Monday, September 8, 2008


I've been thinking about goals lately. It's important to set goals but it's also important to think carefully about the goals you set. One of my goals this year was to finish our curriculum. I wanted to be consistent and to do school every day and to feel a sense of accomplishment at the end of the school year. These are good things but I don't think my original goal necessarily would achieve that end result. I suppose I would certainly feel a sense of accomplishment but at what cost? Would my children have learned what I wanted them to learn? Would we have enjoyed the process? As we're now one week into our school year, I think I need to re-define my goals.

Yes, I still want to do school consistently and use our time wisely. But I started looking ahead at Brendan's math and realized that he's going to get frustrated and really struggle in a couple months. He'll be introduced to division when he won't have fully memorized multiplication facts yet. I debated about what to do - I really wanted to finish that curriculum this year! I thought about the bigger picture and eventually realized that it is more important that he learns a few things and learns them well this year then learning many things and not really knowing what he's doing.

I'm going to work on more individual goals for Brendan and Tori and possibly make some curriculum changes to better fit what they need this year. When I was first thinking about this school year earlier this summer, my goal was to get through the year. :) I no longer worry about achieving that goal. We're going to have a great year.

Another goal I've had for a few months has been a personal goal - to run 3 miles. I used to run in high school and occasionally in college. I ran a few times after Brendan was born but it was hard to find a time to run and I didn't like running by myself. I had lots of excuses. Then a couple years ago, I joined a gym and would walk on the treadmill or use the elliptical machine. One time I tried jogging on the treadmill and after only a couple minutes, my ankles completely locked up! I slowed it down right away and had to hold on so I didn't fall off. Can you even imagine the humiliation?

I tried it again at home a couple days later and was shocked at how out of shape I was. I shouldn't have been shocked - exercise has never been a priority for me. But it was so easy to just start running in high school. I guess that is a difference between running when you're 30 and running when you're 16. So sad. I determined I wanted to be able to run again but then found out I was pregnant. Not the best time to start a running program.

After Rachel and Owen were born, I heard a friend talking about a running program called Couch to 5k in 9 weeks. You start out slowly alternating between a brisk walk and a jog for longer periods of time until you are running 3.1 miles or 5k. That sounded perfect for me. I'm not a very disciplined person and the idea of a written assignment really appealed to me. We decided to buy a treadmill - another major incentive to really do this. I didn't want to waste that money! I started in early April and was diligent about running 3 times a week. I built up to 18 minutes of running but then decided it was okay if it took me longer to get up to running 3 miles. It was more important that I was running at least a little bit.

In July, I asked my friend Lisa if she'd like to run with me. She hadn't been running regularly but thought it sounded like a good idea so we met to run and ran 1 1/2 miles and thought we'd never make it. Then we had to miss a couple weeks because of vacation and family visiting. We had been toying with the idea of running a 5k race on Sept 13 but now it was mid-August and we still hadn't run more than 1 1/2 miles! We ran 2 miles that week and then decided to shoot for 2 1/2 the next time. We managed that but just barely. This last week we tested ourselves and set a goal of 3 miles and We Did It! It was such a thrill.

We're still not sure about the 5k race this Saturday but knowing we did it once is a great incentive to keep going. I know there will be another race to run. Now to set another goal . . .

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