I know, I know… it’s already the first week of February and I’m just finally getting around to sharing my 2015 goals.
I wasn’t being lazy or indecisive with my goals — I promise. There are actually a few different reasons I have purposely waited a full month to share my goals here on the blog. One of the main reasons is because there are hundreds and thousands of goal-setting posts that flood the blogosphere at the beginning of January… and I just didn’t want to get lost in the shuffle.
Yes, I do think it’s great to set goals and to keep yourself accountable by blogging about them (or telling others about them), but in my opinion, it doesn’t necessarily have to be when we switch the calendar over to a new year.
As I’ve mentioned before, I do not reserve goal setting for the end of the year (or the first week of January). It’s true that I do often set a handful of larger year-long goals towards the beginning of the year. But I set new smaller goals for myself every month, every week, and even every day.
Just with everything in life, goal setting is not a once-and-done sort of activity. We must think about the goals we’d like to achieve, question the best method to go about reaching those goals, and then actively work towards them for days, weeks, months, and even years.
So… now that we’re a full month into the new year, how many of you are still actively working towards your goals?
If you can confidently say “YES, I’ve been taking baby steps to reach those goals!”, then I say, “Way to go! Keep it up!”
If you just realized that you’ve already let several of your 2015 goals slip through the cracks, don’t stress about it. I’m honestly not trying to make you feel bad. However, I would encourage you to take a few minutes today to really question if your current goals are still things you’d like to be working towards, if you need to tweak them a bit, or if you need to scratch them for now and come back to them later.
First, a recap of my 2014 goals.
I think part of setting new goals is looking back on your previous goals and evaluating how you did… so I guess, before I share my 2015 goals with you, I should share the final update on my 2014 goals.
To save time and space, you can read ALL about my 2014 goals in this post.
And you’ll find my mid-year 2014 goals update in this post.
Now that we’ve totally closed the books on 2014, I can say that I’m extremely happy with how many of my goals I completely crossed off my list. In fact, I believe we met every goal except parts of 2 different goals.
1. We did finally install our new front door — but never got around to installing the new front window. However, I will say, the window was just a “want” that we’ll get eventually. The door was a necessity!
2. We did finish our fabulous mud room addition project (and wow, we are loving that extra space!) However, we ran out of time and energy to get started on the bathroom and laundry room projects. But again, I will say that a new mudroom was much more important than an updated bathroom or laundry room. Plus, part of the reason we ran out of time and energy was because we tore down our old deck and added a new, MUCH larger deck… which was a project that didn’t even make our 2014 goals list.
Other than those two projects, we successfully accomplished all our other 2014 goals — which in my opinion is really great. I’m extremely happy with how the year turned out and definitely don’t feel defeated by a couple house projects still lingering on our list!
Looking ahead to 2015…
While the list below is in no way completely exhaustive, it is a good list of some goals I feel very motivated to work towards this year. Also, I should mention that these are only the larger goals I have. There are several other smaller goals I’m constantly working at, but it just felt like too much chatter to mention every one of them in this post!
1. Continue with my 2 healthier habits.
I’ve already shared a bit about the 2 healthier habits I’ve initiated for myself this year (read all the details in this post).
So far, it’s been very easy to make a couple SMALL tweaks to my diet, and I honestly haven’t noticed any change to my grocery bill (which I thought might go up a bit).
2. Stay up-to-date with my digital photos books.
I realize this might sound like a really silly goal to some of you — but since I almost never print any pictures to display in our house, and since photo clutter is one of my most hated forms of clutter, my digital photo books are really important to me.
I know how how overwhelming photo clutter is for so many people, how hard it is for me to get back on track if I let a few months go without working on them, and how easy it is for me to say “I’ll do it later”; so my goal this past year, and again for 2015, is to stay completely up-to-date with my books.
This means, doing 1 month at a time on the first day of the following month, and not making any excuses. I did it faithfully last year without missing even one month, and it made the whole process much faster and more enjoyable. It also allowed me to order our 2014 book just days after the new year!
I also already finished and ordered Nora’s 2014 book — and Simon’s book will be ordered after his birthday.
1. Survive our first family vacation!
We’ll all be flying to Florida in a couple months — and although I know we will enjoy ourselves, I am a bit leery of how flying with 2 little kids with go.
At first I thought Nora would be the biggest challenge with her sensitivity to loud noises (and who knows, she might be). But lately, Simon has been so fidgety that I’m worried he will be crazy antsy and fussy for the entire flight. He is not a cuddly baby, but since he’s so young, he’ll need to be sitting on one of our laps the entire flight — and I just don’t see that going well. He also has no interest in TV or movies so that’s not an option either.
I know this is a tiny issue for you world travelers out there, but keep in mind I absolutely HATE to travel! So doing it with 2 small children makes it 100 times worse! That said, I’m just reminding myself how much fun we’ll have once we get there and trying to soak up some of Nora’s enthusiasm 🙂 Oh, and I should mention, my parents will be there with us, so we’ll have help. And also, we will not be stepping foot anywhere remotely close to Disney — don’t worry!
2. Adjust to life with baby #3.
I’m honestly not really sure if I can make this a goal — because it’s not really measurable or negotiable. We WILL adjust to life with another baby one way or another. It might not be pretty or enjoyable, but it will happen 🙂
That said, maybe my goal should be to make the transition to a family of 5 as simple and as enjoyable as possible.
Nora is already so excited and obviously, Simon has no idea what’s going on. We haven’t decided if Nora and Simon will share a room for now, if we’ll keep the baby in our room for a while, or if we’ll renovate another bedroom upstairs so Simon and Nora can both be upstairs in separate rooms. So that’s something we need to work through in the next 5 months as well.
As I mentioned in this post a couple weeks ago, we’re in a REALLY good place right now with a daily schedule that seems to work fabulously for everyone (including 3 free hours for Dave and I every night!) I’m a little nervous for how that will all change in a few months… but at least Dave will be home from school for the first couple months of this baby’s life!
Just an FYI, I’m 19 weeks along now — this picture was for our Christmas card.
1. Get a new roof.
Yes, you read that right. BOOOOO!
Our current roof is only about 10 years old and most is in fabulous condition. We had absolutely no intentions of replacing it for at least another 10 years or more. However, we now have at least 2 different areas of the roof that are leaking (and leaking a considerable amount) when snow and ice build up on our roof.
We had a local roofing company (who we are distantly related to) come out and look at it, and apparently, when the previous homeowners replaced the roof, all the peaks and valleys were done incorrectly. Which is why only 10 year later, we need to replace it.
This is obviously a large chunk of change that we were NOT planning to spend this year, but it needs to be taken care of ASAP after the snow melts — and then we’ll need to do some restoration work inside the house as well (where the water dripped in and caused damage).
2. Renovate the bathroom off the kitchen.
We have been planning to renovate this bathroom for some time now, but just recently decided that with another baby on the way, we would REALLY like to get a bathtub in our house (currently, Nora takes showers and Simon takes baths in our sink).
So, the plan is to get started with this in the next week or so, and HOPEFULLY be finished by Spring Break. Of course, I’ll keep you posted with lots of pictures and updates.
3. More tree removal and more landscaping.
Last year, we had a bunch of trees cut down, and about 1 week after that, we had 2 more trees start showing signs of stress and decay. They both eventually ended up dying, so we have those 2 trees and a few others to remove this year. We hire this out, so it’s more of an expense than it is a time commitment, but once these trees are removed, we can get to work on a nicer vegetable garden area and finish the last couple areas of landscaping.
Dave and I are both very excited to put the finishing touches on our yard this year (not that it’s ever fully finished) and our goal is to have all the yardwork done by the end of June (a.k.a. before the baby arrives!)
This is the bathroom we’re planning to renovate. See our entire house tour here.
1. Rework our budget accordingly.
As you can imagine, with an unexpected roof project and another new baby on the way, Dave and I did sit down and question some of our financial goals.
For one thing, we’re not exactly sure how expensive the roof is going to be. We have a quote for the actual roof removal and installation; however, we don’t know how much water damage might potentially be under the shingles, if we’ll need to replace the roof boards, insulation, etc. And we’re also not sure how much it’s going to cost to repair the inside drywall where the water leaked in.
We will contact our insurance company, but based on our policy, this won’t be covered as the current roof wasn’t properly installed in the first place (which was unfortunately out of our control, but you know how insurance companies work!)
Secondly, with the new baby coming in early July, I’ve already thought about how this might affect my work. On one hand, I know that the busier I am, the more I accomplish. But on the other hand, I know that 3 kids, ages 3 and under will be a lot to handle each day — let alone working a full-time job from home on top of that all. At this point, I don’t intend to cut back, but if I do decide I need to or want to, that will most definitely affect our incoming cash flow to some degree.
2. Fully fund our retirement accounts.
This goal will probably be on our list for a very long time because it’s what we hope to do every single year until we retire.
And since we automate all our savings and investing, it’s almost a given that we will be able to reach this goal.
3. Pay off half our existing mortgage.
Last year, our goal was to pay off 1/3 of our existing mortgage, and we did that. So this year, our goal is to pay off half — with the remaining half paid off the following year.
This might sound crazy and ridiculous, but keep in mind, we got a great deal on our house, we live in a lower-cost-of-living area, and it has been our goal since we first got married to have our house fully paid off (and be 100% debt free) before our first child enters Kindergarten.
Nora will start Kindergarten in the fall of 2017, so we still have over 2.5 years to pay off our mortgage and meet this long-standing goal. We are actually hoping to have our mortgage paid off in 2 years, but we appreciate those extra 6-8 months as we don’t know for sure what the rest of 2015 will have in store for us financially (as I mentioned above.)
While we still want to aggressively pursue this goal, we also don’t want to be dumb about it and pay off our extremely low interest rate mortgage (2.4%) but leave ourselves hurting for cash later if we have another home emergency, medical bills, or decide we’d like to buy a minivan. So while we intend to continue pushing towards this goal, we are leaving a little “wiggle room” for ourselves, just in case the roof or the baby or my work schedule change our plan significantly.
1. Figure out what I want to do with social media.
In case you haven’t noticed, Facebook is being a real boob lately. Starting on January 1, they decided that unless businesses were willing to pay a pretty penny to “promote” their posts, no one was going to see them.
So literally, on January 1, my Facebook page took a huge hit and almost no one is seeing anything I post anymore. It’s a big bummer since I love using Facebook to interact with all of you — and I know it’s frustrating for many of you too because you’ve been emailing me wondering why you aren’t getting my Facebook updates anymore.
I’ve been told I should switch my efforts to Instagram and Pinterest, but I really don’t feel like “learning” anything new right now and I really do love using and interacting with Facebook.
Hence, my goal to figure out my next social media move. That said, if you do follow me on Facebook, I would LOVE it if you went directly to my page and started “liking” and commenting on a bunch of posts so Facebook knows you want to see my stuff. Also, feel free to add my page to your “favorites” so you see it more often!
2. Explore the idea of a weekly newsletter.
WAY back at the beginning of my blogging career, I sent out a monthly e-newsletter. I had several email subscribers, but it started to feel redundant (and it was just one more thing I had to do). So I quit.
However, I’ve been contemplating the idea of starting up a free weekly newsletter that would go out on Saturday mornings (when I don’t normally write a blog post) and contain additional information, tips, and ideas — more than what you could find on my blog.
Of course, I would still share links and summaries of that week’s blog posts. But I thought it might be fun to also share our weekly meal plan, some pictures of the kids and different activities we did that week, a couple “extra tips”, and maybe even a few links to various posts and articles I read that week and wanted to share.
The newsletter would be completely free and would be via email subscription… but I’m just not exactly sure I’m ready to dive in!
It would involve a monthly fee on my part to pay for the email service, and then of course, the time involved in writing one more thing to send out each week. I’ve contemplated writing one less post and then adding in the newsletter — but I don’t exactly love that idea right now.
I’d honestly like to know what you guys think on this one… do you think a free weekly newsletter would be beneficial and enjoyable to read — or just one more thing to clutter up your Inbox?
Read more about a day in my life, working from home and raising a family.
WHEW… OK, I think that’s it for now.
Sorry, this was a really long post — but I have been excited to share some of my 2015 goals with you for a whole month already, and I’m sure I’ll be sharing more about many of these goals as the months go by!
I hope you are happily working towards your 2015 goals… but if you’ve fallen off the wagon a bit, just hop back on and start where you left off.