his mother.

Wishing you strength for the journey...


  1. Thank you For all the information and links. I hauled my printer out of the closet and right now it is printing off a copy of Journey of a Traveling Heart. Next in line - unravelling the year ahead. I skimmed some of this, it could take a while to work through. I have never really taken the time to pause at the beginning of a new year. But this year I will give it a try. I would love to be a part of your Woman's Christmas.

    What are you going to publish? You go woman!!!

    Still pondering my word.

    Also - I want to see your finished friday projects. A great idea. You could post photos each Friday?

  2. Glad you're finding some useful things, Shauna. I love to plunk away at this kind of thing - the Unravelling one I'll probably work on for a couple of weeks, here and there.

    Yes! Let's plan a women's Christmas for next year. Fun! Maybe we'll have henna as part of it.

    I have a couple of things lined up for publishing - all in the MennoMedia world. So that's why I have this other publishing goal - to push me out of what's most comfortable/easy/familiar to me. So we'll see! I'll let you know when I know.

    Hmmm - an interesting idea with the Friday postings. Thanks!

  3. Great links and resources. Thank you.