Over the last few years there has been a growing trend of people choosing a word that they hope will define the coming year of their lives. I first did this in 2017 when I chose the word "adventure," and in fact, that's what the very first post on this blog was all about! When 2018 rolled around I didn't pick an official word but Joel wrote about it being the year of "change" and boy was that an accurate word!
I've spent a lot of time over the last month or so thinking about what I want my word to be for 2019. On one of our long days in the car on our recent road trip through the UK, Steve and I spent hours talking about what our goals were for the new year. Through that conversation I realized what my word of the year should be.
My word for the year of 2019? GROWTH.
This word seems to encompass many of the goals I have for myself this year, both personally and professionally. I love that the word growth implies stretching, changing, and not just reaching a goal and then stopping, but continuing to reach for more. Many of the goals I have might not be 100% reached in a year's time, but as long as I am moving towards them, experiencing growth, I will consider the year a success.
To be completely honest, it's a bit scary for me to put these goals out here. Some of them are big dreams I've had for a long time without telling anyone. Some of them are goals I've had over and over and failed at often. I know that telling people your goals is good as it gives you some accountability, but I am afraid of naming these goals, failing at them, and feeling extra bad because it's all out here on the blog.
But again I remind myself, the goal is growth - movement towards these goals even if I don't fully reach them. I hope I'm not saying this so as to give myself an excuse to fail, but as an encouragement to try in spite of my fear of failure.
Ok so what are these goals? I'm glad you asked! Here they are, divided into three categories:
- The Big and The Small Blog: We saw a lot of success with our blog in 2018 (thanks, readers!), and we'd like to see it continue to grow in 2019. I plan to continue my posting schedule of daily Mon-Fri with two updates on Sundays (healthy update and weekly devotion). I would like to see us get more consistent with movie reviews, with the goal of doing at least 2 a week. Overall we'd like to see growth in readership and income!
- Instagram: I've seen moderate but consistent growth on Instagram this year, though I've kind of fallen down on posting over the last month or so. In 2019 I'd like to post once every single day (or at least 365 times in the year) and see growth in our followers. I need to get active again with not only posting but interacting with other people - we've met some great friends that way already, so here's to more IG friends in 2019!
- YouTube channel: Currently the blog technically has a YouTube channel (and a few random followers) but we don't actually post anything. Steve and I came up with a brilliant idea for a YouTube channel while on our road trip and we have big plans to actually follow through with it...so we shall see. This is one where I actually don't want to say the plan out loud just yet (partly because it's not just my goal), you'll have to stay tuned!
- Publish an E-Book: Y'all, this is a big one! I have wanted to write a book for a long time, and I have ideas percolating in my brain for that. What I want to do first is a bit of an easier step - I want to start writing devotionals! I have some topical/liturgical ideas and I really just need to sit down and get it done. The plan is for me to do the writing, and then for Joel to figure out how to get an e-book up for sale on Amazon. They would be inexpensive, but if enough of them sell it could be a pretty easy side income (it's a lot of work up front but once it's out there won't really take much work on our part). When I was a parish pastor I often wished I could recommend devotionals for people that were struggling with particular situations or for certain times of year - that is the kind of resource I aim to create.
- Lose Weight: This is the big kahuna. My white whale. The goal I've set for myself every year for as long as I can remember. I made some progress in 2018, going from hovering in the mid 260's to hovering in the mid 230's. Now it's time to really experience some growth (shrinkage?) in this area. I have a Healthy Wage going right now in which I will win almost $400 if I weigh 207 lbs or less by February 23rd. After that the goal will be slow and steady progress towards my all time goal weight of 135 pounds. (P.S. If you sign up for Healthy Wage with the link above, we could each win an extra $40!)
- Exercise: This is what will help me reach my weight loss goals, so in a way, this is the most important goal health-wise. My goal is to do this daily: A 1-minute plank, 100 push-ups (aka wall-ups until I can actually do real ones), 2 miles walking. Per week I would like to do at least 1 hour of yoga. Joel and I are coming up with a brilliant way to not only track these things but motivate me to do them, so stay tuned for when I share about that in the future!
- Reading: My goal in 2018 was to read one book a month, and I am proud to say I smashed that goal in the face! I'm raising the bar for 2019 and hoping to read (on average) one book a week. I have a blog post where I will track all the books I read so that at the end of the year I have a list of everything for myself and for you! (After all if you read a book and don't post about it on social media, did you even really read it?)
- Learn a language: This is another goal that has been on my list for.ev.er. but I've never made any actual progress towards it. Now with the help of the app Duolingo I am working on this goal every single day! I decided to start with French since that's the language I studied in high school and college, so I already have a base to work with. I seriously look forward to earning my 50 XP every day, trying to level up on the leaderboard, and beating my friends! I only have 3 friends right now so if you are on there please find me so we can learn together! Hopefully by the end of 2019 I can say "Je parle francais" and it will actually be true!
So those are my goals for growth for 2019! What about you? I'd love to hear all about your goals for the new year, and if we have any in common let's help hold each other accountable!
I hope you have a fantastic New Year's Eve tonight and enjoy a fabulous start to 2019!