A Few Goals for 2016

new year goals

I love setting goals for the New Year – it’s fun to think back on December and then plan for where I could be or what I could have accomplished by the next December.

I usually make my goals in categories (School, House, Blogging, Family, Personal Development, Health, Spiritual, Financial, etc), and then pick a few goals in each category.

I’ve learned not to set too many because then I just lose track of them all, and I never set goals just to set a goal. I only pick things that I’m really invested in doing.

The full list is very long and boring to anyone that isn’t me, but here are a couple from various categories that I’m excited about.

my new year goals

Get to bed by 10:30
This is one of my foundational goals for the year. I am not one of those miracle people who runs on very little sleep (my sister is one of those people who somehow manages to be a nice person on just a few hours, but I basically am the world’s grumpiest person without pretty decent sleep every night). It’s rare for me to stay up past midnight and I’ve never once in my entire life pulled an all-nighter, but I still have to focus to get myself in bed and the lights off by 10:30. I try not to cheat on the weekends because it just throws everything off for me, and I try to use Gretchen Rubin’s tactic of behaving as if going to bed early is a special and luxurious treat.

Paint the inside of the house
Originally our house portion of our goals included a lot of house projects, but then we got to our money goals and made some fairly ambitious financial goals which means there will probably not be new granite in our kitchen and I’m guessing we’ll celebrate next Christmas with our same delightful green carpet, but paint? Paint is cheap, we can do it ourselves, and we have a good-size gift card to the hardware store from our kind relator. I think painting will make such a massive difference in this house and I want to get it done. Sooner rather than later.

Learn calligraphy and take an illustrator class
I’ve always written myself off as not artistic, but I’m suddenly realizing that while I may not be naturally talented, I can certainly get a lot better with some effort. Also, I just want to do something fun and different. Bart bought me this Brit + Co kit for Christmas along with a class, and I’d like to take an illustrator class from Alma Loveland later this year.

Read 120 books
I haven’t set a reading goal in a long time because reading is something I’m naturally inclined to do, plus when I set a reading goal, I often end up reading fluffy books at the end of the year to boost my numbers. But now, with more responsibilities and the constant draw of the Internet, I want to focus more this year on reading. I originally was going to set my goal at 200 books but then I looked at my Goodreads account and the last time I hit 200 books was in 2010 when I was working in a library and then had a newborn that nursed for an hour four times a day. Anyway, 120 books this year. I’d also like that to include actually reading every book for my book club this year (one of which is War & Peace so. . .I’ll need to prioritize some reading time this month).

Walk or run 156 times this year
This kind of goal works really well for me because it gives me leeway for vacations, sickness, and other variables. It’s so easy for me to get derailed a few weeks in because I miss a day and have that “well, I’ve goofed it up, I might as well quit” mentality. This way, I can do extra when I have time or make things up if a week goes badly (like this one, where it is has been super rainy for the last couple of days). 156 times is three times a week, and I have a little spot on my bulletin board to mark each run I take so I can see how I’m progressing. My main goal isn’t weight loss or running a race, but just to actually get out and move my body consistently.

10 family Arizona outings
The great thing about moving somewhere new is that everything is new. I want to make sure we get out and experience this state as a family. I’m sure I’ll keep you posted way more than you want about what we do. It’s going to be great.

A new Instagram series
I have a couple of book-related Instagram series in the works that I’m really excited about. I’ve been reading a lot lately about doing projects that are personally satisfying to you, and these are that way – they’re things I hope other people find fun, but in the end, I’m doing them because I am totally delighted by them. Keep an eye out on Instagram from two of them starting later this month!

And I’d LOVE to hear about your goals because I never get tired of reading what other people are working toward and what cool projects and dreams people come up with.

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  1. I read 180 in 2015 and it was hard. I'm a fast reader and I lovvvve to read. It was pretty easy in the spring, when I was sitting at lacrosse practice three hours a week, or on summer vacation, when I read a book a day on the beach. But once fall came and we got really busy, it was harder to keep up. My last three books for the year were Namcy Drew books. Which I was really planning on rereading anyway, eventually, but I chose them for the end because they are fast and easy and I had two days to read three books.

  2. My goals are mainly health and fitness related because I've found I can't fit in my clothes anymore. January is hard hit – 30 runs, Whole 30, 30 workouts. After January I'm hoping to find a more realistic long-term option that keeps all of those things a priority and adds in some of my favorite foods in more moderation.

    I'm also working on non-food rewards. Last night I took a hot bath to reward myself for four days of healthy eating/running/workouts. Pedicures, a night out, Stitch Fix, these are things I'm considering for my rewards.

    I'm having a terrible time sleeping, and I need to figure that out too but it's more of an insomnia thing than a "don't go to sleep on time" thing. So I plan to figure that out.

    My book goal is 140, which is doable since last year was 145 and the year before was 155. I don't want to let the rest of my life slide while I'm reading though, so I reserve the right to adjust this one; reading is also something I tend toward naturally.

    I want to get the kids into Geocaching and take them out to do that. I want to get my 5yo into something that he truly enjoys. I want ten kid-free dates with my husband.

    I think that's all. It's a lot.

  3. Oh my, I thought I was a big reader but I see my 46 books in 2015 is chump change! I wish I could read 120 books.
    Learning calligraphy is a really cool goal!

  4. My 2016 goals:

    1. Finish the book I'm writing.
    2. Finally sign my name on a book deal. (Yes, this is a bad goal as it depends on my agent and potential editors, not me, but I am adding it anyway!)
    3. Keep off the weight I lost last year. (Yay!)
    4. Read 100 books.
    5. Say "yes" to my daughter as often as I can.
    6. Adopt your clothing philosophy: buy only items I LOVE, even if they are more expensive than usual and fewer in number. I want a closet (even if it's not full) of clothes I wear.
    7. Encourage others whenever I can see something praiseworthy, especially on the internet!

  5. My 2016 goals:

    1. Finish the book I'm writing.
    2. Finally sign my name on a book deal. (Yes, this is a bad goal as it depends on my agent and potential editors, not me, but I am adding it anyway!)
    3. Keep off the weight I lost last year. (Yay!)
    4. Read 100 books.
    5. Say "yes" to my daughter as often as I can.
    6. Adopt your clothing philosophy: buy only items I LOVE, even if they are more expensive than usual and fewer in number. I want a closet (even if it's not full) of clothes I wear.
    7. Encourage others whenever I can see something praiseworthy, especially on the internet!

  6. I haven't chosen specific goals yet because I feel like my main goal is just to keep it together this year! I love the idea of setting a goal of saying do (whatever) more often or setting a yearly number rather than a number of days a week because if I miss a day I tend to call it quits too easily. I think I'll try for more real food for my picky eater, less dr appointments for me, more family outings, and more at home school time. Nothing fancy!

  7. My biggest goal this year is to stop yelling. I don't yell a ton, but I do yell too much, mostly to get my kids' attention when they are being crazy and I need them to stop. I know a more effective method is to physically intervene, get on their level, etc. So that's my big thing this year.

    Also keep the baby healthy through flu/cold/RSV season.

    And teach Ike to read. We're already making good headway on that one, so I feel confident it will happen.

  8. I love reading goals and yours are great. I also want to learn calligraphy this year (I'm the commentator from a few posts back) and am trying to get to bed by 10:30 every night too. My other goals include sending out birthday cards to my family and developing a mantra.

    Your goal about a new book Instagram series is inspiring- I'll look out for it. I like how you said you are doing it because of the joy you get out it. I am starting a new series on my own Instagram and posting some of the books that I truly enjoy. So far, the pictures don't get nearly as many likes as those of my baby, but I'm doing because it makes me so happy.

  9. I really loved your running goal, I think that's something I may try and copy! I'm really hoping to read at least 30 books this year. Which seems pitiful next to your 120, but I'm really hoping to plow through a lot of books, for me!

  10. Oh I love these – and am feeling a bit intimidated and motivated by you're 120 books. Do they include audio books and does that goal only refer to adult books for you? And how will you decide on the 120? Basically I need lots of audio book recommendations now that I've cut out netflix at the gym.

  11. One of mine is my reading goal – I said 85 on Goodreads but really it's 100. I did 115 last year (not sure how) but I know if I set that as my goal I'll stress myself out about it!

  12. Your goals are really inspiring! I always appreciate reading your book reviews on goodreads because you always say when stuff has sketchy content. I like how your goals are measurable too- I need to work on a bed time and painting the inside of our house too!

    I am hosting a goal link up here and this would be a great post to add if you are interested! 🙂

  13. I do it the same way. Yay happiness project! My book group is reading that this month and I need to read it again. I should just buy a copy.

  14. I've totally changed up the way I'm doing resolutions this year, and I'm way excited about it! Instead of doing a long list of general goals or even goals by category, I've set three types of resolutions: habits, challenges, and pleasures.

    The link is below if you're interested in specifics 🙂


    Oh, and 120 books? Holy smokes, go you! (And this coming from an English teacher who has yet to reach a 50-book challenge in the last 5 years)

  15. Calligraphy sounds awesome!! What great goals!

    I am kind of one of those people who sleeps remarkably little (2am is normal for me on a work day) but I really want to change that too. I am convinced if I sleep at 10:30 there's this magical chance I might turn into a get up at 5am and love mornings person. That person is a complete stranger to me but I think I'd like to meet her.

  16. I should also make a resolution to go to bed earlier… but I seriously doubt that I would keep it up!
    I made some myself but I decided to keep it minimal this year. I want to keep working on my professional goals, practice self care, build a consistent yoga and strength training practice (I already exercise regularly, I just want to shift my focus a bit) and read a lot!

  17. I actually asked your sister about how she functions. Because like you I am not a nice person when I don't get enough sleep. I actually think I get too much sleep so I'm working on that.

  18. I was planning on posting about my goals on Monday, but I love that you didn't do the entire list you originally created–you've inspired me to do the same!

    Two thoughts:
    1) Your baby nursed for an HOUR!!! All three of my kids have been 5-10 minutes, tops.
    2) Can't wait for your new instagram series!

  19. I'm writing this at 2:30AM, because I fell asleep at 9PM, and now I am all sorts of messed up. I think my resolution should probably involve napping and not going to bed until 10:30PM.

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