4 Important Lessons from My Ambitious 2015 Goals

goal setting

I set goals every year. This is the first year I shared them publicly. I chronicled my progress every month, the highs and the lows. I’d rather not do this run down of my ambitious list of goals for 2015. It always feels better to share huge successes than epic failure. But, here it is, along with a few things I learned about setting goals this year.

First, a quick rundown of my December goals:

December Goals

1.  Exercise 3 x week. (Missed it. Holidays are for eating and not running, right?)
2.  Read 2 books.

Raising Grateful Kids in an Entitled World, Kristin Welch (Pre-order now; releases January 26, 2016.)

Breaking Busy, Ali Worthington (Almost finished. Pre-order now; releases January 26, 2016.)

The War that Saved My Life, Kimberly Brubaker Bradley

Among the Gods, Lynn Austin

An Angel’s Story, Max Lucado (Read aloud with the kids.)

Prayers of a Stranger, Davis Bunn
3. Set 2016 goals.

1. Weekly connection time with David. (I may have done this. December is a bit of a blur.)
2. Monthly date night.
3. Weekly Christmas movie night with the girls.

1. Decorate for Christmas. (I un-decorated, too. I am usually ready to decrease the clutter as soon as the gifts are unwrapped.)
2. Keep up morning and evening routines. (I was a little better about morning time consistency.)

1. Post to the blog 3x a week.
2. Resume edits of the eBook. (This one goes with me into 2016.)

And now for my list of (laughably) ambitious goals for 2015.

finishing 2015 goals

Personal Goals:  Mind, Body, and Soul

  1. Memorize a passage of scripture every two weeks (minimum). I started strong. I used Living Proof Ministries’ SSMT as accountability. I stopped picking verses in November when life got hectic. Not cool. I didn’t review them like I wanted, either. Grace. I have about 20 verses that I mostly know and spiral-bound index cards to remind me.
  2. Read at least 2 books per month. Done! Exceeded! Loved it! And a big shout out to audio books. You saved me! You brought fiction back into my life. You made housework fun. (Try Audible free for 30 days HERE and get 2 free audiobooks.)
  3. Sleep 7 hours each night (minimum). Not. Even. Close. <sigh> But I did read a book about it!
  4. Log my calories in/out + 8 glasses of water. I did this for maybe a month or 2. Life won out and I just tried to eat right and drink water. No weight gain, no significant loss. I am ok with that.
  5. Exercise 3-4 x week. Except for a few weeks this year of illness (mine or my kids’), I pulled this off. I found a class at the YMCA I really like. I shaved a few minutes off my 5k time. A year older and a little faster.
  6. Run a 5k quarterly. Nope. I ended up working more weekends than I anticipated. I didn’t want to tie up the remainder of the weekends with races. I made a conscious decision early on to ditch this goal. But, I did run one 5k this year!


being a present parent


I pinpointed the relationships I need to focus on for 2015.  They include my husband, my kids, and my friends (in that order).

  1. Daily connection time with David, including a weekly movie/tv night. This ended up a bigger struggle than I anticipated. We tend to fall asleep when we sit still. If you count sleeping on the couch while the TV is on, we may have met this goal.
  2. Monthly date night. We certainly had more dates in 2015 than we had in the 10 years prior. I think we missed a month or two, but I am pleased with the change in our marriage.
  3. Annual get-away with David. A trip to the beach was such a great refresher for us.
  4. 1:1 time with each daughter each month. I didn’t nail this one, either. However, setting this goal did make me more intentional about taking time with each daughter. Something as simple as taking them with me on an errand allowed for some individual connection time.
  5. Read aloud 1 book a month. We enjoyed some great books together this year, but we didn’t finish a book a month.
  6. Teach the girls life skills during the summer months. I taught them how to do laundry, cook, and some household chores. I haven’t been consistent with holding them accountable to household chores since school started back. This will be an area to address in 2016.
  7. Quarterly family service project. We were able to participate with our church’s homeless outreach a few times this year. I would love to expand our definition of service.
  8. Send one handwritten note to a friend or family member each month. I think I sent one. Epic fail.
  9. Have coffee with a friend(s) at least once a month. I was more intentional with this in 2015 than ever before. It has been so good for my soul to cultivate deeper friendships.




My professional goals included my roles as homemaker, OT, and writer/blogger.

  1. Establish productive patterns for morning/evening. Read more about that HERE.
  2. Establish a cleaning routine that is both effective and manageable. I made a great checklist and spreadsheet that kept me on track. I slacked quite a bit when I went back to work part-time. A 2016 reboot is in order.
  3. Weekly decluttering project. I kept up with this for a few months and was pleased with the results. However, I did learn that daily decluttering is not for me. Breaking things down into daily 15-minute jobs makes sense on paper. However, if I missed a day or two, I instantly felt behind and defeated. I did complete Kathi Lipps 2,000 Things Challenge. I am proud of that!
  4. Create a family recipe book and monthly menus. I did get my recipes organized into a binder thanks to the weekly decluttering project. I still use EMeals and I am content with it. It works well for our current pace of life.
  5. Renew my NBCOT by January 31.
  6. Complete my professional continuing education hours by August. I am still not finished (insert blushing emoji).
  7. Complete BYPUniversity courses. I learned so much! I switched over to Proverbs 31 Compel Training to continue to sharpen my writing/blogging skills.
  8. Spend concentrated, distraction-free time writing 2x month. This is still a dream of mine. I capture 4 am to 6 am at home almost daily. I have stepped away from the house a few times this year to write. I savor those hours.
  9. Complete my first ebook by June. This goal goes with me into 2016.

goal setting

Don’t set too many goals.

I had big dreams for 2015. Dreaming big helped me do more with my year than I would have otherwise. Some important things got crowded out by the volume of busyness I took on at the beginning of the year. It would be better to do 5 things completely and do them well than to take on 24 goals and drop half of them.

Be selective with daily goals.

One of the best things I did in 2015 was make over my mornings. I found a few things that I wanted/needed to do every morning to set myself up for a good day. I try to cram too much into my day so other daily goals like decluttering 15 minutes had to go. (Crystal Paine’s eCourse, Make Over Your Mornings is currently $9 if you want to make the most of your mornings, too!)

Life changes and goals do, too.

It is impossible to predict in January what life will look like in December. I went from being a stay-at-home mom with a new blog to working part time and contributing to several blogs. I had to take a hard look at my goals in the fall. Some of the good things had to be replaced with the best things. Saying “yes” to something like writing for The Glorious Table means saying “no” to things like deep cleaning my house.

In the end, relationships matter most.

I lost this truth this year. I spent so much more time with my screen than I did my people. I concentrated more effort on meeting professional goals than meeting relationship goals. I am not happy about it, and I am determined to shift my focus in 2016, even if it means less success in the professional realm. In the end, relationships matter most.

How did you do with your 2015 goals? I would love to hear about it. Be sure to come back Friday to share your 2016 goals on the #FridayFive link up!

Do you want help setting your 2016 goals? Here are a few resources to check out.

goal setting resources

Setting goals for the new year

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  1. I don’t see ANY failures in there! You are amazing and have my utmost admiration…I need to pull out my list of goals, I KNOW I missed almost all! 🙂

    • Thank you for the encouragement! I think a goal review is like looking into the mirror; you see the flaws no one else sees. God was good this year! That is what I will focus my eyes on 🙂

  2. you read all of those in december? i’m a book junky, but somehow i slacked this month.

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