2016 – Making the year ours

  Only within the last five years or so have I decided and made resolutions or goals. Previously I thought that I should already be living and doing things that were beneficial for me so making goals to change were silly. But now that I have kids and don’t exercise every day or typically eat my children’s left overs (which aren’t always kale salad and grilled chicken), making goals are much more important.  I had a number of goals/resolutions in mind at the end of the year and calmly asked Henry if he had made any. His disdain for my question and its implications glared in my face through his expression.  Of course I had already made goals in my head for him too (and deep down I secretly hoped he knew exactly what I had in mind for him).  The goals I made for myself seemed to be all the normal ones that every one makes like exercise more, eat healthier, vacation more, volunteer more, live life to the fullest…you know…all while paying off debt (i.e. work more).  And since Henry is home with the boys my goals for him included all the tasks I would expect myself to do if I were at home with them. Henry didn’t need to worry one bit…I planned the perfect year. His face said otherwise. He did know what I had in mind and was not pleased. Instead he asked for some time to think about his goals and we would talk about them later.

About four days later, we sat down to talk about our thoughts for the year. Thank the Lord for my level-headed husband. I quickly scribbled my ten goals down on one sheet of paper. Henry made us write them out in the S.M.A.R.T. goals format. And as I typed them all out with a plan and resources needed, I realized two things: (1) I need to be a little less ambitious and (2) his support is crucial to making them work.  My goals would take up my free time and his so I have already changed some of them and I settled on this list.


  1. Pay off half of our student loans by the end of the year.
    • S: We have been trying to get rid of debt since we got married. I hate it. We will pay off $19,000 by the end of the year. Henry and I will need to pray about this goal often. It seems out of reach.
    • M:We will need to pay roughly ~$1585 per month (a little over double what we are paying $750 + $835). We will review each month that we are staying on track.
    • A: This goal seems a little out of our reach. I will have to work 2-3 extra shifts per month or rely on Henry’s blog income to attain this goal. I am already working 4 days per week so working 2 extra shifts seems like a lot.
    • R: This will help us get out of debt! It will reduce our stress and help free up our finances for things like travel, new used cars and saving for college and retirement.
    • T: We will review our budget each month and then again at the end of the year to see if we’ve met our goal.
  2. Read daily for 20 minutes.
    • S: I would like to read at least four physical books or eBooks this year. Reading is one of the best ways to get better at writing and if I want to become a better blogger, I need to become a better reader.
    • M: Each day I will read for 20 minutes.
    • A: There will be days that we just may be too busy for me to read for longer than 5 minutes. This goal may be difficult to keep.
    • R: I miss reading and do not do it very often. Plus this will teach our children that reading is important to Mommy and Daddy as well as them.
    • T: This is a daily goal that has to be accounted for each day.
  3. Exercise 3 times per week for at least 30 minutes
    • S: I have almost completely stopped working out and need to begin taking care of my body especially so we can have more babies. This can be achieved by walking, running, or exercising through a video (yoga, Pilates, etc.)
    • M: I should have 3 days off per week and will try to stretch or do ab exercises 4 times per week along with some cardio for 30 minutes per day. Should I count running at work?
    • A: I have been very lax in this area recently. I think with encouragement I will be able to achieve this goal.
    • R: I need to care for my body so can stay healthy and so my children will understand this for themselves.
    • T: This is a weekly goal and will be reviewed each week.


(My manager has more than these two goals for me…there are like five others).

  1. Post at least 1 nursing related post per month relevant to my EKG project at work.
    • S: I will post to my blog to increase my and my readers knowledge of EKGs
    • M: I can track writing 1 post per month.
    • A: I have books and access to Internet resources to work on research for my blog and project.
    • R:I want to grow my blog and work on my EKG project for work
    • T: Each month I will evaluate my goal to see if I posted at least one nursing related post. I will write 12 nursing blog posts this year.
  2. I will have a plan in place for travel nursing with my family by the end of the year.
    • S: I will have a plan for travel nursing regarding which company I will use, where we will go, and how long we will be in each area.
    • M: ??? I don’t know how to measure this goal.
    • A: This goal is attainable if I spend at least 2 days per month looking into the details of travel nursing.
    • R: I want to travel and continue to work as well as give my family the joy of travel and living in new places.
    • T: I am giving this goal 1 year for the plan and 1 year after that to implement and begin traveling so really this is a 3 year goal.


  1. Attend every small group meeting and have prayerfully and diligently completed the lesson.
    • S: Since I am unable to go to church with my new schedule, I will be having fellowship through a small group of women.
    • M: Group meets the first and third Monday each month so I will schedule myself accordingly. I will set aside 30 minutes for reading and prayer at least 2 days per week.
    • A: This goal is attainable but I will have to be diligent in setting aside time for reading and prayer.
    • R: This will help my spiritual growth and deepen my relationship with God.
    • T: This will be a weekly and monthly goal. I will review each week whether I have set aside prayer and reading time. Each month I will review whether I have attended the meetings.
  2. Serve our city (Charlotte or Belmont) by volunteering for at least 1 event every other month.
    • S: We moved to Charlotte to serve the city but have also gotten so caught up in having a baby and buying a home we have not been as readily available to volunteer for community events. Also we need our children to understand that serving and volunteering crucial to life.
    • M: We will pick 6 different events to volunteer for this year. Every other month we will volunteer for something through church or find an event on our own.
    • A: Henry and I will have to talk each month about the time and resources we can give. Often we can give time or money for a cause or event, but since we are trying to put money toward debt, right now it is time that we need to give.
    • R: This will help us to keep our priorities in check. We will see those who really have need and it will keep us humble as well as help our city.
    • T: We will review this goal each month and see if we have met our 6 event goal next December.
  3. Conscientiously listen to a Denver Pres sermon and a Warehouse 242 sermon each week.
    • S: Since I am not going to be attending church I will need to be active in listening to the word of God taught each week.
    • M: Every week I will chose a sermon to listen to and then sit and listen to it with my Bible, notebook, pen and nothing else.
    • A: I will need to wake up early to achieve this goal. I may even ask Henry to do this with me to help me stay accountable.
    • R: It will help me grow spiritually and hopefully change my heart.
    • T: I will review this goal each week and discuss with Henry. We will reevaluate in 3 months, 6 months, 9 months and one year.


  1. Every other month (alternating with volunteering) we will travel to one new place in our area (either free or for reduced cost).
    • S: This should be a place that will be roughly doable to explore in one or two days in the surrounding area.
    • M: Henry will plan 3 trips and I will plan 3 trips for the year.
    • A: With planning we can achieve this.
    • R: I have a need to explore and it is important to teach our family about traveling and getting outside. Plus there are lots of good history lessons waiting to happen.
    • T: We will discuss this goal each month so we can plan ahead.
  2. Simplify our house by selling and giving away items that we don’t need or use.
    • S: We will have a house with few unnecessary items. It will be less cluttered and decrease our stress levels.
    • M: We will create open spaces in our house. Each month we will chose an area to clear and simplify.
    • A: We will need to work together to list items on eBay or Craig’s list as well as pack and ship those items. We may even need to have a yard sale.
    • R: By decreasing our possessions it frees up our minds and time to focus on our family both near and far and care for the things we already have. Also, selling unused items creates revenue to use for debt repayment.
    • T: Each month we will chose a room or area to improve and at the end of the year we can evaluate our home’s usable items.

Henry very kindly helped me revise some of them that were way over the top. For example, we were going to visit someplace each month, but with working 4-5 days per week we were not going to be able to achieve that goal easily.  He has his own goals and probably laid them out better in a more readable and achievable fashion. He’s good at that kind of stuff. And if his blog should take off I will be able to work less while we achieve our goals.  I will update my progress each month (hopefully). Oh gosh. There’s another goal I missed.

What are some of your goals this year?

2 thoughts on “2016 – Making the year ours

  1. Thank you for blogging. Some days the 20 minutes of reading can be the reading you do to your kids. Even when maggie and nicole were only 2 and 3, I would pick kids books that were for a little older kids. They were interesting to me and I could read them with emotion and wonderment. They loved that. An example of one: the witches from roald dahl. Granted, they did not understand everything, but they loved my reading with such excitement and they did understand a few things here and there. Interestingly enough, Maggie – the oldest – would start falling asleep and Nicole – my baby – would beg for more if I wanted to stop reading.

    I know you weren’t looking for advice but I hope this gives you some food for thought.


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