January 2015 Goals

I don’t know if you noticed, but I didn’t share my 2015 goals with anyone at the start of the new year!  I’m kind of glad I didn’t because I was able to scratch a few and tweak a few without feeling like a failure!  Here are my revised 2015 goals and how I did in January! (Yes, many of my goals are 2014 repeats because they were such great ones for me!)…

Health:
Eat 15 Salads per Month- (done in January)

Exercise at least 4 times each week, 30 minutes minimum each time- (I’m behind by 3 sessions, will play catch-up!)

Jump on the rebounder (trampoline, such great exercise!) for at least 10 minutes each week (pathetic tiny goal, but I was currently doing none, so at least this is something!) (I did a total of 70 minutes in January!)

Drink a Bragg’s Apple Cider Vinegar drink at least 104 times this year (1 Tbsp in each glass, twice a week) (The drink is warm water, lemon juice, ACV, and honey; really yummy!)- (I drank 11 of these in January!)

Do Push-Ups, Squats, and Abs at least one time each week- (For January, I did push-ups 4 times, squats 4 times, and abs once… hmmm, maybe I won’t be able to stick with the abs one??)

Eat no sugar (from purchased products, I don’t bake with it anyway) at least until I get back down to my pre-pregnancy weight (have about 10 pounds to go).  Honey, maple syrup, raw agave nectar, and coconut sugar are still permitted for making homemade sweets- (I did this for all of January!)

Personal Growth:
Go through my Bible and read everything that has been underlined, highlighted, marked, etc.  (Which as my husband teases… is most all of my Bible!)- I got started on this in January but am a little behind as I’m still in Genesis.

Memorize one verse a month that pertains to an area I’m struggling with- (Did it!)

Read 24 books with at least 8 of them being about parenting.  (I completed 8 books in January, but 3 of them were e-books.  None of them were specific to parenting).

Record 1,000 things I’m thankful for- (kept up on this in January).

Pray for the entire world using online prayer calendar as well as persecuted Christians prayer requests through Voice of Martyrs.

Children:
Sing hymns with hubby playing the guitar at least two evenings per week.  Guess we could say this is mostly a goal for hubby!  (Did this in January!)

Cycle through our two containers of meaningful children’s books that focus on good character and good lessons at least once every three months- (on our way!)

Incorporate a family sport time on the weekends starting in the spring.

Do 25 children’s crafts/ activities this year- (did one in January)

Read through our Bible story book and act out stories- (have not officially started yet although we did do this for two stories in January)

Complete 24 Read-a-Loud Chapter books (We finished one in January)

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July/ August Goals Update

I haven’t nailed all my goals the last two months, but better than having no goals at all! 

Mothering/ Marriage/ Homemaking:
Make a Proverbs list.  We’re working on this, a little slower than I thought though.

One handwritten note per month to someone in family (husband, child).  Done for July and August.

Two read-a-loud chapter books per month with older children.  We completed 5 in July and 3 in August, so we’re at 21 for the year.

Bible with children- Read at mealtimes, Continue to add new memory verses, Read Bible story book and role play.  We finished the book of John and are now reading through the book of 1 Corinthians at mealtimes.  We’re still adding new Bible verses weekly and working our way through our 101 Favorite Stories from the Bible book.  So we’re on track!

Do at least 25 Children’s Crafts/ Activities with my children.  My children really like doing crafts so I want to make sure I do this for them.  We did a whopping nine in July but only one in August, so we’re at 35 for the year.

Every Saturday, have a planning session for each day of next week.  Done.

Personal Growth:
Read 1/2 the Bible- Going to be able to finish the whole Bible this year! 

Read 24 books- For July I read three books, in August I finished two books.  So I’m at 42 books so far for 2014.  

Record 1,000 Gifts- things I’m thankful for.  I’ve recorded over 1,200 things I’m thankful for so far this year! 

Try to live more minimalist and keep clutter to a minimum by getting rid of 7 things per week.  There’s an ever-growing give-away pile in my garage, on track with this!

Ministry:
Pray genuinely for the needs of others at a set time each week (10 minutes, morning time).  I’ve got a prayer wall with lots of people’s names and needs from around the world up on the wall going up our stairs!  On track!  You are loved, friends and family!

Witnessing x12- Share the Gospel with at least 12 strangers in 2014.  I’m going to change this goal to passing out tracts at least twice per month.  Started this in June after realizing what a failure I’ve been for January thru May.  And I’m not doing much better.  =(   We passed out tracts once in August, none in July.  I always forget to take them into stores with me.  Got any ideas to help me remember better? 

Pray for the entire world using online calendarOn track with this!

Health:
Do 3 months no sugar.  I’m still allowed to have my natural sweeteners- honey, maple syrup, agave nectar, and coconut sugar.  I use no other sweeteners.  Done in Jan/ Feb/ March

Do a separate 3 months with only 1 sugar insult per week- Did this for April/ May/ June.

15 salads per month- I’m so glad I set this goal because if I do it each month,that will be 180 double-sized salads that I eat in 2014!  Wow!  I’ve met this goal every month this year so far!  This has probably been my most favorite goal of all!! 

Briskly walk on treadmill (or outside) at least 4 times each week for at least 49 weeks of the year, at least 30 minutes each session.  On track.  But I think I need to be walking 5-6 times per week, my body needs it.  But at least I’m hitting this minimal goal.  As well as rebounding some also.     

How are you doing on your 2014 goals?  Still kickin’ it?  It’s not too late!  There’s still 1/3 of the year left!  That could equate to 50 exercise sessions or more, 40 salads or more, a few books of the Bible or more.  You can do it!!

May/ June Goals Update

You know I look forward to posting my goals updates right??  So fun to actually be making progress on things that matter to me!  How are you doing on your goals??

Mothering/ Marriage/ Homemaking:
Make a Proverbs list.  We’re working on this, will take us through December, but I think we’ll be able to complete!

One handwritten note per month to someone in family (husband, child).  Done for May and June.

Two read-a-loud chapter books per month with older children.  We had done 13 as of the end of April but actually haven’t completed any in May or June (or did I forget to record??)  Seems strange to me that we actually didn’t complete any because we’ve been reading aloud regularly.  But… we have been working on three long ones all at the same time, and they’ll all be completed soon, so maybe that’s why we didn’t actually “finish” any in May/ June.

Bible with children- Read at mealtimes, Continue to add new memory verses, Read Bible story book and role play.  We finished reading through the book of Romans, Jonah, Galatians, and Zechariah in May/ June.  We’re currently reading through the book of John at mealtimes.  We’re still adding new Bible verses weekly and working our way through our 101 Favorite Stories from the Bible book.  So we’re on track!

Do at least 25 Children’s Crafts/ Activities with my children.  My children really like doing crafts so I want to make sure I do this for them.  We did two in May and five in June, so we’re at 25 for the year, and will keep going.  Fun!

Every Saturday, have a planning session for each day of next week.  Oh yeah, I love having a PLAN and knowing what I need to be doing each day.  Helps me stay on top of birthdays, events to attend, exercise, and more!

Personal Growth:
Read 1/2 the Bible- Ahead of schedule!  Actually, I’ll get through the whole Bible by the end of October this year, if I stay on track.  Yah!

Read 24 books- For May I read two books, in June I finished six books.  So I’m at 37 books so far for 2014.  

Record 1,000 Gifts- things I’m thankful for.  I’ve recorded 868 blessings for the year so far!

Try to live more minimalist and keep clutter to a minimum by getting rid of 7 things per week.  There’s an ever-growing give-away pile in my garage, on track with this!

Ministry:
Pray genuinely for the needs of others at a set time each week (10 minutes, morning time).  I’ve got a prayer wall with lots of people’s names and needs from around the world up on the wall going up our stairs!  On track!  You are loved, friends and family!

Witnessing x12- Share the Gospel with at least 12 strangers in 2014.  I’m going to change this goal to passing out tracts at least twice per month.  Started this in June after realizing what a failure I’ve been for January thru May.  We passed out tracts twice in June!

Pray for the entire world using online calendarOn track with this!

Health:
Do 3 months no sugar.  I’m still allowed to have my natural sweeteners- honey, maple syrup, agave nectar, and coconut sugar.  I use no other sweeteners.  Done in Jan/ Feb/ March

Do a separate 3 months with only 1 sugar insult per week- Did this for April/ May/ June.  Although, I wasn’t a complete success.  For me, it was WAY harder to LIMIT sugar than to ELIMINATE sugar.  I completely blame it on the fact that sugar is so addicting.  If you let yourself have some, you’ll just want more, right?  I also noticed quite a few times after eating some organic cookies or something that it was really making me feel sick.  I think my body really liked the no-sugar months better!!

15 salads per month- I’m so glad I set this goal because if I do it each month,that will be 180 double-sized salads that I eat in 2014!  Wow!  I’ve met this goal every month this year so far!

Briskly walk on treadmill (or outside) at least 4 times each week for at least 49 weeks of the year, at least 30 minutes each session.  I’m actually behind by one exercise session.  But I plan on sneaking in an extra one this week and then calling it even.  So I’m doing pretty well at this goal, although I wish I was doing 5-6 walks per week, I don’t think four is enough really.  But… it’s all I’m getting in right now, at least it’s something!    

March/ April Goals Update

Time to update you on my 2014 goals!  Not that you care, but it’s good accountability for me.  🙂

Mothering/ Marriage/ Homemaking:
Make a Proverbs list.  Have started, hubby has us in Proverbs 3.  We’re going slow and have a huge poster board listing out everything that is wise vs. foolish.  Fun!

One handwritten note per month to someone in family (husband, child).  Done for March and April.

Two read-a-loud chapter books per month with older children.  We finished three in March and four in April.  We’ve done 13 so far this year.

Only 15 Minutes for Computer on Mondays.

Bible with children- Read at mealtimes, Continue to add new memory verses, Read Bible story book and role play.  We’re working through the book of Romans, have around 170 memorized verses up on our walls and we’re working our way through our 101 Favorite Stories from the Bible book.  So we’re on track!

Every Saturday, have a planning session for each day of next week.  This has been great and really keeping me on top of things.  It takes about 10 minutes of my Saturday and that’s it! 

Personal Growth:
Read 1/2 the Bible- Way ahead of schedule!  Actually, I’ll get through the whole Bible this year!  This will be my fourth time through the whole Bible, awesomeness!

Read 24 books- For March and April, I read a total of 16 books.  But I do count e-books, 10 of those are e-books.  I normally don’t read as many e-books, I prefer holding a book in my hand, but there were quite a few I wanted to check out.  So I’m at 29 books for 2014 so far, 11 of those being e-books.  

Record 1,000 Gifts- things I’m thankful for.  I’ve recorded 548 blessings for the year so far!

Ministry:
Pray genuinely for the needs of others at a set time each week (10 minutes, morning time).  I’ve got a prayer wall with lots of people’s names and needs from around the world up on the wall going up our stairs!  On track!

Witnessing x12- Share the Gospel with at least 12 strangers in 2014.  None yet this year.  Although after reading one of our missionary stories, my 6 and 4 year old wanted to go door to door to pass out gospel tracts.  They called themselves “Christian mailmen” riding from house to house on their bike/ scooter.  So fun!  We put Ray Comfort movie cards on about 80 houses or so and got to talk with one family!

Pray for the entire world using online calendarOn track with this!

Health:
Do 3 months no sugar.  I’m still allowed to have my natural sweeteners- honey, maple syrup, agave nectar, and coconut sugar.  I use no other sweeteners.  Did it, did it, did it!  Yah!  I had no white sugar, no evaporated cane juice, no dextrose, sucrose, or any other hidden sugar name.

Do a separate 3 months with only 1 sugar insult per week- Am working on this now.

15 salads per month- I’m so glad I set this goal because if I do it each month,that will be 180 double-sized salads that I eat in 2014!  Wow!  Every single one of my salads so far this year have been in my huge bowl, my 2-quart mixing bowl.  I did meet this goal for March and April.  Yah!

Briskly walk on treadmill (or outside) at least 4 times each week for at least 49 weeks of the year, at least 30 minutes each session.  I’ve met this goal every week so far this year!

Do at least 25 Children’s Crafts/ Activities with my children.  My children really like doing crafts so I want to make sure I do this for them.  Did 5 for March and 4 for April, so we’re at 18 for the year.  Fun!

Try to live more minimalist and keep clutter to a minimum by getting rid of 7 things per week.  Up-to-date on 7 items per week.  Although if you saw our toy collection, you would NOT think we are minimalist, yikes!

I’m Not SuperWoman

I did set a lot of goals this year and I am hitting most of them so far.  Some days I feel like a total champ.  Yah for those!  And others I feel like I barely got out of my pj’s!  Oh wait, I’m still in my pj’s and it’s 3:15pm!  Lest you think I’m not human, here’s some things I DON’T do.

I first heard of the idea of having a “don’t-do” list rather than a “to-do” list from MoneySavingMom.  I really like the idea, it’s so freeing!  I don’t have to keep up with Mrs. Jones, especially in these areas!  No guilt!

I don’t sew.  Like… ever.

I don’t do adult-level crafts.  I do children’s ones, but no scrapbooking, quilt making, gorgeous decorating, etc.

I don’t really watch TV.  We do watch DVD’s as a family and I do have a collection of DVD’s I let my children watch.  But even with our own collection of DVD’s, I don’t spend much time at ALL glued to the tube.

We don’t do more than one outside activity/ sport at a time.  This isn’t per person.  This is total, as a family.  We do things as a family so when one is signed up, we’re all signed up.

I don’t hunt down deals like I used to.  If I see a great deal, of course I’ll consider it.  But I don’t go scurrying around for the best price as much as I used to.

I only use coupons that easily cross my path.  I don’t spend more than 3 minutes a week on coupons.  If it requires more than 3-4 clicks to get it to my printer, I skip it.

I don’t do Pinterest, Instagram, Twitter, Google+, etc.  And as of a couple of weeks ago I would have said I don’t do Facebook either.  But I finally gave in on that one and joined.

I don’t go shopping for fun.  I dislike malls for a multitude of reasons (mostly the immodesty and immorality), but I also gain no satisfaction in shopping for fun.  Actually, I need someone to help me go shop for an outfit every now and then because honestly, I find it a total drag to try on clothes and figure out what to get.  (And remember, I don’t sew!)  I keep a shopping list on my fridge and get in and out of stores as quickly as possible.  Perhaps this has something to do with having four children age 6 and under, who knows?!  🙂

I don’t iron clothes.  I can count on one hand the number of times a year I handwash something.  And since I refuse to use bad chemicals in my home, I really don’t treat stains either!  We buy most of our clothes at garage sales and thrift stores.  So if something gets torn or stained, it either becomes play clothes or it’s out the door.

Most days, I don’t have dinner ready on time.  I’m so thankful for hubby coming home and helping me get food on the table!  We do eventually eat.  🙂

Okay, funny story time… I’ve been babysitting our sweet neighbor friend who is 6 years old and very bright.  This morning when she came over, she asked me why I had moved our kitchen table near the kitchen sink.  I told her I was washing dishes and since my counters were full I needed some place to set the ones I wash.  She said, “Your counters are always full every time I come over!”  Haha, I cracked up laughing.  I don’t know, I don’t want to admit to that one, but she’s probably right.  We get behind on dishes often.  She said her counters are always cleared off.  She must have SuperWoman for a Mama!  🙂

January/ February Goals Update

Time to update you on my 2014 goals!  Not that you care, but it’s good accountability for me.  🙂

I’m hammering away at them, here’s my progress…

Mothering/ Marriage/ Homemaking:
Make a Proverbs list.  Haven’t started this yet.

One handwritten note per month to someone in family (husband, child).  Done for January and February, super special.

Two read-a-loud chapter books per month with older children.  We’ve read six for this year so far and the one we’re currently in is a really thick book of stories, will probably count it as 3-4 chapter books when we’re done with it.

Only 15 Minutes for Computer on Mondays.  I’ve done pretty well at this.  On Mondays, I’m finding I have more time for games and activities with the children, which is an excellent replacement for computer time!  Instead of setting a timer for exactly 15 minutes, I kind of just do the most minimal that I can on the computer.  No reading blogs that I follow or non-personal emails, etc. 

Bible with children- Read at mealtimes, Continue to add new memory verses, Read Bible story book and role play.  We’re working through the book of Joshua, have 162 memorized verses up on our walls and we’re working our way through our 101 Favorite Stories from the Bible book.  So we’re on track!

Every Saturday, have a planning session for each day of next week.  This has been great and really keeping me on top of things.  It takes about 10 minutes of my Saturday and that’s it! 

Personal Growth:
Read 1/2 the Bible- Way ahead of schedule!  I’ve completed Genesis through Deuteronomy, Judges, Ruth, 1 Samuel, and some Psalms. 

Read 24 books- On track.  I read 6 books in January and 6 in February.  My favorite read was Follow Me by David Platt.  Plus I got caught up on all my Above Rubies magazines, AFA Journals, and AIG newsletters- the three non-book things that I read every issue of! 

Record 1,000 Gifts- things I’m thankful for.  I’ve recorded 355 blessings for the year so far.

Ministry:
Pray genuinely for the needs of others at a set time each week (10 minutes, morning time).  I’ve got a prayer wall with lots of people’s names and needs from around the world up on the wall going up our stairs!  Did this every week!

Witnessing x12- Share the Gospel with at least 12 strangers in 2014.  None yet this year.  File:icon sad.gif  We get out a little more in warm weather so maybe this spring/ summer I can do better at this goal. 

Pray for the entire world using online calendarOn track with this!

Health:
Do 3 months no sugar.  I’m still allowed to have my natural sweeteners- honey, maple syrup, agave nectar, and coconut sugar.  I use no other sweeteners.  I’m on my A-game, I have had no sugar since the chocolate chip cookies I ate on December 31st!  Oh, I remember those cookies, they were tasty.  🙂

Do a separate 3 months with only 1 sugar insult per week- Will do this after my above 3 months is over.

15 salads per month- I met this goal in January and February.  I know many people eat a salad every single day, that’s awesome.  If I had older hands that could help me wash, peel, chop, blend, etc, I would probably have a salad daily as well.  But it’s a lot of prep work for me to make my hearty salads.  I don’t like the pre-packaged lettuce, it’s not crisp.  I like to buy loose lettuce, tastes better.  But it requires washing, chopping, etc.  I am thankful for my salad spinner though, it can store 3-4 days worth of salad in the fridge and keep it pretty fresh!  Sometimes I’m jealous of you large families that have older children that cook so much!  With my four children being 6 and under, my husband and I do 98% of all food prep around here!  The good thing though is that when I do have my salads, they are huge.  My bowl is a 2 quart mixing bowl!
DSCN7758And my six year old eats a pretty hefty salad with me at lunch!…
DSCN7767We mostly do Romaine lettuce, spinach leaf, carrots that we ground up in the food processor, kalamata olives, basalmic vinegar, and homemade cashew ranch dressing.

Briskly walk on treadmill (or outside) at least 4 times each week for at least 49 weeks of the year, at least 30 minutes each session.  Wa-hoo, I’ve met this goal every week so far!  I exercised 22 times in January, 19 (maybe 20 if I do so today) in February.  Plus I’ve been doing my push-ups and rebounding and stretching!

Goals I didn’t tell you about at the beginning of the year…
Do at least 25 Children’s Crafts/ Activities with my children.  My children really like doing crafts so I want to make sure I do this for them.  Well, we’ve done 9, I’m happy with that number, that’s about 1 per week.

Try to live more minimalist and keep clutter to a minimum by getting rid of 7 things per week.  By week four of this year, this was hard.  So I cleaned out the toy storage and got carried away, thankfully.  I got rid of enough junk to fulfill this goal until May!  Yikes! 

2014 Goals

I’m trying to follow Money Saving Mom and  Michael Hyatt’s criteria for setting goals, although I do have more than the recommended 7-10 just because some of these things are a given and aren’t necessarily going to be hard for me to achieve.  But I need them written down so that I do actually do them.

Mothering/ Marriage/ Homemaking:
Make a Proverbs list– This just sounds fun to me so wanted to try it!

One handwritten note per month to someone in family (husband, child)

Two read-a-loud chapter books per month with older children- I find myself slacking in reading books to my children so I want to be more intentional with that this year.

No computer Mondays- Yikes, I really don’t know about this one.  But it made hubby smile when I told him about it.  And it’s good to unplug and take a weekly fast.  (Edit:  I am going to allow myself to set a timer for 15 minutes only to do any quick tasks on Mondays).

Bible with children– Read at mealtimes, Continue to add new memory verses, Read Bible story book and role play.

Every Saturdayplanning session for each day of next week (per Money Saving Mom’s recommendation)- I just started this about 5 weeks ago and it’s been revolutionary for me!  Really keeping me on track and focused!  For each day of the next week, I write down anything that’s on the calendar, goals I need to work on, to-do items that need done, things to remember, etc, etc, etc.  Making this list for each week has been so helpful!  A 10-15 minutes well-spent!

Personal Growth:
Read 1/2 the Bible– Although I read the Bible in a year last year, I have 4 children age 6 and under now and I’m trying to be realistic in what I can do.  On another note, I’m excited to be reading from a chronological Bible in 2014!

Read 24 books– Again, not sure that I can hit the 41 that I did in 2013, so trying to be realistic in setting this goal.

Record 1,000 Gifts– things I’m thankful for.  Thankfulness breeds contentment.

Ministry:
Pray genuinely for the needs of others at a set time each week (10 minutes- morning time)- I’ve got a prayer wall with lots of people’s names and needs from around the world already up!

Witnessing x12– Share the Gospel with at least 12 strangers in 2014.  If you lack sweaty palms and a racing heart, add this goal to your list!

Pray for the entire world using online calendar.

Health:
Do 3 months no sugar– This one’s going to take some discipline but I’m up for the challenge!  Hold me accountable, okay?  🙂

Do a separate 3 months with only 1 sugar insult per week (1 pack of cookies for example)- Again, just trying to limit that sugar intake because some stressful weeks I probably consume more than one pack of cookies.  😦   You’re not judging me are you?

15 salads per month– This one is going to be at least somewhat of a challenge but I’m excited to add so many raw greens to my diet!  And every single huge bowl I eat will be topped with either my homemade organic olive oil dressing or mostly raw, vegan ranch dressing!

Exercise at least 4 times each week for at least 49 weeks of the year.  Hubby got us a used treadmill from a sweet family in the area!  No excuses now!

Do you have any goals for 2014?  Write them down!  Make them specific, make them measurable, make them challenging but achievable!  Don’t let 2014 be another year that flies by with nothing to show for it.  Do things that will count in the long-run! 

2013 Goals

I announced my goals on this blog at the beginning of 2013 and kept you mostly up-to-date.  I may  not have done a perfect job, but I sure did more than if I hadn’t set any goals in the first place!  I’ve enjoyed reading about goal setting from Michael Hyatt and Money Saving Mom.  I’ve been reminded of some tips on goal setting and am excited about tweaking some of my goals to be more achievable for 2014.

Meal Plan at least once per month. Hmm, well…  I’ve decided to not beat myself up over this goal.  I don’t like to meal plan and when I do I feel like we don’t even stick with it very well.  But, I am really good at whipping out meals with what I have.  I know what ingredients to pick up at the store for certain meals that we make.  So I’m giving myself grace on this one.  I do keep a running grocery list on my fridge of regular items we run out of.  If I hear of a new recipe I want to try, I jot the ingredients down on my shopping list.  So whenever it’s time to go to the grocery store, I have a good list to go by.  I beat myself up over this goal too much in 2013 but now that I know that it’s okay to do what works best for me and my family, I’m  basking in the freedom and grace!

Read the Bible daily with children at mealtimes plus continue with Memory Verse work and Bible story time.  Did great in 2013!

Follow homeschool lesson plans (follow daily list of things to work on with each child).  Did great!  My three year old can read well, my six year old has started multiplication.  Now if I could get my 19 month and 2 year old to learn the difference between red and blue!  I recently read about a family who enrolls their children in college classes by age TWELVE!!  I bought and read their e-book and am SO inspired!  Not inspired to send my children to public university, but inspired to let them finish high school early!  Surely it doesn’t take four long years to get through basic high school material, that’s the faulty public school way of doing things!  Homeschoolers can do whatever they want at whatever pace they want!  And that usually means accelerated learning!  By the way, you’ll really enjoy their e-book if you decide to purchase it!

Read through the entire KJV Bible for my third time (three chapters per day) Waa-hoo, finished at the end of November!

Record 1,000 gifts from God (things to be thankful for)- His grace and love and blessings in my life.  I have about 2100 gifts recorded!

Pray for every country of the world with my children.  Pray for the needs of others both locally and globally.  We followed along with an email program to pray for countries around the world and used prayer sticks (craft sticks with people’s names written on them) to cover other needs, our friends, and our family.  For the month of December, we did Advent for Orphans and got to pray for so many areas of the world and the needs of orphans!!

Follow my daily routine and weekly checklist. (This is my list of things I need to do each day like exercise, take vitamins, homeschool, housework, etc) Good enough, not too shabby.

Read at least one book per month.  I finished 41 books in 2013!  We adopted our son from China in August and my reading slowed down big time after that.  But at 41, that’s super exciting to me!  I learned a ton and grew by leaps and bounds!

Hand-write a special, personal note to either my husband or one of my children each month.  Done.  I sure loved doing this.  Very sweet.

Do one healthy detox thing for my health each month.  Eh, didn’t do so good on this goal. 

Go on at least one field trip each month with my children. Well, our whole family went to China for 16 days in August, surely that counts as enough for the whole year!  Haha.  Looking back at my calendar, we have done things here and there since August, so I think I could count this goal as completed.

Meet exercise goals.  (This includes walking, rebounding, and doing strengthening exercises).  I did okay, could have done better though.  This has been a challenge because with four children now, I can’t get everyone on a double stroller (although I can get three!) so it’s harder to get out with everyone.  Especially if it’s too cold or too hot out, no one wants to go with me.  Anyone have a treadmill for sale?

Share the love of Jesus with at least one stranger per month by having a one-on-one conversation with someone I’ve never met! Wow, this goal has challenged me for sure.  I didn’t want to set this goal, I’d rather not count and just say, “Yeah, I witness to people.”  But counting them has made sure I actually DO what I say.  I spoke openly about what it means to be saved with 22 people on 10 separate occasions.

Have an awesome marriage by reading marriage books together, having date nights, speaking honorably to each other, doing nice things for each other, etc.  Six of my books this year were marriage books and many others helped with marriage as well.  When you read a parenting book or a book on Christian growth, it definitely spills over into the marriage relationship as well.  So lots of growth this year!

Go on at least one family vacation to build memories and enjoy each other.  Took a smaller trip to the ocean early summer and then a huge family trip to China in August.

Do one month of NO sugar (I can still have my healthier homemade sweeteners like honey, maple syrup, etc) (This goal is for no white sugar and all its disguising ingredients like dextrose, fructose, evaporated cane juice, high fructose corn syrup,etc.  Also, no fruit juice sweetened items or fruit juice itself).  Did this for the whole month of January and February and for 2 weeks in April and 2 weeks in July.  I don’t buy white sugar so I never cook with anything except my natural sweeteners anyway.  But… when Newman O’s are on sale, this girl has a hard time resisting.  Sugar is so addictive, which is the reason I’d like it to be completely out of my diet.  I will continue to decrease this more and more.  Sorry Newman O’s, you have GOT to go!  Oh, and you too Alden’s Organic Icecream.

Eat at least 20 salads a month!  Raw lettuce, raw veggies, and my ‘mostly raw’ dressing!  I started this goal mid-year, in May.  I did great in May, June, and July and then stopped counting after our adoption because life got crazy.  I think I did pretty good though even in the months I didn’t track it.

Hospitality/ Having a guest over- do this at least 12 times in 2013!  I did lots of hospitality things in 2013, so very content with the results of this goal.

Reduce my computer time.   My children do this one for me!  

How did you do on your 2013 goals??  I’ve been taking notes about what to set for my 2014 goals for WEEKS and am so excited to start them in January!  If you’re new to goal setting or you always seem to fail, check out Michael Hyatt for quality information on goal setting and how to actually carry out the things that matter most to you.

I will share my 2014 goals with you soon!

Organized for a Purpose

I REALLY enjoy being organized!  I’m not always as organized as I’d like to be, but I have come so far from where I used to be.  I used to be more of a free spirit (as Dave Ramsey calls it) but now my hubby and I are Mr. and Mrs. Type A, for sure!  🙂

With a schedule in place, a written to-do list in my hand, and a place for everything, life runs so much smoother!  I’m still not as organized as my hubby, but he’s working on me!  Money Saving Mom has also taught me a lot in these areas over the past few years!  Being organized means I can do more things that matter to me, I can do more for others, and I can be dependable to friends and family.  I can put more meaningful things on my plate because my plate is neatly organized.  (Well, most of the time!)

I used to be a paper junkie with 100 projects that needed done “someday.”  2012 was a big turnaround for me, I ruthlessly got rid of stuff… and papers… and projects.  It felt so good!  So freeing!  I still get buried in stuff from time to time, but doing that one huge clean-up of my life has meant that I’m always within reach of getting on top of things.  Maintenance is a lot easier if you start with a clean slate at some point!

If you’re not where you want to be, don’t be discouraged!  Take it one little step at a time, maybe over the course of a year (a 2014 goal for ya?!), you can (like I did)  get your piles and messes all whipped into shape!

I really liked this list of 7 Things That May Be Lost Due to Disorder by Kelly from The First Commandment

“You can lose a lot more than just matching socks….lol! This list is not intended to make anyone feel bad.  I myself have lost all 7 of these things at one time or another.” 🙂

1) Time Time is lost when you cannot find things that you need.
2) Space- Space is lost because there is clutter taking it up.
3) Money- Money is lost because you will purchase things you already have.  Additionally things you do have are more likely to spoil or become broken in a cluttered environment.
4) Blessings-Blessings are lost because we will not let go of things to give to those who are in need; because we are in fear of needing it ourselves in the future.
5) Good Relationships Good relationships are lost as a result of not being dependable to those we love because everything around us is in disarray.
6) Opportunities – Opportunities to serve others are lost because we cannot pull our own selves together.
7) Sanity- Sanity is lost as a result of losing items 1-6.