Happy New Year! This is one of my favorite times of the year! I love getting a fresh start, a chance to do better, a calendar of endless opportunities. As one of my favorite literary characters of all time once said, “Isn’t it nice to think that tomorrow is a new day with no mistakes in it yet?” (You’ve got to love Anne Shirley!)
Each year I sit down and look back at How I Did On My Goals for Last Year. I examine what worked and what didn’t, and I try to figure out why. Then I reevaluate my priorities for the coming year. What do I want to focus on? What is important to me?
My Priorities Are:
- Personal Growth
- Professional Growth
Then I brainstorm all of the things I would like to do within those priorities. Finally, after dreaming, I narrow down these ideas into my goals for the new year.
My Goals for 2016
1. Read through the Old Testament
I will be using this guide to help me stay on track. It has been several years since I read many parts of the Old Testament, and I am looking forward to learning all that God has to teach me.
2. Read one spiritual book each month
This goal was actually recommended to me by my spiritual father–and I thank him for his wise counsel! I do A LOT of reading, and I want to make sure that I read books that will also help me grow spiritually.
3. Take a one day retreat of silence and prayer
Honestly, this is the goal I am most looking forward to this year. Maybe it is just a mother of little children’s dream day. 🙂 But, I do think that dedicating a day to silence, prayer, spiritual reading, and worship is extremely important. I am not sure yet how exactly I will do this. Will I go to an Orthodox women’s monastery? Will I stay home one day? I would love to hear advice from others who have done a similar spiritual retreat.
4. Go on one family outing each month
We have done this for the past two years and have absolutely loved it. It’s so easy to get caught up in the busyness of daily life that we can forget to spend time having fun together. Our outing tend to be quite frugal and simple. We’ve gone on picnics in the park, picked apples, visited the children’s museum, and more. I look forward to the new memories we’ll make this year!
5. Have one date night a month (in or out of house)
Because of the expense of a babysitter, our date nights usually end up being in house, but we have a lot of fun anyway! We will order take-out Chinese food, play games, or watch a movie. Fun times.
6. Read to my children 5 nights a week
I have not been happy lately with the way that our evening routine has been going. I want to be more intentional about reading together as a family. As a reading teacher I know the importance of reading to children, and I do a fairly good job of reading to them individually. But now that the two little ones are getting a bit older, I would like to do more family reading.
7. Watch 15 movies on the AFI Top 100 Movies List
A few years ago my husband and I began The Date Night Challenge where we committed to watching all 100 movies on the AFI Top 100 Films of all time. It’s been fun to watch and discuss excellent movies.
8. Run a 5K, an 8K, and a 10K race
I’ve been bitten by the running bug! Last year I set a goal of running a 5K, but I wasn’t actually sure I could do it. To my surprise, I did and I enjoyed it. 🙂 This year I am going to try to run a bit farther and push myself harder.
9. Complete my Healthy Lifestyle Habits Challenge and blog about it each month
This year I have created a list of healthy habits that I want to incorporate into my daily life. I decided to focus on one per month and share my experiences with you on the blog. Look for more details tomorrow!
10. Complete the 2016 Reading Challenge and blog about it
Have you joined our 2016 Reading Challenge yet? It is a great way to help you discover new books and to make time for reading. Each month we will be reading a different type of book (a mystery, a book that inspires you, a book you should have read in school but didn’t, etc.). Join the fun!
11. Take a Craftsy cooking course
So, I am not the world’s greatest cook. Oh, I can provide some decent meals for my family, but I’m not very creative in the kitchen. That’s why I’ve decided to take another online cooking class through Craftsy. Craftsy has hundreds of classes available–from photography to cake decorating, quilting to gardening. If you’re wanting to gain a new skill or improve an old one, I’d highly recommend taking a class through Craftsy.
12. Write and launch an ebook
I am in the beginning stages of writing an ebook that will help Orthodox families–especially those who have recently become Orthodox. I’ll keep you updated on how it is going!
13. Join another social media form to grow The Orthodox Mama
Right now I have a Facebook page and a Pinterest account for The Orthodox Mama. (Be sure to follow me to get updates and join in our conversations!) I started those two first primarily because I was already comfortable with them. Now I want to branch out and try another social media form. I’m not sure which to begin first, though. I’d appreciate your input. Would you be most likely to follow and interact with The Orthodox Mama on Twitter, Instagram, or Periscope?
14. Add 4 products to my Teachers Pay Teachers store
I have had a store on Teachers Pay Teachers for a couple of years and really enjoy the passive income that it brings. If you are a teacher or a homeschooling parent, you most likely already have materials that you could sell on TPT. Take a look at my post about Getting Started with Teachers Pay Teachers to help you out.
15. Write another children’s book
This year I submitted my first children’s book manuscript to a publisher. The entire process was challenging, thrilling, and stretching. I am ready to do it again!
I am so excited to see what God has planned for 2016!
Have you made any goals for 2016? I’d love to hear about them!
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(Linked to Small Victories Sunday.)