Friends, first of all, thank you SO much to everyone who has completed my reader survey! Honestly, the thing that has blown me away the most is how kind people have been…even (especially!) when sharing things they’re not interested in seeing more of this year. It’s nervewracking to ask for feedback point blank, but y’all have been truly encouraging. I promise I will be taking all of your thoughtful suggestions to heart and am already SO excited about the post ideas I’m coming up with as a result! The survey is open until January 14, so if you haven’t taken it yet, there’s still time to share your thoughts and enter to win a $25 J. Crew gift card or a box of Beautycounter goodies here!
Moving right along :) Beginning this year has felt different than any other year. At this time last year, I was full of anxiety about how I was going to go back to work and still have Charlie with me at home when he did. not. nap. My goals the year before that ended up being a bit of a joke because I wrote my post two weeks before finding out I was pregnant and that changed everything! But this year, I feel steady. My word for the year is “flourish,” which, by definition means ” to grow or develop in a healthy and vigorous way, especially as the result of a particularly favorable environment.” Yes, yes, yes. As you’ll see below, my nine goals revolve around creating that “particularly favorable environment” and hopefully growing more into the Catholic, wife, mama, writer, sister, and friend I hope to be.
Making an inspiration board for the year in 2017 was surprisingly helpful too! Each photo represented a goal or feeling I hoped to capture, and it truly continued to inspire me throughout the year. Here’s this year’s:
1. Grow deeply in relationship with God. This is always a goal and it always will be. My biggest progress last year was making time to pray daily–now, I want to go deeper. I’m not sure exactly what that looks like, but I do know that God doesn’t leave us knocking :)
Some action steps: Start attending regular daily Masses. Use my Every Sacred Sunday Journal faithfully. Pray together as a family every evening. Consider investing in the Blessed Is She Journaling Bible and using that in prayer. Be more mindful of the liturgical calendar and let it inform our year.
2. Create purposeful routines and rhythms in our schedule that enable us to tend to our family, loved ones, and home well. This is one of the goals I am most deeply convicted about. Our lives and obligations have grown a lot more complex than they used to be, and I think creating sustainable routines/rhythms will be a game-changer.
Some action steps: Read A Mother’s Rule of Life (as recommended by my friend Claire). Write down ideas of things I want/need to include in our days and weeks. Draft a weekly routine plan for the first quarter of the year.
3. Cultivate a life-giving home. Simplify, declutter, and make wise investments that help us to use our space well, in service of our family and our community.
Some action steps: Read A Simplified Life (check!) and The Lifegiving Home. Continue cleaning out specific areas of our home one at a time. Redo our laundry closet! Brainstorm celebrations we’d like to host this year.
4. Tend to our marriage with joy, friendship, faith, grace, and love. We anticipate this year holding some challenges to our marriage since Dave will be studying for the CPA for about 20 hours per week, on top of his very demanding job. We are determined to do our best to thrive through it!
Some action steps: Encourage Dave’s CPA studying consistently and creatively. Keep up with our monthly date nights. Brainstorm some more tech-free weeknight activities we can do together.
5. Love long-distance family members and friends well. Last year, we saw so much good fruit as a result of pouring into our local community! While I want to keep that up, I also want to focus on the people I love who live far away this year.
Some action steps: Write letters to some of my best friends who love snail mail. FaceTime at least one of my siblings every week. Plan birthday cards/gifts at the beginning of each month (P.S. If this is on your list too, I highly recommend this perpetual calendar–we have it and love it!)
6. Tend to my health and wellness consistently. “Consistently” is the key here–in the past, I’ve set goals for specific milestones, but after one too many failed fitness goals last year, this year, I just need to make healthy eating and exercise a consistent and reliable part of my life.
Some action steps: Start tracking how much water I drink. Make a list of 30 healthy meal ideas to refer back to. Include 2-3 fitness classes I enjoy in my weekly routine.
7. Grow as a writer/blogger and steward my creative gifts well. I set separate goals for my business, but I love paying attention to this space and my other writing as well!
Some action steps: Analyze survey results and make a list of post ideas for the year ahead. Write guest posts for other publications/sites. Write more personal essays.
8. Actively learn about finances and become more involved in maintaining them. When your husband is a financial analyst who legitimately LOVES tracking every penny, it’s all too easy to step back and let him do his thing. I have made a lot of progress in this since we first got married, but also still have a long way to go.
Some action steps: Help Dave set our 2018 financial goals. Re-read the Marvelous Money series on Em for Marvelous. Talk to Dave about more hands-on tasks I can take on in regards to our finances.
9. Read a variety of books: fiction, nonfiction, spiritual, and business.
Some action steps: Research recommendations from people I know/follow. Make a list of books in each category that I’m interested in.
(Note: this year, I’m going to try to set one monthly goal per yearly goal to help keep my Goals posts from functioning as to-do lists. I hope it will be more fun to follow along with my specific goal progress, too!)
1. Attend daily Mass with Charlie (I haven’t braved church solo with him yet, but would love to make this part of our weekly routine. Pray for us! :))
2. Draft a weekly routine plan to use this month while I read A Mother’s Rule of Life. Take notes while I read so I know exactly how to tweak it.
3. Clean out our storage baskets and my desk.
4. Make a list of date ideas for the year and go on our January date.
5. Write two letters to long-distance friends.
6. Choose 2-3 fitness classes to include in my weekly routine and go to them.
7. Analyze survey results and make a list of post ideas from it.
Help Dave set our 2018 financial goals.
9. Make my reading list.
Cheers to you if you made it through this giant post! If you’ve shared your goals for the year somewhere, I’d love to take a peek and cheer you on, so please let me know below :)
Inspiration board sources clockwise from top left: Sally Pinera via Once Wed, Aimee Mazzenga via The Everygirl, Daphne Mae Photography via Glitter Guide, Gal Meets Glam, Monika Hibbs, Hannah Grace Photography via Camille Styles, Something Pretty, Elisa Bricker via Southern Weddings