Category: Goals and Dreams

New Goals for the New Year: 2016

2016 is already bringing about big changes for our family. We’re facing an exciting semester– Jake is officially a dissertator– which means he no longer has classes, but now is working on his dissertation proposal, IRB stuff, and then lots of reading and research! What does this means for our family this year?

We have way more flexibility in our daily schedule! And guess how we decided to make use of this flexibility?

Welp, I got a full-time job! It was a pretty great surprise. It was one of those situations where we thought maybe I’d start looking for a job over the next 6 months or so, and then a super great opportunity presented itself!

All this to say, my 2016 goals shifted a bit once I found out I got the job. I cut out a bunch of my writing and blogging goals, and while they will still be on the back burner, simmering on low, I’m not sure how reasonable any of that will be with going back to work. I imagine most of my energy going to doing my job well and spending quality time with Jake and the kids. Anything apart from that is bonus stars!

New Goals for the New Year

But, of course, you know how much I love bonus stars, so in that vein, here are my (fun) goals for 2016.


September 2015 Goals

September is my happy place. The hot weather is coming to an end. I can go outside without melting. I will soon make pumpkin chocolate chip muffins with a clear conscious, and it won’t be long until I will be able to comfortably wear a hoodie outside. And don’t even get me started about the bug population decreasing.

It’s time to share my goals for the month! Truth be told, I made these in late August because I splurged and bought myself a notebook I totally didn’t need. Because look at it! A blank sheet of graph paper is just ASKING to be written on.




Some of my highlights from last month’s goals:

  • We cleaned the windows. They were disgusting. Achieving this simple goal wins the gold in my book.
  • I’m finally caught up on my Scripture Reading plan. Looks like I only read 2 chapters a day from here on out, so I don’t foresee any trouble keeping up. Did I mention I really love the New Testament?
  • Our new PEG logo is completely finished (thanks to the AMAZING Amanda Iman who also designed the logo here on Learning to Love). Now comes the confusing  part of transferring everything from one blog to the other. Pray for us.
  • Oh! And I finally decided to sign up for my church’s weekly morning women’s Bible study (trying it out for the first time, not sure if I’ll like it, but I’ll give it a chance) AND, I signed up to do a 4-week book study downtown at this really cool placed called The Upper House.




August 2015 Goals

Last month I started making monthly goals. I thought if I shared them on here I’d have a little more accountability to follow through. I think it worked!

A few of my highlights…

  • Since I fell embarrassingly behind on my Bible reading plan, I made a plan to get back on a plan and I had to do some SERIOUS reading (one day I read the whole book of Jeremiah- talk about depressing), but I’m alllllmost caught up!
  • Jake and I worked on cleaning the couch cushions. They aren’t perfect, far from it, but they do look better. I tried a couple things, but what finally worked well was good ‘ol fashioned carpet/upholstery cleaner. I was really looking forward to finding a more natural, non-chemical laden way, but it just didn’t happen.
  • We found a theme for Play Eat Grow– yaaay! I can’t reveal it yet, but SOON.
  • I finished our 10 Year anniversary of being a family scrapbook and it turned out great! It wasn’t as hard as I thought it was going to be, but I did definitely have to scan in some pictures because apparently we didn’t do digital cameras the first couple years of our marriage (how old am I?!). I also got an AMAZING deal on it (through Shutterfly) when I paired a deal of 50% off photobooks with some promo codes I had accumulated over the past 6 months.

On to my August goals!



July 2015 Goals

My life runs a lot smoother when I have goals. For awhile I decided I would not be a goal-person anymore. I’d just be a “life happens” person. Flexible. Open.

I tried it and it worked for a little while. But then calendars and goal-sheets started magically appearing in my project binder (whoops- do flexible, open, laidback people not make project binders?). It’s like they are magically attracted to me. {To all my non-goal oriented friends, I love you, I appreciate you, I want to be like you. But I just can’t fight this feeling any more…}

All that being said…

july 2015 goals


Goals for 2015

I love goal-setting and have been doing it yearly for the past 14 years. Some goals I meet, others I don’t, which is totally fine, but it’s the process of prayerfully making the goals and dreaming about what I’d like to do during the upcoming year that helps me to think and set my heart on the year in an intentional way. I find that it helps me to live more “on purpose” and it’s fun to look back on them too!


Ladies and Gents, my 2015 goals:


  • Read and journal through Scripture with our FB group
  • Learn about the Enneagram
  • Learn biblical Greek
  • Learn the countries and capitals of the world (this is a rollover from last year- whoops!)
  • Learn a word a day (I’m subscribed to Wordsmith)


  • Catch up on our family scrapbook (2011+)
  • Plan an activity a day during the week for Anaya and Ada, and on Mondays for Asante and Aly too
  • Have one-on-one time with each kid every. day (even if it’s just a little bit)
  • Learn some girl hairstyles
  • Vocab word a day for the kids
  • Send cards/emails/make phone calls more intentionally this year with those afar
  • Potty train Anaya (Diaper free in 2015!!!)
  • Transition Anaya to a toddler bed (Jake decided to do this on January 1st, and she’s rocked it, so I think this one is completed- yessssss. :))


  • new logo, goal of posting 2x per week, add a disclosure page, add a few book recommendation pages
  • PEG- update theme, add a disclosure page
  • Read 2 books about writing
  • Enter into the writing process at least once per month (sidenote: I’m more of an “off the cuff” writer than a planned writer, but recognize that my writing improves greatly when I plan, write a draft, edit, and then publish a final work. I dread rereading anything I write, I’m not sure why).

Are you a goal person? If so, which goal are you most looking forward to accomplish in 2015?

Reading Goal for 2014

In general, January 1st may be the most refreshing day of the year. Clean closets, organized pantries, fresh starts, dreaming about what the next 364 days will hold- it’s all just so wonderful!

Although I’m a bit behind on my yearly goal-making, I have been working on the details of one of the goals that I am very excited about. This year my aim will be to read a book a week. I’ve been really missing reading consistently, and my bookshelf is about to explode with a bunch of books that I’ve been really wanting to read. While 52 books is no big deal in some ways, for me in this stage of life, it’s going to be a challenge, but one that I think will bring me great delight :).

So, with no further ado, my first edition of my list (in no particular order):

1. The Good Life by McCarthy

2. Miss Brenda and the Loveladies by Brenda Spahn and Irene Zutell

3. Bonhoeffer the Assassin? by Mark Thiessen Nation

4. Still: Notes on a Mid-Faith Crisis by Lauren Winner

5. The Forest for the Trees: An Editor’s Advice to Writers by Betsy Lerner

6. Reaching Out by Henri Nouwen

7. The Wounded Healer by Henri Nouwen

8. When LIfe and Beliefs Collide by Carolyn Custis James

9. On Writing Well by William Zinsser

10. The New Conspirators by Tom Sine

11. Playing to Win: Raising Children in a Competitive Culture by Friedman

12. The Catalyst Leader by Brad Lomenick

13. Simplicity Parenting by Kim John Payne

14. Jesus Feminist by Sarah Bessey

15. Grace-Based Parenting by Kimmel

16. Free by Scandrette

17. Loving the Little Years: Motherhood in the Trenches by Rachel Jankovic

18. The Meaning of Marriage by Tim Keller

19. Walking with God through Pain and Suffering by Tim Keller

20. Hands-Free Mama by Rachel Stafford

21. Playing God by Andy Crouch

22. The Insanity of God by Nik Ripkin

23. The Bible Made Impossible by Christian Smith

24. Art of Neighboring by Jay Pathak and Dave Runyon

25. Organized Simplicty by Tsh Oxenreider

26. No Contest: The Case Against Competition by Alfie Kohn

27. Genius Born of Anguish: the Life and Legacy of Henri Nouwen

28. Sticky Faith by Kara Powell

29. The Sibling Effect by Jeffrey Kluger

30. The Signature of All Things by Elizabeth Gilbert

31. Fight: A Christian Case for NonViolence by Preston Sprinkle

While I will obviously leave room for spontaneous reads, I could use a little help —

what are some of your book recommendations for 2014 and why?

2012 Goals

Here are my goals for this year. You can see a little more behind my process here.

Loving Our Bodies
1. Make one change in our eating per month, introducing healthier alternatives to what we already are eating. Introduce more whole foods in our diets.
2. Drink more water a day, which in my case, is any water at all. Help the whole family to do this as well.

Sharpening My Mind
1. Learn all of the countries of the world.
2. Read one book per week (or a total of 52). Write a year-end post about it.

Forming My Spirit
1. Become a more consistent and intentional pray-er.
2. Intentionally connect with God everyday.
3. Practice Lent.
4. Practice Advent.

Other things…
1. Catch up scrapbooks to-date.
2. Become a better blogger. Blog consistently on my website. Be a giver.
3. Keep up with PlayEatGrow, blogging consistently and thinking creatively.
4. Attend one conference for personal development (blogging conference? catalyst?)
5. Learn to sew.
6. Write daily, whether it be for many eyes or just mine.

Nurturing Relationships
1. Make creative, meaningful gifts for next Christmas/New Years.
2. Send birthday cards to family and friends.
3. Plan a fun anniversary celebration/gift.
4. Visit family in MO/IL.
5. Visit several of our close friends scattered all over the country.

Those are mine…. how about yours?