What you do in your house is worth as much as if you did it up in heaven for our Lord God. We should accustom ourselves to think of our position and work as sacred and well-pleasing to God, not on account of the position and work, but on account of the word and faith from which the obedience and the work flow. ~ Martin Luther

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

2013 Goals...how I measured up.

 Now that I am finally caught up on blogging our 12 Days of Christmas,  I am able to begin this year good and proper-like (albeit a week or two late) and consider the great, vast, wide open scope of possibilities for the new year.  2014.  A fresh start.  And, along with that, I am able to look back on where I was last year and where I hoped to be to see just how far I have come and how I measure up.  

Not many people are brave enough to look back and critique themselves and even fewer are brave enough to share the bad news with the entire blogging world (or the small .00000016% of it that read my blog, anyway) but here I am- doing just such a foolish thing.

 They were lofty goals, I know.  Some of them were downright unattainable (especially the financial ones!) but even in the failing, I was pointed in the right direction.  I was encouraged to STRIVE. 

So I fail. So what.  At least I tried. 

It's the TRYING that counts. 

And it is the TRYING that makes me proud.

Here is how I measured up.  
(The 2013 goals are in red.)

Hopestead Goals~
  • Plant several Christmas trees (nope.)
  • Plant an asparagus bed  (yes!)
  • Plant several fruit trees (no.  My biggest lament on the Hopestead front.)
  • Cut back very overgrown Lilac Bushes (no.)
  • Prune Apple trees (second year) (yes!)
  • Begin concrete plans for Hopestead Herb Farm.  (For now, that dream needs to stay in the 'dream category.)
Financial Goals~ 
  • Develop the habit of giving Matt $40.00 per paycheck (yes! And more!)
  • Pay $10,000. toward principal of house (ha!  This is one of the laughable ones.  How did I ever think I could do this?  I don't know.  Very early on in the year, I shared here that I would readjust that goal so that we could save up a more substantial 'emergency fund'.  Before that was decided, I did make several additional principle payments.)
  • Save $5,000 toward a new van (ours has 130,000 miles on it so a "new" one is inevitable.)  (It's now up to 145,000 miles and we don't have any money saved up for a replacement.  eek.)
  • Save $1,000 to put toward investing.  (Thanks to NOT following through with paying a ridiculous number of dollars toward the principal on the house , we were able to meet and EXCEED this goal.)
 We had several unbudgeted surprise expenses this year that threw us off financially this year...including two non-insured emergency room visits (several thousand dollars later...).  Knowing this, even though I failed pretty miserably on paper, I don't consider it an EPIC fail.  We absolutely made progress, even when handed unexpected circumstances and expenses (that we were able to pay off fairly quickly leaving us again right where we like to be- DEBT FREE)...and that is something to be proud of.  
To even remotely accomplish the above goals I need to:
  • Reevaluate our budget and spending and completely overhaul it to accommodate our CODE ORANGE, LOCKDOWN status.  :-)
  • Cut all unnecessary spending. 
 We did reevaluate our budget and overhaul it but I can't say we cut ALL unnecessary spending.  There was plenty of unnecessary spending.  A dollar here, a dollar there sort of things.  I will say, however, Finances on Friday have helped me to become more "lockdown"-minded.  ;-)
Personal Goals~
  • Read through a not-dorky devotional.  (no devotionals.  I read through this book (which has specific daily Bible readings) along with regular Bible readings and the childrens' bible readings this year.)
  • Learn to knit socks. (I started going to a free knitting class.  Not good enough for socks just yet though. *sniff*)
  • Decorate, even thriftily, the childrens' rooms. (nope.  I concentrated mostly on keeping them tidy! And that took most of my time. *wink)
  • Make something for myself to KEEP.  (Did I?  I don't know.  I don't think so...)
  • Invite people over for dinner at least once a month.  (I never kept track of this so I don't know for sure, but if I didn't reach this goal, I came VERY close.  My gut says I probably did and them some.)
  • Lose 5# a month until I reach my goal weight.  (I lost 30 pounds which was ridiculously close to my goal weight.  Four pounds or something.  Unless I was shooting for wedding weight (and I kinda was) which would have been 14 more pounds.)  Don't congratulate me though- because I have gained back nearly 15 pounds in the last few months due to varying (good and not so good) reasons.  Nothing so frustrating as working so hard and then having to have a do-over.  ugh.)
  • Wake up to send Mattie off to work each morning.  (Not EVERY morning, but many more mornings than I had been doing.  Progress.)
  • Reestablish family read-alouds (barely.  I think we read four chapter book read-alouds all year.  Pathetic.)
  • Begin reading the Classics using Susan Wise Bauers' The Well-Educated Mind: A Guide to the Classical Education You Never Had as a guide. (The closest I came to this was reading Brave New World, which isn't exactly the level of 'classic' I had originally intended.  But it is a start!)
  • Take one photo a week finding Beauty. (I think I succeeded here, if unintentionally.  I kinda forgot about this one...but with me taking as many pictures as I do, I don't doubt it.)
  • Get a church website up and running. (I did!)
  • MAKE something once a month.  (Probably not.  I worked on things every month- but this summer and canning season, I didn't actually finish a single crafty thing.  Too busy canning, I guess.I well made up for it in November/December though!  *wink)
 Next time, I will share with you my goals for this new year upon us. 2014.   
Anno Domini

Do you ever check back on your goals for the year?  If so, how'd you do? 


Jill Foley said...

I did check back on my goals... I met about half of them - exceeded a couple and totally failed several.

I haven't written out my goals for this year yet... maybe I should because I do like going back at the end of the year to see what I was able to do.

You are brave for posting them!

Terri said...

I do look back and blog about them too. Some I achieved and many I did not but like you, I tried! :-) I also set new ones for 2014.

lydia.purple said...

I haven't thought of specific goals for the new year in years... but i think i might for this year. However, these are things we like to accomplish, what is way more important is what God wants to accomplish in us... i wonder how'd i do in His book last year...? and you know what, having goals (like your financial ones) somewhat in the ridiculous high realm, might actually be good to keep us striving for more. If we keep the goal in the nicely reachable level we might just lean back and go nowhere. It's like facing holiness, we can't reach it in this life yet, and we could lean back and say, well i never gonna reach it, so i won't try. Or, we take the challenge and see how close we can get. I rather live a life trying to reach the unreachable than just leaning back in the comfort zone. One of the reasons i love your blog, because you keep striving for the better and that's inspiring.

Full of Grace said...

There were a lot of accomplishments in the mix, you should be very proud of yourself- as for the saving- Unexpected Things will happen it's called life- but the Lord provided for those needs and that is a blessing. Time and time again I say God gives me just enough- not always extra but usually enough for the necessity. I think you did an amazing job for the year :)

Terri Cheney said...

I usually start thinking of goals for the New Year in November and do my yearly review at that time as well...but this year it was only a review of sorts. I wrote about what I recalled instead of looking back. I felt strongly that God wants me to let Him set my goals this year. And just to back up that idea, I was sidelined for the past month with Sciatica which is another form of Hades let me tell you, lol. I feel a bit like I'm in a free fall with no goals in front of me but I do monthly goals, just don't have big annual ones.

One thing: I just read this tip in a vintage magazine. The mother wanted the family to read aloud together but time was always a factor. She had the children take turns with her to do the dishes after supper(your two older perhaps could do that and the family gathered in the kitchen while she or the oldest child read aloud. Is that something that might work for you?