Goals for 2013

I am a planner.  I’m an organizer.  I teach a college course that centers on goal-setting and motivation.  It’s my thing!!

The goals I set for myself are usually to form a new habit, or break an old one.  I’ve never set yearly goals for myself or for our family.  This year we’re trying something different.

Our major goal this year is to pay down our mortgage.

{Our long-term goal is to pay it off within the next 5 years.}

When we are debt-free, I am free to cut back and stay at home with our kids, which is my long term goal.  I am called to take care of my family and to make our home a welcoming and safe place for them.  I give it my best shot, for now, but I could do so much more if I didn’t work outside the home.

My goals this year revolve around that calling and that goal — to make our home a welcoming and safe place for my family.


This year we will pay extra on the mortgage every month.
I picked up some extra hours at work.  The sooner we are debt-free, the sooner we can cut back!

We will stick to our budget in all categories.
We don’t spend more than we make, but we could be better stewards with our money.  Ironically, the area where we overspend the most is gifts.

I will take better care of myself.
I have a lot of trouble balancing work and home life.  I cannot be Super Mom.  I also cannot function in a messy house.  I just shut down.  It always starts off innocently– I get headaches and I’m tired.  So, I just go to bed instead of cleaning up.  Then I go to work the next day as usual, feel even sicker, and go to bed even earlier.  Then the house gets even worse.  Then I feel even worse.  What started as the common cold quickly turns into burn-out.  It’s not fair to my family.  This year, when I feel sick, I will stop what I’m doing and take care of myself.  I will not push myself so hard.  I won’t try to work while I’m sick.  I will take a day off to rest and get better.  I will see the doctor if I’m sick for more than a few days.  Maybe I’ll even exercise… ha.

We will use our chore charts weekly.
In busy seasons, the chore chart just hangs on the fridge, forgotten.  Landon really enjoys using our chore chart and he is very helpful.  I think the housework will be much more manageable (and fun) with my little helper.

We will continue to do devotions together before bed.
I will do my best to include Raegan when we read Landon’s devotions.  This has become something that Landon really looks forward to every night.  His book was missing a few nights ago, and I thought he was going to have a breakdown.  I’m so glad that he is excited about learning and growing closer to God.  And, I’m so glad that we get to share that sweet time together every night.


What are your New Year’s Resolutions?

Stop by tomorrow for my first GIVEAWAY!!



One Word for 2013: Home


What one word describes your plan for 2013?  One Word 365 encourages us to focus on just one word, rather than a long list of “to-do’s” and forgotten resolutions that will make us feel guilty.

In 2012, I focused a lot of my time, energy, and prayers on my desire to be a stay-at-home-mom.  It’s just not in the cards for me right now… but someday it will be.  Staying home has become my long-term goal and now I need to focus on the small things that will get me there.

My long term goal:  I can stay home when we pay off our debt.

It would be nice to strip down to a bare-bones budget and throw all our extra money at the debt… except that’s like starving yourself on a diet.  If I don’t eat anything I crave, I will eventually binge.  If we don’t spent any extra money, we eventually splurge.  I can’t work extra hours and make our food from scratch.  It’s one or the other.  Trying both leads to burn-out… and I can’t be a good wife or mother if I’m burnt-out.

This year, I want to keep a balance.  I want to work to pay down the debt, but I want to make the most of all my time that I don’t spend at work.  I’ll be writing next week about my specific goals for 2013.  But, the theme of my goals is Home.

Get your free “One Word” button from Melanie at Only a Breath.


devotions, dinner, family, resolutions

New Years Resolution Check-Up: Dinner as a Family

My New Year’s Resolution was to eat dinner together around the dining room table.  
I cook dinner most nights of the week and we do eat together as a family every night.  However, most of the time it’s in the living room, off the tray table, in front of the TV.  But, the important part is that we are still eating together.
Why I want to do it:
Statistics show that eating as a family lowers all kinds of risk factors in kids:  risk of being overweight, risk of eating disorders, risk of drug and alcohol abuse… the list goes on and on.  My primary reason for choosing this resolution is more selfish:  I have my great-grandmother’s antique dining room table and six antique chairs purchased from our church… and I LOVE antiques.  I’d love to put them to use!!!  I also have great memories from growing up and eating at the table every night.  Dinner was served at 5:00 pm.  We always had a meat, potato, and vegetable.  We always sat in the same chairs.  We all helped clear the table.  Mom cooked.  Dad washed the dishes.  One of the kids set the table while the other one got everyone drinks.  The event was filled with tradition for us.  And, I would like for my children to experience something similar.
Eating at the table forces us into a routine:  setting the table, eating, clearing the table.  Without a routine, the work doesn’t get done.  The kitchen sink is full of dirty dishes and the table is cluttered.  

Eating at the table (and preparing to eat at the table) promotes teamwork and responsibility.  You can’t really teach a child to “set the table” when dinner is served buffet-style and eaten from a seat on the couch.  

Eating at the table encourages communication between family members.  It’s far too easy to sit in silence in front of the tv– but our dinner table is always filled with heated discussions.

Spark the conversation:One thing we started doing as part of this resolution is to use the “question jar” idea.  You fill a jar with conversation starting questions and each night you pick one out.  I recently attended the Real World Parents Seminar where I learned about a twist on this idea.  Mark Matlock has categorized 55 of the Proverbs into different themes and has created a card for each Proverb in the Wisdom Deck.  As a family, you can discuss which theme you think the Proverb belongs in and why, if it belongs in more than one, if you agree with what the card says, etc.  So, not only are you sparking conversation at the dinner table, but you’re also exploring scripture!!

Do you do devotions as a family?  When do you do it?  Do you use a devotions book?
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