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2012 Goals: The Final Tally (and some lessons I learned about goal-setting in 2012!)

I set out with gusto in 2012… and I sort of fizzled out as the year went on. Sure, I did accomplish quite a few goals on my list, but there are a number of goals that were only 50-75% finished.

Here’s what I learned about myself and goal-setting in 2012:

1. I Tend to Be Overly Ambitious

I was so excited about basically accomplishing all my goals for 2011 that I went a little hog wild in planning for 2012. And I bit off more than I could chew, as is evidenced by my list below. In 2013, I’m cutting back on the number of goals I’m setting, as well as scaling back those that I do set.

2. I Need to Think Carefully Before Setting a Goal

I had grand ambitions for some of my goals, but I didn’t carefully consider whether they were things I could stick with for 12 months — or things I could reasonably accomplish in 12 months! In 2013, I’m carefully considering each goal and the time it will take before it’s making the list.

3. I Need to Stop Trying to Do Too Much

It seems I forgot to “keep it simple” in planning some of my goals for 2012. Too much of a good thing is just plain too much. In 2013, I’m going to have a much shorter goal list so that I can really hone in on the most important things… and save my other big ideas for another year! 🙂

4. My Goals Need to Be More Measurable and Specific

Some of my goals — like the monthly habits and business goals — were too vague and broad to really nail down. In 2013, I’m only allowing myself to set clearly specific and measurable goals.

Stay tuned for my goals list for 2013 coming early next week. In the mean time, here’s my wrap-up from 2012:

Read through the Bible in a year.
Read through the 24 books on my 2012 booklist. {I also read quite a few other books!}
Listen to 12 audiobooks. {I only made it through September on this one.}
Run in at least one 5K race.  {You can see a picture and read more about my experience here.}
Complete the Couch to 10K program. {Started this in October.}
Tackle 12 Do-It-Yourself Projects. {I did a lot of DIY projects, but only did three on my actual list. Bad me!}
Focus on one habit per month. {Totally bombed this one for a few of the months.}
Learn to use my new DSLR camera.
Take at least one photo a day and put together a page every week for my Project Life album. {I didn’t quite stick with this one, but I did put together an almost-completed album over the course of this past year.}
Memorize Colossians using the plan and free download here. {I didn’t do very well on this one.}

Go on the Love Like You Mean It Cruise. {Done–read my recap here.}
Go on two Marriage Retreats.{Went to Cincinnati together in April & Pennsylvania in October.}
Have monthly date nights.
Read four books together. {We only made it through 2.5 books.}
Read at least 3 books on marriage

Continue regular dates/outings with each of the children individually.
Continue Grace and Truth memory book.
Ice-skating lessons for all three children.
Swimming lessons for all three children.
Finish second grade, begin third grade with Kathrynne.
Finish kindergarten, begin first grade with Kaitlynn.
Start preschool with Silas.
Go on at least one field trip every month. {Except for one month when we were sick, we accomplished this goal.}
Go on at least one family vacation.
Finish at least 15 read-aloud books. {We’ve finished a total of 27 read-alouds this year!}

Ministry/Friendships/Extended Family
Write at least two handwritten notes every month to encourage someone.
Continue being involved in our local church, homeschool group, young couple’s group, and blogging accountability group.
Continue with weekly get-togethers with both sides of our extended family.

Continue to take Sundays off from blogging/business work.
Continue keeping strict Office Hours for the business/blogging time each day. {Still plugging away on this!}
Switch to a paperless planning system. {This is the one goal I think I’ve officially decided to drop this year as it just wasn’t working for me. Back to the paper.}
Follow my weekly blogging plan. {I made some good progress with this in 2012.}
Plan blog posts out at least a month in advance. {I made some real progress in this area in 2012 — yay!}
Write and schedule blog posts at least a week in advance. {I’m doing somewhat better on this.}

Continue to tithe 10% of our income. {Ongoing}
Give generously to needs in our community and around the world, as God prompts us. {Ongoing}
Pay cash for a new-to-us vehicle to replace our family’s van.
Finish saving for and purchase a rental property with cash. {We closed on a house in November, did some work on it over the last few weeks, and are excited that our first renters just signed a one-year lease… we’re excited to continue this rental investment adventure!}

How Did You Do on Your Goals for 2012?

If you’ve posted goals for 2012, I’d love for you to post an update on how things went for you and share your link in the comments. If you don’t have a blog, feel free to just leave your update as a comment. Let’s encourage one another to live lives of intention and purpose!

Free ebooks: The ABC’s of Freezer Cooking, Tell Your Time, The First Timer’s Bakebook, Complete, 30 Weight Loss Tips

Download a free copy of Simple Living: 30 Days to Less Stuff and More Living.

Download a free copy of Near to the Heart of God.

Download a free copy of The ABC’s of Freezer Cooking.

Download a free copy of Tell Your Time.

Download a free copy of The First Timer’s Guide to Bread and Rolls.

Download a free copy of Complete.

Download a free copy of 30 Daily Weight Loss Tips for a Healthy Lifestyle.

Find more free ebooks over at my new site, eReader Girl. Be sure to follow eReaderGirl on Facebook and Twitter and sign up for the free daily email updates.

Please note that the price is currently $0.00, but that could change at any time. Be sure to check the price before checking out to verify that it is still free.

These ebooks are specifically for Kindles, but you can go here to download a free application that enables you to read Kindle ebooks on your PC.

31 Days of Giving on a Budget: Teaching Children the Spirit of Giving (Day 28)

Welcome to December’s series on 31 Days of Giving on a Budget. In this series, I’ll be sharing inspiring stories from my readers and posts with practical ways to give — even on a limited income.

If you have a Giving on a Budget story to share of a way you or your family has given to others this year or this holiday season, please email me your story and a picture to go along with it, if possible. I’d love to hear it and possibly share it during this series!

Guest post by Elise from

Even in the most media-careful home, it’s likely that our kids are exposed to the materialistic messages floating around this time of year. In my home our kids don’t watch TV, yet they still know what a Pillow-Pet is!

Not only are we challenged to provide a happy, true Spirit-focused Christmas season for them, we are also challenged with helping them learn how to give to others without falling into the “just buy a great gift” trap.

I believe that there are a few simple steps we can take to transform our children’s outlook on giving at Christmas… and all year long!

1.  Help them write their own Giving List.

Our kids can make their own list of family and friends who they’d like to give to. Maybe it’s just Grandparents, parents and siblings. Or, they may want to include a few friends. Helping them see the total number of gifts they’d like to give will instill a ‘big picture’ view for them.

2.  Encourage them to make gifts and recycle their treasures.

Re-gifting has gotten a bad name, yet the growing concept of green-gifting is starting to put a different spin on this old no-no. Instead of picking something we don’t like from our own stash, focus on finding ‘hidden’ treasures that our friends/family have spoken about enviously.

3. Help them make out a simple gift-giving budget.

Even a 5-year-old can handle a 3-person, $5 each budget. An older child can understand a more complicated prioritized budget, spending more for Mom and Dad, and spending less on friends. Using the envelope system with a name for each person and the money budgeted inside can be a great teaching tool!

4. Emphasize empathy!

Talk about what each person on your child’s list likes, or doesn’t like. Start by asking your kids to remember their favorite gifts and what they are hoping to receive this year.

“How did you feel when Mommy remembered your favorite color on your birthday?” for instance. Then move into how Grandma will love the photo with a handmade frame from them. Not only will this help our children come up with gift-giving ideas, but it will expand their empathy and deepen their character.

5. Pay attention to how YOU are talking this time of year.

It’s so easy to talk about “running out of money”, or to complain about “not getting what we want this year”. Are we paying attention to our own attitudes and how this is teaching our kids to think/feel about Christmas gift giving?

Instead of saying, “we don’t have money for that” how about practicing a different message such as, “we’re choosing to have a simpler Christmas this year.”

Children won’t get a poverty mindset unless we teach it to them. Neither will they develop a healthy perspective unless we consistently model one!

How do you help your children learn to be givers?

Elise has served clients and audiences across the United States as the NewLife Recovery Coach, offering common-sense inspiration and transforming truths she’s gathered from over 10+ years of personal recovery. Since the Summer of 2010 Elise has personally coached dozens of clients through organizing, recovery, and personal challenges.

Natural and Organic Coupons and Deals

Natural and Organic Deals

Natural and Organic Coupon Roundup: $1/1 Simply Organic Baking Mix or Vanilla (and many other coupons), $1/1 Yogavive Caramel or Cinnamon Apple Chips, $1/1 Kiss My Face Full Size Hair Product, $1/2 Lifeway Kefir, $0.50/1 Lundberg 2 lb Rice Varieties, $0.75/1 Earthbound Farms Organic Heirloom Potatoes (most of these coupons can usually be used on ANY Earthbound product), $1/2 Ziploc brand containers, $1/1 Terra Chips, $2/1 POM Wonderful 48 oz. bottle, $0.75/1 Food Should Taste Good, $1/2 Was a product(Thanks, Organic Deals!)

Free Samples of Zarbees Cough Syrup: When you “like” their Facebook page, you can get a free sample of Zarbees new Adult Cough Syrup. I haven’t tried it myself (I make my own) but it’s supposed to be a more natural one than most. With the sample, you’ll also get a $1 coupon.

Fair Trade Coffee $7.31 Per Bag Shipped: I tried some Equal Exchange coffee recently and really enjoyed it. Right now you can get Equal Exchange Bright Day Brew, Ground Coffee, Medium Roast, 12-Ounce Bags (Pack of 3) with Subscribe & Save for just $21.93 shipped from Amazon (which works out to $7.31 per bag). If you prefer the dark stuff, as I do, then the Equal Exchange Organic Coffee, French Roast, Whole Bean, 10-Ounce Bags (Pack of 3) is just a little bit more at $22.77 or $7.59 per bag.

End-of-Year Sale at Abe’s Market: I love buying from Abe’s Market, because they’re all about supporting sustainable companies that make great natural products. Just through the end of today (Friday, December 28, 2012) they have their 3-day year end sale, with many items up to 50% off. I noticed a lot of good discounts on skincare items in particular.

$10 off $50 at Green Cupboards: From now until December 31st, take $10 off any $50 order at Green Cupboards using coupon code FINAL10. Shipping will be free. One area where you may be able to snag a good deal is in their beauty products section. They carry many products in packages of two or three at slightly discounted prices. With this coupon, you might find a really excellent deal. I recently picked up a 2-pack of Lavera liquid foundation using a voucher I had saved, and the price was half what I would have paid in my local health food store!

Free Airborne Samples: If you haven’t gotten your Airborne samples yet, they’re still available. These are worth signing up for, as you get quite a few different samples in the packages. I used mine to try to keep from getting sick while tired and taking a cross-country flight. It seemed to help!

Stephanie Langford loves to share ideas and information for homemakers who want to make healthy changes in their homes. She writes at Keeper of the Home, runs a music school that teaches piano lessons in Surrey with her husband, and has written 3 books to help families live more naturally and eat real, whole foods, without being overwhelmedwithout going broke, and with simple meal planning.

Find more Natural & Organic tips and deals. (Note: Some of the links in this post are my referral links. Read my disclosure policy here.)

New printable coupons: Pace, Aveeno, DiGiorno, Soft Scrub, plus more!