Sunday, January 8, 2012

The Good Steward - 2012

Last year was a pretty great year.  Maybe it's because I didn't start out by putting too much pressure on myself, but I sure rose to every challenge and made a lot of progress on the areas of my life I wanted to be a much better steward.  I partially have my Stewardship Goals list to thank for that, but really I was able to focus on those priorities without the 'push' of a to-do list :) So, since it worked so well last year I've got another one for this year!

Stewardship of My Finances

1. Before buying anything new first consider reusing/recycling –something from last year I didn’t get to do a lot of, but aiming for this again this year. A sewing machine is one of the first things on my I can repurpose some clothes/cloth.
2. Pay off ALL debt and invest smarter – on track this year to pay off last loan other than vehicle and house, hope to start applying those loan payments to vehicle payments by mid-year. And I just diversified my current pension plan investments, will be keeping my eye on those this year. Depending on how things are going I want to start buying shares in my company this year as well.
3. Give more tithe than we already give – continue this plan, and as I mentioned in my recap of 2011, we already have a plan to move money from an area that shouldn't have been used as an investment, upon cancelling that we'll be using the cash value we built up towards our Church's building fund.

Stewardship of My Home
4. Better scheduling of Fly Lady cleaning tactics – with at least 1, usually 2, and potentially more, days per week where we are out of the house for the whole evening after a very quick supper, I couldn’t do a tactic everyday, so I went back in my calendar and lumped a few very small or like tasks together and eliminated a few I just never found needed, so now the tactics fit much better around my busy days and take advantage of the free(r) days. Plus, I have a new item on my list (further down) that will require an emphasis on a cleaner living/eating area, so I wanted those areas to be my focus, the rest can live under a little dust a little longer.
5. Establish a Meal Plan – I am still in the process of revising some of my recipes for my change in eating habits the last half of 2011, but once I finish I will have 2 sets of meal plans, each with 3 months worth of meals, which I’ll use 2 times each year (with a little wiggle room for trying new recipes). I attached the recipe name to the frozen pre-packaged meal last time and in my non-frost-free freezer the ink got wet and blurred, so I have/will laminate my recipes which I printed in full this time to make it easier to pre-package all the ingredients at one time, last time I needed my laptop around for that....and at cooking time, which is just silly.
6. Make as much food from scratch as possible – some foods I want to add to this list this year is homemade potato bread, and I would like to can my tomatoes and any other produce I end up with a lot of (depending on how I do with my container gardening this year!).
7. House Improvements – due to our financial goals our improvements will have to be on a need basis only, which is our shingles and our tax money is already 100% dedicated to it. I might be able to squeeze out some money to finally paint over some chips in the walls though.

Stewardship of My Body
8. Wake up at 6 am for strength training – I received a pretty clear message last year that I cannot use lack of time as an excuse for activity (or prayer) and specifically I should wake up earlier for this, so at 6 am I wake up, lift weights or do pilates, and then I pray. Specifically I want to gain some upper body strength and define my flabby arms a little, as I hope to have my latest tattoo design finished and done this year, which will be on my right shoulder/bicep.
9. Lose 8 lbs and maintain that weight – the goal weight I’ve had for myself is only 8 lbs away! I intend to keep up what has worked, which in addition to above (meal plans that cut out processed junk and fast food, and strength training) I am running twice a week for no less than 30 minutes (see more below) and I’m continuing with some key food choice changes:
Twice per week: no shrimp/pork, no dairy unless fermented or other than cow milk, no white rice/bread/pasta/potato, no sugar, no snacks unless fruit and/or nuts.
Once per week: no meat
All the time: 99% pork eliminated, add more protein sources, 75% complex carbs, more natural fats, more fish, more fish oil vitamins, more veggies (specifically dark greens & cauliflower).
10. Run/Jog the Father’s Day 10 K – When my sister Tami ran the 13 mile last year I was so proud of her, and even if she’d only done the 10 K it inspired me to even once make a goal that required discipline and significant activity! I’ve known other people who have done the 10k and they weren’t tremendously in shape, and I know I can walk that with almost no effort (given I have 4+ hrs), but I want to run/jog as much of it as I can.
11. Quit an unhealthy habit – I was inspired by a ‘New Year’s Resolution’ sermon at Church, and even though I don’t make resolutions anymore it got me thinking not just about adding healthier routines to my life but also cutting out the unhealthy. Coffee is a habit I picked up from a certain someone who’s second home is Starbucks, and then at work I got to having some when the office is cold or at that 2 pm crash but I don’t even really like it unless I add a bunch of sugar, cream, etc. So, since I’m going to get dragged to Sbux anyway, and I’ll still occasionally need a hot drink to warm me up I’m switching to herbal tea (not caffeinated). I’ve never been much of a tea drinker but lately I have found some really yummy teas that don’t even need a lot of sugar or cream....definitely not as much as I put in coffee anyway! Two of them happen to be served at Sbux, so I’m set!

Stewardship of My Earth
12. Continue composting and gardening – composting I’ve been very successful at, gardening only moderately so, but I’m going to keep on trucking! I’m sticking with the container gardening because of the lack of pests or weeds (yay) but I will have to make some modifications to my soil, watering, and amount of plants, as well as pay more attention to the weather as the cold nights (despite very hot days) nipped my peppers in the bud, hahaha.
13. Eating local – I’m not sure I can commit to whole 100 mile meals but, in addition to my garden harvests I intend to shop at Farmer’s Markets much more this year now that I have some experience under my belt. I’m also determined to start buying free range/grass fed beef, chicken and lamb this year. I stumbled on to a chicken through a friend last year but now I also have a direct farm hook up!
14. Acts of Green – I want to keep up what I’m already doing/trying, specifically conserving more water, turning off/unplugging appliances daily, and again trying to dry my clothes instead of using the dryer. A new one to add, which I’ve already been working on is using less gas; being easier on the gas peddle, walking when I can, and fixing up the bikes to ride to Church.

Stewardship of My Talents/Purpose
15. Blog/Journal- I want to keep capturing the moments in life that may or may not stay in my memory on their own. Even looking at my 2011 FB statuses was a great reminder of a few things I had forgot happened. It makes me sad I may forget some wonderful moments, and so I will continue to focus on this. In addition, I may have found a few girls who would like to hang out and do creative journaling together....I’m dreaming of the possibilities :)
16. Capture memories in scrapbooks and photobooks – in keeping with my last goal, I specifically want to capture big milestones before they are too many years ago, like weddings and the nieces and nephews. I think my wedding album is certainly my last physical scrapbook (and provided I can buy some refills, it WILL be done this year!), the rest will be photobooks. I would also like to create journal/memory books as gifts for next Christmas.
17. Continue developing my creative tendancies - I don’t really have anything specific in mind, I just don’t want my creative passions to get lost among all my other goals. Creativity is very important to me but this seems like a year I may not have specific goals, other than some that overlap with other areas already mentioned. But, as a reminder for my ‘spare’ time, do something creative with it!
18. Continue my work at Celebrate Recovery – I hope we grow soon so I can delegate a few things to some new volunteers, but I’m loving being in this ministry and my particular role is challenging but fun. I also likely going to be adding another night per week by opening ny home (therefore the need to stay on top of cleanly/tidyness) to a study group for women with anxiety, these study groups go deeper into self-study than the weekly lessons on Friday nights. It makes me busier but I’ll work something out, it will be worth it!

Stewardship of My Communities
19. Marriage community – we did a marriage series at Church and we learned that men connect better doing something “shoulder to shoulder”with someone and women connect better doing something with “face to face”interaction. So I hope to do at least one 1 hour per month of his and her connections (2 hours total). I’d make it a longer period of time but 1 hr face to face just about killed Sean last time, lol.
20. Winnipeg Community – once again will be trying to donate blood before my next tattoo!
21. Friend/Family/Neighbour Community – doing things for people they can’t do for themselves is awesome, want to keep this up.
22. Aunty Community – babysit all of the munchkins again at least once.
23. Friend Community - organize/host at least one gathering of friends every other month.
24. Church Community – invite at least 2 different couples over, at least 2 separate occasions.
25. Small Group Community – Sean is finally talking about this more seriously, I’m hoping this is the year we finally get back in a small group! We may even have it in our home (again, reason for #4) I had a women’s small group that might be starting I was invited to, it hasn’t happened yet but that would be great as well.

Stewardship of My Growth
26. Continue to step out of my comfort zone – avoid labelling ‘that’s not me’and just try things first!
27. Media fast Tuesday evenings – I think I failed at this last year because it was too ambiguous. I’m making the effort to unplug EVERY Tuesday evening! Being forced to avoid the couch (because then t.v. will be just too tempting) will not only help me get my butt on the treadmill, or cleaning/tidying a little, but also do all those things I never seemed to get done (try learning guitar, play with my camera skills more, etc.)
28. Read at least 6 books, at least 4 non-fiction – another reason for an unplugged Tuesday, my pile of books to read grows faster than I know what to do with!
29. Bible Reading and Prayer – My iPhone prayer checklist has come in handy and I’m going to be using it at 6 am to keep me organized who I want to pray for, but I’ll also be journaling (in a journal I already placed next to my exercise area) to just summarize what I prayed for each person. Also, I bought a new Bible, the Expanded version, I’m so excited to read this Bible, with amplified and literal translations, references to other verses talking about the same thing, giving cultural commentary. This is a Bible you don’t just read, you chew! I think that will help me get over my habit of skimming areas I’m too familiar with. I also plan on creating a timeline and reading it chronologically rather than the order it is in the Bible. I like history, I think it will help by giving it a more historical/archealogical viewpoint.

Stewardship of Living My Life
30. Take a short road trip within Manitoba – I’m far too nomadic to not travel, I need some open road and change of scenery now and then. Finances be damned! :) I just need to go somewhere, anywhere.
31. Go to some kind of art showing – although it may just grow my list of pieces I want in my home, I love looking at art and photography, even if I can’t have it.
32. Pamper myself – treat myself to an out of the home pampering at least twice, and an in home pampering at least twice.
33. Relax – I want to learn how to just be, to stop doing (and vegging in front of the t.v. doesn’t count). I heard a speaker, Mamma Maggie, at the GLS this fall and I just loved something she said, and I want that.
“Silence your body, to listen to your words. Silence your tongue, to listen to your thoughts. Silence your thoughts, to listen to your heart. Silence your heart, to listen to your spirit. And silence your spirit, to listen to His Spirit."

So there it is, and it's even 7 less items than last year! Yahoo!

Welcome 2012, I look forward to spending time with you.

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