Each year I set goals for myself. These goals are specific, measurable, and focused. I definitely don’t always reach the goals. In fact, I have dubbed 2017 my “Year of Failure” because I fell short with so many of my goals. But, by setting goals and creating plans, I get much farther than I would if I didn’t start the year with the end in mind.
In 2018 I have decided to focus on health. Health will be my overarching theme of the year–spiritual health, emotional health, mental health, health in my family, and health in my vocation. I would like to have the word “health” at the front of my mind as I make decisions.
Ideally, I before any decision I will ask myself, “Is this healthy? Will this help my spiritual/ emotional/ family health or will it take away from it?”
That is the goal, at least.
My Goals for 2018
1. Attend a Women’s Bible Study or Prayer Group at least twice a month.
I am so excited about this goal! In January I attended 2 Women’s Prayer Groups plus one meeting for future clergy wives. Our family is currently living on the Holy Cross campus, and I am incredibly blessed with numerous opportunities to grow spiritually. By making this a goal, I am prioritizing my spiritual health in a practical way.
2. Learn the Lord’s Prayer in Greek
My husband and I are now part of the Greek archdiocese and my husband, Lord willing, will be seeking ordination within that jurisdiction. However, we are not Greek and do not speak Greek. My husband will be taking many classes to learn the language, and I want to learn as much as I can as well. However, I didn’t make any progress on this goal in January.
3. Read One Spiritual Book Each Month.
This month I read (but didn’t finish) Everyday Saints. I have started a new evening routine where I read a spiritual book in bed for 15-20 minutes each night. It is such a lovely end to the day!
4. Read Aloud or Listen to 12 Books with my children.
We love to listen to a good audiobook in our house! This month we have started (but not finished) By the Shores of Silver Lake by Laura Ingalls Wilder. All of my kids–even my eight-year-old son!–really enjoy these books.
5. Take an Overnight Trip with My Husband (without kids!).
I am having a hard time believing that my husband and I will celebrate our tenth anniversary this year. In those ten years, we have spent a grand total of 6 nights away from our kids (at least, once we had children, which was very soon after we got married!). We are trying to figure out an inexpensive way to get away for a few days.
6. Read through our entire Children’s Bible together.
We have a lovely Orthodox Children’s Bible (the Children’s Bible Reader), which our children read or look at frequently. In January we have been consistent about reading a story or two from the Children’s Bible each night. Our kids now look forward to it and remind me if we forget!
Physical and Emotional Health
7. Research and implement a weight lifting routine for one month.
I have been reading more and more about the importance of strength training for women in their 30s for the metabolism, weight loss, and overall well-being. I am only going to commit to trying it for one month, but I am definitely willing to do more if I find the workout beneficial.
I have not done this yet. Right now I am thinking that this may be a goal for the summer or the fall, when I will have a bit more time.
8. Complete a Whole 30.
Last year I did my first Whole 30–an eating plan focusing on eliminating certain foods that people are commonly allergic or sensitive to. The plan also eliminates sugar, wheat, dairy, and more. I found this plan difficult at the beginning, but I loved the way I felt by the end! I also lost 8 pounds, improved my skin, and had much more energy than I typically do. I am looking forward to this goal!
I have not done this yet. My current plan is to do this in May.
9. Run a 5K.
I find that I can only motivate myself to run if I have an upcoming race. The desire not to make a fool of myself in front of others is quite strong!
So far I have printed off a training schedule for 5K preparation. (That counts as progress, right?!)
10. Read from my “Classics Books” Challenge.
I love this goal! Here’s the Classics Reading Challenge in a nutshell: each month I am focusing on a particular genre. I will then read one classic in that genre and one modern classic.
So, January’s genre was Mysteries. I read Wilkie Collins’s The Moonstone, considered by many to be the first true mystery novel. For my modern classic I read Agatha Christie’s Murder on the Orient Express. They were both so wonderful! I savored The Moonstone and sped through Murder on the Orient Express because I just couldn’t wait to find out “whodunnit.”
11. Post on Orthodox Motherhood at least Once a Week.
This past semester was difficult in many ways. My increased work load, new schedule, and adjustment to a new place all combined so that I was not able to work on the blog as much as I like. For 2018 I am going to commit to posting each week on the blog. I may write additional posts as I have time, but I don’t want to overextend myself or feel guilty if I can’t.
So, I did write four posts for January, but there was one week without a post. I am considering that a win, though!
12. Learn How to Do and Use Facebook Live Effectively.
I love watching Facebook Live videos from some of my favorite bloggers! Lately I have been watching Crystal Paine (of Money Saving Mom) while I fold laundry, and it has been a fun way to make a chore I dislike more bearable. 🙂 I would like to begin doing some Facebook Live with you guys. These videos would be a chance to get a bit more personal, share more of the day-to-day joys and struggles of living the Orthodox life, and get to know you as well. The great thing is that the videos are kept forever on Facebook, so if you can’t make it the first time, you can still watch it.
13. Create a Product that Will Serve My Readers.
My ultimate goal at Orthodox Motherhood is to help women live out the ancient faith in the modern world. The articles that I write are one method of doing this, but sometimes it can be helpful to use a different medium. I have written two e-books so far (Seasons of the Faith and 10 Days to a Tidy Home) and want to create another product to help you!
14. Submit a Book Proposal.
Finally, I love to write. I believe that God has given me various gifts, one of which is writing in a way that can help and inspire people. This year I would like to submit a book proposal for a traditionally published book as a way to use that gift to help the Kingdom.
15. Redesign the Website.
You guys, I am totally not a techie. I get nervous whenever I try to change anything on the blog because I know that it will mean hours and hours of work. Plus, it just might fail and mess everything up! But, this year I will get past that fear and redesign the blog. I am not loving the way that the site looks right now (I haven’t for awhile actually). So, I need to do something about it!
Do you have any goals for 2018? What is one thing that you would like to do this year? Share in the comments!