Friday, January 13, 2017

2017 Goals

With the whirlwind of December and the start of the New Year, I hadn't given a great deal of thought about practical plans/goals for 2017 (though had given much thought regarding my spiritual life and heart desire for this new year, hence the post on the 31st.)

Though when things settled more back into 'normalcy' (intermixed with wedding planning with Leah :), then inspiration came! And a new 'vision planner' has helped with that. Leah found one for herself, and I loved it so much, I got one, too, though in a different color. (One disclaimer: most of the quotes and some of the intro parts are self-focused/self-helpish which we don't appreciate. The rest of the planner is amazing, though!)

At the beginning of the planner, there is a page for planning the year with these sections:

  • 5 goals for this year
  • Things to look forward to this year
  • New things I would like to try
  • Books I would like to read
  • Places to visit this year
  • Things to improve upon this year
  • Things to be grateful for this year

Leah and I spent a fair bit of time talking about these and planning together before we filled in each of the sections. Just looking at this page is inspiring! And helpful in keeping focus.

One section that was fun to fill out was "places to visit this year." Leah and I are planning a trip to go visit two of our dearest friends in Kentucky soon (they work at the Creation Museum) and then we also have one more big special sister trip planned . . . our last one before Leah is married!

Anyway :), back to the planner . . . each month is then laid out like this:

We both love the "This Month's Vision" section!

The calendar . . . notice the 'challenge' in the top right? Each month has one (though some aren't that great), and I particularly liked this one

Daily plans for each week plus a weekly focus. In order to cultivate more of a heart of gratitude and thankfulness, I decided to use the gray boxes on the bottom to list things I am grateful for for that particular day. Already I love doing this! The little glasses on the bottom are for tracking how many glasses of water one drinks each day which is helpful, too.

Leah and I have really enjoyed planning out this next year together, setting goals, talking about how we want to grow in the next twelve months, and more. It has been special and fun to do together!

So . . . some of my goals for 2017 are:

- 1. Memorize a verse or passage of Scripture a week . . . this week it was Hebrews 12:1-3 which is a passage that I always find so encouraging and convicting. Using the Scripture Typer app makes memorization much easier for me to do!

- 2. Get back into going to bed earlier, getting up earlier, and into my regular morning routine again. With all the late nights in December, my schedule shifted quite a bit! While evenings and late nights can often still be profitable and beneficial for me (plus fun :), work wise, it is a lot easier for me to get up earlier and get product made in the morning before lunch, plus I always have and still do love those early mornings (it's just the initial going to bed early and getting up that can be the hard part!)

- 3. Exercise - I met my 2016 goal! This was to be able to run a 5k (3 miles), and I surpassed that with reaching 3.5 miles. This year I want to continue increasing the distance and increasing the speed as well. I am planning to do one long run (3.5+ miles) and one to two shorter runs (1 to 2 miles) a week. I'd like to add in an indoor exercise routine as well for some of the days I'm not running.

After a run on an unusually warm day this week (nearly 70 degrees!)
(Photo by Leah)

- 4. Healthy eating - these are basically continuing what I have already been either working on or already doing:
  • Continue to reduce/limit sugar/evaporated cane juice intake
  • For if/when a sweetener is needed in a recipe, try using our raw honey instead (and there will be a bit of a learning curve with that as I learn how to alter recipes better.)
  • Continue to reduce processed foods
  • Consistently drink 7 glasses of water a day (for my weight and exercise levels that would be the amount I need.) 
  • Eat more fresh fruits and vegetables
  • Have snacks be fruit, vegetables/salad, yogurt with berries/sunflower seeds/etc., nuts, or things along those lines
  • Try some more new fruits and vegetables - or learn to like ones I don't especially care for. :) A few months ago I determined to like a fruit that I had disliked since a child: bananas. They are really good for you and rich in potassium, so I started eating them again and am actually learning to like them!

- 5. Learn how to make my own lotion and dry shampoo (which I am hoping to use alternately with the organic shampoo I started using recently), and take more steps to using more natural personal care items.

- 6. Deepen relationships with residents at the nursing home and begin going back to the rooms more to meet people who do not come out into the main area. I also would like to spend more time talking one on one with residents. This is more challenging than it sounds as when I am there, there are many who want to talk and spend time with me so it can be difficult to not make someone feel left out!

- 7. Complete all of my in-progress projects as well as a few others (not sure if that will happen with all the wedding planning and preparation and helping with the house renovation, but we shall see!)
  • Finish restoring a couple of quilts
  • Put the cane seats in the dining room chairs I have (yes, this is still not done!)
  • Figure out how to re-do the outside of my trunk and then restore it
  • Learn how to chalk paint and paint my dresser
  • And possibly refinish a few pieces of furniture

There are many other more personal and significant goals that I have as well in the areas of cultivating relationships with my family and friends, my character/spiritual life, ministry, and evangelism, and it will be exciting to see how much progress is made in all of these by the close of this year!


  1. That planner sounds amazing! And it's so pretty too. Who makes those, and where can we order one? I am thinking they would make great graduation gifts!

    All of your goals sound wonderful, Sarah--best wishes in attaining many of them this year. Even if/when other plans come along that trump some of these, it's still so helpful to have a vision to strive for!

    One idea about the bananas...we often peel them, cut them in half, and freeze them. Then my girls use them, along with other frozen fruit, natural peanut butter, yogurt, almond milk, etc, to make smoothies.

    Enjoy your planner, and all the exciting goals within. Such a fun year coming up for y'all!


    1. It is, Betsy! We are loving ours. They are made by “bloom planners”, and we got ours off of Amazon. It looks like Amazon has only one variety left, and the planner company itself, is sold out. They probably would make good gifts, though unfortunately, they have a lot of quotes all throughout it that we don't appreciate, as well as some goals, etc. that are more self-love/self-focus. Other than that, it is so nice!

      It's been fun already to be working on these goals . . . and making progress! And yes, plans can always change. :) While I like to make plans and goals, I always hold them loosely ready to change them if needed or focus on something else!

      Mmm . . . the smoothies your girls make sound great. Thanks for the idea for how to use bananas!

      Thank you! I will. :) And yes, it is indeed!

  2. You have certainly decided upon some interesting and varied goals, Sarah!

    1. They have been fun and good to work on so far, Elizabeth!

  3. Great post, and yes what type of planner and where can you get it

    1. Thank you, Deborah! The planners are made by “bloom planners”, and we got ours from Amazon. It looks like Amazon has only one variety left, and the planner company itself, is sold out. Here is a link to the one Amazon has:

  4. I love the soft colours and texture of the quilts... You will be SO busy with all this!!
    A very inspiring set of goals :)
    Thank you, Sarah because you have reminded me of one which resonates particularly ~ to memorize extracts from the Bible, I think this would be a wonderful goal, would you believe I have not done much before although there are of course many familiar lines that everyone knows. Hiding treasure away in our hearts! :)
    Very many blessings!

    1. I am rather partial to those color tones and textures, too, Alex. :) I pulled out the pink and white quilt and finally figured out what I think is the best way to repair it. Now to get started on it!

      Yes, all of this will keep me a bit busy! At least I won't lack for things to do. :)

      I am so glad that the mention of Scripture memorization was an encouragement to you. It is such a blessing to have Scripture memorized and hidden in our hearts! Even though you have yet to do much of it, it is wonderful that you are wanting to start now. I hope the memorization goes well for you and that it will be an encouragement to you!

      Blessings to you as well!

  5. I love it, Sarah! Your goals are inspiring; I really need to begin setting goals and making plans for this year. It's a little difficult being away from home but I can still make plans and preparations for our home-coming.

    I would love to know where you and Leah found it. I especially like the "monthly visions" pages!

    I've thought of you both throughout this month. I loved our visit! :)

    1. So nice to hear from you here, Frannie! You have been in my thoughts and prayers a lot. :) Thank you for your sweet comment!

      I can so understand why it would be difficult to be setting goals and making plans with the season of life you are in now and with being away from home for so long. During the long days at the hospital, it would be fun to prepare for your homecoming, though! Every day brings that special (and I am sure very looked forward to) day closer!

      We got our planners from Amazon, though now they only have one variety left. Here is a link to it:

      We are really liking them so far, and the “monthly visions” that you mentioned is one of my favorite parts. It is quite helpful!

      Aww :), we loved our visit with you, too! Once you are back home and all settled in and if you felt up to it, we would love to come down for another one!

  6. Your journal looks cool on the inside. It definitely will help you keep everything organize and to meet all your goals. Speaking of goals. Wow! That's a lot of resolutions for 2017. Hopefully you'll accomplish everything by the end of 2017. I can't wait to hear all about your big special sister trip with Leah in the future.

    1. It is, Leah! Already it has been a help with keeping things organized and keeping up with goals. Yes, it is a lot of goals/plans :) . . . it will be interesting to see how much is accomplished and how much progress is made by the end of the year!

      I am looking forward to sharing about the trip! We are quite excited already. It will be awhile yet, though, as we're planning to go in the summer. So watch for a post about it late summer sometime!

  7. I love your planner, Sarah! It sounds like a great one! It sounds like you have some great goals for this year too! I didn't really make any but I probably should, just about a month late.

    I have a planner this year that I'm trying to remember to actually use. LOL. It's a cute one and has fun stickers that came with it so that helps.;) Pretty things just seem to be an inspiration. ;)

    1. Thank you, Salinn! I really like the planner, too, and it has been quite a help so far.

      Well, if it makes you feel any better, my plans weren't made until over a week into January. :) February works just as well to plan out the rest of the year!

      I know what you mean about how pretty things help with inspiration. I notice the same thing! Your planner sounds like fun one, and I am sure you will enjoy using it!

  8. Good Afternoon, Sarah,

    Your new planner sounds lovely. I especially like how it helps one break large goals down into step-by-step processes, which encourages one to work toward those big goals and accomplish them. Thanks for sharing this useful tool with your readers.


    1. It is, Mrs. B! I am really appreciating it so far. It does indeed help to break the large goals down and also to plan out specific goals in the different areas for each month instead of having more general goals for the entire year.

      You're welcome for sharing! Blessings to you and your family!

  9. That looks like a great planner! I need something to help me keep track of water and protein daily, I've been struggling there. I am afraid since we've been plagued by so much sickness since before Christmas, I've been slow to really attack goals this year. But now that the sickness seems to be tapering off, it is time to rededicate to some things like healthier eating! We are still hoping to visit your house church soon, it has just been a long month + of one or all of us being sick!

    1. It is Nathana! I think you would like it. It does help quite a bit having something to help keep track of water intake . . . as long as I remember to use it!

      I am sorry to hear that you all have struggled with so much sickness lately. I will be praying for you all that you get well soon (and stay well!) And then enjoy getting back on track once you are!

      We would love it if you were able to visit! Just let us know when!


Thanks so much for your comment! Each one is read and enjoyed. :)