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Why I Failed on My Goals for 2019 (and why I’m okay with it)

Did you set goals for 2019? Here’s a really honest update on how I did on my goals in 2019 and why I failed on some of them and why I’m okay with that.

It’s the end of 2019 and, like I do every year, I’m reviewing the goals I set for this past year. If you look at this list, it would look like I royally failed on my goals. I only accomplished 6 of my 16 goals.

And yet, I’m so okay with that.

Why’s that? Because I had no idea how this year was going to pan out…

My Year Was Very Different Than I Envisioned

  • I didn’t know that after 5 weeks of significant pain, an MRI would show that my hand was broken and I’d spend the beginning part of 2019 in a cast.
  • I couldn’t have imagined that I’d get invited to an event in March on SEO that would end up changing the entire way we approach blogging.
  • I had no idea that in April, Jesse and I would both start to feel that God was calling us to step into youth ministry in our church.
  • I had no idea that in May, we’d start to feel the strong pull to open our hearts and home to foster care. Little did I dream that we’d spend the next 4 months in classes, sessions, interviews, prepping our home and hearts, and going through multiple rounds of home inspections.
  • I had no idea that all five of our hearts were going to be broken in the most beautiful way over kids who are in foster care and the great need for more families to step into this and open their homes. Nor could I have anticipated that our hearts would be so deeply changed by one little girl that we could never go back to living the same way once our eyes had been opened.
  • I didn’t know that my mom was going to have a lot of health issues over the summer including basal cell carcinoma, a lot of skin grafts and surgery, plus a really scary episode with pneumonia. (We are so, so grateful that she is healing and doing so much better!)
  • I didn’t know we’d get to spend a week in Iceland in June!
  • I didn’t know that I was going to end up feeling a really strong peace about saying yes to signing a 3-book contract with Bethany House Publishers.
  • I had no idea that one day early in September, I was going to take a pregnancy test on a whim (in order to rule it out so I could call my OB to have them test me for early menopause). Never would I have anticipated that Jesse and I would get the biggest surprise of our lives when we saw the words “pregnant” on the test. (For the record, we about fell over thinking there is absolutely no way this could be happening since the fertility clinic and tests had all said this could never happen. And then we started laughing and crying all at once.) BUT GOD.

And those are just a few of the completely unexpected parts of our year!

I’m Changing the Way I Set Goals in 2020

So all of this to say, while the year was different than I expected and a lot of these things contributed to me “failing” when it came to my goals, I’m not one bit discouraged about it. It was a good year and I’m totally okay that some of the things I thought I was going to prioritize didn’t end up being priorities at all.

I know that 2020 is going to probably be full of a lot of unexpected adventure and experiences, so with this in mind, I’m actually completely revamping the way I’m going to be setting goals… it’s going to mean a lot shorter timeframes, a lot more check-ins and accountability, and more posts here on how I’m doing on my goals. I think most of you will like it! More about that on Monday!

For now, here’s a final update on my goals for 2019…

My Planned 2019 Goals

Personal Goals

1. Read 40 books I already own. (I’m using GoodReads to track my reading this year!)

Final Update: I read 65 books in 2019. 20 of them were books on my Books I Already Own That I Want to Read List. I also started two others on the list and decided not to read them. So I guess I finished over 50% of this goal! (Look for a post soon on my Top Reads in 2019 + another post where I share more on my Reading Goals for 2020. I’m changing up the way I set reading goals and am really excited about — especially because it will mean more book posts here.)

2. Slowly read through the New Testament using the She Reads Truth Bible reading plans.

Final Update: I finished this and I also read through the Psalms.

3. Listen to 2 audiobooks per month. (I use the Libby app to get these for free.)

Final Update: I listened to 26 audiobooks in 2019 (these all counted toward my book total above). Full disclosure: I listened to most of these in the first 6 months of 2019. After I found out I was pregnant, audiobooks made me sick to listen to for months. However, since I listened to over 24 books over the course of the year, we’re going to call this goal a completed goal.

4. Complete all of the Organize in 5 Diary tasks to get our home more organized and set up better organizational systems. (Psst! If you want to buy this for 2020, the new diary for next year is just $9 right now.)

Final Update: I did really great on this for the first half of the year. I really dropped the ball on this on the second half of the year.

5. Stay offline for 4 hours per day, 5 days per week. (I share more about why I chose this goal here.)

Final Update: I changed this goal mid-year because it wasn’t working. Instead, I decided to move to taking Sundays off. While I still was likely hitting 4 hours offline per day most days, I realized that I also needed a dedicated offline day, too.

6. Leave my phone in the basement every night. (I talk more about what inspired me to make this goal here.)

Final Update: I did really great on this the first few months of the year. However, I stopped doing this after I took email off my phone because I realized that my phone was a lot less of a distraction/stress to me when I took email off it. That said, I’d really like to work on this habit in some form or other in 2020… but I’m still formulating what that would look like.

7. Go to bed before 10:30 p.m. 5 days per week. (I’m using this little spreadsheet I made to track most of my personal goals)

Final Update: I did a lot better about going to bed earlier in 2019. Being pregnant the last half of the year really helped with that! 🙂

Marriage Goal

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

Final Update: We went on an incredibly fun trip to Destin, FL! Jesse and I drove by ourselves to FL and then we met up with two other couples there. We stayed in an AirBNB and split the cost three ways. Since it was off season, it made for a very inexpensive trip and we had the BEST time!

Motherhood Goal

9. One-on-one time with each child at least 3 times per week. (I am planning to dedicate 40 minutes per child after dinner each evening at least three nights per week to hang out and spend time with each child individually.)

Final Update: I spent a lot of one-on-one time with the kids in 2019 and I look back and see how our relationships have really deepened this past year and I’m so grateful!

Family Goal

10. Take the kids to at least two continents and 4 states we haven’t traveled to. (We’re hoping to travel to Europe in the summer and South America at some other point during the year.)

Final Update: We went to Iceland (Europe) in June and also to Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa, Utah, Wyoming, Montana, and Idaho.

Financial Goals

11. Pay cash to redo our room and renovate our bathroom (we had to pull out the shower and put in a new one because it was installed incorrectly and was leaking and ruining the floor/wall and we decided to do a few renovations while we’re at it + we want to finally decorate our room — we left it really bare when we moved in and decided to wait to prioritize it in the budget).

Final Update: We finished the bathroom renovation at the end of July! We put redoing our room on hold because of the pregnancy and foster care licensing.

12. Pay cash to paint the walls in the main floor of our home.

Final Update: We picked out painters to do this for us and we know what paint we want to use. However, just to be super careful we decided to wait on this since I’m pregnant. We’ll hopefully be able to make this a priority in 2020 or 2021 — and hopefully be able to get it done when we’re out of town so that we aren’t breathing in paint fumes!

13. Fully fund our Emergency Fund.

Final Update: This is DONE! YAY!

Business Goals

14. Redo/set up a much more intentional customer acquisition experience for all three of our email newsletters.

Final Update: While this is one of those goals that will be ongoing, I am so happy with all the progress we made in this regard and am super happy where things are now. So I’m going to consider this an accomplished goal.

15. Finish launching the rest of our beginner Your Blogging University courses. (If you want to start a blog, be sure to check out my other site, Your Blogging Mentor.)

Final Update: We launched Monetize Your Blog in September, which was a HUGE accomplishment! That was the only course I finished, but I’m going to consider that a win!

(Some of the bloggers from my Mastermind group got together for a one day event in July! It was such an amazing day!)

16. Launch a Blog Coaching/Accountability Group membership. (I’ll be opening this up to a very limited number of people in January of 2019. Stay tuned!)

Final Update: This has been one of my favorite things of 2019! I just love this group of bloggers and getting to interact with them, learn from them, cheer them on, and see them succeed! Interested in being the first to find out when we open up to new members again? Be sure to join the waitlist!

How did YOU doing on your goals for 2019? I’d love to hear about your successes and struggles. Tell us in the comments!

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  • Kimberly says:

    In 2019 I planned to pay off all our debt. I came so close with only about $2000 left. I was laid off in August, followed by brain-tumor surgery in November. I ended up not making as much money as I had planned. But that will be one of my first accomplishments in 2020. Life ended up being so different in 2019 than we ever thought possible.

  • Katie says:

    Thank you for sharing what worked and what didn’t. Our ultimate goal is always did we follow and obey God? And I so see the fruit of your family doing that this year. This next year is only going to be richer, more full of adventures and surprises-He’s not done yet!

  • Linda says:

    you have encouraged me with your goal setting. I think we set them- don’t always know what our future holds, life has a way of changing. I pray about it and take it a day at a time.

    Books- I am working on this one – Inheritance by Dani Shapiro, it is really good.

  • Sherry Roberts says:

    I just read “How to Break Up with Your Phone” by Catherine Price. Perfect little book if you want to change your relationship with your phone!

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