Breaking Down My Goals – Financial

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D w-Total Money Makeover BookSimply put – saving money is hard for anyone.  Including us.

This is the last post on “Breaking Down My Goals” for the Twelve Goals of Twelve that I’ve set forth for the year.


In the financial area, and because I’m trying to be open and honest with my children (and anyone else who reads this blog,) we should be able to save $12,000 by the end of December.

We are intending for that amount to be earmarked for purchasing a new-to-us vehicle in the latter part of 2017.

I don’t intend on giving a month-to-month blog post devoted to this goal.  I’ll probably just let you all know if we complete it by the end of the year.

There’s no plan for this other than continuing on doing our budget every month per the Dave Ramsey plan guidance he sets forth in his book, The Total Money Makeover.

We’ve been following that financial peace plan for about six years now, and it has brought my husband and I peace of mind like no other.

Our story is like anyone else: Six years ago we were in debt up to our eyeballs, we had car and home loans to pay, and we couldn’t save two nickels together even if we wanted to.

It wasn’t until we learned through the Total Money Makeover book how to control our money so it wouldn’t control us that we learned what the definition of maturity is in the financial world – Children do what feels good.  Adults have a plan.

I highly recommend reading that book or attending a Financial Peace Course in your area.

I’m preparing two class sessions for church based off the book now and I hope to get my thoughts out on this blog too.

Have a great week and may your financial dreams of this year come true!

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Breaking Down My Goals – Social/Blog

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Out of all the goals I made this year, the most challenging will be in this area – Social/Blog.

At the beginning of the year, I wrote out and put out for the whole world to see my Year of Twelves – meaning twelve goals of twelve things each.

I’ve gone over eight goals so far in the areas of Intellectual, Physical, Spiritual and Family.

For the Social/Blog area of my life, I intend on completing the following goals for the year:

  • Publish 12 blog posts a month.

  • Tackle 12 crocheting projects, either started or new.

  • Create 12 handmade gifts.

Notes on Posting My Blog Posts

  • Probably the most difficult and time consuming thing I will do this year is post twelve blog posts a month.  I posted a total of seventeen blog posts for the entire year in 2015, with four drafted but not completed.  This is a big change from the previous year.
  • Much of my projected posts for the year will be on events on my life, as I repeat once again, that I write this blog for my children, that they are able to remember how awesome their lives were.
  • I really want to throw in more photos and links of crocheting projects I’m both working on and have completed.

    This is a coffee cozy for a co-worker. The last thing to do for this gift is add his name.

    This is a coffee cozy for a co-worker. The last thing to do for this gift is add his name.

  • I’m going to focus on shortening my posts and writing more of them, rather than try to squeeze in so many ideas into one post.
  • And lastly, I’m not going to concern myself with the advertising as much as I have been in the past.  If I write a blog post and don’t get to include an advertisement at the bottom or within the text, I’m still going to push “schedule.”  (And potentially update it later if I have time. 😉 )

Tackling Twelve Crocheting Projects

The best thing about this goal is that I have a reason to crochet.

I would love to be able to use the excuse to people who see me crocheting something, “Oh, yes. I’m crocheting because it’s a resolution to get this project done.”

Here’s just a few things of what I have in the works right now:

  • A coffee cozy for a patient co-worker.  (I promised him I would make him one last year.)
  • A tiger for my youngest son out of the book “Edward’s Menagerie” by Kerry Lord. Edward's Menagerie Book
  • And an Elsa-hair hat (Frozen inspired) for my daughter.  There is this great pattern from Hopeful Honey that I hope to complete very soon.

This doesn’t even get into the stand-by projects that I have laying around.  There’s still three different afghans I haven’t completed that are sitting in bags in the garage.

Oh and I really wanted to get a “temperature scarf” started for 2016.  You know, because of how cool that would be.  I found a great chart through Pinterest, which led me to Cindy Kuo Designs in Ravelry.  She has a knitting pattern, but I would just do a single crochet line for each day.

As I write this, I’m starting to realize that I might have a problem….

Bah – Everyone needs a hobby right? 😉

Create Twelve Handmade Gifts

There may be some cross-over between the crocheting goal of 12-things and this goal.

I’m also going to include gifts to my children, or at least projects that I’ve declared I wanted to do for them for a while now.

This is most of the small toys collected over the past year or so. I'm hoping to get them and some yarn pompoms on wreaths for my kiddos.

This is most of the small toys collected over the past year or so. I’m hoping to get them and some yarn pompoms on wreaths for my kiddos.

I know I pinned a project a while back ago that I have all the materials for and just haven’t done – creating wreaths out of old, small toys they don’t play with anymore.  If I can accomplish this, that’s three things down and more “stuff” moved around or even gone through and gotten rid of for the home.

Win, win, win.

There’s also this really great project I’ve been putting off for years for my grandmother-in-law.  Once again, I have the majority of the components to make it, but the time consuming part of going through photos hasn’t been completed yet.  Hopefully this is the year I get that picture wreath done.

If there’s anything I’ve learned for the past thirty-nine years of my life, it’s that I have way to many projects to do and not enough time.  I’m hoping by writing out my intentions for many of these projects, I’ll be able to finish them, not only to give things away, but to get rid of so much stuff just waiting to be let go of in my home.

May you have a crafty rest-of-the-week!

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Breaking Down My Goals – Family, Part II

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Part II of my ‘Family’ area of goal-tackling is to cover my who, what, when, how, where and why of a, a-hem, ~ frightening ~ goal:

  • Complete 12 Home Improvement Projects of Any Kind

I’m almost positive this goal would not ‘frighten’ most people.

Let me tell you why I’m scared of this:

Last year, I spent the better part of two months painting my craft room and my husband installed DIY shelves after the painting portion was complete.

The results were glorious.Before & After of my craft room

Facebook and Instagram were my choices of writing “notes to my children” instead of this blog last year, thus the process of both painting the room and making the shelves didn’t get documented much.

What I do remember is how awful it was to paint a room by myself.

And on top of that, it forced me to organize my own junk.

Ugh.

I know, I know.  Don’t judge me for having so.many.things.  You would too if you’ve lived 39-years on this planet and was a craft hoarder.

The painting and shelf making happened in the months of May and June.

In October, my husband and I decided to stop putting off a home-improvement project we’ve put off long enough – replacing the carpet in our home.

If you’ve ever changed carpet in your home, then you may be able to relate to what a frickin’ nightmare it is to pack everything up as if you’re moving.

I have no idea how we got through my husband’s office.  He had dust off those shelves from years and years of dusting-neglect.

But – things were boxed up, the carpet guys came in, put the carpet into the house over the course of four days and moved a bunch of boxes back into the rooms they started in.

For the most part, that’s where the boxes stayed until January 1, 2016.  (Okay, maybe December 31st.)

I wish I could write that I threw up my hands in disgust and said “Today’s the day!  I’m going to get through these boxes no matter if the house is on fire!”

But, I never said that.  ….And don’t even have a tiny-bit of issues with it either.

The times I have written in this blog go over the time and time again where I have neglected housework to get the important things done.

Like having babies… and doing crafts with my children… and hanging out with my mom when she was alive.

You know, important stuff like that.

My house is a complete mess right now, and I’m okay with it.

It won’t stay that way and it won’t be because I wrote that this year I’m going to clean it and get through all my stuff.

No….  Papers to Go Through-Area Things to Go Through

It won’t stay that way Papers to Go Through on Counterbecause eventually, year after year, my children grow up, we get closer by getting them to help me do things around the house, and I’m able to get through the years of pile up of stuff, papers, and craft supplies that cover the floors, sit in boxes and basically take over certain areas of the house.

So this year, my goal is to tackle 12 home improvement projects of any kind.

I have a list that my husband and I started, and I’m sure we will add to it throughout the year.

Here’s a few items for you to feel better about yourselves and your probable cleaner-than-me house status.

  • Clean-up and find a better way to organize my youngest son’s closet.
  • Take down, clean and rearrange the stuff above the stove and counters in the kitchen.
  • Get through the past several years of paperwork piled up on counters, bags, and in boxes.  I would estimate that about 90-percent of these piles are children’s artwork and things brought home from school.  I actually have a really good way to organize it now, but there was a time when I didn’t have a good way to organize it, and these piles are just carried over year after year.  I know some can relate….
  • Complete the projects and find homes for the stuff in the boxes in my craft room.
  • Organize the boxes in our bedroom.
  • Get the garage organized more to be able to put one vehicle in it.

And if all that get’s accomplished, my husband wants to consider painting the interior walls of the house.  As much as I’m reluctant to do this, I think the reluctance comes from having to pack up things again.  After the craft room nightmare of not knowing how long the prep was going to take a full-time working mom, we are both on board with hiring someone this time.  I do know that if we do this, I want to start in the kitchen/dining area.

Some of the things I listed may only take anywhere from 15-minutes to a few hours.

That’s not the point.

The point is that I DON’T WANT TO DO IT.  I don’t just want to throw it out either, but it’s so hard to convince myself that I’m spending time on something important.  Yeah, yeah, yeah.  I know it is.

Oh boo-hoo-hoo, right?  Be upset with me or don’t understand me if you will, but hey, at least I’m honest about it.

As always, thanks for reading.

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Breaking Down My Goals – Family, Part I

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Family Christmas Photo 2015This year I plan on being more intentional with planning things out with my family.

Not just my immediate family of adorable mini-me’s that my husband and I have created, but with my brother and his family, with my uncles, aunts, cousins and their families, and with my dad.

The three goals I’m listing in this area are:

  • Plant/maintain 12 different types of plants this year

  • Plan 12 intentional events with the family

  • Complete 12 home improvement projects (of any kind)

As I’m trying to improve the length of each blog post, this post only discusses the top two goals, and I’ll get to the third one in a subsequent post.


How I plan to plant and maintain twelve different types of plants

This is my barely surviving oregano plant.

This is my barely surviving oregano plant.

My dying peppermint plant still has a few green leaves on it!

My dying peppermint plant still has a few green leaves on it!

This is my dill (herb) plant. It was dying inside the house and seems to be thriving outside!

This is my dill (herb) plant. It was dying inside the house and seems to be thriving outside!

This is our five year old blackberry bush.

This is our five year old blackberry bush.

The strawberry patch is in full swing in our raised garden.

The strawberry patch is in full swing in our raised garden.

This is my pot of my mother's daffodil bulbs.

This is my pot of my mother’s daffodil bulbs.

This photo was taken in January 2016 of my blueberry bush. It's the one in the center of the photo with the remaining red leaves.

This photo was taken in January 2016 of my blueberry bush. It’s the one in the center of the photo with the remaining red leaves.

There have been many plants come and go into my home and garden.

You can see the photos I’ve placed in this post show various stages of plants, both edible and ornamental.

One of my favorite things to grow however is aloe vera. Aloe Vera succulents

My Aloe plants have thrived at this home for over ten years.  I hope to eventually turn them into a small side business for my oldest, who has asked in the past, but not followed through, on how to make money selling things.  I set up an Etsy shop that I haven’t opened, mainly out of fear that I won’t meet customer expectations.  I don’t have “extra free time” to run an Etsy shop.

My son however, might have that time.  It’s just getting him to commit to doing it with me!

But I digress.

This year, I really want to get to know my plants better.  I’ve been able to grow them and keep them alive, but I really don’t “know” how to take care of my plants.  This is really what the “maintaining” part of my goal is about.

In this post alone, I show eight of my garden plants.

My husband and I have agreed that this year, we’re going to add pumpkins and zucchini, and grow tomato plants again this year.

My indoor plants include Easter lily’s and common house plants, all of which I don’t even know the name of, but I will find them out this year!  All in all, I think I’ll have well over twelve different types of garden/house plants that I both plant and maintain this year.  I can’t believe I’ve never tried adding up the different types until now.

How I want to plan twelve intentional events with the family

If you didn’t already know (or for some reason couldn’t tell) – I’m pretty obsessive-compulsive about having things scheduled out.  In my defense, my husband is too.

In an original discussion we had talking about goals for the year, we wrote down a few important things we want to do with our three children.

One of the things that I’m going to try to do this year is put myself out there for my brother and his family.  His triplets are older now and I have been able to take care of all three of them plus my three in the past, so hopefully my brother and his wife can get a much-needed break.

The last time the triplets came to visit was memorable!

The last time the triplets came to visit was memorable!

I also hope that I can help organize a few more of my extended families functions too.

We have plans to go see an uncle, aunt and their children in Oregon, and help organize an event or two with my nearby cousins and their families.

Our children have been begging us to go to the snow this year, so we’re going to try to plan that first.  I’ll keep you posted on how we do!

Stay tuned for the next blog post on another ‘Family’ oriented goal, trying to complete twelve home improvement projects!

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Breaking Down My Goals – Spiritual

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When I first wrote out my twelve goals of twelve this year, I had no idea how I was going to accomplish some of it.

This goal is the one I should be tackling first as there is nothing more important than serving the Lord and how to serve Him better, yet I admit that I have a hard time “scheduling” a devotional time.

This post goes over my plan to devote time to prayer.

A gift never used for the greatest gifts given to meMy first child was born in 2005, shortly after the date of this note that was written in the book, “The Power of a Praying Parent” by Stormie Omartian.

This book was a gift, and as many times of life happen, I didn’t open the book to read it (or I don’t recall opening it) until January 2016 – just over ten years after receiving it.

Judge me if you will, but now is the time.

My goal this year in this “category” is to pray twelve intentional prayers.

By just skimming the contents of this book, it appears there are at least 31.

As this book is on my list of books to read this year, I will be selecting twelve of the prayers, or perhaps fewer, to write out and read over again and again.

I plan on trying to schedule my devotional time during my lunch hours at least two times a week.  I also want to get into a better habit of reading on Sunday nights, and this book will be one of the first on that list.

My goal will be met on a tangible basis by intentionally writing out twelve prayers in a notebook to look over, and write notes on if those prayers get answered, and if not, know that it’s all in God’s timing anyway.

I am in constant prayer for my children’s safety, health and overall well being, but I know I could be both praying more for them, and for more specific things that so many others ask for, when they reach out to ask for prayer.

That’s what I intend to accomplish this year.

Do you have any spiritual goals you’re working on?  Any devotionals that seem to be calling your name for the year?

I would love to know.

Thanks for reading as always,

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Breaking Down my New Year Goals-Physical

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2016 Started off Right!I have extremely ambitious goals for 2016.

You wouldn’t think I was ambitious as 2016 came into our home at 9 PM Pacific Time on December 31, 2015.

Our kids were in bed before 9:30, and I went to sleep before 10:30 PM.

This is what it’s like in my late thirties baby!

But….

The first thing I did on January 1, 2016 after I woke up and got ready was go for a run.

Overall Goal: Intentional Living

See the post about my goals here: Goals for 2016 – My Year of Twelves

This is the second post about how I intend on tackling my goals.  The first post was for my intellectual goals.

So my pattern for describing how I plan on tackling my goals for the year are the classic formula of who, what, when, where, how, and why, but not described in that order.

My What –

Out of the twelve goals I set for this year, my physical ones include:

  • Run 12 – miles a week until the half-marathon.  Then walk/run 12-miles a week thereafter.

  • Lose 12 pounds.

  • Drink 12 cups of water a day.

My How, Where and When –

  • Exercising two or three times a week at home using Amazon Prime videos or You Tube Videos.

  • Run at least three times a week around my home or on the trail nearby my home.

  • Losing weight while I run will be the bonus.

  • Set a reminder four times a day to remind me to drink my water.

Currently, I run and exercise in the evenings after my children go to sleep, when I wasn’t at the personal trainer.

Backstory – I had a personal trainer for the past two years, and it worked well because I was able to go right after work and come home early enough to feel like I got time to be with my children after 5 PM.

With my new position, I have to work 8 to 5.  (Recall ~or know ~ that this position was forced upon me.)

The plan now is to PERHAPS run in the morning (especially when it gets warmer) and exercise in the evening.

Other than continuing to eat low-carb as my “new normal” eating habits, I don’t plan on changing my diet.  I learned so much over the past year about eating healthy, that the only major change is that I will be running on a regular basis.

As far as the water is concerned, I only plan on setting my timer for the first two months of the year.  I’ve already put them into my IPhone, for 9 AM, 11 AM, 2 PM and 5 PM.  It’s for every day.

The last thing I want to tell you about is that I joined a virtual community called Run the Edge.  My husband and I are participating in a challenge called 2016 miles in 2016.  The idea is to run 2016 miles in 2016.  It sounds impossible, but you can have a team or in my case, my husband and I both joined.  The idea is to have a total of five miles a day.  They also are totally okay if you count those miles as walking miles.  I don’t plan on running everyday!

I’ll keep you posted on how we do throughout the year!

My Who & Why –

My husband wants to go with me on some of my runs.  He’s done this before and when my amazing mom-in-law is able to take care of the kids, it’s almost like a mini-date!  It’s been so fun.

Other than the sometimes-I-get-to-hang-out-with-my-husband, I have an additional reason of why taking care of myself is going to be a key component in 2016. In 2015, my mother passed away from diabetic complications, including heart disease. I know that her diseases were preventable, or at least, could have been better maintained.

My real reason “why” these goals are so important to me are because I can control what I eat, how and when I exercise and overall, know that I did my best to show my children that they were important enough to me to take care of myself.

These could potentially be some tough words for some people to read.

I get that.

I have no magic formula to convince you to make a few changes.  But I do want you to know that you are loved, and you do have control over some things, including how you take care of yourself.

Peace to you this week and stay tuned for how I’m going to tackle the next goal – Spiritual.

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Breaking Down My Goals – Intellectual

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Simply put, I am doing many of my goals for 2016 as realistically as possible.

If you read my first post of the year, about how I’m calling this My Year of Twelves, you might have thought to yourself that it’s impossible.

No one can do that many things.

Well, that just tells me that you don’t know me personally.

And that’s okay.

I thank you for finding and reading this blog.

Out of all the goals I set for myself, I really think the hardest will still be to read 12 books this year.

I read a total of eleven last year, and I’m barely imagining to exceed that number by one. Heh.

What I think might be the most interesting piece of this equation is how I find myself wanting to strive in this area, but not finding the time to do it.

Well ~ we’ll see what the new year brings.  This year I’ve declared that it will be “Intentional” and I’m not going to back down.

The question remains to be answered: Who, what, when, how, where and why is the goal to read 12 books this year going to be accomplished?

My Who, What, When & Where –

The following books are currently in my library and I hope to either start or finish them.  Maybe this list is a little short, but I intend on making the best of the things I’ve got this year, which includes not purchasing more books until I’ve read these listed! 2016 Books

  • With my oldest son, I am currently reading the Lord of the Rings Series by J.R.R. Tolkien.  The three books are titled “The Fellowship of the Ring,” “The Two Towers,” and “The Return of the King.” (We read “The Hobbit” last year and it was phenomenal.)
  • Last year, I bought a book called “Why Did Jesus, Moses, the Buddha, and Mohammed Cross the Road?” by Brian D. McLaren that our church pastor recommended.  I started it, but admit-tingly, the language is not easy to follow for me and I only got to chapter seven.  (Does everyone know what the word “ecumenical” means? Page 37….)  Anyway, I plan on finishing this book this year.
  • I inherited two books from my mother that I am now ready to read this year.  One is “Sit, Walk, Stand” by Watchman Nee, and the other is “What If Your Blessings Come Through Raindrops” by Laura Story.
  • A book that got recommended to me by a co-worker is by Gerald Durrell, called “My Family and Other Animals” to read with my children. The title is just intriguing and I hope it’s as good as she says it is.  Hopefully I’ll get to it after the Lord of the Rings series, or use it as a small reprieve between the Lord of the Rings books.
  • I’ve had a book on my shelf for a while that I literally had to wipe the dust off called “The Power of a Praying Parent” by Susie Omartian.  This is a book that will also cross-over into my personal Spiritual Goal Challenge as I intend on reading through all of it and doing the prayers in the book.
  • The 4-Hour Workweek” by Timothy Ferriss was recommended by my personal trainer and I’m all over learning new ideas to get things done more efficiently.
  • The last book shown in the photo and on my list to read this year is “The Lando Calrissian Adventures” by L. Neil Smith.  I started this book many years ago and never finished it.  As a Star Wars fanatic, I love the world created between the time when there wasn’t any movies made after Return of the Jedi.  I’ve read several books and have two more lined up in my library if I get through this one this year.
  • The first book I might actually complete this year is by Roald Dahl, called “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.” I purchased a Roald Dahl Collection Boxed Set last year, and this will be the second book we complete as I read it aloud to my family on a weekly basis.

If I’m able to get through the above books, I will have read a total of eleven.
I have a couple stand-by Star Wars books that I could delve into, but I also have a list a mile long of books I want to purchase and read when I can.

My How & Why –

I enjoy reading.

The hardest part for me is scheduling it “in-between” things.

One of the things that I recall from my childhood was my mother reading books aloud to my brother and I.  My mother read aloud to my brother well into the seventh and eighth grades, and I remember being “too cool” to listen to my mother reading as I was already a freshman or sophomore in high school.

As much as I regret not sitting by her as she read to my brother, she taught me the importance of reading and how valuable the time spent with my children will be to them after they grow up.

I use my children as an excuse now to read books that I didn’t get to read when I was younger.  This was the case with the Narnia series last year, and will be the case for the Lord of the Rings Series I hope to finish this year.

I also like to improve myself.  I like having control of things and it seems that while I realize the more I try to have control on things, the less control I actually have, there are areas of my life that can be controlled – such as diet, exercise, water consumption, and the knowledge I choose to incorporate into my life.  That last item is where reading really comes in.

Out of the eleven books I listed above, five of them are non-fiction.  I’m excited about that!  Three of them are listed as “devotional” but none-the-less, they are about self-improvement, and that’s the purpose of reading them in my case.

I’ll get those devotional books read, sometime, and somewhere.  It will be intentional, that’s for sure.

Do you have any books that are on your must-read list this year?  I’d love to know about it if you do!

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Goals for 2016 – My year of Twelve’s

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2016 Goals - My Year of 12'sI know, I know, you’re thinking “Twelve’s? What’s that all about?  It’s two-thousand and SIXTEEN!”

It just hit me one day in late December.

I announced to myself in my head “This year I’m going to do 12 of each thing!

“What does that mean exactly?” I had to ask myself.


Last year, I tried to read twelve books throughout the year.  I only got to eleven but that “12” number really stuck with me.

I remember when I first met my husband – he and I couldn’t believe that our favorite number was 12. Meaning, individually, but shared.  (You know, those dumb little things you talk about when you’re 18-years old and dating.)

One could say that the number twelve just has meaning to me.

There’s 12-months in a year, so why not set up twelve tangible goals?

I based this list off of a prompt from Rachel Cruze’s website: Seven Areas to Focus your Goals.

One night in late December, my husband and I sat down together after the kids went to bed and brainstormed our yearly goals.  Truth be told – up to that point in our marriage, I don’t think we’ve ever done this.  Sure we talked about things we wanted in life, but we never came up with goals.

We talked about everything from the garden, the children, financial goals, certain areas of life that are more important than other and certain areas of life that need to take priority.  It was awesome.

Out of that brainstorming session, I gathered my thoughts into the groups listed on Rachel Cruze’s site.

  1. Intellectual
  2. Physical
  3. Spiritual
  4. Family
  5. Social
  6. Career
  7. Financially

DeAndrasCrafts Goals for 2016

  • Read 12 books this year.

  • Run 12 – miles a week until the half-marathon.  Then walk/run 12-miles a week thereafter.

  • Lose 12 pounds.

  • Publish 12 blog posts a month.

  • Plant/maintain 12 different types of plants this year.

  • Drink 12 cups of water a day.

  • Save $12,000 this year.

  • Plan 12 intentional events with the family.

  • Write out 12 prayers based on the bible.

  • Tackle 12 crocheting projects, either started or new.

  • Create 12 handmade gifts.

  • Complete 12 home improvement projects (of any kind.)

The key to this list for me is to remember that small accomplishments are big ones.  For example: Twelve cups of water a day may not seem difficult, but I don’t track my intake of water.  I want to change that habit and KNOW how much water I’ve consumed in a day.

Over the course of the next month, I’ll be writing about HOW I intend on tackling this list.  My-actual-doing-things.

It sounds impossible, I know!  But this year, I’m making things Intentional, and for the purpose of giving the Lord all the glory for the talents and gifts he’s given me.

I hope you’ve come up with your list of goals.  It’s not too late to start.  Whenever you read this.

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