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My 10 Goals for 2017: June 9th Update

Welcome to my monthly post where I share an update on how I’m doing on my goals for 2017. I hope that this post inspires you in your own goal-setting journey!

It’s time for another goal update for 2017! May was a rougher month for us… it was the last month of school so there was a lot of extra stuff with end-of-the-year projects, we traveled more than usual, and we had some hard things happen personally that took a lot of time and effort and required a lot of emotional energy.

So I gave myself grace this month to just focus on making it through, investing in the most important things, and not stressing about the little things.

I’m sharing a recap of each of my goals + an update on how I’m doing on each of them below. (If there’s no update listed, I have no update to report. Hopefully I’ll have an update next month!)

Personal Goals

1. Run 3 miles in 30 minutes — I took up running again this year — as part of my fitness plan that my nutritionist put together for me. I’ve never been skilled in the running department, but I’ve started to really enjoy it and am wanting to push myself here and be able to easily run 3 miles in 30 minutes.

June 9th update: I’m on a more intentional running regimen — varying between easy runs, long runs, and weight training. My nutritionist is a runner so he is putting together a run training schedule for me each week!

This month, I’m continuing to average about 2.6 miles in 30 minutes. I didn’t have as much time to exercise with traveling, so I just gave myself grace to not try to increase my pace this month.

(I could push myself and do more, but my nutritionist is encouraging me to not push myself too hard, too fast and instead to slowly build up my endurance. So I’m trying to take my time and not get impatient. Because I know that slow and steady wins the race!)

2. Make it to Phase 4 of the nutrition plan — I’m currently working through a 4-phase custom nutritional plan with my nutritionist. I start in Phase 1 back at the end of August 2016. He thinks that at the rate I’m going and progressing, I’ll be able to start Phase 4 by mid-2017! And I guess that when I hit Phase 4, I’ll feel absolutely and utterly amazing!

June 9th update: I started Phase 3 in February! This means I get to introduce back in quite a bit more foods and have more wiggle room as far as what I can and can’t eat (I can even eat one dessert every week now!). Plus, it means that I’ll be eating even more — which is crazy because I feel like I eat so much right now. 🙂

I love how my tastes have changed so much in the last few months. I crave healthy foods almost all the time and rarely have a desire to eat something that isn’t something nourishing. I even like celery now — a food I couldn’t stomach before!

I think one of the biggest things that has changed is that I’ve really made taking care of my health a top priority in my life. And the benefits and results of that are pretty amazing!

3. Read 48 books I already own — I didn’t read as much in 2016 nor did I set any reading goals because I let myself have a lot more time to rest, feel, think, process, sleep, and just slowly go through one or two books at time. I wanted to see what that felt like… and I realized it was good for a year, but now I’m anxious to get back to more reading and having a few books going at once! I decided to challenge myself this year to focus on reading books I already own.

So I picked 48 books — a stack of 12 books that were old Christian reprints, a stack of 12 books that were story driven, a stack of 12 books that were about improving your life, and a stack of 12 books to encourage me in my Christian walk. My plan is to try to read one from each stack each month.

June 9th update: See all 45 books and ebooks I’ve read in 2017 so far here! Yay! It feels so good to be back to reading again!

Here’s what I’ve read so far this year from books I already own:

January: Candles in the Dark, Grace Not Perfection, A Trip Around the Sun, and The Giver. Of those 4 books, The Giver definitely was the one that impacted me the most profoundly. I wrote more about it here.

February: Answers to Prayer, Hope in Front of Me, The Cozy Life, Be Real.

March: If, Lilac Girls, Just Do SomethingUnashamed

April: Thou Givest, They GatherA Gospel PrimerThe Big Leap10% Happier

May: Power Through Prayer, The Broken Way, Hope Heals, DARE: The New Way to End Anxiety & Stop Panic Attacks

Marriage Goals

4. Go on a 4-day completely unplugged tripJesse and I went to Hawaii last year and it was downright incredible. I left my computer at home and didn’t get online or on social media the entire time. It was BLISS!! We walked for miles on the beach, I fell in love with the ocean, I read 10 books (!), we scouted out the cheapest food options (because the food is SO $$ there! But never fail, we found a Subway we could walk to a few miles away from our hotel!), and we just had so much fun together.

We’re planning to do the same sort of trip of this year, but we’re going somewhere different. We’re currently saving up and looking for deals so that we can do the trip for just a few hundred dollars like the Hawaii trip!

Family Goals

5. Go to South Africa as a family — Our kids have been begging to go back to South Africa and we’ve set a goal to make that happen this year. We’re hoping to find a great deal on tickets like we did last time during a timeframe that works for our friends in South Africa. The kids are already getting really anxious thinking about it (and of course, Jesse and I are, too!!)

June 9th update: So, after quite a bit of investigation and back and forth with our friends in South Africa, we don’t believe that it’s going to work out for us to go this year because the only window of time we have long enough to make it happen this summer (and allow time on either side of the trip to prepare and recover) is the one time when the families there can’t do it. Instead, we were planning a trip to London, but because of a few different things that have come up in the last month, we are thinking of actually doing a stateside road trip to visit some states we’ve never been to instead. It’s still up in the air for sure, but we should know for sure in the next two weeks!

Financial Goals

6. Sell our 3 rental houses in Kansas — So, we loved having rental houses and it’s been a great investment for us (we paid cash for them and have turned a profit on them pretty much every single month we’ve had them!), but we have decided that we’d like to sell them (and hopefully turn an additional profit when we sell them) and put that money into our house savings. Then, once we’ve purchased a house here, we’ll start saving to invest in local real estate.

June 9th update: We sold one of our houses and we got both of our other houses on the market this month! Hopefully we’ll have good news about them being sold very soon!

7. Save up to pay cash for a house here in TN — As I mentioned above, this is something we’ve been mulling over a lot this past year and thinking through and have decided to start saving aggressively for in 2017. By selling our rental houses, we should have at least 75% to 80% of the total amount saved… which will mean, we should be able to save the additional 20% to 25% needed this year if we are careful and strategic.

And yes, homes in this area are much more expensive than Kansas!! We could move about 30 minutes away and homes would go down significantly in price, but we love this area and we love being so close to our church, to the kids’ school, and to other places we go to on a weekly basis. We’ve also decided we’d like to buy something that would be our “forever home” and would give us enough space to have offices + bedrooms for each of the kids.

June 9th update: Since we sold one of our rental houses (see above), we are now at 40% of our savings goal!!! If we can sell the other two houses in the next 3-4 months + save all we can during that time period, we should be really, really close to our goal!!

**Not listed specifically, but very important to us: We decided to take a leap of faith and significantly increase our giving this year. We didn’t feel comfortable listing the details of that as a goal here publicly, but we wanted to acknowledge that this was happening. Because honestly, it’s our heartbeat and one of the main reasons I’m highly motivated to be strategic with what I do online — so that we can give generously to causes and people near and dear to our hearts.**

Business Goals

8. Release 2 online courses. 

June 9th update: We are in the process of putting together not just two courses, but an entire SERIES of courses on blogging that we’ll be slowly launching over the next year. We launched our first mini-course in May and are working on finishing up the next course (a full course) that should release in a few weeks! Check out to see what other courses we have coming soon!

9. Start 2 new blogs — I shared more here about the big changes for this blog in 2017 — including two brand-new blogs I’m launching.

June 9th update: We officially launched a few weeks ago and I am having so much fun teaching other bloggers over there! If you are interested in blogging or you know someone who is, I’d love for you to head on over and check out the site. I’d also love for you to follow me over on my Your Blogging Mentor Instagram where I’m sharing daily tips and advice for new bloggers.

Now, with all of the work involved with, I decided that I needed to shelve the idea for a little while. I don’t want to overload my plate or bite off more than I can chew. And I don’t want my team to be overextended, either. So I made an executive decision a few days ago for us to hold off on moving forward with my idea until I feel like I have enough breathing room and margin to add something new.

In the mean time, if you’re not following me on my personal Instagram here, I’d love for you to follow me. I’ve been sharing a lot of personal stuff, heart stuff, and real-life stuff… and I’d love for you to check out my daily Instagram Stories, too, because there’s rarely a dull moment around here. 😉

10. Learn YouTube/iMovie — You can watch my recent YouTube videos here.

June 9th update: I’ve had fun editing and publishing YouTube videos and feel like I’ve made a lot of headway in learning tricks and strategies and what works.

I’ve been lax in editing YouTube videos the past few weeks because of travel and end-of-school stuff and life and launching, but I did win a $1000 gift card to B&H for an affiliate promotion a few months ago with a company I worked with so I just used it today to buy a brand-new vlogging camera. Which means that I just might be inspired to do more with YouTube — especially since the video quality should be so much better if I’m not shooting with my phone!

How are YOU doing on your goals for 2017? Leave a comment and let us know!

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  • Jaclyn says:

    I would love to know what camera you are going to get for your vlog. I am wanting to implement more videos into my blog, which I am launching hopefully soon thanks to your site.

  • Kristi says:

    Thanks for sharing your goals! My husband and I want to go on a trip for our anniversary in October. He got a significant raise this last month (what a blessing!) so we are hoping to get to at least 50% of his student loans paid with saving up and the raise. However, spending time with each other for our 18-year anniversary is important as well, and our kids are old enough to leave at home-yay! How did you find your cheap trip to Hawaii? We don’t necessarily need to go there, but I’m wondering if you have tips for finding really amazing travel deals.

    • One of my favorite sites to follow for great flight deals is Scott’s Cheap Flights (a reader tipped me off to it and I would highly recommend it): — it’s international flights, but it might be something to check into. Another tip is to travel in the off-season.

      {For us, we used credit/points to pay for our hotel/airfare and then got free breakfast at the hotel/snacks in our room (provided by the hotel because of our level in their loyalty program — it pays off to always use the same hotel chain when you travel, if possible!) and walked to Subway/the grocery store for our other meals!}

  • My mantra for 2017 is “living the moment”. There are other goals we are trying to achieve. But this mantra is very important to me personally and i’m making some life changes to make this special goal work.

    • Love it! I was just telling someone last night that I feel like I’m living one day at a time right now and trying to live that day fully, because you never know if you have more than today!

  • Elizabeth says:

    Great job! My main goal this year is to get healthy. A few weeks ago I started working with a personal trainer which, surprisingly, felt really good.

    However, things have been so crazy at work I’ve had to skip the last few sessions with him as well as with my health coach. I’m trying very hard (and am going to have to put in some extra effort) not to fall into that old trap that I don’t have time to be healthy. Feeling good and having more energy is important to me and I have to continue to keep making myself a priority.

  • Wendy Briscoe says:

    My son(8) and I are doing weekly challages this Summer and last week it was to not spend money. We did it! Starting on Sunday we agreed tonight to both try to drink water as much as we could to get our required amount in. Him (4 to 6 glasses a day. Me, (6 to 8) a day. I am addicted, I mean ADDICTED to Coca Cola, so I really need to stop the habit, and get healthier, so I’ve been trying to move more, and be more active so this next week’s challange will be hard, but I think well worth it. I find if I can do a challange in a week time frame it makes me not feel so burdened with a year long commitment! Hope you are having a great Summer!

  • Archie Jr says:

    To me having good health is important. It does not good if a person makes money and be not in good health. I learn that last year. I lost 35 pounds since November of last year and I feel better. Keep up the great work.

  • Anna says:

    Crystal you’re always so amazingly inspirational! My goals for this year are weight loss, blogging, improving our finances and more time together….. All making progress: My blog is now up and running (!) We’ve just paid off the last 2 debts on our credit files, we’ve taken up new hobbies together and I’ve just started Aquafit classes to boost the weight loss….. Thanks for keeping me motivated x

  • Paula says:

    Love reading your post. Inspires me. We have turned a corner into retirement ( hubby spent 28 years in military). We have been blessed to be able to both not work as of now while still be able to save and pay debt.. we have been living a pretty frugal life but got off track for a bit. Our goals right now are pay off last cc by year end. Try a few no spend months ( which we have never done). Learn container gardening in Florida to help with our food bill. Those are just a few.

  • Wow. you are so dedicated…that’s awesome. Do you think blogging about it helps you stick to accomplishing your goasl more?

  • Denise Renae says:

    Thanks for the inspiration, Crystal! I always love to see people being intentional with goal setting. And I will be hecking out your blog in helping out newer bloggers!

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