Before we get started, I just want to say that I feel a little odd writing basically a diary-type post – focused on me and what I’m doing. But I hope that you can find inspiration in what I’m doing and know that everyone’s goal and goal setting process looks different.
So, January first has come and gone. Resolutions have been made, and many have been broken.
I think most of us look at resolutions as a joke as much as anything these days – we all know that if we weren’t willing to change a week ago, we probably aren’t going to change just because the date changed.
But on the other hand, there are goals.
These aren’t whimsical resolutions. Not something we frivolously decided at the last moment – and not something we weren’t already working toward.
Instead, the week before January first is the time to reevaluate, decide, and set a plan in motion for all that we want to accomplish in the coming year.
New Year’s Day is a benchmark for us to measure our success.
For me personally, I feel like I’ve been practicing making goals for years.
For years I’ve been Lacking direction made it impossible to set relevant goals. I was making goals too small, too big, too obscure, Setting a goal only to realize later that I set it not because it was my goal, but because it was the goal I thought I should have. Gaining life experience and realizing that the goals I set weren’t in my best interest after all.
But over the years, I’ve learned more about who I am, and what I want out of life, and this year… this year I feel pretty settled in who I am, and what I want.
I have a better grasp on what I value personally than I ever have before, and because of that, my goals look a lot different. To the big goals setters of the world, my goals may seems small – in fact, I do still feel like I’m just dipping my toes in, testing the waters of goals setting.
Truthfully, it’s because I’ve completely changed the way I approach goal setting
Where 10-15 years ago, my goal might have been to lose weight because my dad made me feel like thin women had more value, or five years ago, my goal might have been to save as much money on groceries as possible because I thought there was inherent morality in using as little money as possible, 3 years ago, I might have set the goal to buy a travel trailer and go full-time.
I thought that setting goals was meant to force me to accomplish the most, to stay busy all the time, reaching for the stars.
To be busier, and have more.
But that’s not how I want to live my life.
First and foremost, I want to live at a relaxed pace. I want to go slow enough to stop and have a dance party with my kids when their favorite song comes on. I have no interest in working long hours in the hope that some day I can “retire” and then pay attention to life around me – after it’s passed me by.
I want my goals to enrich my life, yes, but not consume it.
In short, I want a lifestyle designed not by what’s normal in society, but by me. A person who gets stressed out when the to-do list gets too long, who values being able to stop and sit down in the middle of the day, but also a person who loves activity and wants to see the world.
So that in mind:
My Goals for 2019
Run the Hot Chocolate 15k in Dallas
This is first up simply because a friend and I have been training for it since Thanksgiving, and barring any injuries, we’ll check this off the bucket list February 9th. I’ve been training with the goals of running it in under 80 minutes but… the only race I’ve maintained that pace was 1/3 the distance, so we’ll see.
I’m waiting until after this race to set any further fitness goals to see how I feel. At the moment, I’m feeling a little weary of running, but I know that that happens in the middle of a training cycle, so we’ll see how I feel after a short break.
Put my phone away and read (an actual book) every night
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Just started reading @thriftylittlemom's new book, and it's already one of my favorites! . "Starting today, right where you are, you can move past a life that feels half empty and begin to lead a life that feels fuller. You can escape the Siren's song that draws you to want more and find life and happiness in what you already have while pursuing the good life you Long for" #livesavespendrepeat
It’s so easy for me to get wrapped up in blogging, interacting on social media, and whatever else, that completely aside from being mom, I find myself not having the time to read. This year, I want that to change! My goals is to read no less than 6 books on investing, and 6 other self-help books (business, mindset, etc.)…. NOT including audiobooks.
I typically listen to audiobooks when I run – they’re a nice distraction – so the miles will determine the number.
Save $3,000 every month
This is my big scary, hairy, audacious goal. We’ve never put that much in savings in a single month that I can recall, let alone averaged it over the course of a year. But if the goal ain’t big, are you even trying? 😉 The purpose of this goal is to fund our asset column, a term with which if you’re not familiar, I high recommend reading Rich Dad Poor Dad.
Even though this will create some work, investing in assets rather than thing goes hand in hand with my desire not to work all the time.
To reach this goal, we’ll be looking for ways to save money on groceries, using hacks to make eating out really cheap, cutting back on all the little “extras” we’ve grown to take for granted, and more.
But, especially as we have kids who need life experiences, we still want to have a fun year which leads me to…
Explore Budget travel
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I had the opportunity to hike around and see *most* of Iguazu Falls yesterday, and oh my gosh! 😍😍 pictures don't do it justice of course, So naturally everyone should go see it in person! . . . #Argentina #exploreargentina #newsinargentina #iguazufalls #iguazu #wondersoftheworld
We’ve always been pretty good at traveling on a budget, but this year, I want to get better at planning ahead, and making our travels even more thrifty while still enjoyable.
We will be doing some business travel (my husband already has several training classes on his schedule), which we can use to piggy back off of a little bit, but Gabe and I are pretty passionate about traveling, and we want to make a few non-business trips as well, and of course they’ll cost money – I’m not NOT eating beignets when we go to New Orleans – but we want to be pros at making our pennies to go as far as possible.
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Our humble little campsite. We stayed two nights at Blue Mound State Park just west of Madison, deep in the woods. It was perfect! Beautiful weather, lots of green foliage (this is something you think about when you’re from central Texas), hiking/biking trails, playgrounds for the kids, wildlife, hot showers 👍🏼. The only problem was our air mattress sprung a leak and we filled it up every couple hours the last night. 😅 . We’re spending the next few nights at a hotel for Gabe’s class and the kids are downright excited about the indoor pool and hot tub. . #camping #weneedabiggertent #tentcamping #travelingwithkids #homeschool #homeschooling #roadschooling
Okay, confessions; to date, we have never made it past one night at a time in a tent. Sometimes it was weather, sometimes it was a health issue, and other times it was because we had just planned a single night trip. But to make our non-business trips affordable, we need – and want – to practice tent-camping! Find the best sleeping arrangements (air mattresses have been a dud!), best packing practices, best camp food, etc. If we can master camping downs to a system so that it’s not stressful, that would be amazing. I loved camping as a child, but now I’m the mom. 😉
My starting goal is to throw a low-key dinner party once a month, and end the year by opening our home to guests at least twice a month.
Something that’s always held me back from hospitality is our less-than-ideal living space. I couldn’t keep the house clean, it needs repairs, etc. There’s always an excuse, so I suppose maybe my big goal this year is to get over it and have people over anyway.
Grow a bigger garden
Apart from the cucumbers and tomatoes, I feel like my garden was a little lame last year, and I really want to prioritize it more. I certainly don’t aspire to grow all of our food in this life season, but I love the satisfaction of cooking and eating something I grew myself, and I also want my kids to learn the ins and outs of gardening while they’re young. Plus, of course, if we play our cards right, it could help us get to that big savings goal. This year we’re eating homemade pickles, and marinara sauce, next year, who knows?
This is another one for the kids. Truthfully, I don’t love chickens all that much – I only like the eggs. They’re cute and all, but they’re also kinda dirty. But what’s a family farm without chickens?
More importantly, I want the kids to experience chicken raising, and of course, I think the kids will enjoy the experience of raising chicks into laying hens. Plus we’ll have healthier eggs – if not cheaper – so I’ll happily put up with the feathered pigs.
Like most people, we currently give a small percentage of our income to charities. But as we work to increase our income and grow assets we feel a responsibility to make sure we’re using that money both wisely for ourselves, and to help the needs we feel called to help. One day, I wold love to adopt, but today is not that day, and in the meantime, my goal is to help the people who are. So without giving a specific percentage, our goal is to increase it by the end of the year – and if we’re lucky, keep increasing it in years to come.
And that’s about it!
I hope to be able to share some of our journey in achieving these goals with you in a way that will inspire and benefit your own goals and dreams – whether it’s traveling as a family, saving money, homesteading, or eating good food on a budget.
Did you make goals for 2019? I would love to hear about them!