I know, I promised fiction today. Instead, you’re getting some non-fiction in the form of my 2014 goals.
Please try to hold back your disappointment and, instead, look for some fiction next Sunday. And while you wait… you can check out my goals for the next 10 months.
This is part of my Making Things Happen in 2014 series. Where did all of this come from? Well, visit the links below to see how I got started on this productivity bender –
Goal 1 –
This is probably an obvious one.
What do I mean by “grow”? Well, that answer changes when looking at the shop versus the blog.
For the blog, I hope to grow my content. I want to write more and share more. I’ve put together an editorial calendar template to keep myself accountable and I’ll do my best to share something every day. That’s a huge goal, but hey aren’t goals meant to inspire?
A few of the content areas I’m hoping to talk more about are –
- Budgeting and money
- Meal planning
- Knitting and yarn
- Decorating and our house plans
- Sharing bits of fictional writing
All of these very broad topics will figure into what I write about each week. The main goal behind all of this is to not only stretch myself personally, but to also meet people and grow a community. One of my favorite things about blogs is how they connect people together – you read a blog because you like what the person has to say and you want to hear more, and you comment because you want to share how you fit in with what they’re writing about. I love that! And I want to see more of that here – either through commenting directly on posts, interacting on the facebook page, sending emails – whatever!
Shop growth is something I want to address in a separate post next week, but the readers digest version is I plan on focusing more on ready to ship versus what I’ve been doing previously, which is a focus on made to order. I’ll still have the option to customize things to your liking, but I will have a lot more available to purchase immediately and shipped right away. I’m also going to release my patterns to be available for purchase, and some will be free (those will be here on the blog). And, on top of those great things, I plan on combining inventory into different sets to purchase as gifts. You’ll just have to wait until next week to learn more about the sets, though!
Goal 2 –
This is sort of a broad statement, but it encompasses a lot of different things so I had to make it a little broad. This is a goal that’s meant to stretch me personally – as a wife, as a mom, as a friend, etc.
I tend to be a homebody and reserved. I am totally content to hang out by myself. I’m not unfriendly, though – in fact, I love interacting and meeting new people. BUT I really, really treasure time to myself.
Sometimes I get stuck. And I end up saying “no” a lot, even though I know I should probably say yes. So the purpose of this goal is to be more aware and purposeful about saying yes. Not only that, it’s about initiating things instead of waiting to be asked.
It’s not about being guilted into doing things, though. Because that was something I struggled with a lot in 2013 – feeling obligated to say yes and putting personal things aside in order to please someone else. That got me seriously off track and was difficult to get out of and I’m never going back there again.
Anyway, in my marriage, this means talking more and sharing more about myself. I have no idea why, but I would be more comfortable telling a total stranger about my goals than my own husband. That’s really embarrassing to admit, let alone write on a public blog, but it’s the truth. And the stupid part? Alex is a great encourager. He’s a really positive person and would never make me feel stupid or tell me that what I was trying to accomplish was a waste. And yet – those are always my fears and a voice in my head says, “he doesn’t care what you’re doing. Just keep it quiet.” And I have for years. But not anymore. Hi Alex 🙂
As a mom, this means planning more fun activities and actually doing some of the stuff sitting around on my pinterest or trying ideas I’ve been thinking about for awhile. I want to plan a weekly activity or fun craft to do with my kid because he isn’t going to be a kid forever and it’s only a matter of time until he’s too cool to glue popsicle sticks down to construction paper with me.
And as a friend, daughter, sister, etc. it just means reaching out more. Having girl’s nights. Picking up the phone to send a nice message or even – gasp! – call to say hi. Write a little note of encouragement. Just bring more of my heart out instead of having all of these intentions that stay inside and never are acted out.
I want deeper connections. It’s time to get out of my head and out into life.
Goal 3 –
I’m the family meal planner and the one who buys the groceries for the most part, so that means I’m the one in charge of my family’s health. It’s a huge goal of mine this year to clean up what we eat and focus on simple recipes that are built around what’s in season. I’m going to be doing more meal planning and centering those meals around what we can grow, what we can source locally and what is good for our bodies.
It’s no secret that I love a good coffee drink and I may or may not be a little obsessed with McDonalds so this goal is going to be HARD. I’m just going to say it right now – I’ll probably fail left and right but I’m going to do my best. I’m also going to say right now that I don’t plan on giving up fancy coffee, but I will be indulging way less.
Not only is this goal about food, it’s also about exercise. I have zero cardiac endurance. I don’t know where this goal is going to take me in terms of exercise, but I at least would like to go from nothing to maybe 30 minutes of some form of exercise a couple days a week. Sometimes you gotta start small. I won’t be joining a gym; I’ll be using exercise DVDs I’ve bought or received as gifts because it’s ridiculous that they’re sitting there unused. And I purposefully did not pack them up because I had a feeling this would be a 2014 goal.
This goal also encompasses some little things like becoming more of a morning person, keeping up with regular doctor/dental appointments for both myself and Alex, drinking more water and learning about vitamins.
Goal 4 –
Last year, it was difficult for me – in the midst of finding my feet as a new mom – to set time aside for bible study. I definitely prayed more than I ever have, but I didn’t spend time reading or working on memorization. I would say 2013 was mostly about surviving and clinging by faith, than digging into the word. And that’s totally okay. Christian life cycles in and out and definitely moves in season, and last year was a season where I just needed to pray.
Now I’m in a season where I want to grow in my understanding of the bible. And I also want to work on memorization. Part of it is that I do have larger chunks of time where I can spend on this, but also part of it is the fact that Ezra is a little older and can work on memorizing short, simple verses with me. So, this goal is about purposefully carving out dedicated time for study and coming up with easy to remember verses to work on for myself and – eventually – with Ezra.
Goal 5 –
I talked a little bit about legacy in a past entry, but from the perspective of creating family traditions. I briefly touched on how legacy fits into the financial side of life – and that’s what this goal is about.
Because we are debt free, we’re in a position where we can be a little more generous with our money. We’ve added an “Acts of kindness” section to our budget for this specific purpose. I’m not exactly sure what will happen with it every month, but I do know that it will be fun coming up with ways to use that money. In the month of February, it’s meant sending little encouraging cards to friends I don’t get to see as often, as well as catching up on “thank you” cards that I am so late in sending that it’s borderline embarrassing.
But focusing on legacy also means staying on track with the “baby steps” that are a part of Dave Ramsey’s Total Money Makeover. We are technically on steps 4 and 5 (saving for retirement and college funds) but when we close on our house in a month or two, we’ll be back on step 3 (building up a large emergency fund of 3-6 months’ expenses) because I have a feeling we’ll have to dip into our emergency fund to cover – well – unexpected expenses.
Staying on track with these steps – making sure we’ve got a safety cushion, that we’re saving for retirement, that Ezra’s college fund is being taken care of, that our mortgage will be paid off sooner rather than later – enables us to create a legacy for our family. And what will that legacy look like? Freedom to do things without worrying about whether we’ve got the money or not, an inheritance for Ezra and any future children and, most importantly, an example that Ezra will carry on to his family and will hopefully repeat for his children. It’s a gift that keeps on giving!
Alright, there you have it – my 2014 goals. Have you gotten your goals all lined up for the rest of the year?