I was looking back at my 2018 goals….and I realized I’m still in the same place! Here is what I said last December (2017):
It’s that time of year when I begin to look at how things went over the past year and brainstorm goals for the next year. The honest truth is that my year went nothing how I expected it to go! It’s a long story that I’ll share when I have more time (probably this summer), but it felt like my word for the year was survival…and that’s still where I am. Though some may believe survival is not a great place to be, I’m embracing it. I’ve learned over the past 40 years that there are seasons–seasons of growth, seasons of change, seasons of stagnation, and seasons when surviving is the best you can do.
I realized recently that I never shared why things did not go as expected back in 2017…probably because things became exponentially worse in February 2018 and it made my 2017 seem like a cakewalk. Anyway, I started graduate classes and took a job as a library media specialist in summer 2017, and while I enjoyed the job…it was also quite challenging. I had not worked in public schools for 15 years, so it was a shock to my system. Everything was so different–discipline, attitudes, workload, and on and on. I have so much respect for all of you teachers out there!
Anyway, if I had known what my 2018 would look like, I would’ve rather stayed in 2017…because 2018 has been a long, long walk through the valley. As I looked through my list of “goals”, I realized they have taken a backseat to healing.
After losing my brother-in-law last February, we spent many months going through the motions and doing what we could to stay afloat. I once read that grieving is like going through a major surgery. Just as we would not expect ourselves to be up and moving around after something so major, so we should not rush ourselves through grief. Grief affects us in every aspect of our lives–physically, emotionally, spiritually. Oftentimes we expect ourselves (or other people expect us) to move through the “process” quickly, but we forget how much healing has to happen…and how the scar remains.
In addition to the grief the last year has brought, I’ve also been dealing with health issues. Multiple trips to doctors and all kinds of lab tests haven’t revealed a “diagnosis” (although my doctor does believe something autoimmune in nature is going on). It’s been extremely frustrating. And it’s made me take my goal-setting down a notch…with all the pain in my joints and muscles, just getting out of bed is a pretty good goal!
Needless to say, accomplishing my goals this year did not happen. I made some progress on a few of them, but most of them feel like lofty aspirations at this point. And you know what? It’s okay. Really, it is. I prioritized healing and relationships over making progress on goals.
Here’s a look back at the goals I set in December 2017:
1) Read my Bible, journal, and pray every morning.
This is still a habit I’m still working on. I plan to go through my Write Through Scripture journal again and read through the Gospels. Not sure yet what I’ll do after that, but I’ll probably follow along with whatever studies we are doing at church.
**Can’t say I did this every single day. I’m doing better but still need to continue with this.
2) Continue socking away as much as we can in retirement accounts.
I’ve started reading some financial independence/early retirement blogs, and it has really opened my eyes to investing and continuing to be as frugal as we can. I’ve started tracking our net worth (and using the retirement planner) at Personal Capital and it’s very motivating for me to see that number go up.
I always feel pulled in several directions, because I view all money as God’s money…and I’m just the steward of it, and I don’t want to be like the man building bigger and bigger barns only to die without the money being used for kingdom purposes. At the same time, we are to be wise…and having financial resources to take care of our families (and others) in our old age seems to be prudent. It’s probably mostly a mindset and heart issue more than anything, so I plan to re-read the Bible and Money, Possessions, and Eternity to remind myself of what truly matters when it comes to money!
Anyway, we have several IRAs and a 403b account, so my goal is to fully fund them. I have automatic withdrawals set up to make this easier.
**We were able to put quite a bit into our accounts. I couldn’t do the full 403b amount since I ended up quitting my job after my brother-in-law died so I could help out with my nieces.
3) Continue to donate all proceeds from God’s Little Explorers to the orphanage we are supporting.
In the past four-and-a-half years, we’ve been able to raise over $80,000 with your help! The project is currently halted due to lack of funds, so we will continue to donate 100% of the proceeds to that project in hopes they can finish the building.
**Still doing this.
Health and Fitness
4) Complete Metabolic Prime and Metabolic Renewal
I’ve previously completed two rounds of Metabolic Prime and love it! The same company released Metabolic Renewal in 2017, and I’ve started it several times…but haven’t made it past week 3. My goal is to do one round of Metabolic Renewal followed by one round of Metabolic Prime. Then, we’ll see how I’m feeling and if I want to attempt any running this year!
**Did not do this at all….I did do a couple of RunBets and ran five 5ks. I also did three months of Crossfit, so I feel okay about not meeting that goal.
5) Average 10,000 steps per day.
I keep setting this goal for myself…and I keep working at it. I’ll be tracking my daily step count with my Fitbit, and I plan to increase my yearly average from 2017.
**Did not make this goal either. I did increase my average daily steps from 5768 in 2017 to 6777 in 2018.
6) Go on at least two date nights per month.
I’m keeping this goal from last year, and it’s still super important to me because there have been even more marriages falling apart around us. We want to keep communication open and prioritize our relationship, and date nights are a big part of that for us.
**This was a fail! I don’t remember many “dates” this past year. There were a few but definitely not two per month.
7) Go on a special anniversary celebration.
We will celebrate 18 years of marriage in June, and I’d like to do something special for that…a cruise is what I’m hoping. I’m saving up!
**Since I quit my job in February and needed to spend money on other things, I was not able to save up for this…so it did not happen.
8) Read aloud more
With the year we’ve had, our read aloud time is one area that has suffered. Books have always played a huge part in our family life. The girls are still reading a ton, but we just haven’t done as much reading aloud as I like. I miss those times and plan to make this a priority.
**We actually did this! Still not quite as much as we’ve done in the past, but we got through 3-4 books this year.
9) Set up a weekly calendar review.
I used to do this regularly to keep me on track with fitness, finances, meal planning, etc. I am committing to reviewing my calendar each week on either Friday or Saturday and planning for the week ahead.
**Nope. Did not do this.
10) Grow my blog.
Blogging has been on the backburner this year, and I’m just doing enough to get by. I’d like to add more quality content and really have the site be a helpful resource. That will take more time than what I am able to put in now, so I plan to start working toward achieving this goal in June.
**And…the blog remained on the backburner in 2018, too. I took a new part-time job in August as a Parent Educator for Parents as Teachers, so I still haven’t put as much time into it as I had originally planned.
So there you have it. It’s easy for me to look through this list and see all that I didn’t do, but I also think about all that we did do…and how we grew and changed. I’m learning to give myself grace and realizing there are many things more important in life than my goals. I’m still a fan of setting goals, and I will continue to do so…
…I just have to remind myself to set flexible goals, because more often than not, life doesn’t go as planned.
How about you? How did your goals for 2018 go?