Well, What DO You Want?

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Well, What DO You Want? Crafting a vision for the future

A month or so ago, I was having a in-depth debate with my husband. In my head.

You see, he is an expert at debate; no lame statement slips by him. In serious conversation, I know better than to drop a casual remark without backing it up. If I say I don’t like something, he’s going to ask for me to give examples of what I do like. After twenty+ years of these types of conversations, I can kinda guess what he will say in response to something I would say. If I take the time to think it through. 

Sometimes, I hold off on the conversation. Sometimes, I eliminate it completely. Sometimes, I enter prepared. Ha!

I don’t even remember the topic of this hypothetical debate, but at the end of it, his (imaginary) voice in my head said,

Well, what DO you want?

It was a great question. I sat down right then and there and generated a huge list. And I think you should, too.

You see, I think we moms sometimes fall into the trap of just swallowing our dreams or wants in exchange for what we think might be best for the family. Or we guilt ourselves into thinking that it’s wrong to want something. Or other folks intimate that we should just up and be happy and quit complaining.

Wanting something different than you have doesn’t necessarily equal discontent. And identifying the things you desire can help you achieve a better life for you and your family.

Well, What DO You Want? Crafting a vision for the future

I think that if you are honest with yourself, if you know what you want, if you take the time to write those things down, you can be more realistic about your present as well as your future. You can think objectively about your life.

You can determine if those “wants” have a place in your life today, if they have a place in tomorrow, or if they really aren’t for you.

So that you will have a better idea of what I’m talking about, here’s my list, dated November 13, 2013, in no order of importance:

  • a beautiful home that’s easy to keep tidy and organized
  • school – reasonably thorough and done by noon, or 2 at the latest
  • happy children who love books, the great outdoors, and exercise
  • games and movies that enhance our lives and don’t dominate it
  • fresh air and travel
  • healthy food and less temptation toward processed crap, etc
  • game nights and movie nights and quiet nights with books
  • bonfires and candlelight and conversation and music
  • date nights and overnighters with my husband
  • early bedtimes
  • exercise, a healthy back, no hip pain
  • red wine and yummy food
  • money in the bank to pay for our needs and to send kids to college if they want to go
  • time to talk about big things and small things
  • simpler finances (selling the rental house, using the envelope system, opening more accounts to keep track of savings, etc)
  • a car that is easy to drive and park
  • regular work hours and vacations (I don’t want to work all the time.)

As you can tell, my “wants” are more than a Christmas wishlist. They are really a vision of a lifestyle I want our family to have. None of them are super expensive, extravagant, or unrealistic. All work together to create a certain atmosphere that I crave for our family.

Looking over this list, I don’t think that there’s anything that my husband or kids would object to. This gives me a vision for how I can work and plan and dream in the new year as well as in the years to come.

Well, What DO You Want? Crafting a vision for the future

Having this list in my journal has been helpful to me over the last six weeks or so. When I start to complain, I look at my list and ask myself what I can do to work toward these things instead. They give me a direction to move in. They give me hope to create an even better life than we already have.

In some ways this is an alternative to writing “goals” for the year. It’s crafting a dream life that has potential to become your reality.

Jot down some of the things that you would like to see, experience, achieve, accomplish, have in this life. Pray over them, talk to your husband about them, decide what fits this time, and then go for it.

So, what do YOU want?

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  1. Family-practice ignatius hi’s and lows at dinner or before bed, bless the children daily or do prayers together
    Good eats: strive for 2 fruits and 2 cups of greens while keeping the budget
    Reduce spending and set goal to pay off mortgage
    Beer and wine without guilt
    Books in bed til noon and sharing what we read afterward
    Fishing and boating
    Practice more hospitality
    I’ve enjoyed your blog. Thank you for sharing.

  2. I have been following your blog for a little over a year now, and just wanted to take a minute to finally write a quick note and let you know how much I enjoy it. I have learned so much, gotten some great ideas, recipes, etc. Many of your “wants” for the year mirror mine, as well. I could go on, but I should probably focus on that Early Bed Time goal…

  3. Every year, my best friend and I choose a ‘word’ for our year. This year, my word is “freedom”. I chose this word because I want many of the same things you list above. I want a lifestyle of freedom, health, and positivity and I want to do things that actively work toward that goal. I’ve decided as I go through the year and I make decisions about activities, work, etc. I’m going to ask myself “Is this activity going to free you to be who you are or enslave you further?” I want to keep goals and the idea of being free to be who I am, in my case, in Christ, in the forefront of my mind this year. There is too much of life to live to be enslaved by things that truly aren’t worth the effort and pain. I love your list, Jessica! Here’s to a great 2014!

  4. Several related wants/goals –
    to be organized and efficient with the things that need to be done so we have more time for the things we want to do
    to be more organized with the “stuff” and clutter so we don’t waste time looking for what we need
    to get places on time/early
    to get to bed early enough to have time to read before lights out (including more reading aloud as a family at bedtime)

  5. This was the New Year’s post I needed to read! Excellent inspiration…thank you!

  6. You’re so funny, Jessica! 🙂

    I love your list. And thanks for reminding me that it is possible to get schoolwork done on time. I’d forgotten that fact and it was getting me down.

  7. You know the husband and I had this exact conversation the other day, but in reverse, with me being the voice of “What DO you want”. What’s awesome is that we made a list too. I wanted to things to be quantifiable, realistic, dated, and achievable.

    A goal shouldn’t be “I want to lose weight”. When wants (I consider wants goals because if you want it, it should be a goal) are written like that you don’t have parameters to tell you when you achieve that goal or when you’ve gotten what you want. A better way to put it is “I want to lose 20lbs by June 1” . Now that I’ve ranted about how I explained to my husband we should write our goals, these are ours

    Family: 1. Spend more time with the dogs by talking them to the park a minimum of once a week. If weather does not permit then a 20-30 minute walk or car ride. 2. Spend more couple time together without distractions by unplugging for 1-4 hours a week and enjoying each other’s company

    Financial: Become more financially stable by paying off debts and continuing to save. Pay off student loans by December 2014. Save $1000 a month minimum into savings. Any “found” money goes into vacation savings!

    Fun: Use “found” fun money fund to go skydiving, and go on a not-visiting-family related vacation. RELAX MORE!

    Fitness: amp up the cardio to match the weightlifting intensity. Do this by doing a minimum of 45 minutes a week of cardio working to 60 minutes a week by March 1. Do a tough mudder on August 17,2014

    So pretty much we want to increase our fitness level, spend more time together as a couple/family. Be financial stable and RELAX.

    Sorry for the long post but I love things like this!

  8. Hahah!! I totally laughed out loud on reading that your husband is an expert at debate and that you “prepare” for it by having a conversation with him in your head.. THAT is SO what I do because it’s the same here!!

    So, I am working on defining my goals for my life and business this week and your question is a very, very good one, my friend! Thank you!

  9. I have been thinking along these lines lately and I have to agree. Most of the things on my list are things (like an uncluttered house) that I can work towards and achieve!! Thanks for the encouragement!