The week between Christmas and New Year’s Eve always excites me because of the opportunity to plan and think about what I want to work toward in the new year. I set a few simple and focused goals at the beginning of 2015, and I’m happy to say that I reached most of them (and gladly abandoned the one that I didn’t end up wanting to complete.)
-Read 30 books: I finished out the year with a total of 44! (See them all here.) I’ve been figuring out what works for me, and I haven’t been afraid to abandon books when they aren’t right for me. This is also the first year that I have constantly had more than one book going at the same time (sometimes as many as four), and I think that has helped me finish more because I can pick up whatever book I’m currently in the mood for that day.
-Complete a Project Life album for 2014: almost done! I promised myself that I wouldn’t buy anything extra for it, so I have been using up the billions of scrapbook supplies I have from the days of yesteryear when I was a scrapbook maniac. It started out slow but really picked up steam, and I’m almost finished with the 2014 album – and so glad to have this documented for our family.
-Sponsor 2 children in a developing country: done, and so excited about this! Through Compassion International, we selected a boy from the Dominican Republic who was born in September 2009, like Connor, and a girl from Nicaragua who was born on Brenna’s exact birthday. Receiving their sweet letters and drawings has been a highlight.
-And lastly, my Big Hairy Audacious Goal for 2015 was to find a publisher for my book – and I’m beyond thrilled to mark this as completed! I signed a contract in the late spring and turned in my manuscript in November!
I’ve spent a lot of time the last few weeks thinking about what I wanted to accomplish this coming year, focusing on very specific and measurable goals that are at the heart of what I truly want to be doing and how I want to be living. My goals for 2016 include:
- Launch my book! My book A Different Beautiful will be released August 1, and I’m so excited to move into the new year as the editing wraps up on my manuscript and we begin to plan for the official book launch!
- Read 40 books. Since I went well over my goal for 30 books last year, I’m upping the ante on this goal this year. There are few things that make me happier than reading a good book.
- Set up a strategic plan for giving. We have always prioritized giving from the start of our marriage, but over the past year, we’ve just been feeling like we can do more, and do better. This year, in addition to monthly giving at church and for our sponsored Compassion International children, we’ll also be setting aside money each pay period so that we can make larger gifts and hopefully create more positive impact in certain focus areas that we care about.
- Fully fund our savings for a new furnace or roof, and save half of a down payment for land. Our house is going to need a new roof and/or furnace in the next few years, so we’d like to have that savings in place for whichever one comes first. We also would like to invest in some farm ground in the next few years, so we’ll be focusing on saving for a down payment for that.
- Participate in NaNoWriMo. I’ve always wanted to do this! National Novel Writing Month is in November, which means that things will be settling down after my book launch. I’ve had a young adult novel in my head for years, and I’d love to really start it this year.
- Start and finish a 2015 photo album. I dove in headfirst with completing a Project Life photo album for 2014, and I have really enjoyed it, so I’m going to continue and complete one from 2015 now.
- Do a service project as a family. This is a more vague one because I don’t have a specific idea in mind. I’ve done service-related projects with the kids, and Evan and I take Connor to serve dinner at the homeless shelter, but we haven’t done anything with all four of us yet (besides filling shoeboxes for Operation Christmas Child.)
- Complete the Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up. I really enjoyed this book – although I glossed over the really strange stuff – and I figure that the author’s methods for organizing and purging are worth trying in our home, especially after one of my friends said it has made a tremendous impact on her own home. Clutter really bothers me, and our home feels bogged down right now, so I’m looking forward to this.
- Put the birthdays/anniversaries of family and friends on my digital calendar. I don’t want to rely on Facebook anymore when it comes to remembering important days. I’d really like to be a more caring friend this year, and a big step with that is recognizing the special days of the ones I love.
What do you have your sights set on for the New Year?
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