I have two goals for the month of June.
The first is to begin my year-long weight-loss challenge. Per my doctor's recommendation, I have set a goal to lose 120 pounds in 12 months. Seem like a lot? Well, I need to lose a lot. I promise not to bore you with the nitty gritty details of how many calories I eat or how long I work out or how that pint of Baskin Robins icecream looks soooo good. But I do plan to hit the highlights on this weight loss journey, and you, of course, are welcome to join me. As I have been promising for over a month now, I will have some videos and other fun things coming up on this topic; so stay tuned for more!
The second goal I have for the month of June is, in a word, connecting. I have been in Korea for four months and have yet to make very much progress in my relationships here. Much of this has been due to lack of great effort on my part. When just going to get milk is a new, sometimes overwhelming adventure, the thought of putting too much effort into new relationships (especially with the language barrier) felt like more than I could handle. But now, the baby has arrived, and we are feeling more and more at home every day. So this goal will be broken down on several levels, over several different people. I'm not exactly sure how any of it will turn out, but as the poster in my tenth grade English class said, "Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you land among the stars."
So, in no particular order, here is June's to-do list in regards to connecting with people:
1. Study! Study! Study! This will be the month when I really start to crack down to learn the language. Through a great friend of mine, the Lord has graciously provided a six-month subscription to the online Rosetta Stone software. I plan to take advantage of every bit of that six months, starting in June. I figure, even if I only learn very basic Korean, I can at least show them that I am making an effort and that communicating with them is important to me.
2. Make a date! I plan to hang out with a Samonim during a scheduled time at least twice this month. I would like to say once a week, but with a new baby and a two-year-old, that might not be a realistic goal. Still, twice in June is better than never in June. It's all about the small steps, folks, the small steps.
3. Play everyday! Ok, not everyday, but as many days as possible, I plan to take Chloe to the playground when the other Samonims and their children are out there. Not only does this allow Chloe to connect with children her age, but it will also provide opportunity for me to practice my Korean and get to know the other minister's wives in my building.
4. Answer and return. I am a world-class loser when it comes to answering emails and returning calls. I read the email, see the missed call, what have you. Then I say, "I'll think about it tomorrow" a la Scarlett O'Hara. Can you guess what happens after that? The dishes get washed. The TV gets watched. The blogs get read. The emails and phone calls get forgotten. So my goal for the month of June is (rather unoriginally, I'm afraid): "Just Do It!" I plan to only read emails when I have time to respond. To return phone calls within an hour of when they are received (since in-the-moment answers may not always work with two little girls in the house). I plan to only read blogs when I have time to comment and only check facebook when I have time to invest. However, I do not have all day to sit and check emails/read blogs/facebook/etc. So I might have to set myself a time limit and determine to do only what I can do in that short amount of time. We shall see what happens.
5. Focus, focus, focus. I have a terrible habit of multi-tasking. Wait, that's not right. I have a terrible habit of multi-tasking when I shouldn't be - like when I'm talking to people. Now, don't get me wrong. There's nothing better than some juicy gossip talk to get a body through the laborious task of cleaning up the breakfast dishes. But it goes a little too far when a certain husband is pouring out his heart over his most recent Bible study, while his wife is checking facebook and painting her toe nails. Not that I know any wives who would do something like that. So my goal for the month of June is to BE in the conversation. To give it my ALL. To really FOCUS when I'm talking to people. Sit down. Take a deep breath. Look them in the eye. Listen. Give them my full attention. Let them know that they are important to me always and, at that moment, are more important to me than anything else.
6. Smile. I heard Oprah say once that a child determines his value by asking this question: "Does your face light up when I walk in the room?" But the older I get, the more I think this question is asked by every human being on earth, regardless of age. We never outgrow that nagging question: "Do I matter to you? Does my existence make a difference?" So my goal is to smile when someone walks in the room, regardless of who they are or what I am doing. I want people to know that they matter to me. That I light up when they walk in.
So that's it for June.
Two goals: lose weight, connect with people.
Have any of you ever found great weight-loss success? What did you do? How did you excersize? What did you eat? Any input is greatly appreciated.