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Here is my monthly goals update. March sort of feels like “the one that got away.” I’m not exactly sure where it went, but I do know it was busy and it went by fast.
March was a challenging month, but there was also lots of family fun. It was especially fun to crown a new Monopoly champion and to cheer on my daughter as she kicked her way closer to a black-belt and flipped a taekwondo master over her shoulder. Seriously.
Even though I didn’t do everything I would have hoped last month (to put it mildly), I gave a lot of my energy to some family members who needed a little extra time over the past few weeks. I guess that means it’s a win!
I’m excited to start a new month. I’m ready to focus on doing more with this year, and I’m super excited about some things that are coming up. (I can hardly wait!)
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 for the topic that corresponds with the date throughout each day.
Last month: I’ve been much more consistent about praying throughout the day, but I still get distracted and forget sometimes. Unless there’s a trial. I wish it didn’t take a struggle for me to remember to consistently pray. I’m always in the process of growing.
This month: I’ll continue praying every morning at the beginning of my quiet time. I also want to be more intentional and consistent about praying for my husband (and specifically for that day’s topic) 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 found some videos to watch and worked on those techniques a few times. I also worked with Brian in the backyard one day. I didn’t do enough to make a difference, but at least it’s a step in the right direction.
This month: I need to schedule time every week for building up my arm and core muscles. I also need to make time to watch one or two videos each week on golf techniques. And as the weather is getting nicer, I can take the practice balls into the backyard and get in some real practice.
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: Brian’s schedule has been crazy lately, so he has often been gone until 10pm or 11pm. So, getting everything done before he gets home has been fairly easy.
This month: I still need to intentionally focus on spending time with Brian when he’s home instead of getting a jump-start on my tasks and routines. I also need to watch out as his schedule will be changing some this month. After spending the last few weeks with him working so late, I’ll need to be intentional about being ready for him when he gets home hours earlier than usual.
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 (mostly) stayed offline each morning until after my morning quiet time, and I began my time with prayer, which included praying for my kids.
This month: I will continue to start my mornings with prayer (instead of email and Facebook) while my tea is being prepared and for a few minutes afterwards. 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 got a good start on getting rid of the clutter around here. You can’t really see a big difference, but I made some progress, and it feels good!
This month: The clutter is starting to get to me, and I need to keep working at it every day. My little bit of progress is giving me motivation to keep at it. I need to keep moving forward so I can keep that momentum going! I’m really trying to focus on one thing at a time an follow each decluttering project through to the end.
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: I worked on training him a little bit, but not a lot. I started working through a process of teaching him to “fetch,” which will help him with overall obedience.
This month: I need to watch more dog training videos for inspiration, encouragement, and ideas. It’s getting nice outside, so it’s important to really focus on training him to obey and learn to walk without pulling on the leach continually! If I spend just a few minutes a day, he will learn so much.
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 didn’t time-block at all. I also didn’t plan out a basic to-do list most days. Fail.
This month: I need to take a few minutes every morning to plan out my to-do list for the day. Right now, there are circumstances that keep my schedule very unpredictable, so I need to figure out a FLEXIBLE way to plan out my days for productivity.
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).
This month: I will continue to read for 10-15 minutes during my morning quiet time (besides my Bible reading, of course). I want to add in 10-15 minutes of reading in the afternoon or evening, too. I’ve started reading The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up and Fervent: A Woman’s Battle Plan for Serious, Specific, and Strategic Prayer. I also hope to read How to Manage Your Home Without Losing Your Mind, but we’ll see.
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 exercised a handful of times over the course of the month, but I’ve exercised twice just this past week. That might sound small, but it’s a pretty big deal for me. I’m hoping to keep up this (small and pitiful) momentum.
This month: I’m going to be more intentional about reaching my steps goal on my FitBit, and I’m going to start taking the dog on a walk at least three days a week. I also started doing push-ups and sit-ups after walking the dog, so I’d like to keep up with that.
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, those extra couple of 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 started being more careful about what I ate and using my glass water bottle to increase my water intake, but I still haven’t seen any progress in either the number on the scale or the snugness of my pants.
This month: I’m going to increase my exercise (fingers crossed!) and be more careful about what I eat. Tracking my food intake hasn’t seemed to help, so I’m going to focus more on only eating when I’m actually hungry (duh!) and only eating healthy foods. I’ll see if that gives me the jump-start I need.
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: Again, we didn’t contribute much to our emergency fund because we are still paying for our medical deductible for the new year (which we’ve already met – yikes!).
This month: I’m going to keep updating our budget software daily to keep focused and on track. I still need to do a little better at staying within our grocery budge. As I’m going through all of the clutter in the house, I’m finding things I can sell for some extra cash. I need to make time to get the stuff sold. I also need to get our taxes done ASAP, which will be a huge help with this goal.
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 while we were working to pay for our medical deductible.
This month: We’ll still be needing to put any extra money towards paying for our medical deductible this month, so we probably won’t make much progress on our debt. But selling clutter and getting our tax refund might help a little.
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 totally failed on this one. I didn’t write nearly enough. I’d like to say that it’s because I gave so much of my time to my home and my family, which is partially true, but I also wasted a whole lot of time. I’m hoping for better next month!
This month: I need to do my writing early in the day before all my time is spent. I have a lot of fun stuff planned for this month, and I’ll need extra time to get it all done.
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 didn’t spend any time working on my ebook.
This month: I still need to edit and format my draft and learn how to put it on Amazon.
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. You also might want to check out these helpful tips for fixing your failed goals.
I would love to hear what some of your goals are for 2017. Share your goals with us in the comments!