07 February 2013

2013 Goals, Part 2

Part Two of my very lengthy goal setting post.

Goals for 2013:

I should preface my goals with this statement; I know I am a woman and I know this book I reference is "The Art of Manliness".

My husband received this book as a wedding gift from one of his good friends. He read it almost instantly (yes, even on our honeymoon) and then set off improving on his plethora of manly skills. I could tell the book hit home with him and he shared some of the insight with me. The Art of Manliness includes Benjamin Franklin's 13 Virtues as a prototype for daily living (check out this great post about the virtues here). The 13 virtues resonated with me as they seemed to define the well-rounded person I desire to be. Although some of the virtues are written to apply to men, a few teaks and word exchanges and it can apply to anyone.

So my goals for 2013, following Benjamin Franklin's 13 virtues are as follows:

Temperance: Eat not to dullness, drink not to elevation
I really like this idea. For me personally, I want to loose 30 lbs. to be back to my "normal" weigh pre-pregnancy. Unfortunately for me, diets just don't work. I eat decently healthy with the occasional dessert or dinner out thrown in. I don't like to worry about what I eat, instead choosing to focus on eating more natural, whole foods not counting calories. The idea of not eating to dullness is a great goal for me because I tend to inhale my food, eat too much in one sitting or not even take the time to enjoy the food. I am choosing to focus on eating moderately and enjoying every bite. Although eating slowly with an infant is kind of an oxymoron, I hope at least being conscience of what I eat will help.

Silence: Speak not but what may benefit others or yourself. Avoid trifling Conversation.
This virtue is particularly hard for me I read this as saying don't just gab for no reason, have a point in a story or question. Don't just talk to hear yourself talk, or in my case because you don't talk a majority of the day to others. I work in a small office, take very few phone calls and don't always have time to chat around the water cooler. By the end of the day I am wanting to just talk someone's ear off, about anything or nothing at all. Although having a conversation is great, and healthy, talking just because I can leads to a lot of dullness in my personal relationships. That is not to say I won't have meaningless conversations, but to try and keep the junk out of my conversations and talk about something real. I like to walk away from a conversation feeling like I have gained some knowledge or truly enjoyed talking to that person. Plus I have two ears and one mouth, I should listen more.

Order: Let all your things have their places. Let each part of your business have its time.
I am horrible at this. I play this game with picture frames in my house called "where can I shuffle this frame too?". It drives me nuts. This will be a main focus for me. First, have less stuff. Second, find it a home or get rid of it. End of story.

Resolution: Resolve to perform what you ought. Perform without fail what you resolve.
A very fair virtue I think. I am on track with this one for the most part but sometimes my very good intentions don't pan out. Procrastination or lack of enthusiasm often means the end to resolutions. What a good idea to start a new year with.

Frugality: Make no expense but to do good to others or yourself. 
The ultimate virtue when having children. I want my children to benefit from my husband and I paying ourselves first. Including not buying in excess of what we need, but also putting aside money for future expenses. I am energized that this virtue will be great for me to focus on as I enter a very self-less part of life.

Industry: Lose no time. Be always employed in something useful. Cut off all unnecessary actions.
Ok, "cut off all unnecessary actions" seems a little extreme but I can see where this goal can go. For instance, my husband and I have some favorite shows we like to watch on some weeknights. After each show there are of course other shows. Some times neither one of us will get up to turn off the t.v. and end up watching an additional half an hour or more t.v. then we planned on. Not that relaxing and not doing anything is bad, but that extra time can be well spent doing other things. Especially things with Raphael. I am guilty about just zoning out, but doing something useful makes me feel so much better. When I head back to work, this extra time can be filled with so many helpful and necessary things.

Sincerity: Use no hurtful deceit. Think innocently and justly, and, if you speak, speak accordingly.
With this virtue, seeing the good in people before judging can really go a long way. I am forever an optimist but sometimes I wrongly judge others based on stereotypes or worse, word of mouth. Everyone has the ability to be sincere, I want to really cultivate and inspire others to do the same no matter the medium (i.e.-social media).

Justice: Wrong none by doing injuries, or omitting the benefits that are your duty.
With people looking inward a majority of the time, I take this virtue to challenge myself to be fair and honest with people. Sometimes I tell a white lie to say what I think others want to hear, but I am doing them a disservice by insulting their trust. I don't want to come off spewing opinions, but making it clear that I mean what I say is important. If a compliment is due or a criticism needed I want to make sure I speak up, especially for others.

Cleanliness: Tolerate no uncleanliness in body, cloaths, or habitation.
This virtue seems easy, but so does not getting dressed when you have no where to be (at least the next few weeks!). I want to make sure and keep things clean both for health reason but also peace of mind. Nothing helps me with order in my life then a shower and a clean house.

Tranquility: Be not disturbed at trifles, or at accidents common or unavoidable.
I think this means no road rage. Try as you might to be perfect, no one is. With this virtue, I want to focus on letting the little life "oops" moments go. People spell your name wrong, or forget to call. Letting it slip off my shoulder will ease my stress and give others the benefit of the doubt. Everyone has their bad days.

Chasity: Rarely use venery but for health or offspring, never to dulness, weakness, or the injury of your own or another’s peace or reputation.
Being married takes care of this virtue so I am going to consider myself on the right track here!

Humility: Imitate Jesus and Socrates
This virtue is really important to me. To show love and reason are essential to life. Although these are almost "untouchable" men in terms of their impact on humans, striving to live out the virtues they establish can be a lofty goal Making any sort of progress with this goal will be worth my time. My plan to work on this goal includes showing kindness when I would rather scream and thinking logically through problems before acting rashly.

Deep breath. This could be a tough year.
Some of these virtues are tough to live out. I hope my goals become a part of my life even more than any previous goals. I cannot wait to let you know how it is going, and to see the change in myself.

Here's to another great year! 
(which is already one month done!)

What are your goals? What do you want to accomplish? Who do you want to become?


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