For those of you who are tired of reading about goals after four posts in a row, my apologies :) Hopefully there’s something in this post to love, even if goals aren’t your favorite EFM content! And if you are a fellow goal setter, hopefully this post (or at least the timing of it) is encouragement that there’s always time to dig into what matters. I still have two full weeks to make progress on my January goals, and that feels really good. Here we go!
A few housekeeping reminders here at the beginning of the year: if you’d like to get an email every time there’s a new EFM post, you can sign up for that here. If you’re ever searching for something I’ve mentioned loving in a past goals post, you can find it here. And if you’re looking for my Amazon shop (favorite books, games, kid stuff, etc.), you can find that here!
On my calendar this month:
— The first (annual?!) Articles Club retreat! All 12 of us are going to a big house at the beach for the weekend. This trip has really highlighted the research finding that preparing for a vacation brings even more pleasure than the vacation itself: the secrets, chatter, scheming, and planning with our different committees has been such fun that I almost don’t know how the actual retreat will top it – but I trust it will.
— Our 18th dativersary! Thinking we will have dinner at Jujube to celebrate.
— A very low-key paint-your-own pottery outing with cousins and a handful of friends to celebrate June’s 7th birthday. She is making the goodie bags herself, inspired by this Christmas present, and there will be dirt cups :)
What I’m loving right now:
— A friend saw that I put Habits of the Household on my reading list and asked if I wanted to do a mini book club: her and her husband, me and mine. What a delight! I strongly felt that his first book should be read in community, and I’m sure I’ll feel the same about this one. We’re currently figuring out a structure that will work for both families, but I’m just tickled by this prospect.
— Because I find the original Airpods we own to be extremely uncomfortable, I had sworn off wireless earbuds completely. John recently convinced me to try this set and wow! They are SO comfortable, have great noise-canceling ability, and are $200 less than the Apple version. I wear them when John and I are working out in the same room, when listening to podcasts and doing chores around the house, and occasionally for work.
— The Mole! I mentioned it in my Best of 2022 post, but it’s too good not to get an individual shout-out. If you enjoyed the original Anderson Cooper version, you’ll love the Netflix reboot. If you did not see the original version, you’ll love the reboot. It’s smart, fun, and provided lots of conversation fodder as the episodes counted down and we tried to figure out who done it.
As a reminder, you can find allll the things I’ve loved over the last few years neatly organized right here!
What I read in December:
— Four Thousand Weeks | I have complicated feelings about this book. On the one hand, I very much agreed with his thesis – it’s similar to what we teach at Cultivate – and dog-eared several pages to refer to later. On the other, he seemed to totally misunderstand and dismiss the Christian worldview (which I believe lines up very much with his argument) and set up an unnecessarily antagonist relationship between productivity strategies and big-picture thinking. I also felt like he was trying to be reassuring throughout the book, but he still made me feel anxious – and I’m not a particularly anxious person. Overall, there were parts I liked, but I ultimately gave it a thumbs down in my very precise thumbs-up-or-thumbs-down Notes rating system :)
— The Four Winds | Kristin Hannah does it again! I was warned many times over that this book was “very depressing,” and I think that helped me come in with appropriate expectations. It is about the Great Depression, but I came away finding it a tale of love and resilience. I love how each of her novels is set in such a distinct time and place – I always come away feeling like I learned something new.
Revisiting my December goals:
Prepare well for my family’s visits (Yes! This went really well. I took notes for a future post on preparing to host large groups of houseguests!)
Cull and organize 2021 photos (Are you tired of this goal yet? I am.)
Complete the final six ornaments for the Advent calendar (YES! And it was thoroughly enjoyed all month.) Edit Sheptember, Volume 4
Write 9 blog posts (8! Just didn’t get to the Highlands recap. Look for it on a blog near you later this month :))
Savor the Christmas season (Yes, indeed.)
— Finish sketching out my goal plan for the rest of the year (i.e. what I’m going to tackle when – page 27 in my PowerSheets!)
— Brainstorm potential dinner guests and choose families for February and March (January is already locked in!)
— Assign problem areas to months and dig into January’s assignment
— Finish culling and sorting 2021 photos
— Print our favorite Instagram photos from 2022
— Prep for Valentine’s Day fun
— Download the Blurb software
— Finish planning and enjoy the Articles Club retreat!!
I’ll also be aiming for nightly Peloton stretches with John, drinking two of my 30oz water bottles a day, and dedicating two hours every week to my “secret” project. I expect these habit-based goals will stay all year!
I’d love to hear: Are you trying anything new in January? Even if you don’t set official gOaLs, I find it’s often still a fresh start for people :)
As a reminder, many of these are drawn from my 2023 goals! Affiliate links are used in this post!