I'm a wife to my "Mr. Right". A momma of five. A maker of slow food and simple living. A collector of memories, a keeper of books, and a champion for books that make memories. An addict who likes my half-and-half with a splash of coffee. A fractured pot transformed by the One Who makes broken things beautiful. I heart homeschooling, brake for libraries, and am glad you're here with me on the journey! Be sure to subscribe to my monthly newsletter. Or, follow along with Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Google +, Youtube, or Pinterest.

Personal Goals 2016

Personal Goals 2016

"So long, clutter. I'm leaving you behind in 2014. You'll get no invite to 2015. Please exit stage left. Chin up. I'm sending you off with a few of your narcissistic friends. Namely, those extra 10 pounds I've been lugging around since baby boy, and staying up until too-late-o'clock each night."

That was my anthem at the close of 2014 last year.  In addition, I had hopes of helping my husband launch Truth Guards, deliver more meals to folks in transition, return to journaling, and finish two quilts.

And the final verdict?

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Check, check, and well...almost check. With the exception of finishing the two quilts, I feel like I successfully met all the goals I had laid out for myself.

And now I'm turning the page. It's time to look ahead once again.

I'm not much of a resolution setter. Resolutions seem to always be shadowed by failure. I prefer to set goals for myself. Goals bring about self-reflection and an inherent sense of focus. I'm more concerned with establishing new routines and behaviors than crossing a finish line. New starts are not about transformations but about potential.

Perhaps it is just semantics.
But GOALS just seem more manageable. That way, come February when I'm doing the two-steps-forward-and-one-step-back dance with all my lofty plans, I can still look ahead to my goals knowing that small forward motion is better than no motion at all.

Personal Goals 2016

For the last few months, I've been really inspired with the example of growth that Christ left us in Scripture. 

Luke 2:52b reminds us that 
"...Jesus increased in wisdom and in stature and in favor with God and man." ESV
Each year, Christ grew in four main personal areas. As a Christ-follower, I can't think of a better plan for my own goals than to follow those laid out in the life of my Lord.

To that end, next December, I hope to be able to look back at 2016 and see that I am not the same person in the following areas as when I started in January.

Personal Goals 2016

In wisdom {mental knowledge}

Use my fringe hours more wisely

While a work-at-home schedule is a bit all-the-plates-in-the-air-at-the-same-time-all-the-time-ish, there are certainly fringe moments here and there that can be used for my own good pleasure...to crochet, to read, to write, to...whatever. I want to be more purposeful this year to start my day on the right foot so that I can get the most bang for my buck...the most available fringe.

I'm currently in the middle of Crystal Paine's Make Over Your Mornings course and am really challenged with the idea of filling my jar with the biggest rocks first. In other words, avoiding the tyranny of the urgent and focusing my best working hours on the most important, most meaningful things. From there, I should have way more fringe moments available for all the extras. I'm not completely through with the program yet, but it has, so far, been a nice jab-in-the-arm-reminder to get refocused for 2016.

Cull my reader musings more intentionally with my Common Place Book

I've used a Common Place book for years. It's been a journal of sorts where I can jot down any quotations, musings, or thoughts that really stand out to me as I read. Sadly, since I bring the current book I'm reading wherever I go, but don't always lug my Common Place book around too, I often end up writing quotations or passages onto scraps of paper with hopes of transferring them to my CP book later. Later rarely comes and the bits and pieces of my notes get lost and forgotten.

This year for Christmas, The Hubs bought me this beautiful leather journal to replace the Target cheap-a-roo I had been using as a CP book. My plan is to be more purposeful in pairing my book and my Common Place book in my purse together, so that they are BOTH within reach.

Personal Goals 2016

In stature {physical health} 

Edit my wardrobe to make it more functional

It's no secret that clothes shopping and I are bitter enemies. I think I'd rather pluck out all my eyebrows than skip off to the Ladies' Wear end of the department store. Consequently, my wardrobe is quite willy-nilly. I have one dresser and half a closet full of clothes all bought on clearance or at thrift stores. Sadly, due to my lack of purposeful selection, I find myself staring into the mass collection every morning thinking to myself, "I have nothing to wear!"

After reading a few articles on minimalist mom uniforms (like this one and this one) and watching this short but fascinating Tedx video on the Ten-item Wardrobe, I am on a mission to edit my clothes pile.

I don't think I have the style-points in my favor to whittle my closet down to just 10 pieces like the French, but I do hope to purge most of my clothes...or at least the ones that don't pass the 4 Questions test.
  • Does this fit me?
  • Is this age appropriate? (The jean overalls I've had since junior high school probably need to go, I guess?)
  • Is this my true style?
  • Do I love this enough to wear it?

From there, I hope to put a few "uniforms" together that will make my getting-dressed-routine so much easier. I'd love to have a few mix-and-match outfits for everyday wear, a couple of dressier items for church, 2 outfits for speaking engagements, and perhaps one dressier dress for big events...for each season.  

So, I'll call this "the rebuilding year." I'm gonna eliminate clutter. I'm gonna eliminate decision fatigue. I'm gonna eliminate those many standing-if-front-of-the-mirror-"What was I thinking?" moments. I'm going to rebuild my wardrobe so that my clothes work for me each day instead of the other way around. 

Embrace a sense of Hygge

Since moving to almost-the-tundra over 15 years ago, I've sort of died a little bit inside with each passing winter. I can't sugar coat it, folks. It's cold. It's dark. All.the.live.long.day. But, the truth is, God in His divine providence planted me here. It was not by accident. It was all in His plan...if not mine. Admittedly, I have grown deep roots here. And despite the depressing cold, I have learned to love my little Mayberry.

In the last two years, my gaze has shifted a bit. I have yearned to be able to thrive not just survive the dreadful winters...to embrace all the coziness, comfort, and traditions that the season brings. My husband's Norwegian ancestors would call this winter love Hygge (pronounced hue-gah) and would welcome the season with hopeful anticipation. They would embrace both the cold and the dark because they each bring a chance for togetherness.

So, in addition to clinging to the truth that I am to bloom where the Good Lord has planted me, I am also resolving to do the following this year...

  • dress more seasonally appropriate with lots of layers (I might look like the Stay puft marshmallow man when I go out, but at least I'll be warm!)
  • stop all the gloom-and-doom winter talk (Misery loves company, so this will be a hard one to avoid.)
  • open my doors wide to friends and family in order to enjoy some homeschool hygge
  • try a new-to-me winter sport with The Hubs (He bought me a pair of snow shoes this past fall and we plan to take some after work walks together by the light of the moon. Romantic, no?)

Favor with God {faith}

Transcribe Galatians

Charlotte Mason knew what she was talking about when she championed the idea of copywork. Copying greatness not only cements greatness into our minds, but it also gives us a pattern to follow. I can't think of any copywork more GREAT than Scripture. This year, I hope to slowly copy the entire book of Galatians during my quiet time each morning. So often, I skim through my daily Scripture reading with glossed-over eyes, not really taking the time to meditate on the words.

This year, instead of casting my net wide but only an inch deep by reading through large portions of Scripture, I hope to dive deep into just a few verses of Galatians each day. I'll transcribe them, use my current favorite study guide to help me unpack them, and perhaps journal my own thoughts about what I've discovered.

Galatians is a short book, so I will probably end up moving onto some other part of Scripture by year's end. Then again, maybe not.  

Partner with two missionary families

My family has joined together with some friends of ours (another homeschooling family) to form a little missionary club, of sorts. We hope to spend some intentional time focused on supporting two missionary families. We plan to pray for them and their ministries, send them letters and care packages, and learn about the cultures and people they are serving. My 2016 goal is to correspond with each of our two chosen missionary families once a month.

Personal Goals 2016

And man {relationships with others}

Invest in conversations

It has been said that there are two types of people in the world...those who walk into a room and declare, "Here I am!" and those who walk in, scan the room, and shout, "There you are!" As an extrovert who always has plenty to say, I'm afraid that I most often default to the first camp of folks. This year, I am going to work on being the latter. I want to be the kind of friend who invests deep into conversations, who listens intently, who (as Philippians says) considers the interests of others ahead of my own.

I want to shut my mouth more often this year and just listen. Really listen.

Commit to Supper Six nights

Three or four months ago, in a desperate cry for more authentic, meaningful relationships for my husband and I, I formed a monthly supper club. In short, it is just a gathering of three couples (for a total of six people...hence the name) who have dinner together once a month...no kids. We eat REAL food...the kind that requires actual utensils (not just fingers) and that doesn't come with a side of ranch dip. In other words, we eat food like grown-ups and spend the evening pouring into each others lives.

Y'all, when we meet over dinner, we laugh. Hard. The kind of laughter that may or may not lead to snorting. And we feel like people for two brief hours. Not moms and dads. Not diaper changers and homework checkers. Not mess cleaners and bath givers. Just people. (Please don't get me wrong. I love my have-lots-of-kids-around-all-the-time life. But sometimes, it's nice to just feel like your own person for a moment.)

In 2016, I hope to continue to build these newly formed relationships and stay committed to our once-a-month suppers.

personal goals 2016

And one more for the road...

As I face the new year, there is one theme woven into all of these goals...something that I am going to have to keep in mind no matter what I do in the next 365 days...something that I have sincerely struggled with since I was a little girl. I am going to have to cut out any non-essential voices. I have learned over much trial-and-error to set good boundaries for my relationships. But, I still have a couple of people in my life who continue to want to push them.

The decisions I make and the paths I take in 2016 might come with criticism and raised eyebrows from some, but I've already determined whose feedback really matters to me. So, with quiet resolve, I'll ignore all the rest. As Hebrews says, I'll fix my eyes on Jesus and live my life for an audience of One.

God is at work writing my story. If I yield to His plans, 2016 is sure to prove to be another great chapter!


  1. Oh wow! That is an interesting way to define your goals. I love it! I am working through Make Over Your Mornings too and have been digging deeper into sorting my goals for this year. You definitely have me rethinking my priorities and the way I have categorised mine :) Thanks Jamie for your post

  2. Great goals, Jamie! Inspiring!
    I have recently (within the past few months) found Jennifer Scott's books and have been reducing the amount of stuff in our house as well as clothing in my wardrobe. I am down to two pairs of jeans, one pair of black pants, two skirts, and not too many tops. It seriously is SO easy to get dressed each morning. I always look decent and feel good in what I am wearing. Sometimes I wish I had more options for Sunday, but once I put on my black pants (or skirt), black shirt, brown boots and one of two jackets, I'm pretty content. :)
    Still trying to sell your house?
    Hope all is well!

    1. Sorry it has taken me so long to get back with you, Heidi. You'll notice I've not been blogging much lately either. I've been trying to cut back a bit to leave margin in my days.
      It sounds like you are too...at least with your wardrobe.
      We took our house off the market and have decided to make a few updates including a new garage. It's not ideal, but it's better than selling our house for less than we want. Hope all is well with you and yours!