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Setting Priorities: February Goals

Setting priorities - making goals to keep what matters most in life in focus.

January flew by as all the months seem to. I know that, even with 2016 being a Leap Year, February will feel incredibly short. My word for 2016 is LIVE, and that makes setting priorities more important than ever.

January goals went all right – not great. The kids are settling into school, and Johnny completed a fun ancestry float identity project for school. I printed off a thumbprint design for Johnny’s teacher (will post when I get the chance), and the other room mom (who does the lion’s share of the room mom work) got all the kids’ thumbprints. We have a date for Emma’s birthday party, and some very vague plans. The date we picked isn’t until March, so we have some time. We spent some time outside, but not as much as I would like. I am working on building up Anna’s walking endurance, with reasonable success.

There was a lot going on this month! Emma started rehearsals for a school play. I helped Johnny’s cub scout den make activity kits and art to donate to our local hospital. Lily joined the school walking club, and is thoroughly enjoying walking and talking with friends (old and new) during lunch break and recess. Anna enjoys a very basic tumbling class, and makes up her own dance moves at home. She is, by far, the most interested in dance of my four children, and I would like to find a class for her eventually.

We got plane tickets and a flat booked to stay in in Edinburgh, Scotland – we will be traveling there this June for Mike’s work. Emma was born in Edinburgh, and Mike and I lived there for three years. We have been trying to make it back for the past decade, and we are thrilled that the dream will become reality.

Making time for life - setting priorities.

Setting Priorities: February Goals

I always link my goals to areas of focus as a way of setting priorities. For 2016 I am concentrating on gratitude, learning, and mindful living.

  • Work on my illustration class. I always wanted to take an art class, but never did, apart from one sculpture class in college that I loved. This is my chance to expand my horizons, and I think the kids may choose to learn alongside me. Learning .
  • Finish planning Emma’s birthday party. Gratitude.
  • Help Emma make valentines for her class. Johnny and Lily have store-bought ones, but Emma has other plans and I will enjoy working with her on this project. Gratitude.
  • Make the most of California’s mild weather by spending time outside as often as possible. Mindful living.
  • Spend focused time with each kid each week. I really prioritized this in January, and found it highly rewarding. Depending on the child and their mood, we read books, made crafts, cooked, danced (I’m a terrible dancer, so making the most of these early years when my kids don’t care) and spent time talking and listening. Mindful living.
  • Enjoy mini dates with Mike working on this LEGO set. This is the funnest at-home date we have come up with in a while, and it’s pretty affordable when you spread the building across a series of evenings. Gratitude and mindful living.
  • Catch up photo editing. Gratitude.
  • Make another photobook. Gratitude.
  • Help Emma make a doll based off of the patterns in My Felt Doll. She has the basic doll pattern all traced; now I need to help her cut it out and start her off sewing. Bonus: this will be part of my focused time with her. Learning.
  • Sew up the squares (rectangles, in this case, actually) of Lily’s quilt. Each rectangle has a single curved seam. There are 160 of them, and if I do a few each day this is very do-able and enjoyable. I may even get them trimmed and start sewing them together, but I’m not making that one of my goals.

What are your plans for February?


MaryAnne lives in Silicon Valley with her Stanford professor husband Mike and their four children. She writes about parenting through education, creativity, and play. Mama Smiles - Joyful Parenting is a space to share crafts, hands on learning activities, and family outings that enrich lives and bring families together.

14 thoughts on “Setting Priorities: February Goals”

  1. This is a great post! We are working on Valentines this year as well. All of my girls have different ideas.

    It is great that you will be traveling!

  2. Wow, a busy month! How do you manage it all with 4? I barely get by with 3 AND I have my MIL helping with cooking and sometimes watching the kids!
    How exciting for you to go back to Scotland! I predict some interesting posts and pictures from that trip!
    I agree – setting priorities is one of the important things, but sticking to them – is a whole different science. So good luck!!!

  3. Elisa | blissfulE

    Love your mini-date idea and that you’ll be travelling to Edinburgh! How awesome that your whole family gets to go, and at least partially paid for by Mike’s work (I assume). Win-win!!

    1. Yes, partially paid. We will have to pay part way, but would never make it over without the partial subsidy. We are all really looking forward to the trip!

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