My husband and I like to evaluate ourselves fairly regularly. We know we are flawed, imperfect people, and that there is always much room for improvement in our lives. We try hard not to be stuck in ruts or in our own (stubborn) ways. Essentially, we are always trying to live each day better. We fail. And fail some more. But, we keep trying.
Living Each Day Better
And I guess that’s why I love making goals and I love making New Year’s Resolutions. I’m not in the camp of “Why make goals and resolutions if you know you’re just going to break them, when you are just going to fail.” I think that’s rubbish. Just because I will not meet my ideal goals and dreams 100% of time doesn’t mean I should stop making the goals to begin with. Nor does it mean once I fail one day to keep a resolution that I should stop trying all together.
My tag line for What’s up Fagans? is “Living each day better.” Why? Because that’s what I strive to do, and what I hope to share with others. I don’t always live better, nor do I always have the best advice. But, I’m striving, and I believe we should all keep trying to improve our lives, never giving up, always enduring to the end. I came across the following quote from President Lorenzo Snow (given in a talk by Elder Soares) that perfectly captures the heart of what I am getting at:
It is our duty to try to be perfect, . . . to improve each day, and look upon our course last week and do things better this week; do things better today than we did them yesterday.
We have our little follies and our weaknesses; we should try to overcome them as fast as possible, and . . . should [instill] this feeling in the hearts of our children . . . that they may learn to [behave] properly before Him under all circumstance.
. . . But supposing [we] should fail in [our] next day’s attempt, that is no reason why he should not succeed in doing so the third day.”
So, my husband and I like to challenge ourselves. And often we do these challenges together. I love that my husband is as goal-oriented and self-evaluating as I am. There’s something great about having someone to be held accountable to in order to keep us on the right track!
In the past some of our challenges have been food oriented:
We’ve gone months at a time without eating any treats/candy/desserts. We’ve committed to not eating out more than once or twice a month as well as not eating out at all for two whole months. We’ve tried to make meal calendars (I say try because we’re still working on implementing them consistently in this house) and make all of our meals at home. We’ve tried out warehouse memberships and shopping at Target instead of Kroger for groceries.
Some of our challenges have been money oriented:
We’ve gone the gambit with streaming subscriptions – from hulu+, to DVD-only netflix, to streaming-only Netflix, to Redbox, to none of them for entire months at a time. We’ve switched internet providers to get a better deal (and have worked hard to keep and score the best deals). We’ve gone without cell phones for over a year before, as well as microwaves and dishwashers. We recently switched to an Ooma Telo VoIP to save money (because we prefer our landline to our mobile phone). We’ve made goals for getting out of debt. We’ve removed all credit cards from our wallets before (especially Josh, the spender) so as not to spend more.
Some of our challenges have been home oriented:
We’ve made cleaning schedules, both verbal and written. We’ve made bedtimes for ourselves (which I’ve been ignoring repeatedly and our children. We’ve set screen time limits (which apparently don’t apply to me), and expectations of our children.
Some of our challenges have been spiritually oriented:
We’ve made FHE goals, temple attendance goals, scripture study and prayer goals. We challenge ourselves to develop better, more personal, and meaningful relationships with God. We make goals to home and visit teach, to fulfill church callings and responsibilities more fully.
Some of our challenges have been self-improvement oriented:
I have challenged myself to eat healthy, to learn new hobbies like cooking, to exercise, to lose weight (Josh always is working on this one), to become a runner, to read lots of books, and to be nicer.
My husband and I have failed at pretty much every goal we’ve made, but it doesn’t stop us from making them again, for trying, again, to be better. We believe in challenging ourselves and in becoming better people, better spouses, better parents, better citizens, better friends, better Christians. We don’t want to become stuck in our ways. We don’t want to fear change. We want to embrace how change helps us grow. We want to be perfect and want to come unto Jesus Christ so that we can.
So, I encourage you all to join us in 2014 in living each day better. Challenge yourself. Improve yourself. And don’t be afraid to fail. Just make sure to try again tomorrow!
Have you or are you making New Year’s Resolutions this year?
Want More Parenting, Penny Pinching, and Simple Living Tips?
Subscribe and get my best advice delivered right to your inbox. As a thank you, you'll receive these three laundry room printables for FREE.