2019 goals

Last week I shared with you all the word I’m using as a theme for 2019, and that word is ACTION. While that is my guiding force, I also have more specific goals that I am hoping to either achieve or work on in the year ahead. So today I am sharing about the eight big picture goals that I will be actively focusing on in 2019.

As a reminder, I use Powersheets as a goal setting tool to help uncover the things that matter most to me, and then make those things happen. This is not a sponsored post, I just really love this product, and I think you will too! If you are looking for something to help you live a little more intentionally, the Cultivate What Matters shop still has 6 Month Undated Powersheets for sale – so you can get started at ANYtime!

2019 will be my healthiest year yet.

Last year I was intentional about learning how to approach my health in a worshipful way. Too often my health journey quickly defaults to a vain pursuit and I was tired of the cycle of insecurity and pride that I went back and forth between whenever I pursued fitness or nutrition. Thanks to a lot of prayer, the Holy Spirit, and working at a gym, last year I made a lot of strides in my approaches to my health. So this year I am aiming to continue taking what I have learned, as well as being open to learning more, in order to pursue healthy habits for my body and life. This includes working out regularly in ways that bring me joy; having a good balance of choosing healthier options as well as not depriving myself of things I enjoy; drinking plenty of water; and getting quality sleep.

Invest in my marriage.

This is a rollover goal from last year, but I couldn’t not include it again. Because honestly, I could still be doing plenty more to invest in my husband and our relationship. I will continue to give more of my time and attention to our relationship, especially by becoming more rooted in Christ together. This is absolutely one of the areas of life that matters most to me and so I want to give it the best of me.

Speak hope. Speak life.

This goal stems from God moving significantly in my heart one day in December through Hebrews 10:23-25. God pointed out to me my need to focus more on the hope I see in Christ in this world, instead of the downward spiral of humanity. He compelled me to speak up more about this hope, and to change my language and my approach in communicating and relating with others. It stuck out to me so much that I was very close to choosing ‘hope’ as my word of the year until God redirected me otherwise. This is more of a heart shift than a measurable goal, but I have already recognized ways God is rewiring me towards this habit.

Read 12 books in 12 months.

This is another repeat goal from last year, and I only hope to continue it for years and years to come. I enjoy reading, but I usually don’t make enough time for it. Instead I spend too much time scrolling on my phone. This goal is to combat that. Last year I did end up finishing 12 books, however half of them were due to re-reading the Harry Potter series (which I do not regret one bit), but this year I hope to read 12 new-to-me books. Some of the books on my list are Imperfect Courage, Essentialism, and even some Sherlock Holmes. I’m still open to suggestions if you have any as well.

Make time for things I’m passionate about.

This goal is very intertwined to the reasons for my word of the year. I don’t want to spend my life doing things I don’t really care about. I want to use my time for things that make me come alive. God has given me different passions and I don’t want to keep putting them off, so this year I’m taking action on making more time for those kinds of things – this blog being one of them. That hopefully means you’ll be seeing more and more from me around here.

Stop resisting community.

I so badly wanted to phrase this goal as “engage in community,” but the truth of the matter is that the action I really need to take is to stop resisting. I’ve become much more of a homebody in the last two years, despite my agreement that we are meant to live life alongside others. And so this year, I’m really wanting to find the balance between investing in community, but also taking time for myself when I need it. I just don’t want the need for alone time to outweigh the push I feel to engage with the people around me anymore.

(Continue to) create and maintain mindful habits & rhythms.

Thanks to my Powersheets, last year I was able to establish a lot of different routines and rhythms that helped make my life feel more balanced. They helped me live intentionally even in the smallest of moments, so that I could free up time, mental capacity, or stamina. I do want to be careful about not getting caught up in routine just for the sake of routine (which I have a tendency to do), so I intend to continue to develop these habits and rhythms in order to help make my other goals happen.

Adventure.

This is kind of my way of saying “live my life to the fullest.” This is also another goal that is deeply rooted in my need for action. I don’t want to waste away the time we have living in Wyoming (and more importantly near the Rocky Mountains). I want to explore and adventure and make the most of our time – here and elsewhere when applicable. Part of that includes getting out as much as possible to explore all the beautiful places near us, and the other part has to do with taking opportunities to travel when we can. We’ve been saving up for a “bigger” vacation for awhile now and so I really want to make that happen this year.


Well, there you have it. My eight big picture goals for 2019. These goals could very likely change as the year goes on, and that is totally okay. But as I head into this year, these are at least my guiding arrows. Because intentional living is something I am passionate about, I plan to share more “progress reports” about these goals in the future, so this isn’t the last you’ll be seeing of them. I always really enjoy reading goal posts from other bloggers because it gives me a peek into what someone else is intentionally working on that normally wouldn’t come up in conversation. Also, it is a cool way to see how someone isn’t necessarily doing it all, but they are making what matters to them happen in small, realistic steps, so I hope you get to see that in what I share too.

Until next time friends…

What goals do you have for 2019? I’d love to hear about any that you may have in the comments below.

2019 word of the year

Well hello friends, and happy new year! I recognize that I’m a bit late in saying that, but 2019 kind of started off with an unanticipated bang for me after a 2 week trip to Illinois for Christmas (and the preparations leading up to it), taking longer than usual to get caught up on life when we returned, a busy start to the new year at work, and some technical difficulties with my computer access. So here I am at the start of February, finally feeling like my life is getting back on track and I am able to get back into this space again.

Because I feel like it is going to set the tone for this blog in the year ahead, I’m kicking off my first post of 2019 by sharing with you my word of the year. Have you heard of this practice before? It seems to have grown in popularity in recent years, but last year was the first time I had jumped on the bandwagon and chose a word to guide me and my goals. To be honest, I resisted this practice for awhile because I felt overwhelmed at the thought of how to choose a word. I mean, how am I supposed to know what the year ahead holds? How do I summarize everything I want to achieve in just one word? So how did I get over this hump? Last year I finally invested in some Powersheets – a goal setting planner designed to help uncover what matters most to you, and then equip you with accountability to make those things happen.

Within the Powersheets prep work, choosing a word for the year is built into the process, but they themselves are not necessary for you to choose a word. There are plenty of ways you can approach a word selection – this is just a tool that was really useful to me, so I find them worth mentioning. (Also worth noting, this post is not sponsored. I just genuinely have loved my experience with my Powersheets and think they are worth sharing about). Because of them, I have a word that sets the tone for me in 2019 by giving me something to center my goals and intentions on.

So without further adieu…my 2019 word of the year is ACTION.

Now this word has a few different layers to it, but my main premise is this: stop JUST thinking; stop JUST talking; and start DOING. You see, the perfectionist in me tends to put off ideas and desires that I want to accomplish until the time feels just right. I will often hold back on things that set my heart on fire simply because I’m waiting for opportune moments or feelings that may or may not actually come. And even if they do, I still tend to let them pass because something else arises that I am “supposed” to do first. Exhibit A: this blog. Time and time again it has been put on the back burner even when I have felt a strong push from God to pursue it. Because to be completely honest, I put things off out of fear of failure. And I don’t want to live like that anymore. I want to live in the freedom that God has offered me. So this year, it’s time for me to start moving. It’s time to take action on the things I hope to do and the things I feel called to do. Because I don’t want to waste the time I’ve got here; I don’t want to spend my life scrolling on my phone and missing out on the beautiful parts of life God has placed before me; and I don’t want to miss out on the opportunities God has offered me either.

I spent last year working to establish routines and rhythms so that I could free up my time to actually do things that mattered to me, but oftentimes I let the routines themselves become the focus of my time instead. So this year I plan to take those routines and USE them to go further and really live how I want to and am called to. Not tied up by routines, but freed up by them to set my goals into motion. And to do so requires action from me. It’s a little scary, because it means actually following through on what I’m saying. But there is no doubt in me that it will be worth it.

So there you have it – my overall aim for 2019. In my next post I will be sharing the 8 big picture goals I have set for this year that will be fueled by ACTION. In the meantime, I’d love to hear from YOU in the comments. If you have chosen a word for the year for yourself, I want to hear what it is! And if you haven’t and want to, but feel like it’s too late, as Lara Casey (the creator of the Powersheets) likes to say: there is nothing magical about January 1st.

get after grateful

I know we are already knee deep into December, and while I’m wholeheartedly invested in this Christmas season right now, I don’t want to go any further without sharing about some of ways God moved in my heart in November.

Insta Collage 1

This year – for no one other than myself – I set out on a mission to post on Instagram at least one thing I was grateful for every day of November. But instead of just listing off the major highlights, I wanted to do it in real time. I wanted to truly consider what I could be grateful for throughout each day  – whether big picture, overlooked details, or anything that fell in-between. And I wanted to thank God for it all no matter the state of my day.

What inspired me most in this pursuit was Rach Kincaid, who years ago started using the hashtag #getaftergrateful to create a community of people living lifestyles of thankfulness and to recognize Who we are thankful towards – not just when life is good, but more importantly, even when life feels hard or painful or tiring.

What I really like about this hashtag is how it carries on even outside of Thanksgiving. Gratitude is a discipline and habit that can be practiced all year round. I’ve seen Rach place that hashtag on posts with the simplest of moments or details from any given day. I’ve even used it a time or two myself previously doing the same thing. But to help enter into this holiday season I wanted to be really intentional about fostering a spirit of thankfulness, no matter the circumstances of my life.

So I dove into this little project with open hands, and loose expectations. I kind of made up my rules as I went but here’s the main premise of what I set out to do:

  1. Focus on the day itself. What throughout each day stood out as something that I either felt grateful for, or could choose to be grateful for?
  2. Be transparent. Be honest about the day. If it was a good day full of good things, praise God. If it was a hard day full of challenging things, still praise God. I don’t want to come across as someone who has their life all in order (well let’s be honest, my enneagram 1 self would love for that to be the perception of my life, but it’s just not true and I don’t want to deceive anyone). And so I wanted to be real about the beautiful and about the mess.
  3. Don’t limit myself to just one thing each day.
  4. Repeats are ok. Because I’m often grateful for things for more than one day a month.
  5. Post a picture from the day. Use my camera for more than just pictures of my dogs, and capture the little things that represent the happenings of the day.

Now that might sound like a lot, but like I said, I had loose expectations. Some days I didn’t follow those guidelines, and I was totally okay with that flexibility.

Insta Collage 2

So in hindsight, here’s what I got out of it all:

  1. The goal of posting each day of the month ended up causing more discipline with my gratitude. Now I’m not saying that sharing with the world every day what you’re thankful for is necessary for a lifestyle of gratefulness, but this small scale challenge held me accountable to really think through my day, and what I could thank God for despite my feelings. Some days that meant recognizing opportunities for community in a season of dryness. Other days that meant choosing gratefulness for the Harry Potter series for some mental relief. This semi-structured plan of 30 straight days gave me the chance to pause at the end of each of those days and consider the simple & complex things that I could thank God for.
  2. Gratitude is not just something that we FEEL. It is also an attitude we can CHOOSE. We all have those days that we don’t feel like anything went well. Days where we are worn out or frustrated or hurt. And we don’t feel like thanking God for those things. But whether it’s reasoning behind those feelings, or something small and unrelated that happened outside of that, we can still choose to thank God for so many things in our lives. I wasn’t thrilled the day that I had a lingering headache and a terrible knot causing me back pain, but I was able to still choose gratefulness for the relief that a fridge full of leftovers brought about because I didn’t have to cook. It’s a choice to name the good stuff instead of dwelling on the bad.
  3. The things that came up numerous times helped highlight threads of God’s blessings and answered prayers. Day to day we might not pay attention to the intricate ways God is at work, but when we piece it all together and take a look back, we can see how He may have been actively involved in the quietest parts of life. For example, coziness and Sabbath were frequently mentioned throughout the month, and I see now how God encouraged me towards spending my time that way to balance me out before a more lengthy holiday trip to our home town – which usually means busyness and a bit of unsettledness at times for me with the lack of routine.
  4. Sometimes blessings can speak for themselves. Other times it takes some uncovering to really see how a blessing is impacting me. Some days I would list off basic details or events that I was thankful for and call it good. Other days I really dove into why I was grateful for something. Both produced a posture of gratitude towards God for me.

So why share this all with you? Because I want to urge you towards a lifestyle of gratefulness – not so you can ignore the hard stuff, but so that you can see God through it. No so you can just be happy about your life, but so that you can recognize who you are thanking. You don’t have to share on social media (unless you think that might be a cool practice for you – then go for it!), but I encourage you to foster the discipline of choosing gratefulness, rather than waiting for it to come your way. You never know what you might get out of it.

So go on, get after grateful.

may goals

GOALS (2)

My oh my, where did April go? Honestly, where has the first third of 2015 gone? I almost can’t handle how quickly time is passing. We’ve officially been in Minot for 6 months, meaning we’ve already been here longer than we were in California. It’s all sorts of weird, but still all sorts of good. April was a fast month, but one filled with some goodies too. You can get caught up to speed on our life in my latest catching up post. With the freshness of spring upon us, I figured it was time to freshen up this space too, so I hope you enjoy the new look.

As I put together this post for the month, I felt like it would be worth explaining to you all that I understand that reading about what I aim to do each month probably isn’t the most enlightening of topics. These monthly goal posts are partially a way for me to hold myself accountable to accomplishing more in my day to day, but mostly they are a way for me to express that whether or not I meet my goals, there is grace. It’s not about perfection and doing “all the things,” but that it’s about celebrating when I achieve, still pushing myself along when I don’t, and still trying regardless of the outcome. And to me, that’s a message worth sharing. Because we could all give ourselves a little more grace. So without further ado, here’s what I tried to do in April, and what I’m hoping to do in May:

APRIL REVIEW

  1. Read More (beyond Systematic Theology).  I made it a point to read more this month instead of indulge my love for One Tree Hill on Netflix. I started and finished 7 by Jen Hatmaker and it certainly rocked my world. I’m still processing all of the truth that my heart was hit with. I hope to keep up this habit and start reading more of my shelves.
  2. Continue working out multiple times a week.  This was accomplished for the most part. While I haven’t been as consistent as I have been in the past couple months, I’ve been staying active and getting to the gym at least three times a week. Being sick last week didn’t help, but the nicer weather has helped in encouraging me to run outside more. The biggest news though: over the past few months I’ve been able to shave off 10 pounds and get so significantly close to my goal weight! I have loved seeing the progress in my body get more toned and healthy and I want to keep at it. I have been given this body and I want to take care of it and love every inch of it.
  3. Spend the nice days outside.  I’ve done my best to get out and enjoy the weather. I’d like to get out a little bit more than I have and get some color on my skin, but it’s a start.

[Also, this wasn’t on my set of goals this month, but in months past I had been hoping to finish the gallery wall for our living room. This past weekend I finally did that, and I simply love it. I’m hoping to share some of the details about it with you on here soon!]

MAY GOALS

  1. Actually start posting the things I’ve been thinking of.  While my presence on The Pruim Life has been more minimal lately, my mind is still actively thinking of ideas of things to share with you all. My “works in progress” tab on OneNote (which I utilize to help organize everything I do for this space) is getting more and more full, yet I remain quiet on here. I have this space for a reason, and I want to use it more as I intended.
  2. Start a Bible Study.  In the midst of our search for a church in this area, my heart has also been turned significantly towards the ways that we can be the church in our daily lives and with our everyday community. Months ago I felt the push to start a bible study/small group in order to live more life alongside others, and to dig more into the Word to let it lead our lives. It’s time I actually follow through with that push.
  3. Celebrate our anniversary well.  We haven’t made plans yet for how we want to commemorate the two years we’ve been married, but I want to do something special. We’ll see what we come up with.
  4. Continue working out multiple times a week.  Like I said, my progress has been it’s own inspiration for me and I want to keep working towards being as healthy as I can be.
  5. Keep reading.
  6. Spend the nice days outside.  Because the weather keeps getting nicer and I want to enjoy all of it.

Thanks for being willing to check in on how I’m doing. I’d love to hear what goals you might have for yourself this month, as well as all the ways that you’re giving yourself grace.

april goals

aprilgoalswithgrace thepruimlife

I’m a little slow rolling here with my April goals. I think going on vacation at the end of last month left me with no time to really think through what it is that I would like to accomplish in the 30 days of April. But first, let’s check in on how March went.

MARCH REVIEW

  1. Continue hitting up the gym at least 5 times a week. Up until our vacation at the end of the month, I stayed consistent in working out again this month. I owe so much to my swollmate for that. 😉
  2. Read 4 chapters of Systematic Theology. Nope. Only got through one chapter again this month.
  3. Complete the gallery wall for our living room. More progress has been made, but not quite there yet. I painted a couple pieces to include with it that I’m really happy with. It just needs to all finally get nailed down.
  4. Journal more often. Sadly, this just didn’t happen.
  5. Get a tan in MEXICO! While some overcast days and a bit of rain salted my game, I left Cozumel with a little bit more color than I came to it with. More importantly, we had the most wonderful time vacationing with the whole Pruim family. (More pictures and details to come on that soon!)
  6. Snuggle more with my hubby. I wasn’t exactly intentional about this, but I still managed to fit in snuggle time nonetheless.

APRIL GOALS

  1. Read More (beyond Systematic). Going on vacation allowed me a little more reading time, and I was able to finish a book I’ve been reading since Christmas. I want to keep plowing through the many quality books on my shelf that I have yet to read.
  2. Work out 3-4 times a week. I’m not going to lie, going on vacation ruined a bit of my motivation to hit the gym everyday. It took a couple days of adjusting back home to finally suck it up and get back into it. Now that I’m getting there though, I’d like to keep at it. Because I’ve been really pleased with the progress I’ve made because of it.
  3. Spend the nice days outside. Spring is trying to surface here in Minot. We had a week of gorgeous 60-70 degree weather, but then we dropped back into the 30s and 40s, with multiple days of snow scattered in. I was warned to never get my hopes up with the weather here. But I at least want to take advantage of the nice days that we do have. This weekend we’re supposed to be hitting back into the 60s and 70s, so in whatever off time I have I want to get out and soak up the sun, because it sure does do something for my soul.

I’m just keeping it simple this month, considering we’re already a third of the way through it. This month is more full than usual too with a big fundraiser for work, some friends coming to visit, and Adam’s birthday, so I want to be sure my time is spent wisely too. Besides, I still want to leave some room in the margins to let life happen. Grace man. That’s what this whole thing is about.

What goals do you have for yourself this month?

march goals

GOALS

Hello March. You & your potential signs of spring are being welcomed in with open arms. You can melt away the snow that has been sitting on the ground for the past two months straight & you can up those temps quite a bit too. Anytime now…

A new month means a new set of goals, but before I get into what I have planned for myself this month, let’s recap on how February went:

  1. Read 4 chapters of Systematic Theology. I didn’t devote as much time to this as I really would have liked too. One chapter was all I finished. It was a long one though, so that’s gotta count for something 😉 Nevertheless, there is grace, so I will keep pushing on!
  2. Set us up to start using an envelope budget. Procrastination at it’s finest. This has been on my to-do list since the summer and I still find us with no envelope budget.
  3. Finally introduce a series on The Pruim Life that I’ve been dwelling on for months. From Comparison to Contentment has been on my heart since October, and I finally hit the publish button for the first of many future posts this past week.
  4. Continue on in the job search process. Continue I did, as I sent out resumes, scored an interview, got the call the next day with a job offer, and started my new job last week.
  5. Establish a habit of going to the gym at least 3-4 times a week. Guys, I (surprisingly) knocked this one out of the park. Not only did I accomplish this goal, but I exceeded it with hitting the gym at least 5 days a week. Finding two work out buddies, following a workout plan, having my husband be a source of accountability, and trying out new classes at the gym, have all been game changers in motivating me in this. & it sure does feel good.
  6. Complete the gallery wall in our living room. Progress has certainly been made. I’ve created a few pieces to include with pieces that I already had ready to go onto the wall. A potential layout is scattered across our front room floor awaiting the finishing touches before I’m ready to start hanging it up. But it’s coming along.

So February was a fairly successful month. Here’s to hoping that March will be the same way:

  1. Continue hitting up the gym at least 5 times a week.
  2. Read 4 chapters of Systematic Theology.
  3. Complete the gallery wall for our living room.
  4. Journal more often. Writing things out on paper has always been a way for me to open up and release the tangled web of thoughts that take residence in my mind and make sense of them. It’s a way that I feel intimately close to Jesus as I speak openly and honestly. & almost always, without fail, I set down my pen with a better sense of clarity – oftentimes in ways that I never expected. I love to journal. But I let the time commitment stand in my way of actually utilizing it enough. After a recent morning of some heart to heart time with Jesus, I know that this needs to change.
  5. Get a tan in MEXICO! This month we will be joining my husband’s entire family for a vacation to Cozumel, and We. Are. Stoked! It’s my goal to spend as much of the time there in the sun as possible.
  6. Snuggle more with my hubby, because why not?

As another recap, here’s what you may have missed this month:

why the books are always better than the movies
when good intentions aren’t good enough part two (part one can be found here)
from comparison to contentment

What goals do you have for yourself this month?

I’m linking up with Haley at the Tiny Twig for her monthly Goals with Grace post.

goals with grace

thepruimlife goalswithgrace

Happy Monday, Happy February, and Happy Groundhog Day (man, that’s a lot of happy wishes there) to you all! As an attempt to stay proactive with the decisions I’ve made for myself for 2015, I’ve decided to join in with Hayley at The Tiny Twig and other women across the blog scene for the Goals With Grace link up. Basically, I’ll be posting some of my goals that I’d like to accomplish this month, and then come March I’ll be able to share how I did, but I’m aiming to complete them with a mindset of giving myself grace. It’s a good thing to set goals for ourselves, but we just have to be careful not to take them so seriously that they rule over our hearts and minds. That “grace” word is one that keeps drilling its truth into my heart, and I’m happy to share the overflow of that with you all in a new way. So without further ado, here’s what I’m hoping to accomplish in the next 28 days:

  1. Read 4 chapters of Systematic Theology. To make steady progress on one of my year goals, I want to aim to read at least a chapter a week.
  2. Start using an envelope budget. This way we can start paying more attention to our spending habits, and start investing more into our saving habits.
  3. Finally introduce a series on The Pruim Life that I’ve been dwelling on for months. Seriously, months. It’s something near and dear to my heart, and I want it to be just right, but if I don’t get it out there and make a move on it soon, it may just never happen.
  4. Continue on in the job search process. I’ve been updating my resume, creating a federal resume (that was a doozy), and utilizing all of the resources for military spouses on base. The next step is to start applying, applying, applying!
  5. Establish a habit of going to the gym at least 3-4 times a week. I don’t want to just wait until the day of to decide if I’m going to the gym or not. I want to keep myself accountable by starting a routine.
  6. Complete the gallery wall in our living room. We have a giant white wall that needs filling in our living room, and I already have pieces to include. I’d like to finish up a few other pieces to add in, and then actually put it together and hang it up. Then I will feel like our living room is finished (at least for now).

What goals could you set for yourself this month?