9 Goals for 2017

I don’t like to set New Year’s Resolutions.  I know that the majority of Americans who set New Year’s Resolutions will not complete them.  If you need any proof of this, just go to a gym in January.  Not a single treadmill, stationary bike, or elliptical will be open!  But come back in late March, and you can have your pick.  

Instead, I like to set goals.  What’s the difference, you ask?  According to Merriam-Webster, the definition of a goal is: “the end toward which effort is directed”.  A resolution has many different definitions, including: “the act or process of resolving; the act of answering; the act of determining; firmness of resolve; something that is resolved.”  Did you catch the difference?  A goal requires effort, where a resolution does not.  A goal requires action; a resolution is a process to make up your mind about something.  


The great things about goals is that you can set them at any time, not just on January 1.  I set goals all the time.  Sometimes I succeed!  Sometimes, I have to postpone them or abandon them altogether for the good of my health or my family.  And while I don’t feel tied to only setting big goals on New Year’s Day, I do like to take the first month of the new year to reflect on what has happened in the previous 12 months and dream of where I want to be in December.  And to help with accountability, I would love to share my 2017 goals with you!

1.  I will read 27 books by December 31,2017.  Why?  To grow intellectually.  Since I’m no longer in school (praise the Lord!), it’s a lot easier to just go through life without pushing myself to learn anything new.  But I want to be a lifelong learner, and reading is the best way for me to do that right now.  And while there will certainly be a few fictional books on my list, I want to focus on nonfiction.  Why 27 books?  Because I read 25 books in 2016.  If you want to follow my progress and see what I’m reading, check me out on Goodreads.com.

2.  I will run 100 days by December 31, 2017.  Why?  Because I want to be a better runner.  Ilovetorun.org is organizing the #2017GoldChallenge to either run 100 days or 1000 miles in 2017.  Maybe this will help motivate me to actually train for races…

3.  I will lift weights/cross train 2 days each week.  Why?  Because I have been plagued by nagging pains for most of my life, and often suffer from minor dislocations due to Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome.  By strengthening the muscles that surround my problem joints (shoulders and hips), I hope to stabilize those areas and preserve my joints.

4.  I will write for at least 1 hour three days each week.  Why?  Because I love to write.  I love to express myself with words and tell stories.  But like most self-care items, it is one of the first things to put off.

5.  I will practice gratitude daily for at least 10 minutes (more on that later).  Why?  Because I do not want to just survive life.  I want to thrive!  But I am not going to wait until life gets “easier” because it never will.  Yes, there will still be bad days – maybe even bad weeks!  But allowing those days to dictate my mood is a choice.  And I want my mental state to bend more towards positivity and gratitude.  

6.  I will set aside at least 20 minutes for personal devotions at least 3 days each week (hope to build to 5-7 days/week).  Why?  Just as practicing gratitude will help my mental health, taking time to spend with the Lord will help grow my spiritual health.  And to be honest, I am not great about making that time.  I can give you a whole slew of excuses, but I won’t.  Instead, I will acknowledge that this is an area where I struggle, and I am working on correcting it.

7.  I will spend at least 10 minutes every day with each child – uninterrupted!  Why?  It is so easy to go through the day – every day – without really seeing each child.  Especially when there are 3 of them, and 1 of me.  But by setting aside special “Mommy time” with them, I am investing in them.  Holding space for them to do anything they want with me – build Legos, read books, color, snuggle, talk/listen, play with cars.  I want to create space in each day to just exist, to simply be – with them.

8.  I will go on at least 2 dates with my husband without technology.  Why?  So that I can actually “see” my husband.  I mean, really – how quickly are we distracted by our phones?  Even when we are on a date with someone we care about?  It’s such an easy trap to fall into, but I just as I want to invest in my children, I also want to invest time with my husband.

9.  I will run at least one half marathon under 2 hours.  Why?  Because I love to run.  

I modeled my list after a blog from Rachel Cruz.  She recommends focusing on 7 areas of life – Intellectual, Physical, Spiritual, Family, Social, Career, and Financial.  Not all these apply to me – my career at the moment is Over-Full-Time Home Engineer – but it helps to look at the different categories and create a more balanced approach to planning the next year.  
What are your goals for 2017?

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