2017 Goals

3 January 2017

Happy 2017, friends! The company I work for is a big fan of the phrase “there is nothing magical about January 1.” And while I wholeheartedly believe that, I also think there IS something special, invigorating, and exciting about turning the page on a new year. Some of the best things in my life have come out of looking back, looking forward, and making intentional decisions about how I’ll use my time, focus, and resources. In that spirit, I’m excited to share my 2017 goals with you today!


But first, let’s briefly revisit 2016 (again). For 2016, the year I knew we’d be welcoming our first daughter, I decided to set guideposts. From last January’s post: I love the idea of having something to measure myself against throughout the next twelve months – a touchstone to refer back to in this year that has the potential to be tumultuous. Because you know, the one thing people love to tell you about kids is that they will change your life in ways you could never imagine. And while I welcome that, I also don’t want to start at zero on January 15. I want to protect and preserve the best parts of the life John and I have built together over the last ten years while welcoming the changes that will inevitably come. So, knowing that this Big Change has the potential to throw us off track and derail the progress we’ve made, I want to establish guideposts that I can look to to remind myself of what matters most to us as we integrate our girl into our life over the next year.

This worked out SO well. I referred back to that post each time I set my monthly goals, and it was the perfect encouragement to keep me working toward the life I want.

For 2017, I’m keeping the intention that worked so well for me last year but giving it a little more specificity. Still, I hesitate to even call these next four things goals, because they certainly aren’t goals by the SMART definition. I’m thinking of them more as focal areas, and I plan to flesh them out with specific, smaller goals each month as I work through my PowerSheets.

2017 vision board

My four focal areas for this year of PREPARED (my word for the year!):

1. Become a woman of prayer. Pray diligently for John and June. Pray with John and June. Turn first to prayer. Know Him better. Anything I want to accomplish, do, or be needs to start here.
Why? Prayer has never been something that’s come naturally to me, and I hope this is the year that changes. I know all the fruits of the spirit I so deeply want to embody – joy, peace, kindness, goodness, faithfulness – flow from a heart connected to the giver of Life.
How I will feel at the end of this year having made progress on this goal: Peaceful, more assured, and more mature in my faith.
How I will know I accomplished or made progress on this goal: I will hopefully see the fruit of this goal in my life, and in the life of my family. John, June, and I will pray regularly together. I will have established rhythms of prayer in my life. I will feel comfortable praying out loud and will naturally turn first to prayer.

2. Love my loved ones well. Through good and hard things, surprising and delighting them along the way.
Why? My people are most important. I want them to feel His love through me. This is the primary circle of influence I’ve been given and I want to honor it.
How I will feel at the end of this year having made progress on this goal: Grateful that I am pouring out effort in the right places. Satisfied, on top of things.
How I will know I accomplished or made progress on this goal: I will have systems in place for important touch points. Loving on others won’t feel overwhelming or like a burden, but a natural, gracious way of life.

3. Cultivate a rich life for my family. Find joy in the smallest adventures, establish traditions, and create space for fun.
Why? I specifically chose the word “rich” for this goal, because even in this year where we will be quite conservative financially-speaking, I want to create deep, joyful, rich time together for our family of three. I know this is completely possible, but it will take thoughtful planning and a willing heart. (More about this later!)
How I will feel at the end of this year having made progress on this goal: Content. Grateful for a year of sweet memories.
How I will know I accomplished or made progress on this goal: We will love to tell each other stories about the things we did in 2017! As silly as it sounds, I always love looking back at our photos on Instagram, too :)

4. Live fit. Take a ballet class. Run. Build muscle. Stretch. Ride our bikes. Walk in the evenings. Hit 10k steps on my Fitbit.
Why? I want to honor my good health by reestablishing a healthy lifestyle. Most of the things I want to do and be require a healthy, physically fit body, and I want to be proactive about maintaining mine!
How I will feel at the end of this year having made progress on this goal: Strong! Confident, prepared.
How I will know I accomplished or made progress on this goal: I will have greater flexibility, greater stamina, more strength, and more energy!

And now, here are my goals for January:
— Head to Val’s site and choose and order a prayer journal
— Look over Val’s recommended books on prayer and purchase one (considering this one or this one – any other suggestions?)
— Mark monthly prep days in my planner (more about this later!) and try my first one for January. I need a better name for these!
— Celebrate June’s first birthday in tuxedo cat style! (hint hint :))
— Finish June’s one year video!
— Attend my free trial ballet class
— Restock my supply of cards (birthday and otherwise)
— Set a date for my favorite things party!
— Buy one product Sam recommended during my personal consult (more about that soon!!)
— Peruse the aisles of a bookstore for a new Bible

There are few things I love more than reading about other’s goals! (Second only to reading other people’s Christmas cards, haha!) If you’ve posted your goals somewhere, I’d love to see – or just drop them in the comments! I can’t wait to take a peek and cheer you on.

Vision board credits, clockwise from top left: patriotic couple photo by Laura Ivanova, blueberry photo by Elaine Palladino, beach house, Jenny Komenda’s play room, personal photo from Michigan, tomato sauce, clever little pool, Simply Seleta ballet photo, office photo, camping photo from Lovely Morning, Laura Ingalls Wilder quote, Rylee Hitchner photo from Southern Weddings

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January 3, 2017 7:34 am

Your four guideposts are just perfect! I loved reading them and the heart behind them. Can’t wait to cheer you on throughout!! Can’t believe your sweet June is about to turn one!! Soak up the sweet celebration, friend!! XO

January 3, 2017 8:34 am

Loved reading Emily!! If you like Stormie’s Power of a Praying Wife, you will love Power of a Praying Woman and Parent!! Hybels book is so good and comprehensive while still being really easy to read!!

January 3, 2017 8:35 am

And yay!! I’m throwing a favorite things party for Galentine’s Day!!

January 3, 2017 8:57 am

I read the Power of the Praying Wife recently! In some ways I think the book is very… obvious, maybe? But it is also so good and pointed out so many specific areas to pray over for my husband!

I also shared my goals and some of my PowerSheets journey on my blog if you want to see! :)

January 3, 2017 12:39 pm

I’ve just shared my Powersheets goals today, too! My goals are basically to be intentional with my time. I want to write more and write a book this year. I want to read more. I want to spend more time with loved ones, etc! I love how intentional your goals are as well!

January 3, 2017 1:00 pm

I’m a huge fan of The Balanced Life Sisterhood if you’re into working out at home! https://thebalancedlifeonline.com/balanced-life-sisterhood/

I always love hearing your goals and reading your guideposts. Cheers to a wonderful 2017!

Victoria B
January 6, 2017 4:22 pm
Reply to  Erica

The Balanced Life is awesome! She also has some free monthly Pilates challenges on youtube if you want to start there. :)

January 3, 2017 2:31 pm

I love how thoughtful you’ve been in planning your year. A little off topic, but have you read “Better Than Before” by Gretchen Rubin? I personally found it fascinating and it has completely changed the way I try to achieve my goals! My big goals for this year are all accompanied by the tactical things I plan to do to make them happen.

1. Stop spending wastefully so that we can hit our major savings goals faster! We’re not total disasters here but I KNOW I could do so much better. To do this- My husband and I are writing down everything we buy for a month(we’ll see how this goes, as I really don’t to bicker over every purchase)and I’m not going to shop at Target or Amazon (I realize that sounds insane but it’s too easy for me to overspend at those places).

2. Eat in the way that makes me feel the best, which happens to be keeping my carb intake in check. To do this, I plan to do all the grocery shopping. Currently we take turns, but I’ve realized that the weeks that I don’t do the shopping there are more tempting snacks in the house:) My husband is actually thrilled with this plan!

3. Maintain friendships and relationships with faraway friends and family. My plan is to call, write, or text someone important in my life every Sunday afternoon. I already have a weekly phone date with my parents at this time, I’ll just add someone else to connect with immediately after :) I also want to plan at least three weekend trips to visit these folks.

Victoria B
January 3, 2017 3:15 pm

I always love your goal posts and am so excited June is turning 1! I don’t blog anymore and since I am having a baby in April this year – my first – I am sticking to just a handful of “goals.”

1. Prepare for a healthy baby. This mostly involves preparing mentally, physically, and financially for our baby boy. I have picked out three books I really want to read and have a couple secondary books if I have time/feel like it. I want to do some pregnancy safe stretches every morning, keep up with my weekly pilates, and walk every day in addition to eat healthy. And save up as much as I can for me to be able to stop working.

2. Prepare my work for my departure. As I mentioned above, I want to stop working when my baby arrives. There are a lot of factors that went into that decision, but the biggest one was that my husband is getting a promotion 3 months after our baby should arrive, which involves moving to a new city as well as getting a raise that will cover my salary. So it just feels right to try the stay at home mom thing. That being said, I really want to get everything set up for me to leave in three months. I want to take us entirely paperless and ideally begin training someone to replace me in March. I love working for my boss and have too much respect for him to leave him high and dry.

3. Continue nurturing my marriage. Right now, that is going to look like planning a couple date nights each month and ideally one surprise for him. After the baby arrives, I want to make it a priority to keep our strength there. I know things will change and we’ll probably drop down to one date night a month, but I do really want to make these happen and for him to know that I love him more than ever.

4. Take care of myself. This is a goal about self-care after the baby arrives. I haven’t really been able to flesh this out but as an introvert, I do need time by myself, so I have asked my husband to help me make this happen even if it is only for a little bit each week.

5. Learn how to be a mom. My husband and I want to learn together, as you suggested, so that we can not focus on being perfect parents, but that we can go with the flow. Again, this isn’t really fleshed out either, but I do plan to reassess mid-year.

6. Move to a new city peacefully. I tend to get very stressed over things like this. I want to trust that everything will work out how it is supposed to and that I can take the lead on this by asking others to help me with the baby. I just pray that we can have a smooth transition.

January 3, 2017 6:27 pm

Great goals, Em!

January 4, 2017 6:51 am

Cant recommend this book on prayer enough! Praying the Bible by Donald Whitney – it shows you how to pray scripture – so you’re meditating on the Word and making your prayers more focused on His inspired words versus our own. Would love to hear what you find :) https://www.amazon.com/dp/1433547848/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_ydoBybJEN3VVH

January 4, 2017 9:16 am

Unsurprisingly, I love all of your guideposts for the year and share many of them, but what I really want to comment on is your 2017 inspiration board! It’s just so YOU!! I’ve always shied away from yearly inspiration boards, but now I kind of want to make one!
And tell me more about this free trial ballet class! Need a buddy? :)

January 5, 2017 8:06 am

Love your guideposts and meaningful approach to living a full life – especially as a new mama! :) Absolutely love your inspiration board too! The Power of a Praying Wife is on my Read List for this year too! :)

Here are my 2017 goals: http://www.thevandykes.com/blog/2017-goals/

Kelly Strawberry
January 5, 2017 8:53 am

The Power of a Praying Wife is my all-time favorite devotional. It’s the only book that has stayed on my nightstand for the past 4 years. I gave it to my sister and another good friend on their wedding days. It honestly saved my marriage and has changed my life. I do think it might be a little more useful in marriages that are struggling, but any relationship can be transformed by this book.

I think I will start this year with Lysa Terkeurst’s new Bible study “Finding I Am.” I will let you know how it is!

January 5, 2017 12:59 pm

I LOVE that you have a stockpile of cards as well! I keep a drawer on my desk that is simply overflowing, and trips down the Target stationery aisle never help. It’s one of the main reasons (aside from a bi-weekly calendar reminder to write 2 cards!) I am able to keep the pile going down :)

January 23, 2017 9:33 pm

These goals are such an inspiration! I’m in my second year of using PowerSheets and feel much better about the preparation and process of following through for this year. You can read about them here! http://www.youmeserendipity.com/blog/2017/1/16/setting-my-2017-goals

I’m also really intrigued to hear more about which prayer journal you choose. I wasn’t familiar with Val Marie Papers before you mentioned them in your post, but after perusing their website I might have to purchase a journal as well! One of the goals I’m most scared of this year is having less fear in living a faith-driven life, so I’m looking for tools and resources to help me succeed and grow my confidence.

Looking forward to seeing your progress throughout this year, Em!