2013 Priorities

This year will prove to be a very exciting one full of a whirlwind of wonderful changes.

In a few weeks, we will be closing on our very first home. A few days later, Marshall will start a new position within his company (a well deserved promotion), and in late March our family will expand our hearts as we welcome a precious baby girl into our lives.

With all this change up front, the months that follow will be a haze of adjustments.

Goals. Resolutions. Priorities. No matter how you label it, I think it is good to have a measurable action plan that you can use for accountability throughout a new season. Most people set these goals at the beginning of a New Year and although this is not always the case for me, this year I am following suit.

So here are my priorities as I’ve decided to label them.


2 books: Visionary Parenting and Mission of Motherhood

I am in the middle of both of these books but due to the nature of their content, it is taking quite some time to digest the information. I’ve been underlining, scribbling, journaling and reflecting like a mad woman as I read Mission of Motherhood and would like to do the same with Visionary Parenting.

Partner with Marshall

to improve our eating/exercise habits

As a team: continue to grocery shop monthly and spend a day each month cooking to get stocked up on some freezer meals

Personally: walk twice a week

Accountability Partner: hold Marshall accountable weekly to his exercise goals


work: finish strong and well at LCLC (I aim to work til baby comes)

play: start writing again (blog weekly)


our new home: work on making it a warm, inviting, haven for Marshall and Dominic and soon Charlee

our growing family: work on helping everyone adjust to life with a newborn

I am really looking forward to this year. All these changes cause me to crave simplicity. So my goals are simple. When I look back on 2013, I hope to say that I did more than survive an avalanche of change but that I kept my priorities and am a better person as a result.



One at a Time

I love lists. I love goals. I love crossing things off my list and announcing a goal met. But sometimes I get a little carried away with my lists and goals. Sometimes my lists get so long and my goals so lofty that I can’t cross anything off and another year passes and goals are not met.

And it’s not that I don’t have the greatest of intentions. Often I get so fired-up inspired and feel as if I can take on the world.  {Cue the Indiana Jones theme song Duh Duhduh Duh… Dudduh Duh… Duhduh duh duh…. Duhduh duh duh DUH!!}

And it’s not that I can’t do any one of the items on my list. It’s that I can’t do ALL of them at once. But I try to!

It goes down something like this:

I hear a speaker, read a book, wake up from an inspiring dream, have a brainstorming conversation with a good friend and the eyes begin to sparkle, the wheels begin to turn and the list begins with not one, not two, but 3 millions things to be accomplished by one person in an unreasonably short amount of time even for a super hero!

But I take it on because I can!

I’m going to:

  • Run 3 miles EVERYDAY
  • Blog 3 times a week
  • Volunteer at the local hospital every Friday
  • Learn to speak a foreign language in under a week
  • Menu plan for the entire year
  • Cook fresh food, from my garden. everyday of the week (3 meals a day)
  • Send everyone I know an encouraging letter by the end of the month.
  • Lose 10lbs by giving up coffee cold turkey
  • Publish my first book by the end of August
  • Write the enrichment curriculum for the entire year by the end of September

And the list and the aspirations go on and on

It’s not too bad at first. Day one of goal attaining is busy but the thrill of success is addictive. Day two, I’m a little tired from the day before but I’ve got the tiger by the tail! Let’s do this! By day 7, I’m worn out.  Goals are falling off the wagon right and left and I really have nothing to show for my effort but red eyes and a crushed spirit.

And I give up or postpone my lists and goals…until I hear another great speaker or read an inspiring book or…you get the picture.

But recently I had a “what if” moment.

What if I made my lists and goals just like always but then I narrowed them down to goals that I actually wanted to meet.

And what if I  was realistic in my goal setting instead of creating unrealistic timelines and expectations

And what if I took it one step further and only did one thing at a time.

Yep. What if I went after one and only one goal with reckless abandon until I could cross it off my list.

And then picked another goal that I went after with that same undivided passion as before.

I’ve played around with this a little bit. Thanks to an inspiring movement called Finish Year I made three simple goals for this year.

1. Tell Marshall and Dominic that I love them every day.

2. Write one blog post a week.

3. Mail one handwritten note per week.

Now this is a great movement and I love it but I bet you know what’s coming. Even with these three simple goals, I don’t meet all of them. Have I mailed any handwritten notes? Just one. So this goal although honorable has not happened…yet.

But with my new resolve to cross things off my list one thing at a time I think it’s about to start happening.

I do tell Marshall and Dominic every day how much I love them. Honestly this one comes so easily that there really wasn’t any effort required.

Blogging once a week. That has started to come more naturally as well. But it has taken time. And I’m not thoroughly convinced that I’ve got this one mastered. But…in a few weeks, after I’ve successfully blogged at least once weekly, I will view this goal as attained. I will also view it as habit {which ultimately is better than being crossed off of any list}

And I will move on to a handwritten note a week.

Now. A few thoughts.

Does this mean I won’t write any notes between now and when it becomes my priority goal? Not at all. I just won’t hang my head in shame if I don’t write one each week, either.

This also doesn’t mean that I won’t try to cut back on the caffeine or get outdoors for a run here and there or work on any other goals I have on my proverbial list. But again I won’t beat myself up over a goal unattained.

I’ll take my goals one at a time and work on them til I succeed. Until they are a part of me. And then I’ll move on to the next thing.

But I’ll take on each line item one at a time and be proud of my albeit short list of accomplishments. It may be short but it will be much better than a long list of the should have, would have, could haves of the past.

So I’ve shared my top three goals for this season. One is a habit. One is getting there and another is waiting to be tackled when the time is right.

If you made a list of priorities and goals, realistically narrowed them down, what would be the first thing that you would start working on?

My One Thing

Three years ago, my husband and I moved to Texas. We had been traveling a lot with work and this position in the company had no plans of travel on the horizon whatsoever. When you’ve lived out of a suitcase your entire first year of marriage, that sounds heavenly.
So we moved to The Colony, Texas (a very awesome decision by the way) and started living life. Not too deep into Marshall’s new position, he was introduced to a concept called ‘one thing’. In a nutshell, your one thing is the one thing that you aim to do daily that will prove you are doing your job well. I loved this concept. Even recall saying: “I want a ‘one thing’!” {insert whiny voice}
Fast forward 2 and a half years. I’m a mommy to a new born, teaching part time at a preschool and struggling to regain ‘me’. All mommies know what I’m talking about. That postpartum haze. The fog that robs you of your mind, takes your emotions for a roller coaster ride, and wreaks havoc on your personal identity. You start asking yourself: Who am I?
That was me. I was involved in a lot of good things but I wasn’t happy.  The problem was they weren’t the best things for me to be doing. They were activities that I could do, but so could anyone else. They were committees and events that didn’t make my heart skip a beat. And to be honest my contribution didn’t really turn any heads either. I did my job and did it well. But only because someone asked me. Only because there was a need. And well someone had to do it.
Then one day I realized that I had a bad attitude. And I didn’t care. I knew these causes I was connected to were so incredibly important. They were making a difference. But not because of me. In spite of me. I was filling needs.
When the light bulb in my head came on so did the memory of my husband’s one thing.
I needed a one thing!
With a clear concise one thing, I could easily separate the needs from the callings! {excitement building!!!}
And so with very little editing, I drafted the following ‘one thing’ filter:
To reach children and their families by showing them the love of Jesus in a fun and creative way.
I did this last December. Since that time, I can’t think of a single event that I’ve participated in that did not fall quite nicely into my ‘one thing’ prerequisite. If an opportunity came up that didn’t line up with this ‘one thing’ there was only one answer to give: “Thanks but no!!”
Does this mean I say ‘no’ to anything that doesn’t have to do with children or their families? No. If someone needs me to set up a few chairs, I’ll happily do it. If you need me to make a few phone calls, sure. But I won’t be heading up a committee to fundraise for a new roof or singing a special on Easter Sunday.
But you might catch me dancing with toddlers and carrying around a plush heart with arms tenderly referred to as Huggy Heart by my little friends. You might see me speaking passionately about families and the importance of Dedication of Home and Family. You might even catch me doing a Science experiment in my backyard just to make sure it will work before trying it at school. And you’ll definitely catch me on translategoogle.com trying to stay one step ahead of my budding Spanish bilinguals.
I’ve found my one thing and it feels great.
What about you? Do you know your one thing? Are you living the dream or spinning your wheels?