Goals for 2013

Yesterday I wrote about keeping our goals in perspective. This is more true for me this year than any. When setting goals I typically look at the whole year ahead of me and make some rough plans. This year, though, I have no idea what we’ll be doing in 6 months.

All I know is that the next 6 months are going to be crazy busy as my husband finishes up his current degree. Then… We’re in limbo and won’t know for a couple of months probably. More than likely it will mean a move. How big a move, when, where, and what our lives will look like after that? No idea.

So I’m holding my goals fairly loosely and I tried to keep most of them non-location specific.


Read at least one fiction book a month. I noticed in my reading list that I hardly read any fiction. I want to fix that this year. My overall reading goal is to read 75 books. This reading goal is fairly ambitious and I have no idea if our life circumstances after June will totally send this one out the window, but it is something to shoot for. I benefited so much from my reading and felt so inspired, I definitely want to keep it up. I am keeping up with my reading through Goodreads and I also started a board on Pinterest if you want to follow along there. I will try to be more faithful about my monthly reading posts, as well.

Learn my camera and Photoshop Elements. I made some headway on learning my camera this past year, but I am not where I’d like to be. I want to use it to its full advantage. I was given Photoshop Elements for Christmas so I am excited to learn that this year as well!

Health and Fitness

Drink more water. For some reason I have no trouble drinking water when I am out and about because I carry around my water bottle, but when I am home, I tend to forget to drink. I love water, so that’s not the problem, it’s just remembering to do it throughout the day. It’s so good for health and complexion. So that is going to be a focus.

Finish C25k program. I have started this so many times. I need to see it through this year. And I’m limiting this goal to the first 6 months since I don’t know what situation we’ll be in later. I’d also love to culminate that by running a 5k with my sister. But I should probably talk to her about that first. (Don’t worry she is way more fit than I am so it’s no sweat for her!)


Intentionally train the kids in habits. Post coming up next week about that. Stay tuned!

Read 12 chapter book read alouds.

Go outside more. We’re trying to get back in our routine of heading to the park once a week since we don’t have a lot of green around us. I also want to take the kids to the zoo more as we have a pass. I’ll be putting it on the calendar so I don’t let myself get lazy about taking 3 kids out. :)

Start K5 with Stefan. Yikes, I need to start nailing down a lot of my lofty ideas. He’s five now. My ideas need to take some tangible shape.We plan to start next month so that we can ease into it and progress at our own speed.


Continue to give my home 15 minutes a night. This ensures that things never get completely out of control. It’s an easy habit, but it really helps keep my sanity.

Do one small declutter and/or cleaning project a week. This is beyond the normal day-to-day cleaning. Will be blogging about that next week as well! Woot!


Have another Mom over for coffee and play date 2x a month. I did this a lot this past year and loved it. Sometimes, though, I planned a little too much and had weeks where I had people over on 2 or 3 days. That was a little too overwhelming to keep the kids in a normal routine and with adding more school in the picture I’m shooting for 2x a month to have someone over. I really want to deepen some of my friendships, and if we do move, this is a great way to get to know people as well.

Send Birthday Cards to my family. Seriously I am so bad about this. Nobody get too excited, I am shooting for ecards or using cardstore.com for now.

And now for the more idea realm, my main focus this year is to be present.

“Be Present”

If there is one thing I want to do more than anything is to be all there with whatever I’m doing. I have found that is easier to read a chapter from Scripture than it is to meditate on Scripture. It’s easier to read a book to my kids, than it is to have a conversation that we are both engaged in. It’s easier to check things off a list, than to be present heart, body, soul, and mind.

So I want to turn internet off more. And when we are having family time I want to be completely there in mind and spirit. When I am reading my Bible, I want to be engaged with my mind and heart, not just reading words. When I’m talking with Brian in the evening, I want to be all there, not rehearsing the next days events in my mind.

I want to live my life fully present in the roles God has given me. So my prayer for this year is that I will be present. No matter what I’m doing.

Have you set goals for this year? I’d really love it if you would share them in the comments! Thanks, Friends!


  1. Every two to three years or so for the last 10, I’ve had no idea what the second half of the year will hold so I feel for you there. I think you’ve done a great job of setting goals that aren’t location specific. I, too, need to get us outside more…

  2. Sounds great, Johanna! Prayers for you guys as you finish up this last semester – is it ok that I’m a little jealous of that? :) I know God will make your path after that abundantly clear as you seek His direction.

    • Well, we still have more school ahead but I totally know what you mean. It is SO exciting to see the light at the end of the tunnel! Thanks for your prayers!

  3. Well, it’s been my intention all week to spend a few minutes putting my goals for the year on paper but you’ve given me reason to stop and do it now. So here they are: (and I’m printing these out and hanging them in a prominent place so I’m reminded of them daily!)

    My overall goal for my home this year is Simplify. I want/need to:
    1. Work through Organized Simplicity by Tsh Oxenreider.
    2. Spend 15 minutes every day attacking the clutter zones in our house- piano, counter top, homeschool table.
    3. Do one load of laundry completely every day- wash, dry, fold, put away.
    4. Complete two cleaning cards per week.
    5. Reduce grocery shopping to twice a month or less. Utilize a monthly eating plan to determine what I need to buy. ( I did really great at cooking with a meal plan this past year. This year I would like to take it a step further.)

    Personally, I would like to:
    6. Read 2 non-fiction books per month. (I am the opposite of you. As much as I am interested in reading many of my hubby’;s theology/ christian living books, I find it’s easy to read fiction. Plus, I have a great love of good fiction!)
    7. Come up with a daily routine that works for our family. *Time Management*
    8. Engage in my quiet time with the Lord each morning. If I need a reminder, re-read Jesus Calling for January 2.

    To improve my overall Health & Fitness, I would like to:
    9. Lose 30 pounds. (After having 4 babies in 6 years, I found that I’ve kept a little weight after each pregnancy and it’s added up)
    10. Exercise at least 3 times per week. (I have contemplated the C25K but we live in the snowy and cold northeast and I don’t enjoy running in the first place. I think that is a goal I would end up not completing!)

    My Family goal is to:
    11. Establish good morning and bedtime routines for the kids. (We do great at putting them to bed at the same time each night but they need to brush teeth, wash faces more routinely and we need to set a limit on the number of books per night.)
    12. Find a chore chart system that will work for us and get the kids into a routine doing their chores.

    Relationally, I would like to:
    13. Read and pray each night with my husband. (This is a shared continual goal of ours.)
    14. Commit to a monthly date night. (Finances are often so tight that we let this go but there are so many good ideas for inexpensive/free dates that we tend to let months go by without making the effort.)
    15. Send a thank you card each month. There are so many in my life and the lives of my children that do so much. How much do I remember to say Thank You?

    And my overall focus for the year: Gratitude!
    We are so blessed and yet I so often complain. This year I want to intentionally remember the blessings the Lord has given us for they are plentiful and wonderful!

    On another note, I understand where you are at with feeling like you are in limbo. My husband graduated from Bible school a little over a year ago. It’s been a journey since then. I have often struggled but the Lord uses those around me to encourage me. We wait patiently for direction from Him and though it is not always easy, He is using this to grow and stretch my faith. I am reminded daily that He is working His plan through us, His love will never fail us and every day in every way presents a ministry opportunity for me to share His love. I will be in prayer for you and your family as you near the end of this phase of your lives and move on to the next.
    Sorry, it’s so wordy! I am so thankful for you blog. I find it encouraging and uplifting to read. Thank you for your willingness to share your life with the rest of us.

    • Rebecca, these are such inspiring goals! I hope you make progress on them throughout the year. I loved Organized Simplicity. It will definitely inspire you to declutter!

  4. You have a good list of goals. I like it that you said you want to be unplugged more so you can be present more. I have benefited from this immensely.

    Again, these are good goals. I might use some of them myself! :)

  5. Ross Bale says:

    Thanks for this article, this has given me the inspiration to create some more concrete goals for myself this year.

  6. Ha! Learning to use Photoshop Elements is on my list, too! I bought it before Christmas on a fabulous Amazon sale, upgrading from Elements 2 to Elements 11. (It’s a big and wonderful difference!) Now I’m forcing myself to use it so I can get comfortable with it. (I also checked out Elements for Dummies from the library, in case you’re interested….)

    These all look great. Wishing you a wonderful 2013!

    • Oh, Elements for Dummies is definitely what I need. I know nothing! (my gift was also a result of that amazing sale) :)

  7. Wow Johanna! Looks like we’re on the same boat. We are also doing another big transition this summer and because of that I’ve only made goals that are not place specific.

    Aside from decluttering, packing, selling things, an everything else a big move entails… I’ll be doing a C25K training program. Lose 25 lbs.. 75 books to read. Spend more time outdoors with Madelyn

    I also have Learning Photoshop as something I’d like to do this year but that would probably be until the next half of the year :)

    • Wow, we do have similar goals! We can keep each other going. :) It will be good to follow along on each others moves! You’re moving back to the US? Hope it’s a great year, Chelo!

  8. Great goals for the year, Johanna. Wishing you and your family all the best during your time of transition. I’m working through Tsh Oxenreider’s One Bite at a Time this year as well as some other things. Good luck!


  1. […] you you astute observers may have noticed that I had no goals about Bible reading when I shared my goals for 2013. A few of you may have even been slightly […]

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