Friday, January 2, 2015

Making and Keeping New Years Resolutions - A Review of my 2014 Goals and My New Goals for 2015

Around New Years you always hear from the two camps, those who set new years goals and those who can't keep I mean those who make fun of new years goals.  In generally I'm more of the second type of person.  On more than one occasionally I optimistically wrote out a set of goals for New Years in my journal only to realize about twelve months later I'd done nothing with that list and that also I only ever write in my journal on New Years or when I have a baby, and so for the most part I just avoid these kinds of goals because they seem like setting oneself up for failure but last year I got a little bee in my bonnet and decide once again to join the goal making group.  Let's review last years goals and see how I did.

Goal #1 - Read 50 books...I'm pleased to announce that I not only made this goal but I actually made my secondary goal and hit my 52.  Some months I read a ton other months I barely read at all, but it has been fun to have a reason to read because even though I love reading I'm lazy and netflix seriously cuts into a lot of my reading time.  I would like to repeat this goal again for this year.

Goal #2 - Go on 6 dates this year....We actually did abysmally at this.  I think by October we'd only been on three.  One was a double with my in-laws, thanks guys for taking us out, and one we went to Home Depot to look for tools, but the redeemer on this goal was we actually took two small trips alone without the kids at the end of this year.  In November we flew to Boise for a job interview and in December we flew to Denver.  This was the first time we'd ever both been away from the kids, with the exception of having a baby so it was sort of a big deal.  The first trip my mother-in-law and sister kept an eye on the kids, the second, we did a trade with some friends from church.   We at five restaurant meals just the two of us, flew four flights just the two of us, and slept in a hotel bed three nights with just the two of us, so I'm going to say this goal was done!

Goal #3 - One vacation that is not to visit family...check please!  We spent two months in Kenya, and even squeeze a walking tour of London in during a ten hour layover at Heathrow.  I say we got this one.

Goal #4 - Go to one concert...I'm going to say we half way made it.  We never actually ended up at a concert this year.  On my birthday Better Than Ezra was playing and I really wanted to go but Dr. J ended up working late, but I will say we half way made it because that date we went on with my in-law in February, well they took us to a bar to see a blues band.  It was live music, people were dancing, and it was pretty fun so I'm going to say while it wasn't exactly what I was looking for it was pretty close. 

Goal #5 - Go to one sporting event...we did not make it.  Dr. J was just really busy this year and also that whole trip to Kenya left us pretty broke.  Sporting events are not cheap.  That being said, I went on like five safaris so that has to count for something right?  Maybe next year.  I've told the kids about the blue football field at Boise State and they are all pretty anxious to see that...let's make it happen.   

Goal #6 - Take 30 family walks...I got this idea from my friend Nancy whose family took a ton of family walks last year.  We actually made it but mostly because in Kenya we walked everywhere.  First off we didn't have a car, secondly taxis got expensive, third the kids and I didn't have a lot to do so pretty much all summer we did work books and walked.  Our best walks were on Sunday.  We lived 2 miles from church so there and back gave us a nice four mile walk for the day.  At first our kids would complain but as the summer went on they built up stamina and I think they actually started to like it.  It helped too when we went to London and walked them almost eight miles.   In the states we just weren't huge on walking.  We did really enjoy family bike rides all summer though so maybe we could make a goal for combined walking/biking miles for 2015.  

Goal #7 - Be better with my this was sort of wash goal for me.  On my daily budget I'm actually doing much better.  We cut tons of expenses, including chopping eighty dollars off our phone bill a month by switching to Republic Wireless, and I got our cards under control by moving all of our direct deposits directly out of our bank account rather than having a layer of credit card between.  We also moved our credit card payments to the beginning of the month because it gives us a better idea of how much we have left until the end of the month.  Those were the good parts.  The bad parts, we went on a very expensive work trip to Kenya with the whole family.  This is something the residents volunteer for so you pay for it yourself.  We pretty much cleared out all of our savings and maxed out two credit cards.  Guess what folks we are still paying those off.  2015 will be the year of paying off debt.  

Goal #8 - Get Healthier...I lost 28 pounds this year doing various weight loss challenges so I think I can say that goal was reached, I still have a lot of weight to go though so expect me to recommit to this goal.  

Goal #9 - Be a better I'm still a lot more sharp then I'd like to be with my kids.  Does anyone else suffer from OCD.  I swear that makes being patient with children a challenge but I'm constantly trying so that has to count for something right.  I also pulled my kids from regular school this year and started homeschooling them.  It is crazy and chaotic and more work then just sending them off but most days I'm loving it. 

So here are some keys to goal setting:
  • Write your goals down and look back at them often.  I put my goals on the blog so I could remember what they were and I'd check back every couple of months to remind myself what I'd committed to.  It didn't necessarily help me meet every goal but more than once it helped me recommit to a specific goal.
  • Set obtainable goals.  That doesn't mean you only have to set easy goals but they need to be things you can realistically achieve.  Me saying I wanted to be a size six when even at the skinniest point in my life I was never smaller than a ten would be totally unrealistic.  That leads to discouragement.  Setting a goal to be healthier led me to exercise more and eat a little better.  I don't always exercise and I sometimes sneak treats but I was still able to lose a good amount of weight so I could fit back into my normal clothes.  
  • Break goals down into smaller pieces.  I want to be better with my budget.  Part of that is paying off my credit cards.  Right now I'm just focusing on my Discover Bill.  When that one is done I'll move onto the American Express.  Sometimes goals can seem overwhelming or it is hard to know where to start.  Breaking them down into smaller pieces makes them much more manageable.
  • Sharing goals can be fun.  Several of my goals last year involved my whole family.  It was great to share those experiences with them.
  • Goals don't just have to be self improvement.  Most of my goals last year were just things I wanted to do but just didn't make the time for.  I was definitely self motivated to get those done because they were things I enjoyed but checking them off my list still gave me that great feeling of self satisfaction. 
  • Give yourself a deadline.  A chose a year.  It works well with the whole new years theme but giving yourself a deadline keeps you motivated to work on them earlier.
  • Hold yourself accountable.  I wrote these goals out on my blog and I knew I was going to return to them at the end of a years time to make a reckoning of how I spent my year.  Obviously not everyone wants their goals out for the world to see but write them down and return to them or tell a friend so you know someone, even if it is just you is keeping tabs on your progress.  
With that in mind here are my goals for 2015:

1. Read 60 books, 1/3 of them nonfiction.  I make this goal for my own personal pleasure but reading it great for the mind so maybe I should fill it with more than just teenage romance...not that there is anything wrong with teen drama, I love the stuff but it maybe I need to make this goal a little harder for myself.  

2. Go on 6 dates this year.  Let's actually make it on six real dates.

3. After our credit cards are paid off one vacation that is not to see family.  I love my family dearly but my kids have never seen the ocean.  Let's get them there this year!

4.  Go to two concert this year.  I'd like it to be U2 but when I checked none of those dates and cities were close to it is sold out.  Coldplay for the love could you please start touring again so I can some see you.  The second concert I want to be a classical music concert.  Captain E loves classical music.  I should take him to something before he decides it isn't cool to hang out with your mom.    

5. Go to one sporting event.  I want it to be to a blue field...let's see if we can make that happen.

6. Go on 20 family walks and 20 family bike rides.  I think I need to make a chart so I can keep track of this.  I want one of these walks to be on the beach. 

7. Be better with the budget.  This year will be the year of paying off debt.  I want all the credit card debt from our trip gone and I think we can get most of our student debt gone as well.  Thank you new job!  Along with this I want to actually keep track of my spending.  I have an app online I'm going to use.

8. Lose some more weight.  Who doesn't want that.  Dr. J has a goal this year to get healthier, he feels like he's getting sort of fat...don't tell him I told you this :)  He isn't but I can use the motivation so I'll take his help.  I want to included a least one 30 day sugar detox (not including fruit...I mean really let's be honest) and I want to commit to more garden foods and organic.  I know how some of you feel about this but honestly if I have to choose I'd rather eat organic.  

9.  Be a better mom.  Really work hard on waiting ten seconds before I respond in the negative.  Be a better teacher for my kids.  Bring more fun into our homeschool and be better about writing out my lesson plans.

10.  SELL THE HOUSE!  We are moving guys.  It's happening in July.  Dr. J and I need to get this house in tip top shape and get it sold.

11.  Organization.  I really am overwhelmed with how much stuff we own.  I want to pare down to the basics.  I want to be more conscious of what I buy and bring into the house and I want to have less crap to clean.

12. Read the Book of Mormon with the kids and the New Testament by myself all the way through...including the boring know which ones you are!

Here is to a better, healthier, cleaner 2015


  1. Congrats on the new job! I enjoyed reading your list of goals last year, and it was fun reading how you did, AND reading your tips, AND reading your goals for this year! Happy new year!

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