I’ve been pondering my goals for the new year of 2017 for several weeks now. I always have the tendency to tackle huge goals and big dreams. Last year, I attempted to simplify my main goals within three areas of my life – personal, professional and financial. It worked well and I actually achieved most of the 2016 goals I set. I accomplished quite a few other things 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 2017.
1. Read daily with my children and by myself. I love to read. My reading has slowed down since I had children but I still managed to read 44 books for myself this past year. I have a list of books I want to read (I always do!) so I went to set aside time daily to read again. I need to use my Kindle app more in the lulls and unwind with the books on my nightstand each night. I’m thinking of joining Modern Mrs. Darcy’s 2017 reading challenge because I love how you can choose your own books!
The kids and I read together almost every single day but I want to be very intentional about it. I was reminded of the importance by Sarah (from the Read Aloud Revival) when she said that if we read only 10 minutes a day, that’s still 30 hours of reading time over the course of the year. I firmly believe reading to your children is one of the best things you can do for them and so we’re making this a top priority. We already spend around a half hour or more every day (Nathan loves books!) but I want to make sure we don’t miss any days. I’m jumping back to my homeschool preschool themes and checking out themed books for variety. We’re going to read lots this year – Nathan, Emma and me!
2. Get caught up on digital photo albums and stay current with photos. I finished my 2015 book in October and started my 2016 photo book. My goal is to finish our yearly 2016 Shutterfly photo book by February so I can stay more current with 2017.
Even though I still love using my nice camera (affiliate), I am falling more in love with Instagram for capturing the daily moments of life. I recently started a subscription to Chatbooks and am SO glad I did! This is a total game changer for me. Now, I don’t have to worry about uploading my phone pictures to our yearly books because I have high quality books that are automatically printed for me. Chatbooks automatically pulls the date and caption with the picture so I don’t have to worry about anything. You can get a free Chatbook here if you want to give it a try. It takes only minutes to start so now is the perfect time to give it a try!
3. Cook more from scratch with less processed food. Doesn’t everyone have a similar healthy living goal? It’s a good time to hit reset on our eating habits. I’m not doing anything crazy or extreme. I simply want to cook more from scratch so we’re eating less processed foods. I’m sure frozen pizza will still be my busy night stand by and that is fine with me. I am simply going to be a bit more intentional with baby step food changes. For example, we’re going to work on eating more fruits and vegetables this year too.
4. Set up automatic retirement deposits. We’re reevaluating our budget this month. We do so a couple times a year and tweak budget categories as we need. We’re making some changes with our life insurance policies so I want to make sure we invest the money we’re saving in our retirement funds before the “extra” money disappears again.
5. Save up to pay cash for a new roof. We’ve known we’ve needed a roof for some time now. It’s over 15 years old and is starting to show wear and tear. When we discovered the ceiling in our son’s room leaking from snow on Christmas morning, this bumped this project to the top of our house project list. We have an estimate of around $5,000 so need to save that as soon as possible – hopefully by this spring or early summer.
6. Experiment with additional sources of revenue. I set this goal last year and tackled it some but there is more I’d like to do. 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’d also like to try my hand at selling things on Amazon through their Fulfillment by Amazon program. 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. I’m going to try using some new money saving / making apps (I love Ibotta!) 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!
7. Double blog income. In 2016, my blog traffic took a huge hit. It seems to be that way across the board for many big and little bloggers alike. Even my entrepreneurial brother-in-law noticed that on his online business. Thankfully, I managed to double my blog income this past year even with the drops in traffic and having a baby! I’m celebrating the fact that I did that. God is good! I do want to be more intentional in 2017 with my blogging and work at doubling my blog income again.
I have written out lots of other blog goals and steps to get to this point, but won’t bore you with all those details. The highlights include continuing to write great content to share, working with affiliates more, continuing sponsored posts, updating old images, uploading recipes to share sites, marketing my digital downloads and using Pinterest more. (You can follow me on Pinterest here, if you aren’t already.) 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. Develop and market two new digital downloads. A big source of revenue for my blog has come from my custom Biblical books and digital downloads. Amazingly, most of it has come from word of mouth without much work on my part. This year, I want to be intentional about marketing these books and downloads. I love combining children’s books and God’s word – and helping others to do the same!
9. Balance my priorities wisely – keeping my family first before my work at home. I read a great quote that said “The most important work you will ever do will be within the walls of your own home.” (There’s a free printable of this quote here, if you want to hang it in your house like I did!) It was the perfect reminder for me because as much as I want to contribute financially to our family budget, my first job is to take care of my husband and my children. I don’t want the people dearest to me to get short changed for work. I will not get these formative years of my children’s lives back. Even though I’m listing this goal last, it’s actually at the top of my list. 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 2017 year. I’d love to hear what goals you have set for the year! Will you share in the comments, please?