Happy New Year!! Dave and I started 2016 in a whirlwind way. We rang in the new year with friends in Syracuse, drove to Pittsburgh (through horrible lake effect snow–thank goodness Dave was driving and not me!) on January 1, celebrated a sweet friend’s wedding in our college town on January 2, and headed home to Raleigh on January 3. We had a wonderful time in Syracuse with Dave’s family, but I’m thankful to be home after two weeks away so I can get organized and back into a routine. One of the best things about our four road trips over the past two weeks was plenty of time to think about what we want 2016 to look like, and I’d love to share my 2016 goals with you today! First, a look back at my 2015 goals:
1. I want to find a prayer “system” that really works for me and helps me to be more consistent in my prayer life, and to grow in my relationship with God as a result, both individually and as a couple with Dave.
— My relationship with God is something I know I’ll always, always be working on, but I did put some great things in place that have been so helpful. I read Blessed is She devotions first thing every morning, and Dave and I do our best to pray or read Scripture together every day.
2. I want to have a truly wonderful marriage with Dave, on every level, and to gracefully navigate the transition to living together and being married. I will do this by praying with and for him, communicating kindly and openly, and making him feel loved at every opportunity I can.
— Again, this is something I’ll always work toward, but gosh, our first eight months of marriage have been wonderful. I’m truly thankful for that, and even more so, for the fact that we’re both committed to having a great marriage and doing what it takes to make that possible.
3. I want to grow healthier, stronger, and more confident in time for our wedding, and to keep up that lifestyle afterwards as well. I will do this by expanding my healthy recipe repertoire, completing the Love Your Body Series and Bikini Series on Tone It Up and running in at least three 5K races this year.
— In short, yes! I wasn’t perfect with healthy eating or exercise by any stretch of the imagination, but I felt beautiful and confident on my wedding day, and I’m proud of the healthy meals and routines that are a part of my life. I ended up running in two 5Ks rather than three, but I’m still calling this goal a win.
4. I want to find a community of girlfriends in NC, and make time with friends a regular part of my life. I also want to foster my long distance friendships through regular letters and phone calls.
— I feel like I’ve made some great progress in this area–I’m so thankful for the sweet girls I’ve gotten to know this year! This year, I’d love to continue to grow in these friendships, and keep in touch better with my long distance friends.
5. I want to understand my finances better and be more intentional about setting myself up for financial success. I want to learn more about the married budget Dave has created for us and take an active role in keeping to it.
— Oh, budgeting. Dave absolutely spearheads this in our family because he is brilliant at it, and thanks to his leadership, we’ve made amazing financial strides this year. I have definitely made an effort to be involved in our day-to-day budget (bless my sweet husband for all his grace with me), but in the coming year, I want to learn more about the long-term plans for our money.
1. Continue to grow in my relationship with God, because without Him, I can do nothing. Some action items include prayer, journaling, the Sacraments, studying theology, and participating in two great ministries at my church.
2. Continue to prioritize my marriage and grow with Dave so that we can live out our vocations to marriage well and be a strong witness to the sacrament. A few action items we’ve brainstormed for this include monthly brunch dates, going to daily Mass together on a regular basis, and of course, celebrating our first anniversary!
3. Continue to grow in my healthy lifestyle, because I feel my most confident and strong when I’m healthy. Participate in Tone It Up workout programs, run one 5K and one 10K (ahhh!), try three fitness classes, and try 20 new healthy recipes.
4. Be a great friend and be generous in showing hospitality to others. “Do not neglect hospitality, for through it, some have unknowingly entertained angels” (Hebrews 13:2). From girls nights, to dinner parties, to writing letters to long distance family and friends regularly, hospitality is something I’m passionate about, but haven’t lived out as much as I would have liked. I am planning to make a “hospitality bucket list” for the year, and will be sure to share it when I do!
5. Refine Something Pretty to be a true reflection of my voice and passions. I’ve realized this year that blogging is so good for my mental work/life balance, and it means a lot to me that I get to share with you in this space! I hope to make it even more reflective of my heart in the coming year.
1. Attend daily Mass with Dave at least twice.
2. Pack up our Christmas decor and do a deep clean of our apartment, including going through a few more drawers to get rid of things we don’t need.
3. Follow the Tone It Up 8-Week Program that started this week.
4. Write my hospitality bucket list.
5. Finish and launch the Something Pretty redesign.
As you can see, many of my yearly goals are a little abstract, but I think that’s okay–I hope you’ll see the common threads of faith, marriage, health, hospitality, and sharing my passions carry through my goals every month of the year! What are you hoping to accomplish or grow in in 2016? I’d love to hear!