My 2020 Goals

Finally sharing my 2020 Goals or New Years’ Resolutions with you guys!

Now that the holidays are over and we’ve moved and are getting settled in, I can finally get this post published about my goals for 2020. What I love about planning and goals is that, you can set them any day! There is nothing magical about January 1st. You don’t have to feel bad because you are just now setting goals the last week of January, and you certainly don’t have to wait until next year if you’re already feeling behind.

You can set goals and begin any day! Actually this is the perfect time… consider this your “planning week” and January could be your “trial month”, where you actually begin in February! Let’s get it!

Now, since I’ve been thinking about my 2020 goals for several months now, I’ve been able to get started on them, even through us moving and all that craziness. I’m feeling pretty confident that this is going to be a successful year!

-Write down your goals.
Studies show that just by writing down your goals, you are 1.2 to 1.4 times more likely to successfully accomplish those goals than people that don’t.

-Break them down.

I love to break down big yearly goals down into monthly goals, weekly action steps, and even daily habits. It may seem like a big list of “to do”s, but just know that I’m not focusing on all of these steps at once. I’m just doing the next thing on the list. One step at a time, one thing I’m working on, etc. It’s really nice to have a plan in place so I’m not just wandering about unsure of where to go next.

I’m also not fully prioritizing all eight of my goals at once. Some of them (like my pursuing health goal), I’m still thinking through and figuring out. You’ll see over the course of this year how my goals will likely change as I decide exactly what I want to do with them.)

-Review them often.
  I love to post my goals for accountability, but I also review them in my planner pretty often… probably at least once a week, I sit down to review and think through my goals. It helps me to “plan” my weeks and my days with more focus and purposefulness.

-Give yourself grace.
  Life changes. Things happen. We grow. We learn. We’re human. Learn to be okay with progress over perfection. If you didn’t read your Bible every single day this month, don’t beat yourself up. Instead be proud for those days that you DID make it a priority. That’s better than nothing, and it’s great progress you’ve made. Keep going!

-Evaluate and Revise them, if needed.
It is TOTALLY okay if my December 2020 goals look a little bit different than my January 2020 goals I originally set.
Yall know your life can change completely in 12 months, right? Anybody ever had a surprise pregnancy?? Yeah, I have experience with that one too, and it completely changes your yearly goals sometimes. 😀 It’s the perfect example of how things can change in a short time. It’s completely okay (and encouraged!) to review & revise your goals throughout the year, as needed. I actually like to do this seasonally now. My Fall goals last year were completely different than the 19 in 2019 I set in January last year. 😉


With all that said, here are the goals I’ve set for this year:

1. Love my [actual] life; Work on Contentment.

This one comes post-depression for me. When you are depressed, it’s hard to see All.The.Good.in your life… the things that DO bring you joy, the things you prayed for and now have. When you’re depressed the things that once brought you joy just don’t seem to be enough. So for me, this goal is mostly about moving on from that season of depression I have been in this past year.

At times, it feels like I am having to learn how to live life again. Everything seems like it’s brand new. I’m having to regain confidence in myself and my roles as a wife, as a mother, etc. I’m still figuring it all out, but here are some of my mini action steps for this goal.

Mini Goal 1: Create a Life I actually Like.

Starting Steps:
-Create a “Little Loves” List.
  (I did this in the My Purposeful Planning 2020 Workbook & Planner, using the Plan your Purposeful Year Online
       Course.)
-Brainstorm ways to implement these things into my everyday life.
-Begin adding these things to the daily pages of my planner to begin establishing habits for adding the things I love into my everyday; Write a “personal win” down every day.

Mini Goal 2: Cultivate Contentment. 

Starting Steps:
-Verse-Mapping with Scriptures on Contentment
-Listen to the Audio Book: Your New Money Mindset
-Begin writing down things I’m grateful for on my daily pages of my planner.

2. Create a beautiful, memory-filled home school experience that fulfills all of us.

This one took some visualization. I think visualization is a great tool for dreaming up and imagining what you want something to be. I want our kids to look back on our homeschooling days with joy and lots of fun memories. So it’s my job to create that while still giving them all of the tools that they need for educational success.

Mini Goal 1: Involve the kids in the planning process.

Starting Steps:
-Ask the kids what they are interested in learning and doing.
-Start an “Ideas List” where they can write all the ideas they come up with.
-Make a plan to consult the list each week (when planning) and pick something, grab the needed supplies, and actually do it.

Mini Goal 2: Work on a home school journal together.

Starting Steps:
-Let the kids rate the activity, book, field trip according to what they learned and if they enjoyed it.
-Let them write in the journal something they learned every day.
-Keep up with Bible verses, memory work, spelling words, any review items, etc.

Mini Goal 3: Design a beautiful “Circle Time”. 

Starting Steps:
-Pick a name and a time of day that works best.
-Use this time for Bigs to help teach Littles.
-Also, review Bigs’ work like spelling words and Littles can help name the letters in words.
-Review things like calendar, weather, preschool basics, memory work, Bible time, pray together, sing, play games, etc.

Mini Goal 4: Implement some incentives to homeschooling.

Starting Steps:
-Paying for A’s
-Monthly incentive charts (Complete all the work listed on your monthly chart, and you get to pick out a new educational game or book.)
-Homeschooling with a good attitude all week = fun snack on the weekend

3. Move into a home and make it our dream home where we can live out our dreams right now.

This past year, I stopped dreaming for a while… even though “Imagine” was my Word of the Year. I just felt so stuck in our financial situation. We had sold our home because we were overwhelmed by the burden of our mortgage, moved in with family, and it was just hard. It all felt very hopeless because we couldn’t figure out how to get back on our feet again. There only seemed to be more obstacles in the way. With the help of my husband trying to get me to dream again, we started to look at houses. To make a long story short, we decided that moving and changing our environment would be the best option for my mental health, even if it meant that our finances would be tight again. We walked forward in that, but we ended up walking away from a home we were planning to purchase because of some needed home repairs. When we made that wise decision to walk away, God provided another way – an even better way that we could’ve ever imagined. A beautiful rental home became available to us, in our price range, and it’s EXACTLY what we needed! It was definitely God’s provision and favor for us!

Mini Goal 1: Move

Starting Steps:
-Don’t pack much… most things are already contained in something anyway.
-Make a thousand little trips carrying things from place to place (what I can fit in my car along with 4 car seats). Put them away at the new house, and then do it again. (Wooden crates were amazing, by the way… especially for breakable things like dishes.)
-Have CrossFit friends and other heavy-lifting friends help with moving the furniture and big things.

Mini Goal 2: Set it all up.

Starting Steps:
-Decide what the function of each space will be and which furniture will go where.
-Hang things on the walls.
-Organize spaces as you go.

Mini Goal 3: Plan out the rest.

Starting Steps:
-Use the Home Management Planner Pack to plan out each space and list what’s still needed to make it homey and cozy.
-Use the Home Management Planner Pack to plan out new systems and routines for the new place.
-Put these plans into action.

4. Celebrate our 10th Anniversary.

This year, Justin and I will celebrate our 10th year of marriage. We have been through so much in these ten years, but I am so thankful for this man of God that I get to do life with. We haven’t gotten to get away much on our own (unless you count home school conventions or marriage retreats where there is an agenda with other people). We’re excited to plan a trip and celebrate each other this year. We might even renew our vows!

Mini Goal 1: Plan a little getaway.

Starting Steps:
-Decide where we want to go and what we want to do.
-Talk to a trip adviser.
-Book it.
-Set up a babysitter for our kids.

Mini Goal 2: Decide if we want to renew our vows this year.

Starting Steps:
-Plan it: location, attire, food, ideas, etc.

5. Lead a sermon-based small group that teaches women and mamas how to study the Word and live a spiritual life WITH their children in the mix.

This is something I’ve been really excited about lately. I’ve realized how many women don’t actually know how to study God’s Word. It seems difficult to them and hard to understand. I remember being that way too, but this is a barrier that I want to be able to break down this semester. I want women to gain some confidence in the life skill of Bible study so they can really grow spiritually! I’m also hoping that I can inspire women to put aside the “ideal quiet time picture” and all of the excuses of mothering and stress and just let God meet them where they are. I want us to learn how to invite our children into our daily time with Jesus too. I want to learn how we can do spiritual life WITH our children among us.

Mini Goal 1: Sign up. 

Starting Steps:
-Fill out a Small Group Leadership Opportunity Form.
-Talk to someone special about co-leading this group with me.
-Pick a time for the group to meet.

Mini Goal 2: Recruit.

Starting Steps:
-Start mentioning to the group idea to women in the church.
-Social media posts about the group.

Mini Goal 3: Lead

Starting Steps:
-Set up a snack schedule.
-Plan & Study for the lessons each week.
-Text the group during the week.

6. Pursue health (in all forms of the word).

This one has definitely taken a backseat in my life the past few months. However, I know that I need these things in order to help me to continue to make progress in my other goals like loving my life again. I need a good diet to help me feel my best. I need those good endorphins from exercise to help my hormones level out as they should. I need to focus on the rhythms of renewal in my life.

Mini Goal 1: Begin a workout regimen again.

Starting Steps:
-Think through some ideas and pick something: Yoga Classes, CrossFit, Fitness Blender, Walking, etc.

Mini Goal 2: Eat smart.

Starting Steps:
-Focus on drinking my water.
-Meal prep.
-Timed meals.

Mini Goal 3: Wellness

Starting Steps:
-Wellness journaling with the 4 rhythms of renewal ideas in my planner.

7. Learn & Grow; Teach & Inspire.

I’m a 5 on the enneagram so I always love to read and research and learn new things! Give me all the knowledge! I also feel really fulfilled when I’m able to share some of that with others in order to help them in different areas of life… specifically planning a life of purpose. 😉

Mini Goal 1: Learn & Grow

Starting Steps:
-Read or listen to the One Year Chronological Bible & The Bible Recap Podcast.
-Read or listen to an audio book every month.
-Listen to podcasts while I do household chores.

Mini Goal 2: Teach & Inspire

Starting Steps:
-Social Media Posts
-Blog
-Podcast
-Write emails
-Speak

8. Focus on Finances.

After crunching some numbers this past year, I realized that (now that we no longer have a mortgage), we could be debt free in as little as three years. Now – that’s if all the odds are in our favor and we REALLY buckle down with it. But it’s still a pretty neat thought! So obviously, it’s one I’d love to pursue if we can. And of course, I’m sharing it here with you for accountability, and I’ll let you know how it goes!

Mini Goal 1: Monthly Budget

Starting Steps:
-Adjust monthly budget using the Finance Planner Pack to fit our income and new expenses with moving, etc.
-Evaluate our budget monthly to make sure budget lines / amounts are correct.

Mini Goal 2: Set Up Sinking Funds.

Starting Steps:
-Make a list of most common sinking funds.
-Choose one or two to start with. (As debts are paid down, add in more as needed.)

Mini Goal 3: Debt Payoff

Starting Steps:
-Use the Monthly Debt Payoff Worksheets from the Financial Planner Pack to note how much we pay each month, minimally and extra debt payoff.
-Use the Easy Budget Debt Snowball Calculator to determine a debt-free date to work towards.

 

I’m so excited about this year! I would love to know that you are also setting goals and working on them this year. Leave a comment and let me know some of your goals! 2020 is going to be a good year!

Let’s plan a life of purpose, shall we?!

Why Goal-Setting is Necessary

It’s that time of year where everyone seems to be setting new goals,writing out new intentions, and choosing a focus word for their year. I’ve talked to some people recently who don’t set goals, and I ask them why. They tell me things like “I can’t seem to follow through on them.” or “I write them, but then I don’t know how to actually make them happen.”

And I get it. I do. Of course, you all know that I LOVE to dream and plan, but I’ve also been one to get pretty bummed and disheartened when those plans don’t seem to be working out for me.

Take our finances, for example. We planned and followed many of Dave Ramsey’s suggestions, but yet we still couldn’t afford basic life necessities at times. It felt lame. Why couldn’t we get it right? We’d beat ourselves up for the times we had to use a credit card to make some purchases for important things like clothes our children needed or maternity clothes for myself, and honestly we were getting pretty religious about our finances if that’s even a thing. Rule following and not allowing grace for ourselves to just do the best we could. That, and our “plan” was results-based, not action based.

See, one thing about goals is that they could focus on OUR ACTIONS… what we can ACTUALLY DO, instead of the results we want. Sure, the results should be a part of the planning process, but when we only focus on the results, and for whatever reason they don’t happen, we get discouraged. So instead, our focus should be on the actions we take instead. We should be proud of our efforts and keep going little by little until we DO see the results we were after in the end. It’s really about having a GROWTH MINDSET, and not a FIXED MINDSET. We all have the ability to grow and change and get better. We are not stuck where we are now, but we have to do the work to get to where we want to go if we want to see it happen.

Anyway – sometimes when we do feel like we’re failing at something – and it makes us think
“Why even bother trying anymore? It’s not working.”

Well, here’s why. Two reasons.
1. God’s Plan is Bigger than our Plan.
2. Our Life has Purpose.

God’s Plan is bigger than our Plan.

We never know what He is working out behind the scenes for our good. We only see from our own vantage point (which is sometimes a skewed view) – We don’t always see from His big picture. That’s where faith and trust come in. When we believe, trust, and have faith that He is always working on our behalf we can know that He has good things for us. Even when we go through hard things and start to doubt, we need to take those thoughts captive and trust that He’s working it all out.

Here’s an example from our story… the short version if you can believe that. We’ve struggled with finances for nearly ten years – our entire marriage. We couldn’t seem to make our “financial plans” work. But we did do our part to not make things worse by acquiring too much debt that we knew we couldn’t afford. We lived below our means as much as we could and tried to steward what we did have well, even though many times, it did not feel like enough. We felt really burdened by our mortgage, and we proposed the idea to family for us to sell it and save money for a while until we felt like we could move forward towards another house. They agreed to let us live in their house in order to do this. We continued to make “plans” but really couldn’t see how they would ever work out. However, as we began to pray over these plans that seemed really great and would allow us to be debt-free in three years, God began to meet us in that and work on our behalf. We started looking for a home to buy, earlier that we had originally planned because we didn’t think we could afford a rental with our large family. The home purchase fell through because of needed repairs, but the very same day that we walked away from that option, God provided another way…. an ever better way! We weren’t looking for it, but it found us. It was a large-enough, beautiful home for us to rent where we could pay whatever we were comfortable with. A total God thing for sure! That’s how it usually happens for us… we start doing our part, making the plans, looking for what we can do with wisdom, and then God totally meets us with what we need and shows us that He was always working behind the scenes, even when we couldn’t see it.

Our Life has Purpose.

We all have purpose, and once we find that purpose it makes us want to LIVE life to the fullest and do that thing that we were created to do. We no longer want to “just get by” and keeping doing what we’ve always wanted to do…. just letting life happen to us. We want to see change and growth, and so we set out in pursuit of those things. We begin to live with intention and purpose, and to do this well – we need a plan. We MAKE life happen. It’s up to us to at least do our part.

It was hard for me to see Purpose in the middle of my depression. But God spoke it to me anyway. He reminded me of His plans for me and even gave me new ideas. I thought, “There’s no way. I can’t even function with the normal life responsibilities right now. There’s no way I can say ‘yes’ to any of that.” But still, there it was, and there it kept coming to me. My excitement for it began to grow, and my depression began to lessen. I had to choose to fight for my life and for my life’s purpose. Little by little, I’m inching my way towards that more and more every day. You can too. Ask God to reveal to you His ideas for your life… His plans and how you can be a part of what He’s already doing. He’s got something special for you too, something specifically designed Just For You, and you’re going to LOVE IT! 

 

My January 2019 “Ta Da!” List

The idea of a “Ta Da” List is that we focus on the things that we accomplish, the ways we are successful…. maybe even things that weren’t even on our original “To Do” or “Goals” lists. It’s a way of celebrating the wins – the big and the small, instead of focusing on the negative and feeling guilty for not getting things done. I loved this idea so much that I decided to use it to title and formulate my monthly recap posts as well! This is a monthly blog post I will publish that will hold me accountable to the goals and New Year’s Resolutions that I set for myself for the year.

**This post contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase through one of these links, I will receive a small commission – at no extra cost to you.

  • Took Lyndon to his 2-week check-up, and learned that he made it into the 8 lb. weight class
  • Supported Justin and Lawson in his first ever CrossFit competition, where he took 2nd place in his division
  • Went out for a Girls’ Night / Post-Christmas Get Together Dinner with friends
  • Started meal-prepping and eating healthy again
  • Hosted a Play date with two different friends of mine and their kids this month
  • Signed Lawson up for the next season of T-ball
  • Showed our house to some potential buyers
  • Purchased a gift for an upcoming couple’s wedding shower
  • Planned our second semester of Homeschooling
  • Wrote a flexible, daily, routine for us at home… it’s changed a little now that we have a newborn in the house
  • Kon-Mari’d the kids’ clothes
  • Kon-Mari’d my clothes (including the maternity clothes I never want to wear again)
  • Shopped for new clothes that I feel good in postpartum
  • Finished reading the book Together by Carrie Ward
  • Made a Home school Reading Log for the Books we currently own
  • Laminated Tot School Vocabulary Development Cards
  • Repainted our Lockers (This was my household project for the month.)
  • Rearranged the living room and playroom
  • Kon-Mari’d the Kids’ Books
  • Cleaned out our spice drawer, Relocated them, and Re-organized the drawer
  • Kon-Mari’d some Kitchen items & re-organized some cabinets and spaces
  • Worked out twice at home… It’s a start. 😉 The first time, I got a terrible muscle cramp. I must get back to this slowly.
  • Sent a friend some educational gift ideas for her preschooler
  • Wore my Fitbit watch and started tracking my steps again
  • Started our second semester of home school
  • Organized our Files
  • Organized the hall closets
  • Straightened the bathroom cabinets
  • Enjoyed my frothy coffee at home this month (after an aversion to coffee during my pregnancy)
  • Began reading Essentialism by Greg McKeown
  • Finished the Book of Numbers with the kids in Bible Roadtrip
  • Began the Book of Deuteronomy with the kids in Bible Roadtrip
  • Had a Cleaning Lady come to help me get our house in order for our house showing
  • Posted some video stories on Instagram (so scary for me, lol)
  • Combined my personal and business Instagram accounts and started being more active on there since it’s more easy for me to do during the day
  • Eased back into writing and published a couple blog posts this month
  • Ordered clay bentonite powder and apple cider vinegar to detox and new, all natural, good-for-me deodorant to try (as part of my goal to switch over to more healthy beauty and body products)
  • Journalled and logged my daily food intake
  • Kept up with my daily skincare routine (most days)
  • Began paying back my student loans this month (We’ve been paying Justin’s, but now we will be paying mine back monthly as well.)
  • Paid all our bills for the month (We may not be ahead on anything, but we aren’t behind on anything either. It’s worth celebrating too – even if it’s just the way we always do things.)
  • Fed all my kids and kept them all alive this month (This one just makes me smile every time… especially with having a newborn in the house and three other littles.)I no longer make long to-do lists for myself… at least not in this season. I may give myself like one goal for the day (that may or may not get done), but mostly I just do what I see that needs to be done when I have a moment. And this Ta Da list makes me feel like it was a very successful month – even though the days were quite a bit more stressful and demanding than I’m used to.

    Whatever you do, let’s make a Plan to be more Purposeful!

19 Things in 2019

I saw the idea of “19 things in 2019”, and I fell in love. Yall know I love lists. While 19 does seem like quite a large number, I’m giving myself the entire year to complete the list. I will break it down into bite-sized pieces, as always, and give myself grace for what I don’t get accomplished. But it sure is a fun way to begin… am I right?


*This post contains affiliate links, meaning that if you make a purchase through one of these links I will receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. 

So here’s my 19 things for 2019…

1. Read through the Bible with my kids using the Bible Roadtrip curriculum.

Instead of trying to do my quiet time totally separate, I’m going to focus on our Bible Roadtrip Curriculum with my kids, and kill two birds with one stone so to speak. This idea was inspired by the book I just finished, Together by Carrie Ward, and by an instagram friend, Phylicia (She doesn’t know me, but I am claiming that we are totally bffs.) This is one way that I’m giving myself grace as a mama, but I am hoping that I’ll be able to go more in depth with it and that we can focus on some scripture memory as well.

2. Explore verse-mapping.

I’m going to try to include this idea with our studies as well, but it’s new to me so I’ll have to learn all about it first.

3. Worship daily with my kids.

My kids and I all love music. Singing together in the car is one of our favorite things. I want to try to incorporate this more when we are home as well. Music calms me when I’m anxious, and I think it will work well for my kids as well. It’s just not currently one of my go-to things that I think about.

4. Journal daily and do “writing sprints”.

This one comes from an idea that came to me a while back. I can’t tell you how many times our kids ask us questions about spiritual things that I feel are just well beyond their years. They already know so much at their young ages than I did at their age for sure. Even the one that I don’t think is listening to me can recall and relate different biblical concepts, and I’m so amazed. I really don’t think it’s because of anything we’ve done – maybe just the prayers we’ve prayed for them… but I want to explore it more. I want to somehow capture these little conversations we have as a means of memory-keeping for them, but also maybe even to publish in some way as well.

The concept of “writing sprints” is just to write… no editing, no formatting, just writing whatever is on my heart. I need to get in the practice of doing this and just see what comes from it.

5. Gradually replace our cleaning products with all-natural versions.

I’ve already done this with our All-Purpose cleaner since I use it the most. I purchased glass bottles, essential oils, castile soap and made my own disinfectant/all-purpose cleaning spray. I wanted a healthier version because this is what I clean my counter tops and tabletop with several times a day. I wanted a chemical-free version so that I can feel good about kneading my bread-dough right on my counter tops and be confident than I’m not adding in any harmful chemicals to my dough by doing so. I already love this spray, and I even made up a few to give as Christmas gifts.

I’m not sure if I’ll continue to make up my own cleaners with essential oil recipes or if I’ll use Branch Basics, which I’ve also looked into. I will do a little research before I make my final decision, and I might just do a mixture of both.

6. Begin to replace my beauty products with all-natural versions.

This one, I’ll admit, is a little scarier for me to commit to. I have products that I already love that I use on a daily basis when it comes to skincare, make-up, and even bath products. I think the easiest way to do this, though, is to just do one thing at a time, as I run out of them. Just like I did with my all-purpose cleaner first for cleaning products… in this category I’m starting with deodorant. I’ve ordered Bentonite Clay Powder that I will use with Apple Cider Vinegar to detox my skin, and then I will try out ClayDry Deodorant from Zion Health. I’ve heard good things. I’ve also seen that you can use the Clay Powder for other purposes as well, such as for shaving so I’m going to probably try that out as well since I have it.

7. Read 6+ books this year, one of them being a fiction book.

My goal for the past few years has been to read 12 books, but I don’t think I’ve actually ever met THAT goal, even though I’ve come close some years. I do believe that it is good to read and be learning constantly so I won’t give it up completely, but I’ve lowered my standards to make them more attainable for me. I have absolutely no shame in doing that. I’m going to try to read 6 books this year, with one of them being a fiction book. I can’t tell you the last time I read a fiction book, other than a children’s book. I’m not sure if I will even like it, but I’m hoping it can be a good “me time” or leisure activity if I can learn to enjoy it.

8. Get back to my healthy self.

There are lots of mini goals wrapped up in this one. I’m so excited to work out again and get back to CrossFit! I’m ready to lose weight, eat healthy, and feel good about myself again. However, this goal comes second to feeding and nourishing my little one through breastfeeding… so instead of focusing on “losing weight” which is sometimes hard to do while breastfeeding, I’m focusing on eating nutritious well-balanced meals instead. I’ll be fueling my body for breastfeeding and workouts. In the past, doing this proved to be great for my milk-supply, and I did end up losing weight as well as an added bonus.

I’m going to start wearing my FitBit watch again. I’ll track my healthy journey’s progress in my planner using the Happy Planner Fitness Extension pack that was gifted to me – I’ll keep a food journal, workout log, and track my progress with pics, weigh-ins, and measurements. I really like to celebrate ALL the wins!

9.  Continue with my daily skincare routine.

A few months ago, I splurged on a new skincare line for myself. I bought the Littles Kit from the Drunk Elephant line so that I could sample all of the products. Some of them, I have fallen in love with, and so now I know which ones to buy the bigger sizes of, and which ones I can probably do without.

10. Plan and participate in regular phone detoxes.

I’d really like to get to a point where I intentionally take regular breaks from my phone… one hour a day, one day a month, and one week of the year will be my goal for this.

11. Cultivate a thriving home school.

This is one of those ongoing goals, but I’m constantly evaluating what is working or not working for us… how my children learn best, and what we can do differently to create a healthy love for learning in our home.

12. Plan, budget for, and complete one household project/month.

I’m making a list for this. It’s something that I often just put on the back-burner, but I want my home to be a place that I love, that sparks joy, and that I’m proud of. I want to be more hospitable and loving our home is going to help me to want to do that even more.

13. Upgrade our dining table to fit our “large family”.

I’ve always dreamed about having large family that could gather around a big ole table. Well I’ve got the family, but we’ve outgrown our table. We are currently squeezing in extra chairs from another dining set we had so we can all have a place to sit, and to be honest – it annoys me when we aren’t sitting at the table because I can’t push all the chairs in at the same time. It’s a minor thing because we do make it work, but I’d like to go ahead and upgrade it this year to a larger table if we can make it happen.

14. Stick to my Flylady cleaning routines.

This is an app on my phone that has different daily routines that I can use for morning, afternoon, and evening. It also has a “Weekly Home Blessing Hour”, and different zones that I clean weekly and can rotate through the house so that it never gets too out of control. It’s a really good system, and I love that it can be edited as well to fit my specific needs.

15. Repeat the KonMari process.

I went through this process for the first time probably about three years ago. Funny that it’s now becoming a trending-hot topic because of the show that just aired this month on Netflix. I’d like to go back through this process because I know I’ve grown since that time, and I’m embracing minimalism more and more as time passes.

16. Pay off 1-2 Student Loans this year.

This one is pretty much self-explanatory. Our student loans are our only debt right now, besides our mortgage. We’ve had them in deferment for several years because our income hasn’t been enough for us to cover them. This past year we were able to start paying on Justin’s, and now we have to pay mine monthly as well. I recently did a debt calculation that said we would have them paid off in seven years if we keep up with paying them monthly. (So basically if we had been able to afford them, they could already be paid off by now.)  Oh well. Anyway, we’d like to be able to continue with the monthly minimum payments all year, but also use our tax refund to pay off one of the smaller portions or two entirely if we can.

17. Establish basic Sinking Funds.

This is something I learned about last year but haven’t been able to carry out just yet. Hopefully we’ll get to a point where we are able to plan more for our future purchases and be in control a bit more, but if not – we’ll be okay with that too I guess. We’re just trying to do the best we can with what we have, and I can confidently say we are doing that.

18. Study the Enneagram.

Originally this one on my list was to “learn about and try new wines” this year, but my husband wasn’t too fond of that being one of my goals so I changed it to this one. I’ll just stick to ordering the one or two wines I know I like when we go out to dinner. Lol.

The Enneagram is something that’s becoming increasingly more popular now. I read about it in the book Reading People by Anne Bogel last year, but I didn’t spend much time on that chapter because I wasn’t as familiar with it. I’d like to learn more about my own type and what it means this year as well as the types of those in my family and those closest to me.

19. Learn to do a Hand-Stand Push-Up.

This was the same goal I set for last year in CrossFit, but I didn’t know I’d be pregnant most of last year so it wasn’t a goal that actually got met. Since I wasn’t already confident with being upside down (it’s actually a big fear of mine still), I REALLY didn’t feel confident in continuing to work on it while being “with child”. So… here it is again. A fear for me to overcome, and a goal for me to hopefully achieve and just a fun item to complete my list for the year.

I hope to be able to share with you monthly how it’s going with this list, and what I’m specifically doing to accomplish the goals I have set here. I’d love to have you as my accountability, and I’d love to know what your goals are for the new year.

Do you set New Year’s Resolutions? In what ways are you Planning to be more Purposeful in 2019?


Strides of Increase, Week 5

As you know, my word of the year is Increase. When I think about the word Increase, I think about personal growth, getting better, being intentional and purposeful. I wanted to post a regular update of sorts of how I’m using my Word of the Year in a personal way. Sure, it’s easy to choose a word to claim over your year, but if you do nothing with it, it’s really just a word.

So that is what I’m going to do with my word, Increase, and I’m going to bring you along on this journey with me. Hopefully it will inspire you to do the same with the word you’ve chosen and your own New Year’s Resolutions & Goals. Apply it to your life in a personal way and make some positive changes.

So how am I striving to INCREASE this year and this week specifically?
(Personally, Professionally, & in my Family)

  • I’m working to build worthwhile habits.
    January’s habits were…
    Re-establishing the Habit of Working Out – I accomplished this.
    Establish the Habit of Reading Aloud to my Children – I wasn’t perfect at this, but we did make strides. We’ve come to enjoy it. They especially like it when we have a special snack or treat while we read like chocolate milk. 😉
    Establish the Habit of Daily Reading, Personally – I didn’t read every single day so I wouldn’t say that it’s a habit yet, but I did read one complete book and made some progress in a few others as well.
    February’s habits are…
    No Added Sugars – I felt like this was the next step in my journey towards health. I have a major sweet tooth, and while I do eat clean “most” of the time, there are a few tweaks I needed to make such as cleaning up my coffee, eliminating the “flavored waters” I drink that contain all the Aspartame, and other things I have on occasion like ketchup, salad dressing, dairy products, etc. I know that sugar-addiction is a real thing, and I would just like to eliminate this for myself and my children, in time. While I know that there will be some days that I do consume sugars (such as my birthday), I’m just tracking and seeing how many days I can possibly do without.
    -Being Playful – I am prioritizing doing fun things with my children in each and every day, even if it’s just joining them in what they are playing. I have a deep desire to just be present with them. I already do this, where I just soak up all the little laughs and try to memorize the details of their faces or how they form sentences and tell me stories. I can’t tell you how often I just watch and listen to them playing. It brings me so much joy! But I also want to do this in a way that is meaningful to them – where they know that Mom was not too busy to play with them and do fun things. I take this job of mothering very seriously, and I want to always be available to shepherd their hearts when they need it.
    -Drink my water – I already mentioned that I’m eliminating added sugars. This means the aspartame that was in my Crystal Light- typed flavored waters that were my go-to beverage. It’s unfortunate, really, because I find that without flavor, I don’t drink fluids much at all and find myself really thirsty. I’ve used this as an excuse to keep purchasing and consuming the flavored varieties, even though I knew they weren’t the best option for me. So now I feel like I really need to track how much water I’m drinking so that I am just more mindful of it. So far, I’ve found that I like room-temperature bottled water the best.
  • I want to GROW as a Christian and as a person in general.
    -I am loving Priscilla Shirer’s study called Discerning the Voice of God. At a time in my life where I feel so conflicted on so many things, it couldn’t have come at a more perfect time.
    -I also enjoyed watching Lisa Rippy’s videos of Financial Absolutes this week – It was full of practical advice of financial disciplines, but they were all from the Bible. I want to go back and watch her previous videos as well. She is a Facebook friend of mine that I’ve been following for some time now. I don’t remember who recommended her to me first, but I love what she’s doing with Interior Inspirations. She’s a very inspiring woman of God.
  • Celebrate the wins & Focus on the Positive. 
  • I want to build my blog and expand to new territories of influence.
    My blog is transitioning to Purposeful Planning soon. I’m also recognizing relationships outside of my blog, home, and church that I have opportunities just to minister to people and be who I am.
  • GROW my Platform. I’ve been seeking God about what it is that He would have me share with my readers and my social media followers. There is a challenge this month on the topic of Self-Care, as well as a Facebook group to dive deeper into this topic with my readers.
  • Work on and Build each relationship. To do this, I am studying the personality types and love languages of each of those in my immediate family. I am reading and thinking about how to create a life-giving home. I want to better understand, love, and serve those closest to me.
  • Focus on hearts & character. These will be things we will focus on more in our home school and home-life in general. I will strive to be more like Jesus in my mothering and as a wife. Right now I am just focusing on being present with my family and children.So these are the ways that I am personally working towards INCREASE in my personal, professional, and family life. Now, go take your Word of the Year, and make a purposeful plan to bring about positive change in your own life. That’s what it’s all about!Ya’ll have a great week! Go make a plan to be purposeful!

    Look for these posts this week from me in our Self-Care Challenge:
    How to Care for Your Spiritual Well-Being
    How to Care for Your Physical Health
    Letting Go of Fear
    Just Do It

     

     

     

     

     

Strides of Increase, Week 4

As you know, my word of the year is Increase. When I think about the word Increase, I think about personal growth, getting better, being intentional and purposeful. I wanted to post a regular update of sorts of how I’m using my Word of the Year in a personal way. Sure, it’s easy to choose a word to claim over your year, but if you do nothing with it, it’s really just a word.

So that is what I’m going to do with my word, Increase, and I’m going to bring you along on this journey with me. Hopefully it will inspire you to do the same with the word you’ve chosen and your own New Year’s Resolutions & Goals. Apply it to your life in a personal way and make some positive changes.

So how am I striving to INCREASE this year and this week specifically?
(Personally, Professionally, & in my Family)

  • I’m working to build worthwhile habits.
    -Re-establishing the Habit of Working Out
    I worked out every day this week, except Wednesday. I even made my morning skill-practice sessions. We’ve got a good routine going now.
    -Establish the Habit of Reading Aloud to my Children
    I didn’t read to my children as many times as I would have liked to, but we still did some. I didn’t take the time to photo document the times we did though.
    Establish the Habit of Daily Reading, Personally 
    This week I read Reading People by Anne Bogel through chapter 6. It’s not much, but at least it’s progress. I think I can easily finish this book this week if I prioritize it.

    I’ll be working on new habits each month and tracking them in my planner. Next month starts three new habits and trackers for me.

     

     

  • I want to GROW as a Christian and as a person in general.
    I am loving Priscilla Shirer’s study called Discerning the Voice of God. At a time in my life where I feel so conflicted on so many things, it couldn’t have come at a more perfect time.

    Would yall just look at that sweet little hand trying to “color” here?
  • Celebrate the wins & Focus on the Positive.
    This week I received photo prints in the mail that I had ordered and added them to my Happy Planner. My Happy Planner just got Happier!
     
  • I want to build my blog and expand to new territories of influence.
    My blog is transitioning to Purposeful Planning soon. There will be a challenge this month on the topic of Self-Care, as well as a Facebook group to dive deeper into this topic with my readers.
  • GROW my Platform. I’ve been seeking God about what it is that He would have me share with my readers and my social media followers.
  • Work on and Build each relationship. To do this, I am studying the personality types and love languages of each of those in my immediate family. I am reading and thinking about how to create a life-giving home. I want to better understand, love, and serve those closest to me. 

     

  • Focus on hearts & character. These will be things we will focus on more in our home school and home-life in general. I will strive to be more like Jesus in my mothering and as a wife.

    So these are the ways that I am personally working towards INCREASE in my person, professional, and family life. Now, go take your Word of the Year, and make a purposeful plan to bring about positive change in your own life. That’s what it’s all about!

    Ya’ll have a great week! Go make a plan to be purposeful!

    Look for these posts this week from me:
    Discover Your Passions (with Free Printables!)
    Determine Your Core Values (with Free Printables!)
    Letting Go of Perfection
    How to “Sabbath” (with Free Printable!)

     

     

     

     

     

     

Strides of Increase, Week 3

As you know, my word of the year is Increase. When I think about the word Increase, I think about personal growth, getting better, being intentional and purposeful. I wanted to post a regular update of sorts of how I’m using my Word of the Year in a personal way. Sure, it’s easy to choose a word to claim over your year, but if you do nothing with it, it’s really just a word.

So that is what I’m going to do with my word, Increase, and I’m going to bring you along on this journey with me. Hopefully it will inspire you to do the same with the word you’ve chosen. Apply it to your life in a personal way and make some positive changes.

So how am I striving to INCREASE this year and this week specifically?
(Personally, Professionally, & in my Family)

  • I’m working to build worthwhile habits.
    -Re-establishing the Habit of Working Out
    With sick kiddos and snow days this week, I missed my morning “Bonus Work” gym sessions, but I did make 4 workouts this week so I’m okay with that.

    -Establish the Habit of Reading Aloud to my Children
    We read several days this week. Layten also brought me a Playstation Game case for me to “read” to her one day, so at least I know that she’s enjoying our read aloud time. I took a few pics to document the books we read.

    This one was fun because Layten has learned how to say “apple”, and there are apples on literally every page.

    Establish the Habit of Daily Reading, Personally 
    This week I read Stronger than the Strugger by Havilah Cunnington, chapter 1 and Reading People by Anne Bogel through chapter 4.

  • I want to GROW as a Christian and as a person in general.
    In addition to my habit of reading the One Year Bible, this week I began my first supplemental study of the year – Priscilla Shirer’s study Discerning the Voice of God. It’s already SO GOOD! (And the video sessions are available free right now through LifeWay if you want to get a book a join me!)

    Would yall just look at that sweet little hand trying to “color” here?
  • Celebrate the wins & Focus on the Positive.
    I’m doing this by memory-keeping in my Happy Planner, but here is some photo documentation of a few things…

    A Moment that they are playing well together… definitely cause for celebration!
    Lawson lost his very first tooth! Literally about an hour after we noticed it was loose, he pulled it himself. I hope they are all this easy!

    Justin competed in the Hometown Throwdown CrossFit competition near us this weekend. He and his partner placed 5th in the RX male division. He had about 8 of our CrossFit members come out to support him, plus his family of course.
  • I want to build my blog and expand to new territories of influence.
    My blog is transitioning to Purposeful Planning soon. There will be a challenge this month on the topic of Self-Care, as well as a Facebook group to dive deeper into this topic with my readers.
  • GROW my Platform. I’ve been seeking God about what it is that He would have me share with my readers and my social media followers.
  • Work on and Build each relationship. To do this, I am studying the personality types and love languages of each of those in my immediate family. I am reading and thinking about how to create a life-giving home. I want to better understand, love, and serve those closest to me.

  • Focus on hearts & character. These will be things we will focus on more in our home school and home-life in general. I will strive to be more like Jesus in my mothering and as a wife.
    This little fella is a “drink snatcher.” I’m guilty of usually being a little possessive over my drinks, but Daddy reminded me that one day I will miss having a little boy to come a snatch my drinks from me. #Perspective

    So these are the ways that I am personally working towards INCREASE in my person, professional, and family life. Now, go take your Word of the Year, and make a purposeful plan to bring about positive change in your own life. That’s what it’s all about!

    Ya’ll have a great week! Go make a plan to be purposeful!

    More photos from the week… 

    Playing “Astronauts” by laying their car seats down in the kitchen and using a slinky for a seat belt…. Love their imaginations!


    Justin and his workout partner… I love his game face!


     

Strides of Increase, Weeks 1 & 2

As you know, my word of the year is Increase. I am so excited for this word God has given me and all He has in store for us this year! When I think about the word Increase, I think about personal growth, getting better, being intentional and purposeful. When I read the definition the words Intensity, Expand, Grow, and Swell stand out to me.

As inspired by Crystal Paine of MoneySavingMom.com, I wanted to post a regular update of sorts of how I’m using my Word of the Year in a personal way. Sure, it’s easy to choose a word to claim over your year, but if you do nothing with it, it’s really just a word. That’s why I personally love when I hear that some have chosen words like Intentional, Purposeful, or Grow – because these are words that signify that there will be some actual work and action put behind the sentiment. I sure hope that there is and that those who choose words like this, as well as others, are able to use them to make actual changes in their lives and see a positive difference.

So that is what I’m going to do with my word, Increase, and I’m going to bring you along on this journey with me. Hopefully it will inspire you to do the same with the word you’ve chosen. Apply it to your life in a personal way and make some positive changes.

So how am I striving to INCREASE this year?
(Personally, Professionally, & in my Family)

  • I’m working to build worthwhile habits. The 3 habits I am focusing on for the month of January are Workouts, Personal Reading, and Reading to my Children.
    I am working to re-establish the habit of working out and building that back into my routine after taking some time off with pregnancy complications and my miscarriage last month. This has been going well so far this month. I’ve lost some of my strength and abilities from taking a month off, which is pretty frustrating, but I’m challenged and excited to keep going and reach more goals in this area.
    I really love to read, but it’s one of those things that will fall between the cracks if I don’t make specific time for it. I have no specific goal as far as how much I read per day, but I’m trying to read 12 books this year so a book a month is the pace for that. You will most likely see benefits from this as the information I’m taking in is usually what comes out in my writing as well. Currently I’ve been re-reading The Fringe Hours by Jessica N. Turner, The Life-Giving Home by Sally and Sarah Clarkson, and Reading People by Anne Bogel. I read whatever I’m in the mood for at the moment.
    I really want my children to develop of love for learning and for reading. Currently, I have a kindergarten who reads really well but lacks confidence. I want to encourage him in this, and I want all of my children to see that reading can be a beautiful thing. It’s one of the things I want them to look back on our homeschooling years and remember fondly, but it’s not something I’ve been so great at prioritizing in the past.
  • I want to GROW as a Christian and as a person in general. These things are already established habits for me, but I will continue in my daily readings in the One Year Bible and strategic prayer and journaling. I’ve also added in handwriting scriptures when something jumps out at me, which really I’ve always done as well. I just ordered the Bible study book Discerning the Voice of God by Priscilla Shirer, which will be my first supplemental study that I will do this year. It’s an online study made available through Lifeway, I believe. The video portions will be sent via email, and I will do the study portion throughout the week. I also love to listen to podcasts while I fold laundry or clean up the kitchen (it makes those tasks a bit more enjoyable too – try it!). This week I listened to “I’m Glad it Happened” by Elevation Church Podcast. Sooo good! There’s so much about this past year that I would’ve never wished upon myself or on anyone, but I can honestly say now that if God gets the glory from it and there’s a purpose in it, I’m glad it happened. Here’s a quote that I actually paused the podcast to stop and write down…
    “I’m not nervous, anxious, stressed out, maxed out… I know how this ends. God is going to get some glory out of everything I’ve gone through. The more I’ve gone through, the greater the glory. I’m glad about it. I’m not glad about the pain. I’m glad that in the pain, there is a purpose. I cried enough about it. I spent enough time wishing and praying it would go away. But now I’m standing here with my praise intact and in my right mind. I’m glad about it. I’m glad it happened.”

  • Celebrate the wins & Focus on the Positive. Sometimes it’s so easy to get stuck in the negatives and have a pity party. Been there. Done that. I am memory-keeping and journaling in my planner and noting the positive things. I also really love to write answered prayers in my prayer journal. I also have this picture in my head that I stumbled across a while back. It’s a framed poster, a beautiful one, with handwritten answered prayers. It was gorgeous, and I’d love to recreate it to hang somewhere in my home someday. Here’s a similar one that I found on Etsy to give you a visual.

  • I want to build my blog and expand to new territories of influence. When I first wrote this down as one of my goals, I didn’t exactly know what I meant by it, but I’ve already seen this one begin to play out. My blog has expanded to Purposeful Planning, which will launch on Patreon tomorrow, January 15th, as well as Purposeful Planning on Instagram. With that, my territory and people that I am able to influence has definitely seen some Increase. This is exciting, and I pray that I am able to use that for God’s glory and not my own.
  • GROW my Platform. I’ve been seeking God about what it is that He would have me share with my readers, my patrons, and my Instagram followers. Currently, there is a Self-Care Challenge on Patreon, and I will most-likely be posting soon on the blog about how to create a life-giving home, as well as other intentional and hopefully inspiring posts like this one.
  • Work on and Build each relationship. To do this, I am studying the personality types and love languages of each of those in my immediate family. I am reading and thinking about how to create a life-giving home. I want to better understand, love, and serve those closest to me.
  • Focus on hearts & character. These will be things we will focus on more in our home school and home-life in general. I will strive to be more like Jesus in my mothering and as a wife.

    So these are the ways that I am personally working towards INCREASE in my person, professional, and family life. Now, go take your Word of the Year, and make a purposeful plan to bring about positive change in your own life. That’s what it’s all about!

My 2018 New Year’s Resolutions & Goals

Zig Ziglar once said, “If you aim at nothing, you’ll hit it every time.” Well, I don’t want to be the someone who aims at nothing. I want to be the one who is striving to go further, to unlock more of my potential, and do my part and getting one step closer to God and to the person He designed me to be.

So, yes. I always set New Year’s Resolutions, and probably always will.
You’ve been asking, and here they are! My goals & resolutions for the year 2018 here, noted by category, but in no specific order. I also am sharing with you how I plan to track my progress for each of them and make them happen. Some of them will be obvious if I acheive them or not and don’t need further explanation.

While I don’t expect that I will reach every goal or establish every habit, I’m sure going to try. I know that writing down my goals means that I’m more likely to acheive them. I also know that by posting them publicly, for you as my followers, I’ll have an extra bonus level of accountability. I will try to post some updates for you throughout the year to let you know how things are going.

  • Read through the One Year Bible. (Spiritual Goal)
    I usually print off the One Year Bible Reading Plan, and cut the pages in half to fit in my Bible. I check off the days as I complete them so I can see my progress for this one that way. Also, I will be using my planner’s horizontal weekly spread to handwrite scriptures that jump out and speak to me in the provided daily space. This will show my progress towards this goal as well.
  • Do a few supplemental Bible studies. (Spiritual Goal)
    Here’s one I will start with, and I will choose a couple more throughout the year. Discerning the Voice of God by Priscilla Shirer
  • Pray in the spirit more. (Spiritual Goal)
    I know it’s kind of a vague goal, but it’s sompething I don’t do enough. I think I will track this in my horizontal weekly spread by using a small cross symbol.
  • Get better at CrossFit. (Health & Fitness Goal)
    I’ve broken down this goal a bit more. I will be posting my S.M.A.R.T. goal post on how I’m doing this very soon.
  • See some actual muscle definition this year (Health & Fitness Goal)
    I will track this with before and after progress pictures in my planner. I can feel muscles now in my arms and legs, but I can’t see them yet.
  • Compete in the CrossFit Open this year (Health & Fitness Goal)
    This will take place in March, and it will be obvious if I reach this goal or not. No tracking necessary.
  • Add to our emergency fund. (Financial Goal)
    This will be noted in our monthly budget, and the only thing I’m tracking, aside from actual budgeting, is “No Spend Days” which we are about to start striving more towards so that we can really reach our financial goals.
  • Increase percentage of our tithe. (Financial Goal)
  • Save for future “closing costs” for us to move one day. (Financial Goal)
  • Create subsciber freebies for my blog followers. (Blog & Writing Goal)
  • Start a Patreon account with more bonuses & exclusives. (Blog & Writing Goal)
  • Study my family members’ personality types. (Relationship Goal)
    I want to read the book Reading People by Anne Bogel.
  • Plan a date with each child per quarter. (Relationship Goal)
    This will be noted on my calendar as a reminder to plan, but I will look to see what different events are going on in the area before I plan our outings.
  • Plan a date with Justin each month. (Relationship Goal)
    Right now, we’ve got Christmas giftcards to use so deciding where to eat should be pretty easy. 😉 That’s a plus!
  • Attend the church Marriage Retreat with Justin. (Relationship Goal)
  • Read 12 books this year. (Personal Goal)
  • Plan one mental health day off for myself each quarter. (Personal Goal)
    I will note this on my calendar as a reminder and plan a way to make it happen!

    So that’s it. It may seem like a lot, but I’m a goal-getter, and I’ve got a plan in place to reach each one. We’ll see how it goes. What are your goals for the year? I encourage you to make a list, or even just select one goal to work on and REALLY PURSUE that one thing! Think of one way that you can grow this year into more of the person that you really want to be, and then go do it!