How I did with my 2013 goals (and looking ahead to 2014)

planning for 2014

I haven’t always made annual goals, but before 2012 dawned I spent a lot of time thinking about what I wanted to accomplish that year, as well as for the five and ten years beyond.

The year is over; it’s time to see how I did with my 2013 goals:


Save up half a down payment. A huge goal of ours is to move to a larger home (that is, a home with more than one bathroom for our family of six) without selling our current residence. This year we did manage to save half of what we need (or what we hope we need), thanks to financial emergency-free third and fourth quarters and automatic checkings-to-savings deductions.

Health and Fitness:

Complete a Whole 30. Yes! The Whole 30 was something that really worked for us in 2013. (You can browse all Whole 30 posts here.)

Practice yoga once a week. I did great with Jennifer Hoffman’s yoga video series at the beginning of the year, and it does great things for my tendencies towards too-much-typing disease. Despite that, I fizzled out come summer. Right now I’m evaluating how I want to incorporate this into my routine in 2014.

Do one pull-up. This one bombed but I learned all kinds of lessons in the failing. I know I keep saying this–but more on that coming soon!

8:30 2k row. I switched from rowing to running in July, surprising myself greatly because I always thought I hated running! I’ve been thinking about hopping on the rower for a time trial, but I haven’t made myself do it yet. The idea is just so unappealing.


Write something every day. I didn’t quantify this after the spring, and I’m sure I haven’t written something every day. But I’ve not done too badly on this one.

Guest post once a month. Yes! Last month you could check me at Addie Zierman’s blog talking about changing the world, one page at a time.

Read 3 books about the craft of writing. I’ve read a ton of books about writing, but I should review my own goals more often! Because I’ve never finished reading On Writing Well: The Classic Guide to Creating Nonfiction by William Zinsser, which was one of the books I explicitly said I wanted to read. Add that to the list for 2014…

Try new things. YES.

Hit up another conference (or two or three). This year I hit up Killer Tribes, Story Chicago, and Influence. I’d love to visit a few in 2014. Any ideas?

At Home

Celebrate Special Breakfasts. I borrowed this idea from Gretchen Rubin’s Happier at Home, and it was a smashing success. I have a theory about why. (Coming soon, of course!)

Print photographs quarterly. I did this, but I’ve noticed that we enjoy bound photo albums a lot more than prints. This takes more effort, but I’d love to do more photo albums in 2013. I’d love to start by compiling a 2013 album and getting it printed sometime in the first quarter of 2014, but I’m not sure if that’s wishful thinking. (Do any of you do this?)


Log the books I read–and keep good records for you. Yes! I’ve been using Goodreads and this Pinterest board to track what I read.

Read 1 fiction book a month. When I made this goal, I said, “I struggle with finding great fiction–especially modern fiction.” Was that me? Thanks largely to all your recommendations, this is no longer a problem.


Say yes to get-togethers with friends. I’ve done a decent job with this.

Seek out opportunities to meet blogging friends in person. I got to meet so many of you in person in 2013, and each meeting was completely delightful, as expected.


Use my weekends well. I feel like we did a good job with this one, although we definitely stumbled a bit when the weather got cold before we found a new groove .

Learn to use my camera. I finally learned to shoot in manual mode, thanks to this online photography class. It was much easier to learn than I expected, but it’s still one of my most satisfying achievements of the year.

Go on a family camping trip. Will camped in the backyard with the kids while I was at Influence. Does that count?

I’ve spent a lot of time over the holidays reflecting on 2013 and looking forward to 2014. Honestly, my successes and failures from this past year have significantly changed my goal-setting paradigm. I wasn’t expecting that at all, but I’m excited to share more about that soon.

How did you do with your 2013 goals?


Leave A Comment
  1. You should check out the Q Conference! It’s not a blogger conference specifically, but it will fill you up with amazing ideas for the whole year. It’s in Nashville this year (sometime in the spring?) I have done bound photo albums for the past several years — it really doesn’t take that long, especially if your photos are already uploaded to Shutterfly or Snapfish for printing. I would recommend making an outline of what you want each page to be, that will keep you on track and help it go a lot faster. (I usually do mine chronologically with a page/2-page spread for each holiday or big event.)

  2. D says:

    We make photobooks every year and I love that it streamlines scrapbooking and memory keeping for us. My husband compiles the book from the previous year in time for my Mother’s Day gift and I love that it chronicles the year in a well-rounded way. We take photos of art projects and put them in there too. Each kid has a page that they can journal, and we include as much as we can. Yes, a large book is a little spendy, but much less than a quality scrapbook and all the extras, time, and space that go into that effort. I use a gold pen to write the year on the spine and keep them on the bookshelf–everyone likes to look at them and if one comes down to be looked at, usually they all do.

  3. Tara Newman says:

    Just found your blog because I was wondering what Twitterature was! And then I notice you use the same pens as me. I will have to keep an eye on your blog Mrs. Darcy 🙂 I did pretty well with my 2013 goals and even managed to complete ones that I never set…like start a blog 🙂

  4. Karlyne says:

    This morning I was thinking about anticipation and how this year I seemed to have lost it! The year was so day-by-day-full that I forgot to do more than the essential planning. You know, the grocery shopping, dinner, etc. And I realized today that I hadn’t anticipated joyous things enough – not a vacation, not a goofy party (Teddy Roosevelt’s birthday party, anyone?), not enough fun Christmas things, even! I, for one, am happier when I have lovely things to look forward to. I don’t even mind if they don’t actually happen, but I love to see those coming days as rosy clouds of the future. In fact, although I am not much of a goal-setter, I am a happy anticipator, and I need to remember it and not get bogged down in the dust of day-to-day!

  5. Jenny says:

    I print 2 photo books for our family each year (because I take too many pictures and they can only be so long). If you want it to be chronological, Snapfish has a new autofill function where they will fill all the pages for you and then you can go through and change it as you like. I have found this faster and easier than designing each page myself. My kids love looking through the books, so I think it is worth the work and expense. They are expensive, so sometimes I will get the book made and then just have it sit there until they run a 50-60% off promo which seems to happen at least a few times a year.

  6. Annette says:

    I adapted a photo idea from Gretchen Rubin’s book as well. I print my favorite photos of our family members from spring, summer, fall, and winter at the end of each year. I have about 10 frames (sizes 8X10, 5X7, and 4X6), and I change the pictures out seasonally. So right now, I have winter photos out that include my preschool age daughter when she was a baby in her thick winter pjs, my son from last year playing in the snow, etc. It’s fun because the photos change every 3 months, so we actually see them (something I think Rubin talks about), and we all get to enjoy old memories or in the kids’ case, they get to marvel at what they used to look like. I keep the photos in a folder, and it takes about 10 minutes to change them out every 3 months.

  7. Katherine says:

    Photobooks have been my goal for about two years now. So far: fail.

    My sister in law does one every year and orders four copies- one for their family (which stays out on the coffee table all year and gets looked at constantly), and one for each of their three kids. When the kids are adults, they’ll each get one album for every year of their childhood.

    When my mom died I got big fat brown envelopes of loose pictures, all jumbled up… The photobook idea sounds so much more enjoyable:)

  8. Kelli says:

    I’m a fairly new reader to your blog, and I’ve jumped around quite a bit, so I’m not sure if you talked about this anywhere. Do you actively track your goal progress? I know you did monthly updates last year, but do you do daily or weekly tracking of any kind, or did you write your monthly updates just by remembering or checking the calendar, etc.? I really have enjoyed reading your goals and updates (although I’ve read them all in the past month 🙂 )

    I’ve also been thinking about your Whole 30 experience and about how to adapt it for my own life. I’m vegan and so could do a vegan paleo type of reboot – I definitely need one! But I kinda like beans… and grains 🙂 so maybe just cutting out sugar and processed foods – whole foods only no cheating – may be enough to get things going for me…. Although the hardest part is being around people who aren’t doing it also…. Thanks so much for sharing your experiences!

    • Anne says:

      Kelli, I’m trying a few new things for goal tracking this year. One is an app, and I’ll share more about that in a separate post. I’ve also broken some big-picture goals down into monthly and/or weekly lists, which I’ve not really done before.

      Good luck with your modified Whole 30! For what it’s worth, there’s a vegetarian Whole 30 plan on the Whole 9 Life website, but that may be a little easier to modify for vegan than the “regular” plan.

      • Kelli says:

        Thanks, Anne! I’m looking forward to your upcoming posts about your goals for this year and tracking them. And I’ll definitely check out the veg Whole 30 and see how it might work. Happy New Year!

  9. Nice work on your 2013 goals. I did OK on mine. Hit a few of the professional ones. I did not run the 1000 miles I wanted to, and I don’t even know how far I’m off because I got so frustrated I stopped recording my runs. I took some cool trips, though.

  10. Anne says:

    So inspiring, Anne!

    One of my first thoughts upon seeing this post was “does she color code her goals?” Or just love to use great pens? 😀 Love.

    I am working on my goals for this year. Still ruminating….also, I vote you come to the Behold Conference, and I am trying to get my first yearbook (photo book) finished via MyPublisher. Then, I hope to update weekly for 2014.

  11. Carrie says:

    I’m really proud of how I did with my French and business goals, but there are a few niggling things that I still struggle with (that’s life?). Hubs should be totally out of debt in April which is super exciting!

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