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Happy New Year, everyone! I took an unplanned blogging break due to Christmas festivities, a sick husband and kids, and a long drive to Texas after Christmas. This past month has been a whirlwind and I am eager to get settled into my routines again and begin this new year.
I’ve been thinking about my goals for the new year of 2018 for several weeks now. I always have the tendency to tackle huge goals and dream big dreams.
Of course, I want to declutter my whole house, cook more from scratch, save money on our grocery bill, create more photo books, figure out a good cleaning schedule once and for all, read 100 books, go on more date nights with my husband and so much more! Anyone else relate? 🙂
I am also learning that as a mom of little ones, my goals need to simplified a bit. I can’t do it all – because none of us can!
For the past two years, I have simplified my main goals within three areas of my life – personal, professional and financial. It has worked well for me and I actually achieved most of the 2017 goals I set. I accomplished quite a few other things (like reading 94 books in 2017) but having a big goal list kept me focused. Since that worked nicely, I’m going to use that concept as I set my goals for 2018.
1. Have a baby and adjust to life as a family of 5.
This is first on my list because I know it’s going to change our life the most! Baby girl is due to arrive mid-March and we are so excited to meet her! I enjoy the baby stage but I also know that it’s going to bring some big changes as we go from two kids to three. This goal encompasses so much which is why it is my main goal for the year.
2. Unpack and settle into our new house.
In July, we bought my in-laws home, and they have been living with us while they built their new house. It’s worked out well for everyone, but I think we are all ready to settle into our own spaces again. We still have a couple more months to go until their new home is finished, so my hope is that by next July (our year in the house anniversary), I will actually be able to have most of our boxes unpacked and our things put where we want them to go. We are holding off on any big projects until my in-laws move out and then we will start making this our house.
3. Use my bullet journal even more to stay organized.
As some of you have heard me gush, I do love my bullet journal! I believe that a bullet journal is a busy mom’s best friend. One of my goals for 2018 is to use my bullet journal even more than I already do to keep my thoughts and our busy life as organized as I possibly can.
I’ve spent the past couple days setting up my new bullet journal and even worked on the state travel pages below for the kids. That’s about as fancy as I get. Really? I love my bullet journal for having all my lists and thoughts in one place. You can read more about my bullet journal here, if you are interested in learning more or what to get started with a bullet journal of your own.
4. Add extra money to Roth, mortgage and HSA.
When we transitioned to living on one-income, we were very intentional with our budget, making sure that it would work based solely on Andy’s teacher income. That means that any extra income I earn (through this blog or piano lessons) is able to go towards our big goals.
For the past two years, thanks to this extra income, we have been able to make extra payments to our retirement account, mortgage and health savings account. We plan to do this again this year. It’s one of the little tweaks that has made a big difference to our finances.
5. Save for a 10th anniversary trip.
Next year, on July 11, 2019, Andy and I will celebrate our 10th anniversary. It is definitely a cause for celebrating! We would like to take a trip – just the two us – and are still deciding where we want to go. We’ve never cruised before so that is definitely a possibility. For now, we are saving any extra money we can for our anniversary trip.
6. Experiment with additional sources of revenue – especially Teachers Pay Teachers.
This is a goal I have set for the last year but didn’t really reach. There is much more I’d like to do in this area. To help us build up our savings, Andy and I are both want to experiment with additional sources of revenue. As teachers, we’d like to try our hand at selling things on Teachers Pay Teachers. Goodness knows, we’ve created lots of things for our classrooms that could help other teachers! We never did this last year so we’re going to try it this year.
I’m going to try to sell some things on Craiglist and perhaps Ebay, as well. Of course, I’ll continue teaching piano lessons and blogging and resume my use of Swagbucks.
We are going to do our best to seek out additional sources of revenue. Some may work and some may not, but I’m going to track all the extra sources of income we make this year. I’ll be curious to see what we can earn from our various endeavors, especially since we want to save for our anniversary trip!
7. Double blog income.
I didn’t quite double my blog income last year, but I did increase it 1.5 times in 2017 from what it was in 2016. It was very exciting to earn more from my blog than I did as a part-time music teacher. So, I’m setting this goal again. It’s a really big goal (especially with a new baby on the way) but big goals provide a big challenge!
Even though I’ve been blogging for a couple years, the blogging world is constantly changing. There are so many opportunities and so many different ways to earn. The trick is in figuring out what works best for me – and for you, my faithful readers! It’s a little overwhelming at times so I won’t bore you with all those details, just know that I’m hard at work behind the scenes, in addition to working on what I share here with you.
My blogging plan for 2017 includes providing great content on money saving ideas, as well as delicious recipes and sharing things that work for our family. I love providing encouragement to other moms – especially those who are at home. Blogging takes a lot of work but it’s such a blessing that I can work from home and earn money for our family!
8. Build an active newsletter list.
Facebook and Pinterest continue to change. Pinterest used to provide a large source of my traffic but now Google provides more of my traffic. I can’t control what social media does but I can control my newsletter. One of my blogging goals is to built my newsletter list with readers that are interested in hearing from me every week or so with a more personal look behind the blog. If you haven’t signed up for my newsletter, I’d love to have you join me! You can sign up here for my newsletter.
9. Maximize my time as a blogger for highest rate of return, while still being wife and mom first.
Even though I’m listing this goal last, it’s actually near the the top of my list. I have big professional goals but I also have impressionable little ones who need me. I want to continue to be a good steward of my time, spending my time where it matters most, particularly when it comes to working on a blog.
My God-given vocation is to be a wife and mother. This is where my time and energy needs to focus first…and everything else (including this blog) will have to come after that.
There you have it! Those are my simplified goals for the 2018 year. I’d love to hear what goals you have set for the year! Will you share in the comments, please?