I've decided to do goals a little differently in 2018. Rather than changing up my goals every single month I'm choosing a few goals to work on for the entire year. This will be fairly challenging for me as I'm not super great with long term goals but I want to get better!
Each month I'm going to come back to update my progress with these goals because sharing with you keeps me accountable. I'm excited to see what God does with all of this!
This long term goal setting is a whole new ball game for me. I have ideas of what I want to do long term but (bad me) I've never really taken the time to break those goals down into smaller steps so I know what to do NOW. Setting just these three goals had made me realize how much I need to get better at this or I'm never really going to accomplish anything I want to do!
A good friend shared that goals that are shared are LESS likely to be accomplished because the simple act of sharing makes a person feel more accomplished than they actually are. I so get that! That's why I've got some goals I'm working on behind the scenes that I'm not sharing here but instead keeping between God and myself, and maybe one or two accountability partners. They are too important to sabotage with a feeling false accomplishment.
1. Track purchases
Other than groceries and regular bold we aren't great at keeping track of our spending. It's not out of control and we have a general idea of how much we are spending but I'd like to do a more thorough job. We've used Mint before but I'm not a huge fan of how certain features work so I think I'll be doing my own in Google Sheets because I can update on the go on my phone. It'll be nice to know exactly what we are spending in each category these days!
January update: I've been keeping my receipts and I've got some added in to my spreadsheet but I need to make it part of my weekly office chores. We did spend a bit that I wasn't expecting - we found a set of two chairs at Target marked down to $35 from nearly $200 and we have been looking for new dining chairs so we snagged those. We also found out our oldest needed glasses and I needed some dental work. Thankfully we have savings accounts to help cover those expenses!
2. Healthy habits
Water intake, sleep, physical activity, and time with God are all areas I want to focus on more. I've got a Fitbit Charge 2 that I really enjoy. I used to track all my water intake but started slacking. I need to get back to tracing and not assuming I've had enough.
I am joining a friend (plus lots of others) to Write the Word beginning on January 1st. We are starting with the Gospel of John. I know writing things out works really well for me (shocking!) So I'm pumped to see how God uses this and what I learn.
January update: My water intake has been awesome. My goal was 100oz each day and I'm hitting at least 120oz each day, some closer to 150oz. I feel so much better when I'm staying hydrated. And I've gotten into the habit of inputting the amount I'm drinking each time I need to refill my water bottle.
My step goal is 9000 steps and I'm hitting it on the weekdays but lazy weekends have me slacking on steps. But I did add in 20 minute workouts, four days each week, and it feels good to break a sweat again.
I'm in the middle of chapter 5 in John already. I was chugging along and trying to hit good stopping points each day but it became harder for me to take notes on everything I was writing so now I'm trying to write fewer verses and spend more time thinking about what I'm reading and writing instead. This is a wonderful way to dive into the Bible at a deeper level and the discussions with the other people doing the same study are helping me catch things I might have missed or show me other ways of seeing what is written.
3. Grow my Facebook groups
Facebook (and really all social media) is fickle for people. Even big name bloggers have a hard time getting their content to pop up in people's feeds unless they pay. The algorithm simply works against pages that aren't willing to shell out cash. And now, Facebook has decided to promote your friends posts above everyone, which makes sense... but hurts us small bloggers. But creating private groups allows for greater control! The people who really want to engage and be a part of a community can come together for a specific purpose.
I've got two groups ready to start this year:
My Joy in Chaos Community - a group for women to come together for friendship, encouragement, and support. My dream for this group is a place to share real life moments, good or bad, and the joy we find in them, a place to pray for needs, and a place to build real relationships, even if we are hundreds or thousands of miles apart.
January update: I haven't put any effort into this group yet because I'm still working out content for all the other social media areas. Because I don't use a whole lot of automated systems I need to at least have a good idea of what I want to post. I know what I want this group to be I just need to find a good way to grow and nurture it before inviting too many people.
Meal Planning with Katie - Meal Planning is my jam! I started really getting into meal planning when our oldest, Parker, was probably around a year or so, perhaps earlier. I quickly discovered how much it helped to have a plan in place so I wasn't starting at the fridge or cupboard trying to piece together a reasonable meal. We are kicking this group off with this 10-Day Meal Planning Challenge. I'm also planning on suspending the meal planning post after week 100 here on the blog and making it an exclusive post for the group! If you enjoy my meal planning posts make sure you join the group!
January update: The Meal Planning group is growing wonderfully! We are over 50 members so far and are currently in the middle of a batch cooking workshop. It's fun to see so many people sharing recipes and ideas with one another. Meal planning is a huge passion of mine and I love getting the chance to help others become better stewards of God's provision for their families. I've been going live once a week to talk about different meal planning topics and so far we've covered batch cooking and this week we moved on to finding new meal ideas.
I'm ready to keep chugging along in February!