My Goals for 2014

Happy 2nd day of the New Year!  I thought I would take the time to share some of my goals I’ve set for myself for 2014, so I’m linking up with Victoria at the Creative Home Keeper with her “New Year… New Purpose” link up.

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I’m not one to beat myself up too much when I don’t quite hit the mark with my goals, but I really like to set them so that I have something to work toward and have an idea of what I want to achieve. I’ve broken my goals up into a few different categories. Some of them are just continuing what I was doing last year. While I have started a few of these, I will begin to seriously work on most of these goals this Sunday, January 5th, since we are still in Texas spending time with family until then.

Relationships

Call or write a letter to one person outside of my immediate family per week.

All of my friends know that I’m a terrible phone person. I either forget or just don’t make the time. In order to keep up with friends and certain extended family members, I plan to call or write a letter to at least one of them per week. I don’t really have a problem keeping up with my immediate family, but I plan to continue talking to them regularly too.

Eat dinner with Daniel at the table at least twice each week.

Daniel and I eat dinner on the couch in front of the TV a lot. We actually really enjoy this time together as a way to relax after work, and we usually talk about our days before or after, BUT I would really like to make sure we eat dinner at the table at least twice during the week so that we can have that can spend time with each other without the distractions of TV or the internet. The main reason I’m not saying we will do this more than at least twice is because many times my work will require me to eat dinner at the office.

Health

Workout 4 to 5 times each week.

For a while last year, I really had a handle on this goal. But then I started traveling a lot for work trainings and for trips, and once I’m out of my routine, it is really hard for me to convince myself to get back to the gym. Starting this Sunday, I will strive to do two cycling classes, two BodyPump classes, and one yoga/pilates related class each week. Obviously, I won’t be able to do this when traveling, but I’m going to try to be better at doing some type of workout at least four times a week when I’m on the road — even if it’s just a quick 20 minute routine in my hotel.

Count calories, limit dessert, and eat fresh.

I did this a little bit last year, but I’d like to do it again. I have only ever done one official diet in my life, but I think that the easiest way to eat healthy is to stay under your daily recommended calorie intake (for me it’s 1500 calories per day to maintain weight), limit dessert, and eat fresh. I’m going to use the Lose It! app for calorie counting. For dessert I’ll only allow one dessert per week on weeknights and allow myself to a few desserts on the weekends.

No soda! Water instead.

I went on soft drink overload over the holidays. I’m completely cutting it out of my life, at least until my birthday in May. I’ve been about to cut out soda from January until May for the past 3 years successfully. I will focus on drinking plenty of water each day.

Hobbies

Read 2 books each month.

Many of you will read this and either think “Really, that’s all?” or “Wow, that’s ridiculous!”, but I think it’s the perfect amount for me. I read 20 books last year, and it seemed to work in my schedule. With my job, there are several months out of the year during which I’m working way too much to allow much reading time before I’m drifting off to sleep, so two books a month is about all I can do. I’m really excited to read several fiction and non-fiction books on my list.

Put together a Project Life album.

I’ve always wanted to be someone who puts together scrapbooks to document my life. I’ve wanted that so much that I have gone to Micheal’s on several different occasions and spent way too much money on scrapbooking supplies only to barely ever use it. Last year, I read about Project Life and became very interested. It’s basically a way to document life through a similar method to scrapbooking, but it takes away all of the time scrapbooking requires for cutting and designing pages while still leaving room for creativity. I received my first Project Life Core Kit for Christmas this year, and I’m excited to get started! I plan to make time at least once a month to sit down and work on documenting 2014. We will see how it goes.

Do 15 minutes of Duolingo French 5 times per week.

In preparation for our trip to Paris in May, I want to use the Duolingo app to learn basic French. Daniel and I would both like to at least get around Paris and say simple phrases.

Social Media

Post 3 times each week.

I’m really excited to see where my blog goes this year. I believe that posting 3 times per week is a great start. If I feel the need to increase the number of posts per week, then I will, but 3 times seems to make the most sense for me now. I will cut myself some slack during my busier times at work because I don’t want to force myself to write during weeks when I’m working until midnight or later.

Determine a design for my blog, and find a way to get it.

I’m not in a huge rush on this since my blog is still in its baby stages, but I really want to start thinking about how I would like my blog to be designed and how I want it to reflect my personality. I’m not certain if I’ll be hiring a designer to create something from scratch or if I will be playing around with different template options, but I’m excited to explore the possibilities.

Post one Instagram picture each day of the year.

This will help me with my Project Life goal (see in Hobbies above), and it will be a fun way to document our life.

Faith

Read morning devotion before blogs.

During 2013, I became a consistent follower of many, many blogs. I really enjoy my time in the morning where I drink my coffee, eat my breakfast, and read my blogs on the couch. My list of daily blogs I read grew so much that I began using all of 30-45 minutes of this time for blogs and began to run out of time for my devotions before needing to get up and get ready for work. I want to be consistent about reading a devotional or the Bible BEFORE I even open up my blog reader so that I can straighten up my priorities and make sure that I’m not skipping out on my devotions.

Continue to attend church each week.

We love our pastor’s messages and want to continue to follow his sermon series. Sometimes travel prevents us from hearing a full series, but I’d like to try to listen to the series in full, even if I need to listen to the online recordings.

Chores

Stick with my daily cleaning plan.

For a short time period last year, we did a few chores each day throughout the week. It was great because we didn’t have to dedicate several hours on the weekend to keeping our apartment clean. I’d like to get back into that routine on weeks when I’m home.

Finances

Save more, spend less, and stick to a budget.

I won’t go into the details on this, but we basically just want to be more financially responsible.

I realize this is a long list of goals, but this is fun to me because I thrive on routine and on planning. Like I said before, I’m going to be flexible with myself. If I don’t achieve them, then I don’t, and I’ll move on. Anyway, I’m really excited for 2014! What goals or resolutions do you have?

My Blogging Challenge

I have thought about committing to a blog for a long time. I have hesitated for so long because I feel I don’t have enough to share that will interest a group of readers and keep them coming back for more. I’ve tried to think of a theme or specific topic for my blog, but I’ve never been able to come up with something that I find unique or intriguing. For over two years, I have waited for that fantastic idea to pop into my head that would make my blog stand out from the thousands of lifestyle blogs out there.

Well, that fantastic idea has still not magically made its way into my head and onto my computer. BUT I’m tired of waiting. I’m ready to write my thoughts and share them with whoever finds their way to this little space. I’m ready to tell my story to those who want to listen — I believe writing will help me to embrace my own story and live this beautiful life to its fullest.

Once I start writing, maybe my blog will start shaping itself into its own unique place on the internet, or maybe it won’t.  Regardless, I’m excited to write and contribute and meet others in this huge world of internet blogging.

Over the past couple of weeks, I have developed a deep interest in discovering a way to use my skills that will eventually allow me to be location-independent while doing work that I love and living each day intentionally fulfilling my passions. This interest was fueled by the thoughts of author Chris Guillebeau in his book The Art of Non-Conformity and his related blog. Chris lives a life full of travel, writing, flexibility, hard work, and helping others. I want to take his thoughts as well as the thoughts of several other people with similar philosophies on work and lifestyle and begin to slowly incorporate these ideas into my life. After researching these types of ideas and studying the stories of people who have been able to set up these types of lives for themselves, I’ve decided that my first major step is to become committed to a blog. Once I start writing, I hope to discover how my unique passions and skills merge so that I can use them for meaningful work and to help others.

Here is the blogging challenge I am creating for myself.  Throughout the months of November and December, I will write three blog posts per week and will learn about the world of blogging and the mechanics that go along with it. I will try to post two of the three posts I write within a week of them being written, but I will not begin posting my third post per week until January 2014. Guillebeau suggests in a post on his blog that when a person considers starting a blog, it is a good idea to have three months of content ready to go before ever clicking that “Publish” button. While I will not be following this plan specifically, I believe this will be a great start for me and will fuel my creativity. Once I begin publishing my other content in January, I will still attempt to write posts twice a week, saving some for later and publishing some as I write. My busy season at work starts in February, so I imagine I will be using quite a bit of my stored blogging content during the months of February, March, and April.

So, there you have it. That is my commitment for now. Hopefully, I’ll have other goals (blog-related and life-related) that I’ll be working toward as we approach the New Year. I’m really looking forward to this journey!

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