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fall “classes”

September 16, 2011

We’re in the U.S. this fall to get more prepared to go overseas. What’s that look like? We’ve gotten academic preparation through 1 1/2 years of linguistics classes. Now we’re focusing on ways to be spiritually and logistically prepared to deal with stresses and changes overseas. Specifically, we’re working on deepening our walks with Jesus, communicating, working well together under stress, and managing our time. These are more nebulous things than working on grammar, language programs, or anthropology. Because we’ve been in school so long, someone suggested we structure this fall like classes.

Using what I learned in a grad school class about results-based management, we first set an overall goal for our family.

Overall goal: We want to be a family that demonstrates our value of God above all, ministers and loves each other and others, and lives in joy of the Lord.

A group project at our training in August. John and I don't use an easel at home.

Then we focused on what we see as the main sub-goals of that, and we listed specific ways to reach each sub-goal. We gave each sub-goal a class name, and we divided the various activities we’ve talked about this fall into each class, like this:

1. Spiritual Growth Class: Have our relationship with God our first priority; be spiritually prepared to deal in healthy ways with increased external stresses overseas

2. Spread the Word Class: Share the gospel with others in ways they understand.

3. Oneness Class: Strengthen our marriage and grow closer with each other.

4. Time Management Class: Manage time and resources effectively.

5. Partnership Development Class: Communicate regularly with ministry partners and continue to develop strong relationships with them.

We estimated how many hours a week we’ll spend on each class. We now have a color-coded spreadsheet that includes all of this. We’ve tried to divide our days into something like me working in the morning while John watches D, and I watch D in the afternoon while John works. That plan went awry this week, but we’ll try again next week.

So far it’s been a good way to set goals, make sure we’re on the same page, organize our thoughts, and keep us focused. We keep modifying it, but we’re excited about the potential it has for helping us accomplish what we want to do and keep our priorities.

I’m curious: how do you set personal goals? We’re interested in hearing how you keep on track, either at work or at home, and especially if you’re self-employed. You can leave something in the comments here or email us. (Leave a comment if you want our email address.)

-Lori

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. September 16, 2011 11:45 pm

    Organization is a big deal. I teach piano for a living (self-employed) and it’s a vital thing for me. If I mess around with my calendar and don’t put something down on it, everything goes off. I use Google calendars to help me organize things and share it with my friends and family members who need to see it. It’s THE greatest thing ever.

    Good luck with all of your classes.

    Blessings,
    Anna

  2. September 17, 2011 8:18 pm

    You guys are SO on the right track! For us, one of the best things to keep us organized is to communicate each other’s schedules and expectations well with each other and to build each other up through all of the differences that arise. Your family will be a joy to add to the SITAG team!

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