Thursday, January 10, 2019

2019 New Year’s Goals + My Word for the Year

Before I get into the goals for the year, I want to talk about the word that I chose to be my theme for the year.  In 2016 it was LESS, in 2017 it was GROW, in 2018 it was JOY, and for 2019 I have chosen the word DONE.  This is going to be my year to get things done. 

You might think this is an odd word to choose for a word of the year, but to better understand why I chose this word, you first need to know a little bit more about me.  I have always been a very productive, self-motivated person.  I love lists, I love checking things off of said lists, and I feel at my very best when things are tidy and the way that they should be.  I like order, I like planning ahead, and I like rules... they are meant to be followed.  I do not like clutter and I cannot stand for things to be “undone.”  A pile of dishes in the sink?  Toys all over the floor?  Laundry piled in the corner?  A messy room?  It all makes me physically sick... irritable and anxious and completely stressed out.  Just call me Monica.  (From Friends, for all of you non-Friends watchers.)

Therefore, I have always struggled terribly with letting myself relax and be truly present when I know that there are things that need to be done.  Instead of being present, my mind is always wandering to the dishes that need to be cleaned and the laundry that needs to be folded.  I actually stumbled upon this article a couple of weeks ago and oh my word, this describes me to a T!  She hit the nail on the head when she said, "I am a better mom when the dishes are done."  Literally me.  

For the last few years or so (mostly since we’ve had kids) I have lived in a constant state of feeling behind and feeling like I’m always scrambling to get caught up.  While I do consider myself to be a very organized and on-top-of-things person, I still struggle in several areas.  Figuring out a simple way to keep up with the thousands of to-dos/wants/ideas/dreams in my head has always been my biggest problem, so this year I want to figure out exactly how to organize all of it so I can finally have peace of mind.  In addition to that, I really want to focus on crossing off the things on my master to-do list.  My master to-do list is bursting at the seams, and I want to whittle it waaaay down this year.  Last year I was so consumed by decluttering that there wasn’t as much time to focus on the other to-dos.  This year, the to-do list is going down!  Because the shorter my to-do lists are, the easier it is for me to truly let my mind and body rest.  When my mind and body are at rest, only then do I feel like I can allow myself to truly connect with others and feel fully present.  Do you think I’m crazy yet?  Haha.

With that said, I know it’s not realistic to think that I will get every single thing crossed off of every single one of my lists… I mean, let’s face it, life is messy and there will always be something that needs to be done.  But, I would like to get as many one-time things done as possible to shorten the master to-do list + implement new systems to help keep me on track for all of the other daily, weekly, and monthly to-dos + ideas and dreams that I have to keep up with.  That way, going forward, I’ll have a clearer mind and that will allow me to shift my focus from getting things done to the things that really matter… like being 100% present when I’m with my family and friends and really being able to focus on turning my blog into a successful business.  I feel like I have the potential to be a great blogger (because I'm so passionate about it), but I often neglect the things that I should be doing to get me there... all because I’m constantly working on other things that need to be done.

Obviously my zest for organizing and getting things done is innate, so I won’t be abandoning my to-do lists and productivity altogether (after all, it does make me really happy!), but I just want to be able to spend less time on those things and more time on the things that matter in 2020.  This is going to be the year that I finally declutter my mind and sort of “reset” my way of thinking, if that makes sense.

Whew.  Sorry for the book.  I honestly didn’t see that coming.  And also, don't think I'm going to neglect my family and kids this year to accomplish my goal either.  That's just silly. 

Now let’s get to the real reason why we’re here.  The goals. 


Be positive, worry less, complain less.  This is something that is on my list pretty much every year.  I have a tendency to fall into the dark abyss of worry and negativity (I’m sure it’s innate), so having this on my list serves as a reminder and helps me stay on track.

Work on patience.  I want to get in the habit of thinking before I speak and trying my best to respond with love and kindness.  I also want to try to stop rushing the kids so much when there's truly not a need to be in a hurry, and I just want to work on my patience in general.  I'm pretty much the least patient person you'll ever meet and I want to set a good example for the kids since Olivia seems to be taking after me in that department.  

Let kindness be my king.  The kids and I all worked especially hard on our kindness in 2018 and I feel like it made a pretty profound impact on all of us.  I want to continue our journey with kindness in 2019, and I want to continue “filling someone’s bucket” every day like I did last year.

Continue working at my relationships and forming new ones.  I want to continue treasuring my relationship with B and the kids, actively keeping relationships with old friends going strong, and working hard at cultivating new friendships.

Get caught up so I can just maintain.  Just as I mentioned when I was discussing my word for the year, I want to get stuff DONE so I can just maintain going forward and not always feel like I’m scrambling. 


Continue chugging water, working out, and eating less sugar.  I did pretty well with all of this last year, so I’m putting it on here again as a reminder.

Eat an apple most days.  I have found that on days when I eat apples I feel the absolute best.  My digestion also seems to stay on track better when I eat them.  I would love to eat one every day, but I know that won't be entirely possible, so I'm going to stick to saying most days.  :o)

Start moisturizing my neck and chest every day.  This is kind of random, but I noticed recently that the skin on my neck and chest look like they are 10 years older than the skin on the rest of my body.  When I started thinking about why that would be the case, I realized that I never moisturize those two areas.  I moisturize my face twice and a day and the rest of my body once a day, but I never moisturize my neck and chest.  And they are exposed to the sun most of the time.  Whoops.

Start using essential oils.  Once and for all!  I included this in the “health” portion of my list because they have been proven to have tons of health benefits.  I have been working on cutting out chemicals as much as possible (the primary reason I cut out birth control in 2017) and I know that oils are one of the ways to facilitate that journey.  Yes, they are expensive, but I know it’s inevitable that I will use them eventually, so 2019 is going to be the year to just do it.  Get it DONE.  I know I’ll thank myself for it and I’ll probably wonder why I waited so long in the first place to get started.

Get my health in order so I can visit doctors a WHOLE lot less in 2020.  With never-ending back/pelvic pain (from childbirth), allergies, reflux, and several other minor issues, I have pretty much lived at doctor’s offices for the last seven years or so.  Y’all, I swear I’m falling apart and I’m only 36.  Frankly, I’m tired of it.  I feel like there were some really good breakthroughs in 2018 that are going to (finally!) pave the path to my wellness, so I’m going to take that journey this year and hopefully have my healthiest year yet in 2020!

Get back/pelvic pain under control.  Get SI joint/piriformis muscle injections and continue working with my pelvic physical therapist.  We’ve come SO FAR and I really feel like there’s a light at the end of this seven year tunnel.  Ugh. 

Get allergies/asthma under control.  Continue taking medications as needed and continue allergy shots, possibly finishing them this year?

Get reflux under control.  Continue seeing my GI specialist to learn exactly how to keep my reflux (and a couple of other minor issues) under control so my breathing stays under control.  Hallelujah, my breathing is finally under control! 

Get rosacea under control.  I’ve had slight rosacea on my face for years.  I went to the doc last year to see how to get rid of it and they put me on a crazy cocktail of prescription drugs.  There were so many that had such terrible side effects that I never followed through and took the medicine.  I want to see another doctor and get a second opinion to see if there’s a better (less chemically) way to treat it.   

Get TMJ under control.  Sigh.  I’ve had TMJ issues for over a decade now (due to mild anxiety) and I wear a bite guard to keep from grinding my teeth down at night.  The bite guard has always been enough to keep it under control, but lately, I’ve been clenching my jaw so bad in my sleep that I’m biting through the Kevlar bite guard.  Yep.  You read that right.  All of my clenching has started causing frequent jaw aches, tension headaches, and a permanent ringing in my ears.  Ugh.  Someone I know recently put on FB that she was being treated for her severe jaw clenching with a super-mild antidepressant for six weeks and that is supposed to “cure” it?  Has anyone ever done this before?  Thoughts?  I don’t like the idea of taking an anti-depressant, but she told me the dose is so mild that it doesn’t really put much into your system.  Hmmmm…

Get ringing in ears under control.  Ever since I had that terrible bout with allergies back in October last year, I’ve had a terrible ringing in my ears.  Like 24 hours a day, 7 days a week ringing.  Most of the time I don’t hear it when there’s other noise around, but when it’s quiet it is soooo annoying.


Continue working on kindness and good manners.  This was so successful last year and I want to keep it at the forefront of their little minds so we raise kind, compassionate kiddos.  There’s not enough of that in the world these days.

Make a chore chart and implement a new allowance system.  This was on the list last year and we didn’t quite get it accomplished.  Take 2!

Teach them how to be responsible with money.  Same here.  It was on the list last year and we didn’t work with them at all on this.  I would like to take them to open bank accounts and teach them the importance of finding balance between spending money and saving money. 

Teach them how to be more responsible overall.  Work diligently to help them form new habits of asking to be excused after meals, taking their plates to the sink, turning off lights in rooms when they are done in there, take their backpacks to the car each morning and bring them in every afternoon, and start showering unassisted.

Teach Jacob to ride a bike without training wheels.  Dude has had a bike with training wheels for a couple of years and he is never interested in riding it.  Never.  I want to not only get him interested, but I want him to learn to ride without the training wheels.

Teach Olivia how to ride a bike with training wheels.  She doesn’t even own a bike but has been begging for one, so it’s time to get her one and teach her how to use it.

Perfect my French braiding for Olivia.  Girlfriend is constantly begging me to French braid her hair and I struggle so badly with it.  I want to get good at it and fast so we can French braid it in the morning before school.

Plan our Disney Trip for Spring Break 2020.  Yes, we’re heading back to the happiest place on earth and we’re going to plan well in advance like we did the last time so our travel agent can book all of the very best things for us once again!

Explore new places and try new things as a family.  We tend to do the same things/go to the same restaurants that we know and love, but this year I’d like to step outside our comfort zone and explore some new places we’ve never been, try some new restaurants, and start being more adventurous.  This will hopefully be reflected in our seasonal buckets lists throughout the year.


Clean out everything, simplify, get rid of clutter, and continue to buy less.  Yep, round 2 is going down this year, and I’m going to continue to be intentional with the things that we buy so we don’t accumulate more clutter.

Sell old stuff.  It’s back on my list again because it’s something that needs to get done!

Get kitchen cabinets painted.  Y’all, all of my white kitchen dreams are going to come true this year and I’m the most excited person EVER about it.  It’s going to be a fun year for our home!

Get entertainment center painted.  Yep, the entertainment center is going to be painted white, too.  Bye bye, dark colors!  Hello, light and airy!

Get the coffee table and side table painted.  These need updating, too. 

Repaint the living room, kitchen, foyer, and staircase.  We’ve lived here for almost ten years… it’s time for some updates.  Lighter and brighter is my goal once again!

Get master bedroom updated and exactly how I like it.  Not much needs to be done, but we do need new bedding and I’d like to update a couple of the wall hangings, too.

Turn Olivia’s room into a big girl room.  She’ll need new paint, a few new accessories, and we need to turn her bed into a big girl bed.  She’s almost five, after all. 

Cut long-term to do list down by 50%.  Right now I have it organized by category in an Excel document and it's 472 lines long.  OMG.  I have my work cut out for me.


Lots of goals for this little space of mine this year!

1.      Blog smarter, not harder.  I want to permanently cut back to blogging four days per week most weeks and then cut back to three posts per week during the summer and Christmas Break while still maintaining my monthly pageviews.
2.      Blog ahead.  I have always been the type to write my posts the day before they go live, but this past year I started working ahead during certain times of the year and it is fantastic.  I want to start doing it as much as possible.
3.      Enroll in two blogging courses that I’ve had my eye on for years.  It’s time to start investing in my blog because I know in the long-run it will be worth it.
4.      Collaborate with more brands than ever this year.
5.      Increase monthly income and make this my most lucrative year on the blog yet (without compromising my content and the real reason why I blog – to preserve memories).
6.      Start planning for a blog revamp (including media kit and email signature), and a possible switch to Wordpress.  (This one terrifies me.)
7.      Continue updating old posts (SEO, watermarking pictures, creating Pinterest worthy images).
8.      Instagram – increase following to 10k without letting the ‘Gram drive me crazy.  I still want that swipe-up feature but I’m not going to go crazy over trying to get there. 
9.      Instagram – continue using stories a lot and share even more about decluttering/organizing/planning.
10. Instagram – find my “groove” with my picture feed.  I want to start incorporating more pictures of the kids, more pictures of my letter boards, more fashion stuff, more candids, and more pictures that are just… interesting.  I also want a lighter, whiter, brighter feed while also continuing with my pops of color.  Basically my Christmas feed from this past year, but all year-round. 
11. Pinterest – increase following to 5k
12. Pinterest – keep monthly viewers over at least 1 million.  I was over 4 million monthly viewers for several months this past year, and I want to get that traffic back up again.
13. Pinterest – pin content more frequently
14. Facebook – increase following to 500
15. Facebook – start utilizing it more and posting about stuff other than just blog posts.
16. Twitter – increase following to 1k (why do I keep putting this on here when I hate Twitter so much?!  Haha.)

In addition to the one-time yearly goals post, I have also decided to start doing monthly goals posts to ensure that I stay on track.  Stay tuned because tomorrow my January goals post will be live!

Let’s do it, y’all!  I’m so pumped for 2019!

And here’s to getting stuff DONE and setting myself up for the best year ever in 2020!

If you want to see my goals from prior years check out the posts below!


  1. I love the word you've chosen for this year!! While I've never heard of someone choosing that word, I think it's perfect! I don't like clutter either and I am a much nicer person if the house is picked up, so your word would be perfect for me too haha!!! Love your goals, too!
    Sarah at MeetTheShaneyfelts

  2. You've got this friend!! I really hope you can figure out the health stuff! Decluttering is for sure on my list. More importantly organizing the crazy amount of toys we have. Blogging smarter was one of the best decisions I made. My page views dropped at first, but then when I got serious about Pintetest they rose again.

  3. Seems like a good word for you! I think my word is going to be confidence. Because that's what I'm trying to build! I just switched to wordpress. It went pretty well actually!

  4. You have this. So much to look forward to this year and I cannot wait to watch you accomplish it all. Curious which courses you are looking at.

  5. Such a great word that has so much meaning for you. I know that you are going to do great this year! So many wonderful things to work towards. I need more patience too lol. I've been thinking about switching to Wordpress to but it also terrifies me.

  6. phew that was a long one! But you got this! I hope you can figure out your health stuff, I too am ALWAYS at the doctors and it's annoying. I'm going to work on being more present with the gets, like you, I'm always thinking of what needs to get done, instead of just sitting with the kids to watch tv. The other night we all sat down and watched a full movie, which happens hardly ever. It was so nice to not have to do anything but sit and cuddle and watch tv. Cause let's face it the kids are going to remember all the time you were cuddling them, not all the time the house was clean and neat.

  7. You got this. So many goals and I hope you at least achieve 60% of them if not more. I am a type A list lady like you but I always set the goal there on a long list so when I finish more I feel like a champ! I love the word for this year and I am terrified of switching to wordpress too!

  8. I feel like I have SO MANY things to comment on, haha! First, you know how I feel about the apple a day - I need to try that, too! I hope you get your health under control - I cannot believe you bit through your mouth guard - that is crazy! I feel like this really will be your year to be done. You've done so much ground work last year, that this year you can whip things into shape in no time, cross things off the list, and just maintain!

  9. Damn girl - that is a LIST. Good luck!

  10. As a fellow TMJ sufferer, I can relate to the side effects. I have ground my teeth down so bad that the top and bottom teeth "fit" together. I throw my mouthgard across the room in my sleep. So, they don't really help. I also just broke a brand new crown from grinding in my sleep. Dentist said it has only happened 1 other time that he's known of. I have given up on any sort of remedy. Hope you find one!!!

    1. Noooo! Don't tell me that! That is so crazy that you are grinding yours that bad. I'll be sure to report back if I ever find anything that works!

  11. Your goals are on point! And I love the idea of being "done" with things in 2019!

  12. So many great goals! I too would love to blog ahead but I'm a night before the post goes live girl. Maybe I should add that to my goals this year!!!

  13. DONE for me means I'm over it, move on, so I'm glad you could give new meaning to this word of the year for yourself! Ha!

  14. Wow! You are going to be BUSY this year! I love your list of goals! Rock on!

  15. I LOVE your word. I’m the same way. I’m a better mom when my dishes are done. 😂. You are going to rock these goals.

  16. Wow, those pinterest monthly views are amazing! And I don't think many people use twitter much anymore. I look at it occasionally, but more to see news stories.


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