Let’s Talk About 2010 Goals (Part One)

I saw these questions over at Simple Mom’s and just couldn’t resist answering them. I love that they are detail-oriented because it’s one thing to say, “I’m going to lose weight” and quite another to actually list HOW you’re going to do that.


(Feel free to write your own answers in the comment section. Or if you blogged about it, leave a link and I’ll pop over!)

I. Personal Growth

1. What healthy character traits would you like to see developed in your life this year? What are some specific steps you can take to develop these?

(Here is a list of character traits if you’re stuck for something specific).

A. Ambitious – I’m ready to expand my current business as well as work outside the home. I want to be so busy that my mind never has a chance to slow down and get sluggish. I will concentrate on building up my professional website as well as send out applications to bookstores (starting out as part-time and then seeing where that takes me).

B. Compassionate – I’m a hard nose. I don’t have a lot of patience for people who I perceive as being lazy and/or manipulative. I will actively work on seeing the situation from all sides and stop being so judgmental.

C. Creative – I will actively work on producing more writing this year. I can do it, I’m just scared to try. I will swallow my fear and jump in with both feet.

D. Devout – I will work on sharing my faith more, both here on this blog and in real life, when the opportunity presents itself. I have no wish to push myself on other people, but if people are searching and I can help, then I will help.

E. Relaxed – I will chill out. I think I’ve actually gotten better about this, but I still have some work to do. I am a very controlling person and I’m learning, bit by painful bit, to just let it go.

2. What is your plan for maintaining accountability for progressing in personal growth?

This blog is a pretty good place to write about my accountability. I mean really, what do you NOT know about me?

3. What are some of your learning goals for this year?

Ahh, easy one. I plan on learning more about CSS and Kevin and I want to take a photography class together.

We would also like to sign up and attend one-day computer seminars offered at a community college.

4. What books would you like to read this year?

I have a bookcase and two huge plastic containers full of books I need to read. That’s another goal of mine this year – READ, READ, READ. I can’t write unless I read.

You can keep track of the books I’m reading on my books page, if you’re interested.

5. Do you enjoy your job or jobs (include being a stay-at-home mother, if this pertains to you)? If so, what are your favorite things about your work? If not, what are some ways you can change this?

Yes. And no. I’m grateful that I’ve been able to stay at home with my boys, but now that they are teenagers and don’t need me around as much, I’m MORE than ready to get out into the world and get a job.

I do earn a little money on the side maintaining websites for local schools and I really enjoy that. I’d like to expand that and see where that takes me.

II. Physical Health

1. What is one area of progress you’d like to see this year for maintaining or improving your physical health?

I’d really like to tone up overall, but more specifically, my arms. I have really flabby arms and it takes a lot to get them into shape.

I’d also REALLY like to get a handle on my digestive tract. It’s slowing me down (if you know what I mean) and I need to accept the fact that now that I’m older? I can’t eat the same foods anymore.

And when I thumb my nose at that fact? I pay for it like a solid week.

It sucks.

2. What are some tangible, daily choices you can add to your life that will improve your health?

Watch what I eat – i.e. stay away from beans and chocolate.

Get back on my exercise routine. The problem is, I’d rather work out in the morning – just get it over with. But the mornings are when I’m the most mentally awake so if I’m going to get any writing done, it has to be in the mornings.

So, I need to discipline myself to workout at night. Which won’t be easy because I have a husband who demands attention.

The stinker.

3. In what way would you like to be physically healthier by December of this year?

More toned. About ten pounds lighter. And internally peaceful.

4. What is your plan this month for starting this progress towards a healthier you?

I was going to try and get started on my workout routine tonight, but Kevin has a gig so … scratch that.

I will start the treadmill beginning tomorrow night. I’ll alternate nights – treadmill, then EA Sports the next night. I have found that walking is KEY to getting me on an exercise track. (Ha! Pun intended).

III. Marriage & Family Life

If you’re married, proceed to question 1. If you’re single with children, you can skip to question 5.

1. What are some goals you have as a couple to strengthen your marriage?

We plan on taking a photography class together. Photography is one of the things we had in common when we first started dating and we’d like to get back into it and post bigger, better and more interesting photos to OUR photo blog. (

2. In what ways can you grow in intimacy with your spouse this year?

I think it’s crucial to spend time together as a couple. Kevin is my best friend and as a result, we already spend so much time together. (Especially since I don’t have any girlfriends I hang out with so honestly, he’s like the only person I can talk – well, him and YOU all).

However, with that said, Kevin’s job is liquidating and come March, he will officially be unemployed. He may be around much more than I can stand, hence the reason I’ll most likely be looking for a job. A little space? Goes a looooong way.

3. What are your plans for having regular date nights? How will you handle childcare?

We have lunch dates. We go out to lunch every Wednesday and that will not change – even when he’s home full-time. (And as long as my schedule can accommodate it. But even if we can’t get together on Wednesdays, we’ll likely get together on some other day).

We’re lucky in the childcare arena – our boys are teenagers and can handle being on their own.

4. What plans will you make to pray and/or have “family meetings” together? What books would you like to read together this year?

We have Bible study, as a family, every Sunday morning at 10:00. We listen to a teaching from the Truth or Tradition ministry (either a video or audio) and then the boys take turns reading a chapter out of the bible.

The Truth or Tradition ministry offer many classes and we’re currently in the middle of Revelation. We plan on continuing these types of classes.

They have truly blessed us.

5. What will deliberate, regular family time look like this year?

This one is a toughie. Since our boys are teenagers and have their friends, school and other interests, it’s sometimes hard for us to get together as a family. Though we do eat as a family around the table every night for dinner, we really don’t DO much together in the way of entertainment, unless you count the times we go camping and our one family vacation every summer.

We’d like to get back to into the habit of playing board games again. We did that for a while, but then sort of fizzled out. I have the “Settlers of Catan” game on order and as soon as get that, we’ll likely start the games night routine once again.

6. Do you have specific planned vacation time in mind for this year? What needs to happen to make this vacation a reality?

Yes. We are planning on taking another cruise – IF we can financially swing it.

We try and take one big family vacation every year – we drove and camped in the Rockies one year – flew to Washington DC and did the museum thing one year, took a cruise to the Western Caribbean last summer and this summer, we want to go to the Eastern Caribbean. Even though it’s expensive, we figure, we only have a few years left with the kids before they graduate and start leading their own lives so we plan on taking advantage of the years we DO have with them.

We also took beach vacations in Florida several years. We’ve had some pretty awesome family vacations, actually.

You can’t BUY those kinds of memories, folks.

7. How is your current physical living space working for your family? Do you need to make changes to this? If so, what are they?

We live in a 1900 square feet ranch-style home – three bedrooms, one and a half bath, two living areas, a formal dining room and a galley-style kitchen – we are very comfortable living here. We feel like we have just enough space for all of us.

Oh sure, we’d love to have a bigger, brick home with a basement, but every time we contemplate that route, we think of the mortgage payment and since we have our current home paid off, we just don’t want to go down that particular road again.

We’ll improve our current house and stay debt free, thank you very much.

We do need to do something about parking cars, though. We had a partial driveway put in last year so Dude could drive his car into the backyard, but now that Jazz will be driving in another year (ACK!!) we’re running out of space. We don’t want to end up as THOSE eyesore neighbors who have a car junkyard in their backyard so we’re seriously thinking about building a garage. But geez louise that’s expensive so … we’re still looking at options on that problem.


Looking Back at 2009

I’m answering Simple Mom’s reflection questions over at (In)Courage today because it’s waaaay easier than trying to sum up my year on my own.

I’m lazy like that. 🙂

*Thanks to Jen at Momma Blogs A Lot for the head’s up.


1. What was the single best thing that happened this past year?

I’d have to say our cruise to the Western Caribbean. This was me and Kevin’s second cruise, the boys’ first. We booked the boys their own cabin so they were free to do their own thing on the boat and it was well worth the extra money. We had a blast.

We’re on a mission to top our family vacations every year. I wonder what we’ll do this year?

2. What was the single most challenging thing that happened?

Probably Kevin losing his job. Well, he didn’t lose it, per se, the company had to liquidate because they couldn’t obtain funding (none of the banks would loan them money – instead of using that wonderful stimulus money to help stimulate the economy, they held onto it and bought interests in flailing banks thereby growing their profit margins. Yeah, don’t get me started).

I think this might be a blessing in disguise though. Kevin now has the opportunity to try something new and different, which he’s been wanting to do for quite some time, and it also gives me an opportunity to find a job outside the home (I currently work from home, but business has been slow).

We refuse to look at this as a setback, but rather as an opportunity.

3. What was an unexpected joy this past year?

Jazz’s first high school band experience. I don’t know if it’s my inner musical self struggling to break free or what, but I thoroughly enjoyed the whole band thing in September and October.

I’m a die-hard band mom now and I’m really looking forward to the next three years of band competitions.

4. What was an unexpected obstacle?

Me. For some reason, that I can’t really explain, I was my own worst enemy this year. I just couldn’t seem to summon up the motivation required to GET ANYTHING DONE this year and that frustrates and angers me more than I can say.

I think I’ve been a little depressed this year. I’ve fallen into a rut and it’s time to shake things up a bit. And the fact that I’ve allowed myself to fall into this funk really ticks me off because if there is one thing I can’t stomach, it’s self-imposed weakness.

5. Pick three words to describe 2009.

Growth. Stagnant. Depressing.

(Yes. I realize that sounds contradicting but, well, there you go).

6. Pick three words your spouse would use to describe your 2009 (don’t ask them; guess based on how you think your spouse sees you).

Unproductive. Self-serving. Frustrating.

7. Pick three words your spouse would use to describe their 2009 (again, without asking).

Challenging. Stressful. Frustrating.

8. What were the best books you read this year?

According to how I rated the books I read in 2009, it looks like Memory Keeper’s Daughter by Kim Edwards and The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger were my favorites.

9. With whom were your most valuable relationships?

Definitely my boys. The older they get, the more they “get” me. And the more they “get” me, the more relaxed I am with them. Our relationship these past years has definitely been rocky, but I can see the light at the end of the tunnel.

I.E. the end of the teenage years.

10. What was your biggest personal change from January to December of this past year?

Sadly, none. I can honestly say that I don’t feel like I challenged myself too much this past year. I’ve been complacent, lackluster, and downright lazy.

I’m more determined than ever to make changes in my life this year.

11. In what way(s) did you grow emotionally?

I grow emotionally nearly every day. I’m constantly challenging aspects of my personality and trying to BE a better person. I’m working on it.

I can honestly say that I believe I’m a much better person than I have ever been. I’m still pretty opinionated, egotistical and judgmental, but I’m learning that life? Is not always black and white, no matter how much I try and tell myself that.

12. In what way(s) did you grow spiritually?

I think I’ve grown by leaps and bounds spiritually this year. I worked up the courage to post articles from the ministry that we follow, the Truth or Tradition ministry. This ministry works hard to teach people what the Bible says and how that often directly contradicts what “tradition” dictates.

I think it’s opened me up spiritually and I feel closer, and more comfortable, with God.

13. In what way(s) did you grow physically?

I’m not sure how to interpret this question. I’ve pretty much been the same size, physically, for a number of years now. I think I have finally reached a point in my life that I’m comfortable with my physical appearance.

In fact, I plan on writing an entire post about exercising and finding that “comfort” zone.

14. In what way(s) did you grow in your relationships with others?

I’ve always been pretty tight with my immediate family. Kevin and I are stronger than ever and I’ve mentioned that I feel like I’ve grown closer to my boys.

Not so with my extended family. I feel our relationships have been grown apart and I think some of that stems from hurtful feelings and loss of respect.

I wish I could go into detail, but we’ll just have to leave it at that.

I will say, though, that I regret some things, but that overall, I think I’ve accepted that that’s just the way it is, I guess.

15. What was the most enjoyable area of managing your home?

I’m not a homemaker. Even though I’m a stay-at-home mom and I maintain websites from my home, I do not enjoy staying home. It’s lonely. I’m lonely. I’ve never aspired to be a SAHM and in some ways, I resent it. Though I’m very, very grateful that I’ve had the opportunity to stay home and watch the boys grow and have had a direct hand in shaping their personalities, there is still a part of me that misses not aggressively pursuing a career.

As a result of feeling this way, I have not been a very good homemaker. In fact, it’s safe to say, I downright stink at it. I’ve taken advantage of my husband and my feelings of resentment have colored my parenting skills at times.

I had the chance to be a really good homemaker, but I blew it. And I can quite honestly say, I don’t enjoy keeping house and have virtually no interest in making our home physically better. I’m content to just be comfortable and “make due.”

This is an area I definitely need to work on.

16. What was your most challenging area of home management?

With that said, I care about our home and want it to look nice. Our home is over 30 years old and it’s time to update and improve some areas. Kevin and I have sat down and made a list of things we’d like to improve around the house this year beginning with floors and kitchen.

I think the most challenging part of this venture is our different tastes. Kevin and I rarely agree on design styles and as a result, I tend to just give in because it’s easier. In some ways, I resent that, I think. Which may also account for my lousy homemaker skills.

It’ll be interesting to see how we handle these home improvements this year.

Correction: It’ll be interesting to see how I handle the home improvements this year.

17. What was your single biggest time waster in your life this past year?

Absolutely, positively, no doubt about it, the Internet. My blog and just recently, Twitter. I have to get control of this area of my life. It’s gotten out of control and in some ways, has really stunted my life in many areas.

18. What was the best way you used your time this past year?

Generally speaking, I’m a multi-tasker. So even though I’ve been on Twitter an INSANE amount of time, and have been paying an INSANE amount of attention to my blog, I have gotten other work done. I think better when I have several things going at once. But I definitely need to control my distractions a little (A LOT) better.

19. What was the biggest thing you learned this past year?

That I need to keep my big mouth shut. Just because it’s on my mind, just because I want to say it, just because I CAN say it, doesn’t necessarily mean I SHOULD say it.

I’m DONE putting my foot in my mouth. I have made a deal with myself, I will think before I blurt and/or simply say nothing at all.

20. Create a phrase or statement that describes 2009 for you.

Thank God the nightmare is over. (This was Kevin’s statement when I asked him to sum up his year).

Thank God for my family. (Is my summary).