Monday Mission: Step Back, Set a Goal

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Your mission, if you choose to accept, is to take a breather.

This mission is actually for me, but you’re welcome to play along if you’d like. Winking smile

I have a couple of phrases that I’ve caught myself saying a lot lately:

“I’m just keeping my head above water.”

“I may not be able to keep all my balls in the air anymore, but I at least try really hard to keep them from rolling all the way out of the room when I drop them.”

If you feel like each day tumbles into the next, like you’re constantly moving and never quite finishing anything, like your nose if just barely above the surface of the water…this mission is for you.

If you make a to-do list on Monday and you’re still working on the same one on Saturday…this mission is for you.

And if you wish your kids were more helpful in the kitchen…this mission is for you, too.

When my weeks fly by so quickly that Sunday becomes the next Sunday before I know it, it’s hard to take a minute to even evaluate what balls I’m dropping, and more importantly, what balls I should be juggling that I haven’t even noticed.

Last week I had a quiet Friday morning at home when I was supposed to be at a moms’ group at a church, giving a talk on incorporating kids into the kitchen.

The rain and flooding here caused the meeting to be cancelled, and although it was a bummer that I had prepared a talk I didn’t get to give, it was an awfully pleasant morning with my two littlest ones.

I don’t want it to take a weeklong rain and flooding to get me to slow down and enjoy my kids, and I don’t wish a catastrophe on you to knock you into slowing down, either.

What’s Happening in the Long Term?

my life in boxes (1)

This week, I’m determined to step back from my daily and weekly lists and look at the big picture. I’m going to do some of the prioritizing activities (again) from Amy Andrews’ Tell Your Time, and set some goals for the summer.

I encourage you to set a “big goal,” something that you want to learn, something you want to accomplish, a system you want to set up or organize by a certain date. This is the wimpy person’s version of a “bucket list” – it’s just one thing. Or two. But certainly not a whole bucket full.

The point is to make a goal, any goal (or 3), for the kitchen, the household, the green living journey – for each member of your family. Set a short deadline, like “end of summer” or “by the time he’s 9.” No more than 6 months, because you want it to be reachable so that you can set another one.

One of my major goals needs to be “finish unpacking boxes from moving in December 2011.” Or also, since I haven’t really instituted a good cleaning schedule since the move either, I might make that my goal with 31 Days to Clean and 28 Days to Hope for Your Home as my guides (it will probably take me the whole 59 days of both books in succession to get my act together!).

I also really need to get composting set up, something I hoped to do last summer but did not get a plan or supplies…and thus failed.

For the Kimball Kids in the Kitchen

DSC04959 (475x356)

That speech I was supposed to give was going to encourage the women listening to set 1-3 concrete kitchen goals for each of their children before they left the room that day.

I planned to share some examples of what kids can do at every age, using GNOWFGLINS Real Food Kids eCourse as a guide for the ages we haven’t experienced yet since my oldest is just about to turn eight.

I didn’t get to share my challenge with any other women, but in the course of planning for the talk, I started setting summertime food goals for my own kids.

Last summer, we decided Paul, age 7, should learn to make tacos and guacamole on his own. There was a third goal, but I can’t remember it. He is an awesome guac maker now!

This year, we want to teach him to do hand dishes, cut vegetables with a sharp knife, and make a recipe all by himself.

For our nearly-5-year-old girl, Leah, we want her to learn to dry what her brother washes, soak dry beans and brown rice, and perhaps increase her own knife skills a bit. (She’s already a whiz at cutting hard-boiled eggs, cooked potatoes, cucumbers, and bananas.)

And for the 20-month-old, we want to teach him to carry a real plate flat while walking across the room. There will likely be other goals for him, but he’s changing so much that I don’t know right now what he’ll be able to handle in 3 months.

Kid Routines

We go in and out of good routines at our house, typically starting fresh with the imagenew school year and petering out by this time in the spring. Beds are not always made, dishes might be forgotten on the table until Mom mentions the dishwasher, and weekly cleaning chores get abandoned for the call of the sunny outdoors.

This week, my kids may be surprised by a new routine. I’ll be printing either the “high fives” from the eBook Organizing Life as Mom or the Easy Peasy Chores cards (that one is a little more intensive, but more comprehensive as well, and it would keep me on task too).

Mom’s Routines

Now that I determined that I’m a “routine” person and not a “schedule” person using The Homemakers Guide to Creating the Perfect Schedule, something that didn’t surprise me in the least, I need to get working on my own homemaking routines. Since our schedule is about to change for summer, I’ll chart out “morning” and “afternoon” for each day with a goal category for each time slot.

Now…to find the time and space to actually step back! I’ll write it on my to-do list for today… Winking smile

How About You?

Do you need to pause life and take a look at the big picture? Can you set some goals for your kids and yourself with finite, achievable deadlines?

If you need some inspiration for simple, baby step changes to make in the kitchen and natural living areas of life, be sure to check out the past Monday Missions to see if there are any you may have missed, and if you’re new here, try the 10 Back to Basics Baby Steps we reviewed in Jan/Feb. of this year.


What are your “big picture” or “do it this summer” goals?

I bet some people out there are having chickens for the first time…!

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10 Bites of Conversation So Far

  1. Alma via Facebook says

    I had my 4yo&5 yo sweeping and my 7 yo cleaning toilets. All 3 do dishes, but it requires teamwork, since it would be work going up and down the step stool. Now if only I could stay consistent on getting them to help. :-/

  2. says

    This is a good reminder! I have some things that I need to accomplish, but I haven’t set any deadlines. Maybe I need to make a goal to sit down and write out my goals. :)

    • Katie Kimball @ Kitchen Stewardship says

      It’s the baby steps, right Allison?! 😉 I love a goal to sit down and make goals… :) Katie

  3. Shauna says

    One of my goals is to include my 7-yr-old son more in the kitchen. So often, it’s so much easier to do it myself, or else he’s out playing when it’s time to make dinner. But I had him help in making tacos last night, and he really enjoyed it and told me how great it was to work together. (Awww…) So I really need to include him more.

    • Katie Kimball @ Kitchen Stewardship says

      I’m in the exact same spot! It’s tough, b/c even when they enjoy helping, playing with friends/outside is ALWAYS more tempting. I should start planning ahead and let him know which meal he’ll help with and get started right after school or something, or every rainy day. :) Katie

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