Good day, fancy friends and Happy New Year to you! If you’re like me, these first weeks of a new year mean lists, resolutions, rebooting, and reevaluating. I cover the spectrum — everything from my eating and exercising habits, what I’m reading, new things I’d like to try — nothing is off limits! And that includes my home.
In fact, my Home Goals get their own list, their own intentional thought process, even their own blog post. 🙂
Sure, it would be easy to lump those goals in with my aspirations to learn calligraphy or to try yoga, but our home is that important — it warrants its own set of goals.
Why, you might ask? I’ve given lots of though to “home” over my years of being a home blogger. Our homes are so much more than kitchens and bedrooms, brick and siding. Our home is where we’re raising our family, nurturing our marriage, resting our minds and bodies. It’s our safe haven and shelter from the storms of life. It’s where we begin and end our day. If you’re a home owner, your home is the single largest investment you will likely ever make. And we’ve been tasked with being good stewards of that with which God has blessed us. Proverbs 31 reminds us of all the noble aspects of caring for our homes and households.
And let’s be real: making an annual assessment of what needs to be done to care for and maintain our home just makes sense. We use our Home Goals to help budget for repairs and maintenance and plan the time frame in which each would best be accomplished. For instance, I know that that pesky little sinkhole in our backyard needs to get bumped to the top of the list this year. Though it’s not currently a safety hazard, with all the rain we’ve had in the past year, it has nearly doubled in size. No putting it off anymore. And by having it high on the list of home goals, we can plan for the expense and time it will require.
So now that you know the “why” let’s talk about the “how” — four steps to getting your goals in place.
1. Brainstorm. We always start off by brainstorming. It never fails that my husband will point out something that really needs to be or should be done that I would miss on my list. So we bounce ideas off each other to get started and add them to a big ‘ole To Do list. We literally walk around the inside and outside of our home. Our list this year was almost three pages long! But it included a lot of small to dos and some dream projects, too, so we used that brainstorming session as our jumping off point for this year’s goals. Three pages of projects is too daunting for 12 months!
2. Identify any “must do” projects. After we’ve brainstormed on what we’d like to tackle in the months ahead, we pick one or two critical projects — things that absolutely must get done for the overall maintenance of the home. Maybe it’s a new roof or a leaky basement or gutter guards. For us it’s that sinkhole in the backyard. Much as I’d love to be putting that time and money into decorating or renovating our master bath, the sinkhole is a “must do.” Last year, our “must do” was replacing some rotted wood on the exterior. What a great feeling it was to get that taken care of when all was said and done. Those “must dos” go to the top of the list of goals.
2. Select one or two medium-sized projects. From there we usually choose a medium-sized project that’s been waiting in the wings. Maybe you wanted to revamp your flower beds at the end of last summer or redecorate your daughter’s room. This year, it’s a laundry room makeover for us. No major renovation, but a bunch of cosmetic and functionality improvements that I can do myself (or with limited professional help). Let me just say, I’m much more jazzed about the laundry room than the sink hole — just having a fun project on the goals list keeps me motivated.
3. Make the rest bite-sized goals. After we choose our medium-sized project(s), it’s time to fill in with the smaller things. Too many big goals on the list are daunting and usually lead to burn out (we’ve learned!). So everything else is smaller scale, manageable projects. I even took a BIG project (whole home organization) and broke it down into a year long organization project. You can read more about it HERE. But the key is to have the smaller goals be ones you can accomplish in an afternoon or at the most a long weekend. When we’ve got lots of bite-sized goals I can cross off the list, I stay really motivated to keep going!
4. Reevaluate as needed. Let’s face it: things happen. Washing machines overflow or break down. I didn’t even mention the existence of a budget, but of course there is one. And it’s never unlimited. Make adjustments to your goals as the year goes on. If our sink hole solution ends up costing more than we think, I may have to sacrifice a few of our smaller goals or re-think how to get those accomplished. But that’s the beauty of goals… they’re not written in stone and aside from our “must do’s” it won’t be the end of the world if they get modified or pushed out a bit.
The important thing is that you are caring for your home and taking an active part in making sure it’s functioning well for your family. As mothers and wives, part of our vocation is caring for the family home. So let’s take it beyond the everyday tasks this year. Are you ready?? What are some of your Home Goals for 2014? I’d love to hear!
© 2014, Heidi Milton. All rights reserved. Love it? Please share, pin, tweet or email but do not use my work without permission.