This is a great time of year to evaluate your life, home, family, job, schedule, etc. — take note of what’s working, what’s not, what you’re doing well, and what you’d like to change.
Today, I’m sharing a few small changes I want to make in the coming year… as well as the FREE downloadable Habit Tracker that helps me stick with my goals and habits!
Dave and I love thinking and dreaming about the future — I might even consider us “goal-setting junkies” because we discuss our goals and dreams constantly throughout the year.
Honestly, our 2020 goals didn’t exactly pan out how we expected (we fared better in some areas and worse in others) but that won’t stop us from pushing forward towards a variety of small and large goals for our family, our finances, our home, etc. in the coming months.
I won’t bore you with all our goals and dreams today… but I am excited to share a few things I’m working towards this year.
My personal goals for 2021 are to:
- Develop 3 new “healthier habits”
- Pursue more hobbies for my own enjoyment
Let me unpack these a bit more…
GOAL = DEVELOP 3 HEALTHIER HABITS
Every year, I set at least one new “healthier habit” for myself — things like remembering to floss, drinking more water, eating fewer processed foods, packing low-waste lunches, getting more rest, etc., etc. (read my past habits here).
This year, I’m choosing 3 — but in all honesty, I started 2 of them this past fall, so they aren’t all “new” changes.
1. Personal devotions every morning:
I’ve been so faithful with the kids’ daily devotions, and I’m usually involved in some type of Bible Study but I haven’t always been as faithful with personal devotionals. Now that I have more time in the mornings, this is at the top of my 2021 priorities.
I’ve been using Sarah Young’s Jesus Calling daily devotional for the last 6 months, and I plan to continue until it’s finished (it’s a year-long study).
Each day’s “lesson” is very short, but there is always a message that sticks with me throughout the day.
2. Read the Bible every day:
Along with personal devotions, Dave and I plan to read the entire Bible in 2021, using this printable schedule. It’s something we’ve both wanted to do, but never formally made a plan to do (until now.)
We actually started working towards this goal back in November, so we’re several weeks in already and still going strong!
We also recently subscribed to the Dwell App — which is AMAZING!!!!!
For right around $30 for the entire year, you can have the Bible read to you — in different voices, with different music in the background, at different speeds, and all sorts of other customizations. There’s even a sleep timer if you want to listen while you drift off to sleep.
NOTE: my favorite voice is “David” with the piano/cello music in the background. 🥰
I’m currently listening to the daily Bible passage prior to reading them and it has made such a huge difference in my comprehension.
The Dwell App is also great for the car — we can listen to the kids’ favorite Bible stories as we drive (the Joseph stories have been on repeat for weeks around here!)
3. Eat more nutritious snacks:
I’m a huge snacker, and while I don’t want to eliminate snacks from my routine, I would like to curb my sugar cravings a bit in lieu of more nutritious options.
I hope to develop the habit of snacking on raw fruits and veggies, cheese, plain yogurt, or whole-grain toast instead of cookies… and more cookies!
Some of the daily habits I plan to continue this year are:
- Waking up between 4:00 and 4:30 am every weekday.
- Drinking at least 100 ounces of water every day.
- Daily stretching and breathing exercises for my Diastasis Recti and back pain (this is the program I’ve used since July).
- Reading to our children every day.
- Reading for my own personal enjoyment every day.
- Getting outside for at least a few minutes each day.
- MAJORLY limiting my time on social media (and on my phone in general).
- Grinding my own flour + cooking with whole grains (this is more like a fun hobby now!)
- Daily journaling.
- Flossing once per day (why is this still so hard for me to do?!)
- Getting to bed before 10 pm every weeknight.
*Please know that it has taken me YEARS to develop the habits above — adding just one or two each year. Start small — don’t let yourself get overwhelmed!
GOAL = PURSUE SEVERAL NEW HOBBIES
Over the last 6-8 months, since I scaled back on work and basically gave up social media, I have pursued many different hands-on hobbies — my life feels so much richer as a result.
Studies show that one of the best ways to give up a bad habit (like mindlessly scrolling social media or checking your phone 827 times a day) is to fill your time AND, specifically, your hands with something else.
If you’ve tried unsuccessfully to cut back on your social media usage, to stop being tethered to your phone, or to stay away from every bit of news that comes out each day, hands-on hobbies might a simple trick to help you kick those bad habits for good!
Here are the hobbies I’ve chosen to pursue in the coming year…
I should quickly mention that these hobbies are solely for my own enjoyment.
There’s no pressure for me to reach a certain level of expertise by any designated time frame. If I decide one or more of them aren’t for me, I’ll have no shame dropping them part-way through the year.
I’ve played the piano since elementary school, but I haven’t played regularly since college… so a few months ago, I decided to start playing the piano every single day.
Sometimes, it’s just a few scales or technique exercises, other times I play through various Hymns, Christmas favorites, or old performance pieces from all my years of lessons.
2. Hand Lettering
I don’t have the world’s worst handwriting, but “hand lettering” and even calligraphy is something I’ve been interested in since high school.
So, I’m taking an online class and I’ve noticed a huge difference already.
I don’t necessarily work on a specific “lesson” every day — but I DO journal every day, so I try to focus on my penmanship, implementing the various techniques I learn in my daily writing.
3. More Sourdough
Yup, I’m still grinding all my own whole grains (it’s been 2 years now!) and my sourdough starter is alive and well after over 18 months.
I’ve always had a love-hate relationship with my sourdough starter (wanting to throw it in the trash more than once). But we just love the taste of sourdough pancakes, English muffins, waffles, crépes, and more.
Truthfully, I use my sourdough starter multiple times every week, and I love the fact that it forces me to plan ahead even more than normal in order to allow time for fermentation.
Plus, the daily work to keep my starter “alive” has become a fond post-dinner routine for me.
4. Embroidering & Knitting
I’ve known how to knit and embroider since middle school, but I’m hoping to resurrect both of these fabulous at-home hands-on hobbies this year!
As a bonus, Nora says she wants to learn with me. 🥰
BONUS: Get free (and almost free) craft lessons:
I recently got a coupon code for a full-year membership at Craftsy.com for only $5 (normally $75)!!
Yes, that’s right, a full year’s worth of classes, lessons, tutorials, printables, and tips for almost any type of hands-on hobby you can think of, for only $5.
I have no idea how long the coupon code is good for (I don’t get any kick-back for sharing) but here’s the code that worked for me: a24219
NOTE: Craftsy also has a bunch of free courses.
5. Physical Fitness
I’ve always been very active on a day-to-day basis, so I honestly never felt the need to do any formal exercise. However, my chiropractor changed my thoughts over the summer.
She mentioned that even people who are not overweight should still exercise regularly to reduce “visceral fat”, or the fat around our internal organs — and to facilitate good heart health.
After thinking more about what my chiropractor said, I realized my health is something I value enough to make physical fitness a priority this year.
- I always do the daily breathing exercises through my Every Woman membership each morning (this has helped to completely close my Diastasis Recti!)
- I usually do some type of stretching every evening
- I’ve been jogging a few times per week since mid-summer
- When I don’t jog, I do some type of online workout at home (see below)
FREE ONLINE RESOURCES:
Did you notice the “daily” theme of all my goals, habits, and hobbies?
I am (and always have been) a huge advocate for smaller changes on a DAILY basis, versus huge audatious goals over a longer time period.
I have witnessed so many positive changes in my life, my marriage, my parenting, my home, my business, my faith journey, and my body due to small daily habits I continually work at day after day, week after week, month after month.
RELATED READING: How a Decade of Small Daily Habits Transformed My Life
“Big” and “overwhelming” just don’t work for me — so small daily habits are what I must do if I ever want to accomplish anything.
Can you relate!?
It makes sense if you think about it…
Small is less overwhelming. Also, doing something small on a daily basis will create a new habit faster due to more-frequent repetition.
For example: “making the bed every morning” is a much easier habit to develop than “keeping the entire house clean all month long”. And “forgoing a sweet treat after lunch each day” is much more sustainable than “giving up all sugar for the month”.
If you’ve struggled with following through on large goals and long-time commitments, I highly encourage you to break it down and start with one small piece of the goal you can practice consistently on a daily basis.
And if you need a little extra accountability this year, use my free monthly habit tracker.
I created a vertical and horizontal layout — and both are customizable so you may add your own goals/habits, print, and refer to it daily.
I’ve used this spreadsheet for years. It’s nothing fancy, but it’s the perfect visual to help me see where I’m following through and where I’m falling short each month.
Since it’s completely editable, you can easily swap out new/different goals and habits each month.
Download My Free Habit Tracker Now!
Simply enter your email address below and I’ll email you both downloads (horizontal and vertical layouts) as well as a short video to help you avoid one of the biggest goal-setting ‘mistakes’ I see happen all the time. (It has probably sabotaged at least a few of your goals over the years!)
Blessings to you as you strive to create a more intentional home and life for yourself and your family.