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A look at how I did on my 2018 goals (+ whoops! I totally forgot about the habits!)

It’s my favorite time of year! That time of year when I take inventory of the past year and set goals for the coming year!

Over the next week, I’ll be sharing things I learned this past year, my goals for 2019, my word for 2019, my favorite books read in 2018, and books I’m planning to read in 2019.

So let’s start off by taking a look at my goals for 2018 and how I did on them.

Final 2018 Goals Update

Personal Goals

1. Read 100 non-self-help books that will build me up/encourage me/inspire me/recharge me. (Fiction/story driven/biographies /inspirational living books/devotionals.) See the list of 44 books I planned to read this past year.

Final verdict: I read 70 books this year. While I didn’t complete my goal of reading 100 books, I did read a lot of books from my list of 44 books I was planning to read in 2018 AND I read some great titles that I really enjoyed (I’ll be sharing my top 10 books read in a few days). Also, I stuck with my commitment to not read any self-help books and it was such a good exercise for me.

2. Read through the entire Bible.

Final verdict: I used the Robert Murray M’Cheyne plan and completed this goal — yay!

3. Write one handwritten note to someone every week.

Final verdict: Done — and this turned out to be such a great goal that inspired me to write a lot more handwritten notes.

4. Run 500 miles.

Final verdict: I ran 450 miles. And while I didn’t fully finish out this goal, I definitely know I got in more exercise as a result of this goal.

Marriage Goal

5. Go on an overnight trip with Jesse without the kids.

Final verdict: We more than outdid ourselves on this goal! Jesse and I went to NYC together in January. It was such a fun trip, aside from my getting sick at the end of the trip! We also both went on a 10-day trip to Rome and India. This was not planned at the beginning of the year and was such a fun memory that we will always cherish!

Family Goals

6. Read 10 books aloud with the kids.

Final verdict: We finished three books. I realized that reading aloud is something that the kids aren’t as excited about as they once were and this may be something that I need to just let go and not feel guilty over. I’m not sure. I’m still mulling on this one and have some ideas I’m going to try in 2019 to see if they work or not.

7. Take the kids to South Africa. 

Final verdict: We took this trip in July. What a memorable experience!

8. Go on a family road trip.

Final verdict:While we didn’t get to go on as long of a road trip as we wanted to, we made the most of our Fall Break Road Trip to LA, MS, and AL (and checked off a few more states from our States We Haven’t Visited Yet list!)

Financial Goals

9. Save up to pay cash to finish off an office for me and workout room for Jesse and me in the basement in our new house.

Final verdict: This took WAY longer than we anticipated due to many, many issues we ran into with the contractor we hired, but I’m happy to report that both are finally done and we can now decorate and move our stuff into the office and start using it full-time. YAY!

10. Replenish our Emergency Fund

Final verdict: We ended the year $5,000 shy of replenishing our Emergency Fund. We’re hoping to maybe be able to finish this out in January or February. We’ll see!

Business Goals

11. Increase our gross income from the business by 8%.

Final verdict: We did not do this… in fact, we actually ended the year making quite a bit less than last year. And honestly, I’m really okay with that. Some unexpected business things happened halfway through the year that really affected our income and they were outside of my control. In addition, I just started feeling this sense of deep contentment where I am and where the business is and not feeling like I need to push hard to grow or build it to bigger than it is.

As I wrote on Instagram recently:

This year, I spent a lot more time making memories than I did focused on making money.

It wasn’t something super intentional. I didn’t go into the year saying, “I’m going to step back and make less money this year so I can focus on people and relationships.”

In fact, I had actually set the goal at the beginning of 2018 to increase our business income by 8%. Guess what? I’m not going to hit that goal at all. And guess what? I truly don’t care.

Because I look back on 2018 and the memories I hold in my heart, the friendships we’ve formed, the relationships we’ve nurtured, the people I got to love on, the lessons I learned, the laughter we shared, the heart-to-heart talks I had with my kids, the way my love for Jesse deepened, the experiences I went through, the courage muscles that got strengthened, the adventures we went on, the crazy stories I could tell you… these are all so much more valuable than any increase in income could ever be.

My bank account might not be as full as I expected it would be at the end of the year, but my heart is full.

12. Launch 5 new courses.

Final verdict: We launched 6 courses: 4 Weeks to a More Productive Life launched in January, Content Creation 101 launched in February, 4-Week Blog Coaching Program launched in March, Email List Setup 101 launched in March, Make Over Your Mornings LIVE launched in April, the Facebook Live Masterclass launched in May, and Build Your List 101 launched in June!

Two Highlights of 2018 That Weren’t on My Goals List

There were two big things that happened in 2018 that weren’t on my goals list:

1. We launched The Crystal Paine Show. I have wanted to launch a podcast for around 4 years, but the timing wasn’t right and I didn’t have the breathing room in place to make it happen. But this year, God brought the right people into my path to make it happen and I am just loving podcasting so very much!

2. I went to India two different times! Neither trip to India was planned and both trips impacted me deeply and I’m so grateful that I had the opportunity to take these life-changing trips. (You can get a little peek into my thoughts on India here.)

And a Big OOPS!

Guess what?? I was looking at last year’s goals and discovered that I had publicly committed to 2 different habits — and I completely forgot that I had!

Say what?? You guys. I usually have a really good memory, so I cannot believe that I totally forgot about these!

Here were the two habits I had said I wanted to commit to:

2 Habits I’m Working on Developing in 2018

  1. Weekly day coffee dates with Jesse after we drop the kids off at school — We’re planning to go out for 30-45 minutes every week day morning to just touch base and enjoy a little one-on-one time together before our day begins. Oh and yes, I don’t drink coffee any more, but we still call them “coffee dates” even though I drink tea. ?
  2. Stay completely offline from 4-8 p.m. to focus on my family/home — Last year, I made the commitment to have more offline time and this was such a good thing. I want to continue that this year since I’ve sort of fallen off the bandwagon in the last few months.

And clearly, since I forgot about these habits, I didn’t make them habits. Oops!

I hope that me sharing this will encourage you if you also committed to some things at the beginning of last year and then completely forgot about it! You’re not alone! 😉

How did you do on your goals for 2018? I’d love to hear! Let us know in the comments!

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  • Holly says:

    Really enjoying the Crystal Paine show!! Continue your good works. You encourage and motivate so many including me. Thank you!!

  • Steff says:

    I loved reading these. Thank you for sharing! I have a question about reading aloud. Do you think your kids don’t enjoy reading aloud anymore for a certain reason? I know you have written that you used to homeschool & they loved it then. Do you think it’s related to the fact that you don’t homeschool now?

    • Great question! It’s definitely not related to homeschooling. I think it’s three reasons: 1) because they would much prefer to read on their own now that they are older and are fast readers 2) they all have such unique tastes and interests that it’s hard to find a book that everyone is excited about 3) they much prefer for us to all talk together when we’re together and they love to have in-depth discussions so I found that I could rarely read more than a few paragraphs and someone wanted to ask questions about something related and that would turn into a big discussion and then we’d never get back to the book! 😉 (I never want to shut down these discussions because I feel like these are much more important than reading aloud!)

      We also were trying to read in the mornings on the way to school and I’m thinking maybe if I tried reading at dinner instead that that might work — at least for us to get through maybe more than a page of a book? I’m not sure… We’ll see if I have any great solutions in 2019.

      As I’m writing this, the idea came to me to sit the kids down and ask them for their thoughts and suggestions and ideas. I haven’t done that and I think it might be insightful.

      Thanks for helping me think and dig into this!

      • Beth says:

        We’re at the same spot, except that we only have one child of “read aloud age” (our other son is just 12 months old). Our 11 year old is losing interest–it is hard to keep momentum with read alouds and the time that we used to use for reading (right after dinner) has been taken over by conversation and practicing his guitar (both also things we value). It was much easier when he was younger and we were reading picture books or simpler novel-type books (i.e., Little House on the Prairie and the like). For us, reading Tolkein has really bogged down our read-aloud time. We’re going to try to find shorter books/essays/short stories/poetry for the coming year to help keep the pace up and see if that helps! I’m also hoping that our older son will start reading to our younger son regularly, or that we can all start reading picture books together again. I’m looking forward to reading what other ideas you have!

        • I like the idea of shorter books/essays/stories — great suggestion!! Also, I talked to the girls about this last night and they had some good insights and ideas for me that I’m going to try in 2019.

      • Christi says:

        I’m curious as to the “why” behind the read-aloud goal. Why do you want to keep it? It seems to me the kids have grown beyond it and maybe it’s time for a different family related goal?

        • Great question! I think my why was because growing up, my mom always read aloud to us and I have such fond memories of that. I wanted to provide the same for my kids. The girls told me last night how they DO have so many fond memories of reading aloud and that they are so glad I read so many books to them when they are younger. That made my heart happy! They also suggested some ideas for us to try in 2019. So we’ll see what happens this coming year!

      • Haha, we’ve been having similar challenges. My girls have both been fluent readers for several years now, but we are working through the Little House series at bedtime, doing a chapter a night when we can. Sometimes they take turns reading, sometimes I read to them. It takes a very long time to get through a chapter, even though they’re short, because either a) they have questions or b) I need to put something into historical context for them. (E.g., a week after the Parkland shootings, we had an entire chapter about the girls helping Pa make all his bullets for the next day each night! :0 ). I realize this “phase” will not last, so am trying to enjoy it for as long as I can!

        • That makes me so happy to hear it’s not just our family that takes forever to get through any reading because the kids want to stop and talk about things in-depth — which then usually leads to other conversations and discussions and pretty soon, we’ve totally forgotten about the book at hand! 🙂

      • Anna says:

        I’m thinking of trying something different next year and have my kids read to me! That might be fun. Enjoyed your post!

  • Terri says:

    I hit 5.5/8 goals for 2018 which is about a 68% success rate. One goal was too ambitious, one goal was modified and took a different direction, and finally my last unachieved goal was because I did not take time to make it achievable.
    However, I will make some adjustments and launch into 2019 with a new list.

    I think goal setting brings focus and direction to our lives…especially in a world of infinite choice. We cannot do everything…but we can do a few things really well if we set our minds to it!

    I always enjoy reading your end-of-year goal setting plans Crystal. Thanks for sharing them!

    • Yay for 68% success rate!!!

      And I love what you said here: “I think goal setting brings focus and direction to our lives…especially in a world of infinite choice. We cannot do everything…but we can do a few things really well if we set our minds to it!”

    • Melinda Stortenbecker says:

      I have purposely not set goals since I was a kid and kept failing at it. I’m a sparkle brain and would get distracted or forget about the whole thing and be left with guilt. It became easier to just not set them in the first place.

      But life can so easily pass one by and become a blur that I’ve decided to live on purpose from now on. And that means setting goals.

      Which is why I appreciate what you do so much, Crystal. I’ve signed up for the Organize in 5 and have also worked on their very doable Goals and Priorities Dairy.

      For the first time in along time l’m excited about watching my goals become a reality.

  • Beth says:

    I love this post! It is so fun to read your year-end summary and see how much spontaneity you have embraced. I also love that this is so much less about “bean counting” compared to past years and really not a lot of rationalizing or excuse making about not meeting your goals–just realistic acknowledgement that not all goals need to be met and that sometimes we forego plans (no computer time from 4- 8) to do something new/unplanned (like a rocking podcast!). Honestly, I think what you’re demonstrating is that so many of our goals or expectations are relatively arbitrary. While it is great to set goals (even arbitrary ones), at the end of the day I’m not sure 100 books is better than 70–really, there are a lot of other factors that matter (book length; book quality; book relevance; what else you did with that time). Anyway, I am enjoying being along for the ride. Best of luck, prayers, and blessings in 2019!

    • Holly Moran says:

      Yes! I was thinking so much of the same thing as I was reading this post. I’m a long time reader and the “old” Crystal would’ve just about did herself in just to cross the goals off her list. It was always so intimidating, and I’m a goal setter- but I could never measure up to her level of goal setting and achieving. Thank you for being so real and honest! And I’m so glad you lived life along the way instead of crushing all of these goals.

      • Thanks so much for seeing that and leaving such a kind and encouraging comment. I might write more about this in today’s followup post because I’ve noticed such a big shift in how I approach things/my priorities… and I’m finding so much deep joy and peace and contentment there!

    • Thanks so much for your kind encouragement! It was so good to reflect on the past year and to celebrate the year — even though it was definitely different than I envisioned!

  • Your business goals for 2018 really resonate with me. My husband and I started a side gig (on top of our full time jobs) to bring in extra cash to fund a down payment on a new home. It took off, much more that we were ever expecting. By Christmas time, we were burnt out. We had grossly underestimated how demanding it would be to make custom physical products. After the Christmas rush was finally over, we sat down and decided to scale WAY back. The money just wasn’t worth it. I’ll still need a creative outlet and whether that’s teaching sign painting classes once a month or a DIY blog, we shall see. It’s nice to see I’m not the only one! 🙂

  • I always look forward to your goal posts and I’ve enjoyed seeing how you’ve grown and changed your approach over the years. You used to be so goal-oriented that it overwhelmed me! I remember the first time we met…and your first questions were about my goals! 🙂

    I wasn’t able to mark off very many of my goals this year, but it has been a year of pursuing healing and grace. I’ve grown and changed in ways I never would have expected. As my priorities have shifted, I’m guessing my 2019 goals will look a lot different once I sit down and work through all of that.

    It’s been a while since I’ve taken time to read blogs (except for the deals, of course), but I’m glad to see you are doing well. I didn’t realize you have a podcast, so I’ll have to add it to my list!

    • It was so great to hear from you! I was just thinking of you the other day and wondering how you are! So much has changed since those early days of blogging and I’m really sorry that I overwhelmed you with how hardcore I was! 🙁

  • Leanne says:

    Congratulations on meeting so many of your goals and for not beating yourself up for not reaching others. It’s OK to give yourself grace and that’s something I have to remind myself often!

    I’ve missed seeing the books that you have read on Pinterest. Is that something you are going to update or are you just going to report on your favorites in an upcoming blog?

  • Christy says:

    Congrats on your goals and progress!

    Earlier in the year, when I read about your coffee date habit, I was inspired. My husband and I committed to going on a coffee date weekly and it’s been great for our relationship. Thanks for the suggestion! I’m excited to see what your 2019 goals are!

  • Teresa S says:

    How do you go about choosing goals?
    I feel like theres so many goals I could make for things I’d like to improve on, but if I did them all, I’d feel overwhelmed and then fail. Do I choose one for each area of life? Or just pick 10 regardless of what category they might fall under?

  • Patti says:

    Starting reading The Sensible Shoes series by Sharon Garlough Brown. I encourage you to look into them. Fictional series that teaches spiritual truths and disciplines. Reading through them slowly so I can glean from them and because I don’t want them to end. : )

  • Chrissie says:

    I just listened to a podcast that was saying that though something might be good for a season, we need to evaluate if things in our lives are bearing the fruit we want. I still read a chapter of the Bible at bedtime to my kids and we read a chapter from the Battle of the Books list or if I run across an amazing picture book, but I’ve let go of any other read alouds as they don’t serve us well anymore. And that’s ok! Seasons change and we need to put our time and efforts into the things bearing fruit in the lives of those we love. Good job recognizing that and adjusting.

  • Tiffany bell says:

    One thing that worked well for our family these last few years in reading aloud. Is that I have switched to mostly audiobooks. I look for stories that get lots of recommendations on being great listens with great narrators. Even though I do pretty good with reading aloud, my kids seem more engaged as they are older (13, 11, 7) with narrators rather than me. Sometimes I feel too tired to bother with reading, even if my kids want to, so audiobooks really fill that boat, and if I am driving or cooking dinner we can squeeze in some reading.
    Our family favorites this year we’re
    ECHO by Pam munoz Ryan
    The Secret Garden
    And we love relistening to Jim Dale do Harry potter and the chronicles of narnia.

  • JULIE HATCH says:

    What a list! Thanks for honestly sharing.

    I would love to hear how you try new things out with reading aloud. Maybe you’ll be on the read aloud revival podcast one day?

    Is make over your mornings LIVE accessible for people who already have MOYM? I bought MOYM and MOYE three years ago and have been wanting to go through them again- I’d love to see a revival of those courses in terms of a Facebook group, and the attention they receive on your blog.

    Way to go on a great year, Crystal!

    • Thanks so much for the suggestions! I don’t think I’m going to be doing another LIVE group of MOYM, but maybe you could get a few of your friends to go through them with you?

  • Melissa says:

    A couple of things Congrats on all you achieved and discovered this year, I don’t know how you can top this for 2019 , but if anyone can it is you. I have a different email address I use everyday,I don’t use this one and miss out on all your lovely advice this is the email I use can you update it or will it be to hard? I also purchased the diary and can’t wait to work on it with you!

  • Kathleen says:

    Progress not perfection. It’s my phrase for 2019. In the past I’ve been so focused on perfection, it was paralyzing. I never did anything. Your content has been so encouraging to me. I’m even going to finally start the blog I’ve been thinking about for 2 years. Can’t wait to be able to afford your courses.

  • Holly says:

    Hi! I’m a new reader as well as a new listener to your podcast. Is there a way to replay old podcast episodes?

  • Wow! You did a really awesome job crushing so many goals last year. I know one major goal for us in this coming year is paying off a majority of our debt. It was an expensive year in 2018.

  • Thanks for this share Crystal, I agree that looking at the past accomplishments and experience helps you to set new goals for the upcoming year. I would suggest the same to all the members of my TCI family.

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