I set six goals for 2016. They weren’t resolutions or hard and fast determinations, they were simply goals.
I’m writing this on the final morning of 2016 sitting in my nearly dark living room in front of the Christmas tree. As much as I love it, the tree is coming down today; I need to start the new year with Christmas packed away and a fresh start.
This is the perfect time to reflect on my goals – how did I do?
[p.s. Don’t miss the wonderful giveaway at the end of the post!]
These goals were not set out of sheer determination or a desperate need to change. I wanted more joy and set them with that in mind.
My 2016 Goals
1. Read the Bible in a year. | I completed it this morning! I was on course until October when I got completely out of my routine. It was a struggle to catch up, especially when I got bogged down in Ezekiel, but I made a plan and did it. I nearly cried this morning when I finished. You hefty Bible readers will not see this as significant, but I’ve had a hard time sticking with this goal in the past. The free She Reads Truth app gave me the structure to be successful.
2. Healthy and happy weight. | I didn’t set a number, I only wanted to be healthier and happier. It’s very vulnerable to write about weight and body issues, so I never do; I have a lifelong struggle between self-acceptance and self-discipline. For some real wisdom on this topic, please read Anne Lamott’s recent facebook post. I was going to keep this goal on my list for 2017 but decided to broaden it to be more generally health focused as I continue to learn more about what makes my body feel strong, gives me good energy, and allows me to sleep well. [note: I also never write about weight because it’s not my main purpose here and I don’t want to distract or discourage anyone. I want to bless and encourage. Read Anne Lamott – she has so much good to say.]
3. Complete my book. | My book is as complete as it can be at this point – editing and small tasks remain, but I believe it will be published in 2017, and I cannot wait to tell you more about it. I had a couple of important meetings in December and another coming up in January. Things are looking good, so although it is not completed, I’m satisfied with my progress on this goal. It stays on my list for 2017.
4. Reestablish regular exercise in my life. | I was a runner (a very slow runner) for thirty years – starting and stopping and starting again through seven pregnancies, multiple autoimmune crises, surgeries, and many challenges. Then I got shingles and after a long recovery, I didn’t start running again; I lost my routine completely. Two years ago we had the accident and I was thankful just to be walking. I am very grateful to say, with the encouragement of Russ and my FitBit (last year’s Christmas gift from our kids), I’m outside most days getting 10,000 steps. With the current snow and ice, the treadmill and Netflix are my companions.
5. Prayerfully plan further education, pursuing a career, or developing writing as my profession. | I chose writing. I made some false starts, like trying a team blog, which didn’t work out. Now I have decisions to make about staying where I am as Thankful Moms or going back to One Thankful Mom, which is who I was as a blogger, for so many years. In 2017 I’ll develop my writing even further, with the first book (started so long ago), the Giving Voice to Siblings book (which is on my mind and heart!) and possibly some ebooks and other resources.
6. Declutter the garage.| I got this 75% completed and was feeling pretty good. I had visions of my car parked in the garage for the first time ever. Then one of our big kids moved and some furniture was stored in the garage. We started a home project and Russ needed to haul supplies in our big van, so three (big, heavy) van seats and more equipment were put in the garage. Before I knew it, all of my work was lost.
It grew more complicated when Samuel moved to Portland and his apartment full of furniture was temporarily put in the garage, then Russ’ parents’ property was sold and more things were added to the garage.
Of all of my goals, this one was a complete failure, and also the one I have the least control over. This time, when I declutter it again, I’m parking my car in it immediately and giving away/selling excess furniture. Clutter is toxic and brings me to tears. This goal stays on the list for 2017.
So, how did I do?
It’s tempting to say I didn’t do very well, but if I were speaking kindly to myself, as I would to a friend, I would look at the positives.
I accomplished the most important goal of all, which was more of God’s Word in my life. I needed that more than anything else.
I made positive changes for my health, which becomes even more important as we age. Most (almost) 53-year-old women don’t have elementary age children and have more time to focus on themselves. Some of our friends are actually empty-nesters – I can’t even imagine. They aren’t cooking dinner for six kids and don’t have teen daughters baking cookies on a regular basis. God had a different plan for my life, so I need to give this more thought and planning as I move into a critical time of caring for my health. With exercise once again part of my routine, I feel much stronger and healthier than I did last year January when I was one-year post-accident.
While my book is not yet published, I completed all I could while other details fell into place. I have every reason to hope it will be published in 2017.
I made the decision to continue writing rather than pursue a different career path. While some of my attempts didn’t work out, I took a chance and tried something new, which took courage and I learned a lot in the process.
Lastly, my grand decluttering attempt failed, but I refuse to accept defeat. Clutter affects my mental health – seriously. I have to keep trying.
Today we’ll take down the tree, pack away the decorations, and clean the house.
Tomorrow will be a new year with new hopes, dreams, and goals.
This weekend I’ll begin writing my goals in the moleskin journal I use for important lists, quotes, sermon notes, thoughts, counseling notes, books I’ve read, and everything else important.
I’ll share my goals, at least the ones I figure out, with you in my next post.
I can’t wait to start my Line a Day Journal ,which just arrived yesterday (hint: it’s one of my goals), and I have some special news for you! I accidentally ordered two for Claire, so I have one extra journal to give away!
[EDIT: 1-4-17 The give-away is CLOSED. The winner is Krista! Thank you, friends!]
You have two chances to win a Line a Day Journal.
1 | Subscribe to my friends-letter, a short, somewhat more personal note I send to your inbox most weekends.
2 | Share the giveaway by sharing this post on Facebook, Twitter or some other social media site.
Leave a comment on this post (not Facebook – it’s difficult to keep track of entries in multiple places) telling me how you are entering. If you subscribed and shared, leave two separate comments.
I’ll announce the winner Wednesday morning and pop it in the mail that day so you can get started right away. My most sincere apologies, but I can only mail this to a winner in the U.S.
Happy New Year, friend, I look forward to sharing 2017 with you.