I recently came across this quote while scrolling on Instagram:
Can I get an “amen”? I know that on a national (global?) scale, this has been a tough year, but beyond that, it was a really tough year personally.
The year started off well enough. I was feeling optimistic, and I had a lot of big plans for myself. But then, wouldn’t you know it? Life happened. My husband dealt with some medical issues and was away from home for several weeks as a result.
I’m so proud of how was got through everything as a family, but any plans I had were swiftly replaced by the more important priority of making sure we were all happy and healthy. At any rate, I’m ready to leave 2017 behind.
That means it’s my favorite time of year: time for goals and planning and dreaming.
Word of the Year
I’m not sure when the trend started of replacing resolutions with a word of the year, but I like it. Who needs to plan on losing 20 pounds, when I can instead decide to be intentional about my diet? Who would plan on saving $1000 when I can be intentional about making my family’s next trip to Walt Disney World an amazing one? I want to live this year on purpose and with purpose.
“You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind, and all your strength.” -Mark 12:30
Now, that doesn’t mean I’m against setting goals for myself. To me, the Bible makes it clear that we are called to be the best we can be, and this verse breaks it down even further.
HEART = Relational Goals
Monthly Date Night: Despite things being thrown off course a bit this year, we actually had a few pretty fun date nights. We played mini-golf and went on a scavenger hunt and saw a couple of Broadway shows, along with the usual dinners and movie nights. I’d love to keep it up, and come up with more creative activities for us.
Mother-Son Dates: My son just turned six, but I believe it’s never too early to start teaching him how to treat, not only women, but people in general. Even the occasion conversation over a Happy Meal can teach him about basic things like table manners and courtesy to those in the service industry.
Monthly Lady Dates: Family was definitely a top priority for me in 2017, but I’d love to cultivate some of my female friendships this year. The occasional lunch/cup of coffee/happy hour can do wonders. I want to be a better friend and invest in the relationships that deserve it.
Weekly Snail Mail: I am lucky to have some wonderful friends all over the world. Unfortunately, though, that means that I’m not able to see them nearly as often as I would like. Everyone loves to get fun mail, so I’d like to make more of an effort to get notes out to those long distance friends more often. One card a week seems very doable.
SOUL = Spiritual Goals
Journal: There was a time in my life when I could spend hours pouring all my deepest thoughts onto the pages of my journal. I may still keep a journal, but long gone are the free hours for writing. I would still like to spend at least a few minutes every day getting things written down. It’s one of the ways I pray, and it should be a priority.
President’s Devotion: Toward the end of this year, my best friends and I agreed that we were in a bit of a spiritual slump. We did a little research, and landed on this book of devotions written for Barack Obama during his presidency. Each day features a verse and short lesson. If I do nothing else, I would love to be dedicated to reading this every day. If it was good enough for Barry…
Monthly Accountability Hangout: On a related note, those best friends and I thought it would be a great idea if we could connect “face to face” (via Skype or Google Hangouts) once a month to talk about what we’ve been reading and keep each other on track.
Growth Group: My church does small groups every semester, and while I usually sign up for one, I’m not always the most faithful group member. I’d like to step up my game this year to help both my spiritual growth and hopefully help me meet some new people as well.
MIND = Learning Goals
Read 25 Books: I have been setting reading goals for the past several years, and while 2017 was a bust in many other areas, this was one where I actually achieved what I set out to do. I tend to read several books back to back and then take a small break, but this seems like an attainable goal.
Up My Social Media: After several years of toying with the idea, I finally launched Personal Producer this year. While that was a big first step, it was just that: a first step. I look forward to stepping up my efforts this year with even better blog posts and more social media content. Speaking of, are you following me yet?
Master Manual Camera Settings: While my camera seems to be on its last leg, it has many manual settings that I can explore before committing to a new (and pricey) one. I’d love to carve out more time for playing with those and figuring out a more solid aesthetic for myself and my sites.
Learn Photoshop: On a related note, Photoshop. I’ve worked a little with InDesign for basic graphic design, but both this site and my “day job” are starting to demand more… in a good way. This year, I will make it a priority to at least learn the basics in this workhorse of a photo editing app.
STRENGTH = Physical Goals
To keep things 100, I don’t like what I see when I look in the mirror these days, and I know that’s all on me. I also know that there are no big secrets when it comes to health and/or weight loss. It all comes down to just two things: eating better and moving more.
Exercise: Real talk. My work day begins at 7:30 AM, so there’s basically no chance I’m getting up even earlier to get in a morning routine. Then, I get home around 5:00 PM to be quickly met by chores, homework, and yes, the need to just take a break. I can’t say I’m going to run every day, or do yoga four times a week, but I would like to put a higher priority on simply getting in more physical activity – even if it just means taking a walk around the block at lunch or taking the stairs up to my fifth floor office in the morning.
Diet: Now, I don’t mean that in the four letter word sense. I will always need a bite of chocolate from time to time and want to share my son’s mac and cheese on occasion. But I know there are alternatives I can work into my diet without it feeling like too huge a sacrifice. I can swap out my usual candy bars for smaller pieces of dark chocolate. I can commit to putting more veggies on my plate. I can avoid ordering in as much.
Wow. That seems like a lot, doesn’t it? But it’s really not. Family and friends. Learning and physical health. Those are all things that are worthy of goal-setting to me. With a little planning, I feel confident that I can be INTENTIONAL and end 2018 a little better than I’m starting it.
Now it’s your turn! I’d love for you to share some of your goals with me. Anything I can help you with or just encourage you about? Let’s make something happen together!