This post may contain affiliate links, which means I could be compensated if you make a purchase through one of my links, at no extra cost to you. See my disclosure policy here.
I can’t believe it’s November already. Which is pretty much the same thing I say at the beginning of every new month. Except now it’s almost 2018.
And it sort of makes me want to hyperventilate. How about you?
October was a busy month for us. We had family stuff going on, two birthdays, out-of-town guests (yay!), a weekend trip out-of-town (yay! – again), a school play, and lots of other normal-ish-but-still-overwhelming real life things to fill up the month.
I feel like I worked really hard this month, even though it might not show to anyone else but me. And that’s going to have to be okay. Some months just run you ragged, and all you can do is the best you can. That was my October.
And then I blinked and it was gone.
I have a feeling November might be the same way. All we can do is keep plugging away and try to make this the best almost-the-end-of-the-year it can be!
My Goals for 2017
1. Pray through The Power of a Praying Wife each month.
I’ve used this book to help guide how I pray for my husband for many years, but more recently, I’ve fallen away from consistently praying thoughtful and intentional prayers for him. The Power of a Praying Wife highlights thirty different areas of your husband’s life to pray over (a chapter for each one), and I want to intentionally pray throughout each day for the topic that corresponds with the date.
Last month: I’ve been much more intentional about praying for my husband and his needs throughout the day.
This month: I’ll continue praying every morning at the beginning of my quiet time. I also want to be even more intentional and consistent about praying for specific areas of my husband’s life throughout each day.
2. Spend 10 minutes 3 times a week on golf.
I’m learning to play golf. It’s both comical and sad, all at the same time. It certainly does not come naturally to me, but Brian and I wanted an activity we can enjoy together even when we’re old and grey. It’s also stretching both of us to be patient with each other as he tries to help me learn something that’s way outside of my comfort zone.
Last month: I basically did nothing toward this goal. Nothing.
This month: I need to make the time to watch one or two videos each week on golf techniques. When I put it into my planner at the beginning of the week, I often do it. So, maybe my new goal should be to PLAN for practicing my golf each week!
3. Finish laundry and housework before Brian gets home.
I have a bad habit of leaving things like folding the laundry or washing the dishes until it’s almost time for my husband to come home from work, which is actually very late in the evening. I want to set aside time early in the day for finishing my tasks so I can enjoy relaxing with my husband when he comes home from a long day at work.
Last month: I’ve really struggled with starting my day on time. When everyone leaves in the morning, I’ve been sort of lazy and wasted too much time doing stuff that doesn’t matter (like surfing Facebook – ahem!).
This month: I need to get back to writing my housekeeping tasks into my planner at the beginning of the week and then trying to get most of them done early in the day – even in the morning – so my husband can come home to a smiling wife instead of one who is making excuses and rushing around to finish the day.
Managing Our Home & Family
4. Pray for each of the kids specifically each day.
I’m trying to be more intentional about praying for specific needs in each of my kids’ lives. I don’t want to throw up quick “bless them” types of prayers. I want to praise God for each of them individually and pray for their hearts in a way that only a mother can.
Last month: I have been praying for each of my kids, but not as intentionally as I would have liked. I haven’t been using the first minutes of my day the way I’d like. I’ve been checking social media first thing in the morning instead of using that time to think and pray.
This month: I would like to start my mornings with prayer while my tea is being prepared and for a few minutes afterward. I’ll use that time for praying specifically for my husband and for God’s will in each of my kids’ lives.
5. Clean out clutter for 15-30 minutes 4 times a week.
I’m wanting to set aside time from 5pm to 8pm most days for working on housework and other miscellaneous tasks. My husband doesn’t usually get home from work until after 8pm (or later!), so that time works well for our family. I’ll spend a few minutes of that time getting rid of the clutter that continues to plague our home.
Last month: I didn’t do much at all to get rid of clutter…except for talk about it and think about it and wish I was better at just doing it.
This month: Tackling clutter will go into my planner each day. Even if I can’t spend a long time on it, I need to take a few minutes to get some of it dealt with. Something is always better than nothing.
6. Have Mikey leash trained by the end of summer.
We love our puppy with all our hearts, but he drives us absolutely crazy when we try to take him for a walk. I’m setting a goal of getting him leash trained because it’s something he needs, it’s something that can be measured (we’ll know when it can be marked off the list), and any other training we do with him will contribute to teaching him to follow our commands, even when we’re out on a walk.
Last month: Because of a busy and somewhat unusual month, poor Mikey didn’t get many (if any) walks.
This month: I need to watch more dog training videos for inspiration, encouragement, and ideas. Then, I need to actually take walks with him and do the hard part of patiently teaching him the rules. It’s not easy, but it will be worth it in the end (I hope!).
7. Make a time-blocked plan for all “work” days. (Days when my husband is at his job and I’m working at home.)
I am great at wasting time, yet feeling like I’ve done nothing but work all day long. By scheduling out my days, I’m more likely to get the most important tasks done and still have time for things like training the dog and finishing up the housework before my hubby gets home.
Last month: I really struggled with time-blocking and even making and following a detailed to-do list. Just keeping it real.
This month: I need to take a few minutes every morning to plan out my day. My new planner makes it easy and provides lots of motivation (because it’s so fun and pretty!). I really need to find a time-blocking method that works for me!
8. Read 12 books this year.
I need to do more reading. That’s just a fact. I’ve set aside a few minutes during my quiet time for reading a book that will help me grow spiritually. If I’m following my plan of getting my housework finished up early, then I’ll be able to spend a few minutes in the evenings reading a book, too (instead of finishing up laundry and washing dishes).
Last month: I finished Control Girl and Gracelaced . Both were soooo good! Guys, Control Girl impacted my heart and life more than just about any book I’ve read, maybe ever. If you haven’t read it, you need to. Now!
This month: I actually completed my goal of 12 books, but I don’t want to stop, of course. I will continue to read for 10-15 minutes during my morning quiet time (besides my Bible reading). I hope to add in 10-15 minutes of reading in the afternoon or evening, too. I’m currently reading The 12 Week Year, and I still want to read How to Manage Your Home Without Losing Your Mind.
9. Exercise 20-30 minutes 3 times a week.
This one is hard for me. Very, very hard. If I hope to achieve this goal, I’m going to have to schedule this into my day or make it part of my routine. I want to stretch out for a few minutes and then either go up and down the stairs (not really fun, but can be done inside), take the dog for a walk, or workout with my husband.
Last month: I didn’t exercise. Truth.
This month: I’m going to be more intentional about reaching my steps goal on my FitBit, regularly taking the dog for a walk, and doing other exercises and using light weights a couple times a week. I must!
10. Reach healthy goal weight by my birthday.
The forties haven’t been kind to me. If I put on a couple of pounds, they simply don’t want to come off. And even if I don’t change my eating or activity level, that extra couple pounds start to multiply. There’s a weight that feels really good to me that I’d like to work towards by my birthday in May.
Last month: I honestly don’t know how, but I made a little bit of progress this month.
This month: I’m going to TRY to do some form of exercise every day and be more careful about what I eat. For the past two days I’ve only eaten healthy food. Two days is a start, right?
11. Build up our emergency fund.
Basically, every extra penny will go towards having an emergency fund. This goal should help me be more diligent to watch our grocery spending (a needed side-benefit). It will also force me to watch and update our budget more often so I’m keeping on top of how much we’re spending and how much we can save.
Last month: We completed our emergency fund. Yay!
This month: Now I can start working on paying off debt. (It never ends.)
12. Pay off debt.
There are two specific items that I want to pay off by this summer.
Last month: We just paid the minimums last month.
This month: We’ll start putting any extra money toward paying off debt. With the holidays coming up, that will be difficult, but I’m going to continue watching my grocery budget and unnecessary spending to at least help a little. I’ll also look at our finances daily to keep me focused.
13. Write for 15 minutes 4 times a week.
This might seem pretty wimpy, but I’ve found that if I write for 15 minutes, I’ll likely continue writing for an hour or more. It’s just the process of getting started that is my biggest roadblock. Writing for 15 minutes feels like it’s not that big of a deal, and once I get going, I know I’ll make much more progress.
Last month: I started keeping up with this goal near the end of the month.
This month: I need to plan my writing into the day. That’s the only way it happens.
14. Write a new ebook to sell on Amazon.
I’ve been wanting to sell an ebook on Amazon for a long time, and this year it’s going to happen (my ebook Clutter-Free Clean is only sold through my shop). This goal will challenge me to not only set aside dedicated writing time, but also to learn the basics of creating a product for Amazon and the process of listing it (and everything that goes along with that).
Last month: I’ve actually decided to drop this goal and work on a different project instead. I didn’t do much working, but I did do a lot of thinking.
This month: I’m ready to start on a super-exciting new project! I can’t wait to tell you all about it!
There you have it. Those are my big goals for the year. I’ll report to you next month with my progress (or failures – hey, this is real life).
If you’re struggling to figure out how to set realistic goals and maybe even accomplish them (just imagine that!), I highly recommend the Make Over Your Year eCourse. It’s fun to go through and super helpful. This would be a great time to go through it as you’re getting ready for the new year (in just two months – yikes!).