Sunday, January 1, 2012

6 Goals in 2012

I'm often asked how I "do it all." I laughingly reply that I don't sleep but the truth is I generally have a plan.

I NEED a plan, otherwise I feel distracted and run around meeting the most urgent needs without feeling like I've accomplished anything. I don't like that feeling.

This year I'm planning with purpose. Using customizable goal setting forms from Money Saving Mom I wrote down 6 priorities for 2012.

1. Grow my faith.

I feel like my spiritual life became stagnant during the last couple of years. Have you ever seen a stagnant pond? It isn't pretty. If no water runs in or out of a pond then algae and slime eventually takes over. Plants and creatures calling the pond home eventually die. It's pretty gross.

That's where I feel right now. Nothing fresh coming in and nothing fresh going out. Just... there.

To change this I plan to regularly read my Bible and pray, participate in an on-line faith-related study, and read books that encourage my faith.

2. Grow my marriage.

In May 2012 we will celebrate our 15th wedding anniversary. 15. Wow! It doesn't feel that long!

So our names aren't added to anyone's prayer list let me be quick to say my marriage is in good shape. We have our share of disagreements and miscommunications but we're good.

However, I find that my marriage often takes a backseat to carrying for young children, homeschooling, and other responsibilities.

To change this I plan to have weekly at-home dates, monthly away from home dates, daily talk time, and start planning our anniversary celebration.

3. Grow my relationships with my children. 

I realized recently that my mothering has been very focused on training and teaching. That's only natural with infants and toddlers, and homeschooling. My job as mom is to teach them to brush their teeth, clean their rooms, and how to read.

But 10 years from now when Will leaves for college I don't want him to say, "Thanks for teaching my algebra, mom." I want him to say, "Thanks for making me feel loved."

To focus more on loving/enjoying my kids and less on teaching/training I plan to have regular one-on-one time, read aloud together daily, plan weekly family nights, and read books related to parenting, mothering or home schooling.

4. Grow physically healthy.

This is your typical lose weight goal but it's more than just that. I have learned that when I'm exercising and eating healthy foods my rheumatoid arthritis is better controlled. I feel more energetic and less joint pain.

I haven't exercised in several months and I've been eating junk since November. The result is I feel like a stuffed sausage and my joints hurt. Ugh!

To change this I plan to exercise 3-4 times a week (hello, 30 Day Shred), eat healthy food, and sleep 8-10 hours a night.

5. Grow our long-term savings.  

We have several long-term dreams: own a farm in Texas and my husband leave corporate America.

As we discussed our dreams this fall we realized that accomplishing them will result in big lifestyle changes. First, a Texas farm will require a larger mortgage than we have now. Secondly, leaving corporate America will result in a pay cut.

At this point in our conversation our Dave Ramsey and Crown Financial Ministries training kicked in: when you plan to make a life change that results in less income, spend the time leading up to the life change as though it had already happened and put the surplus money in savings.

To make this happen I plan to make, spend by, and track a budget based on our projected reduced salary; use a cash envelope system for spending; and deposit our projected surplus from each check into savings.

6. Grow my blogs.

This kinda goes along with our dream of my husband leaving corporate America. I need to earn an income to help make that dream happen. And I need to earn that income without leaving my house so after 4+ years of blogging I'm hoping to turn this from a hobby to a career.

To make this happen I plan to start a new blog focused on playing and learning as a family; post on a regularly; find a sponsor so I can attend Bloggy Bootcamp (I won a ticket from the conference sponsors a few months ago), and write an ebook.

My One Word Theme

I've noticed around the blogosphere that people are taking a single word as their goal or theme for 2012. My word is "Grow." A better word might be "discipline" because that's what it will take to accomplish my goals but discipline sounds a lot harder than grow.  {smile}

What is your word for 2012? Do you have any goals for the year?

Linked to:


Alicia said...

So excited about you turning your blog professionally, and all your goals! I love it! I wasn't going to post goals, but this post and those great templates from Money Saving Mom are inspiring me! Maybe I'll do that!

Stephanie Kay said...

Thanks for the encouragement, Alicia! The forms really are great. I love how she has only 6 major "priorities" and then has 5 "focuses" for each of the priorities. Of course you don't have to have that many. It helps me break everything down into doable pieces. She has another form I'm using for Weekly Goals. That will help me even more to GROW in all the places I want to grow this year.

Westafricanrains said...

Great article Steph. It's past time for me to set some goals and plans as well. Number one would definitely be grow my faith. I have spent the last year spiritually suffocating. I am curious about what kind of online faith related study you find.

Regarding number two on your list. Wow! Fifteen years. That means fifteen year from college. It can't have been that long really?

I know that you and Joel will succeed in your pursuits. I have no doubt you can turn your blogging into a career. You have a lot to share that is useful to a lot of people. Keep me posted.

Stephanie Kay said...

Thanks Michelle! I'm planning to participate in Made to Crave online at It's not exactly a Bible study but it is faith-based and also works with my goal to get healthy. Proverbs 31 ministries has a couple of other studies online as well.

You could also ask on FB if anyone is participating in an online study.

It's hard to believe that almost 15 years has passed since college. We are now middle-aged, my friend. :) With all the gray hairs, wrinkles and slow metabolism that brings. As much as I loved my time in college I wouldn't go back there. But I would like to have my waist back! :)

Meghan said...

These are great! Thanks for linking up with me!


Carrie said...

You can totally do it, although it will be hard. I think you pointed out that it will require self-discipline and then you had the audacity to ask us what our own words would be for the next year. I would say mine is also self-discipline and my goals track with yours fairly closely. We spent MOST of Jonathan's Christmas vacation talking about family vision and budgeting. Hard conversations at times but good ones also. We're feeling much more productive - and team oriented (which is always a good thing.)

Always room to grow!

Malia @ One2One Network said...

Those are all excellent areas to grow in! Here's a year full of growth for you!

Stephanie Kay said...

Audacity. I like that word, Carrie. I think that's what it will take to accomplish my goals this year. :) I love it when my husband and I are working as a team.

Thanks, Malia.

Annette W. said...

Love this!

I wonder about growing my blog and using it as a money maker (even a little...) Maybe I can pick your brain sometime!

Stephanie Kay said...


Thanks! I haven't made any REAL money yet. Just free products for reviews. But I hope to change that this year. Given the amount of time and energy I spend on my blog (soon to be 2 blogs), it only makes sense that I do what I can to be compensated. Don't get me wrong, I've blogged for almost 5 years for free. I LOVE it. But, as our family goals are changing so are my blog goals.

Blogging is one of my favorite topics so pick away! In the meantime the SITs Girls (see my sidebar for a link) and Blogging with Amy are 2 great resources!

Jamie said...

I like "grow." My chosen word for the year is "free."

Stephanie Kay said...

Jamie, "free" is a great word!

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