A Candid Conversation with my Keyboard

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Although it’s only the beginning of December instead of the end, I’ve spent a lot of time over the last few days with something on my mind. Changes I need to make. Goals for the upcoming year. You know – New Year’s stuff. To quote Elphaba, “Something has changed within me. Something is not the same.” Somehow in the last few years, I’ve let things that are not important take time in my life that belonged to important things. I’ve known for quite a while that I’m spending too much wasted time with the internet and not enough engaging time with my family. But I didn’t want to change it. I liked the time I was spending checking Facebook or browsing through Pinterest or playing games. It’s like my own little world (with other adults!) inside the chaos that is family.

But. I’m done now. I’m ready to change. And while it’s hard to admit all of this, not just to myself, not just to my family, but to the whole 3 people who might read my blog, I feel like I need to put it out here. I need to put it in writing where other people can see it.

I need to sort out my priorities.

So, fueled by a fantastic blog I discovered today through a random pin that I can’t even find now, I’m ready to start setting some goals for the upcoming year. The blog is 71 Toes. It is full of fantastic real life family, parenting, and other advice. One of the things that stuck with me, since change has been on my mind, is how she chooses one word for each new year. I’m such a word person, that this totally speaks to me. Words are powerful. The words you choose to fill your mind with make a difference. So while I don’t know yet what my one word for 2013 will be, I’m thinking on it. Something to do with choosing what’s best over what’s just good. With setting my priorities. Or with really listening – to my family and my friends and myself. Of being 100% honest with myself. Or something like that.

And while I’m mulling over my one word in my mind, I want to share with you something I’ve come up with that might just help me and my family on this path. I’m calling it the MNOP method. I thought of it all of 30 minutes ago while folding clothes and have yet to put it to the test, so bear with me.

While planning out the week/day or whatever time period we’re looking at, we’ll sort things into 4 categories:

MNOP

Must – things that absolutely must get done. If they don’t get done, you fail. Or I fail, since we’re talking about me here.
Nice – things that would be nice to get done, but aren’t necessarily urgent. They may be a bit more flexible in their time frame and the world won’t end (yet) if they’re not done right now.
Optional – things you want to do, but but if they don’t happen, meh.
Play – things like hobbies or … whatever else you consider playing.

Ideally, I would get things done in order of priority. Reality is, things happen, and I’m not perfect. I’m so far from perfect that I can’t even think of a clever way to end this analogy. But as long as everything on the MUST and NICE lists get taken care of before they hit the SHOULD HAVE list, things are going okay, right?

Now comes the hard part. Something’s gotta give. Nothing changes if I don’t change anything (profound, eh?). Some people give up chocolate for a year for their health or self control or whatever. Don’t worry, I will never be one of those people. But I think I’m going to be giving up computer games. For the whole of 2013. I know, it sounds stupid. But I’ve seriously wasted too much of my time on them. I can’t even believe I just admitted that.

If I can go the entire year without wasting a single minute of my time with a computer game, I’ll think up some awesome give away to do on the blog. But that means you have a part in this too. You need to help me. Encourage me. Ask me how I’m doing with my goals. And I’ll ask you too sometimes. Team effort. All 4 of us.

So what are your goals for the upcoming year? Have you thought about them? What positive changes do you need to make in your life? And are you ready to make them?

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5 responses »

  1. I love the word of the year idea. It makes me want to think of a theme for me for 2013. Part of my big change this year is actually due to the title of this blog. I like the idea of more doing. I’m on Pinterest, but I only allow myself to research one or two things at a time and then I focus on one project. Now sure that means that for all of October and November I pretty much focused on a busy book, but in the end it’s going to be awesome and I feel like you should know that you inspired it. I wanted to plan less and do more and it’s worked splendedly. So thanks for the motivation with all the great things you do.

  2. Well thanks, Hilary! I remember spending so so so much time on the quiet books I made for my son and my nephew last year, but in the end, it was worth it. I love your idea to only focus on 1 or 2 things at a time – I can get so wrapped up in Pinterest and all the projects I *could* do that nothing I DO do gets the time and attention it could use to be really awesome instead of just….okay. Good luck with your goal to do more this year! And let me know if and when you come up with your theme for 2013 – I’d love to hear it!

  3. I might choose a word like “better” for “choose to be better” or “choose the better part”. Just a suggestion. I feel like I NEED to do goals this year. I am positive they have been overlooked the last 2 years because of broken legs and pregnancies. (and my husband HATES them. He just doesn’t see the point, talk about pulling teeth.) I agree that things have been slipping in my family too and I need to get them back on track. I only have so much time while my kids are little and I need to use them wisely, not just let them pass by.

    • I like the suggestion, Jocie! My husband doesn’t know about any of this yet. ;) He was revamping lesson plans while I typed it all up last night, but I tell you what, I’ll be getting the whole family on board here soon!

  4. Pingback: One Word for 2013 « Less Pinning More Doing

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