Let’s Set Some Mostly Measurable, Manageable Goals for January

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I don’t like New Year’s resolutions, because, for example, let’s say you resolve to fit into that size smaller jeans and find out two weeks later that you’re pregnant–celebratory fail! Let’s say it’s super important to you to quit watching television, but then your grandfather invites you to spend every Saturday, Sunday, Monday and sometimes Thursday of football season watching games with him. Are you really going to say no? And why are there so many game days anyway? You just don’t know what the day is going to bring, much less the year.

I’ve tried resolutions. I’ve tried no resolutions. At the end of the year, there’s no difference. This year, I’m trying a new tactic. I’m setting mostly measurable, manageable monthly goals. Care to join me?

Since year-long resolutions to work for me (or most mere mortals), I'm setting mostly measurable, manageable monthly goals. Join me!

Here are the ridiculously obvious rules for my mostly measurable, manageable monthly goals:

  1. They should be mostly measurable, so “smile more” really doesn’t follow this rule…although I’m putting it on there anyway. Walk three times a week is measurable. See? Make more pie–not measurable; make a pie–totally measurable…and edible…hopefully.
  2. It’s manageable. No stressing…which would be a goal in and of itself if it were more measurable.
  3. It’s a monthly goal.

Don’t freak out when you see the length of this list. Most of the items are small things that I need to be more consistent about. Others are general areas of my life that need a little refocusing now that we’re heading back out on the road. Some are bigger tasks. None are radical. They are all written down or else, bam, I forget.

Here are my mostly measurable manageable monthly goals for January:

Family Habits

  • Breakfast Bible: finish reading Matthew aloud and begin Mark.
  • Monthly family manner: eye contact. There’s a post coming about this.
  • Monthly family home care habit: keeping our trailer entry clear–that means shoes must be put away and the hot spot on the coffee bar constantly extinguished or preferably never ignited.
  • Monthly character trait: practice finding the positives–something we began last year casually, but it needs to be a front-and-center practice. I’ll post on it, so ya get it, ‘kay?
  • Aim for two days a week that Hannah can eat every meal we eat with no changes. (Hannah has Crohn’s and is on a doctor-assisted healing diet. She loves days when she doesn’t have to cook a single meal for herself.)
  • Bedtime: Reinstate my beloved brush, Bible, books, blessings, and bed routine.
  • Continue annoying the world by starting everything in a list with the same letter–personally, this is my favorite goal. In fact, I almost made these mostly measurable manageable monthly milestones instead of goals, but I thought that was annoying the universe instead of just the world, so I backed off.
  • Prayer: somehow while stationary we got out of the habit of praying before meals, bed, and trips.

Family Fun

  • Have two game nights focused on the older group.
  • Have one game night focused on the younger group.
  • Have a party on my Grandpa’s birthday, January 29. Grandpa and I always celebrated our birthdays together. I loved having him for a birthday buddy. (Miss you, Grandpa!)
  • Take Judah’s five-month picture before he’s five months and 30 days old. Ahem.
  • Bake a lemon meringue pie. What?! Don’t judge.


  • Learn 15 Spanish verbs. What?! Only 15? Yes, but learning means using, and by using 15 extra verbs regularly over the next month, we’ll be quite fluent…in 15 verbs.
  • Learn 15 new signs.
  • Write two letters each…including mama!
  • Read aloud The Prince and the Pauper by Mark Twain.
  • Teach two core cooking techniques. Blue checkmark
  • Begin one embroidery project with all interested double-digit kiddos–finish in February.
  • Work on one sewing project with Rebecca.
  • Reinstate weekly goal sessions and reviews with Hannah (19)–I love these one-on-one sessions and watching her grow as a writer in her writing business!
  • Find a testing center for Marissa’s CLEP on the road–I think we’ll be in Kansas when she’s ready for her next test. She’s aiming to have her bachelor’s shortly after turning 19; she is currently 17 and has 15 credits. More on that later.
  • Start new math levels with Elisabeth (15), Emily (12), and Elijah (10). (Like, hand them the new book–no biggie here.)
  • Focus daily on math for five minutes with Rebecca (7).
  • Select a fun course from SchoolhouseTeachers.com to enjoy with my four middles–Elisabeth, Emily, Elijah, and Rebecca. (See my review.)
  • Focus twice weekly on Schoolhouse Teacher’s Charlotte Mason preschool with Eliana (4)…just so I remember to focus on her.
  • Begin Slow and Steady, Get Me Ready with Judah (5 months) twice weekly…again, so I remember to focus on him.

Music Mission

  • Write January 2016 newsletter.
  • Finish 2015 thank you notes.
  • Hit the open road again on January 7–we were partially stationary to have our babyBlue checkmark
  • Update subscriber list.


  • Walk dog and self 15-20 minutes 3 days per week–not enough, you say? Better than nothing, I reply!
  • Start doing push-ups again as a family–I do them against the van instead of the ground to protect my sensitive joints, but hey, it’s better than nothing! I will do between one and three after walking. I know that’s not much, but I have joint issues and need my wrists to carry an 18-pound five-month old tub o’ love.
  • Reinstate the two-a-week treat limit in churches–church people love to spoil my kids, but they aren’t aware that the next church and the next and the next will do the same thing. Sometimes we hit four or five churches/special events a week, and it’s literally “spoiling” my kids’ and my hubby’s health and waistlines. Not mine, however, because I don’t eat them, thanks to being perpetually pregnant or nursing sensitive babies–ha ha! Blue checkmark
  • Add seven foods back into my diet. I’m on a total elimination diet for my nursing baby, and I’m currently up to five foods I can eat.
  • Find a supplement that works for my baby.
  • Make two family dessert night treats that Hannah can eat. (No dairy, grains, sugar, processed anything.) Blue checkmark
  • Continue food/symptom journal–ugh. Blue checkmark


  • Write four non-sponsored, non-review posts here…for you lovely people! This counts as one. Hooray!
  • Write three posts at The Travel Bags since our temporary stint as The Stationary Bags ends this week.
  • Find interview sources and rough out my article assignment for Pregnancy & Newborn magazine.
  • Send one pitch–to really rock the writing world I need to send out about one or two a day…but I’m good with one this month. Oh, look. I already sent it. Check!
  • Edit one chapter in my book–this is the biggie, since I have to delete a lot, and I’m not good at deleting…thus the length of this list. Wink wink.


  • Read Proverbs again.
  • Journal weekly. It’s a good start–nothing epic…just the little things.
  • Smile more. Totally measurable, right?
  • Practice finding the positives. (More about this later.)
  • Master three core cooking techniques from America’s Test Kitchen Cooking School Cookbook.
  • Scrap social media as often as possible. (I know, that’s blogger suicide, but it’s better for my family, thumb, brain, and eyes.)
  • Listen to The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up and see if she’s got anything on the Flylady, who rocks, by the way! Blue checkmark
  • Read Silas Marner by George Eliot. It’s one of my mom’s favorites, and, even though I was an English major back in the day, I’ve never read it.
  • Keep my computer and phone off from 9 to 9, unless it’s for school or people are sleeping or studying…or my sister-in-law or mom text me–hey, I’m human, and those gals are fun-to-me!
  • Check email daily, delete all new “unimportant” emails (after reading), and unsubscribe from all no-longer-valuable-to-me subscriptions that come in that day.
  • Take fewer pictures. Yup, fewer. This is, unfortunately, measurable, and I do have an accountability partner on this one. Hi, Honey! Nice dimples!

What are some of your goals for January?

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