Three quarters.

Three quarters.


My 2014 goals update

Back in January, I posted my goals for the year, both the big picture and the more granular. The year’s three-quarters through. I’ve accomplished a lot, but much is undone. Three months is enough to accomplish plenty.

I’m still doing decently well with the big picture goals, probably because they’re always top of mind, and limited to five: to focus on vision, marriage, self-care, writing, and home life.

My specific, bite-sized goals for the year are more hit and miss. Here’s a look back at those goals, and how I’m doing with them:

Tackle the nagging tasks

Back up my laptop. I’m doing this regularly, using this drive.

Change my hosting for MMD.

Make the switch to a password manager. 

Writing and blogging

Find or form a writing group.

Write a few guest posts for new-to-me sites. 

Write 500 words a day. This has become such an ingrained habit I’d forgotten it was a goal.

Read On Writing Well, Blog Design for Dummies, and Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook. I’m halfway through On Writing Well, saving the best for last.

Pet projects

Learn more about the enneagram and the Big Five. I’ve had enough of the Big Five. I’m going to finish reading The Enneagram: A Christian Perspective before the year is out.

Work my way through Let’s Make Some Great Art. I worked on it this morning … for the first time in months.

Work my way through Fix It Write. (More about that here.) I’ve at least located the booklet.

Things I want to try/experience

Make tamales with the kids. 

Take the kids to a high school football game. Not yet, but tis the season.

Walk a labyrinthI did this in August, and it was wonderful. But I’d forgotten I’d listed it as a goal until I was prepping this post.

Attend a JASNA meeting.

The year of great self-care

Schedule regular massages. On the whole, I’ve done well with this, but I haven’t had one since our August vacation.

Turn the lights out at 10:00 pm unless I have a really good reason not to. In a word, this is going poorly.

Revisit the Whole 30 twice. I need a reset a couple of times a year. I did a Whole 14 right after our big family vacation, because I very much needed a reset.

Practice twenty pull-ups every day. I’m doing this more often than not, now that we’ve carved out a workout space in the corner of the garage. It’s not perfect, but it’s progress.

Get 10,000 steps every day. More on that here.  

Open the Book of Common Prayer every day.


Find or form a book club. (Especially a kid lit book club.) I’m still interested in this—especially the kid lit part—but it’s just not been a priority.

Read some travel writing, something by Doris Kearns Goodwin, and Wuthering HeightsI have three more months to read some Bill Bryson.

Re-read the books listed here, most of which I’ve chosen because they keep me focused on things to important to forget. I’ve read half of them, and am currently halfway through Renovation of the Heart.

Finally get to the books I’ve been meaning to read for way too long. I’m 3 for 5 so far.


Connect with a local homeschooling group. (More on that here.)

Re-read The Well-Trained Mind and Writing With Ease. These books remind me why we homeschool. I haven’t gotten to them yet. My fourth quarter reading list keeps getting longer.

Make time and space for Jack and Sarah to blog. They’ve not wanted to blog, but they’ve both been interested in typing up their own ‘books,” and illustrating them by hand. They need help, and Will and I have been providing it. I’m counting it.

At home

Celebrate special breakfasts, again. I love this one, which makes it really easy to keep up with.

Celebrate the happy things.

Create photo books out of our family photos. I haven’t done anything on this since we moved, but I would very much like to.

Frame some family photos to display in our home. Nothing yet, but I know which walls I want to turn into photo galleries. Progress?

Any big goals for 2014? I’d love to hear all about them in comments!

P.S. My new approach to goals for the year is still working pretty well.


  1. I just popped over to read about your 2014 focusing-on-process-not-outcome decision. Are you still enjoying using the Commit app? I’m considering purchasing it because I find that type of thing motivating, too. My MotionX app has turned me into a regular walker without particularly trying.

  2. It looks like I need to go back and read most of the linked posts (I didn’t become a regular reader of MMD until about two months ago so missed most of them). Have you written anything about the goal to change your hosting? I know that’s probably not the goal most people are interested in, but it caught my attention since I’ve been toying with the idea of changing the hosting for my blog, so I’d love to hear your thoughts on the process.

    • Anne says:

      Hi Amy,

      I never wrote much in detail about changing to hosting, but at the end of 2013 I knew it was time for a change. I’d been on hostgator and we’d reached a point where they couldn’t accommodate the traffic and all the posts and comments stored up on this wordpress blog anymore. I switched to Flywheel (one of several good options) in February or so. It was hiccuppy for a few days, but smooth sailing after that. Let me know if you have any questions and I’ll do my best.

  3. About the photos…I find that buying Groupons for photo books makes me get them done. The pesky expiration date gets me every time, because I am waaaay too frugal to let a Groupon expire.

    Every time I’m scrambling to get one done by the due date, I curse the day I bought a Groupon, but then when the photo book arrives, I’m always glad I did it.

  4. denielle says:

    I love the categories for your goals!

    I’ve just latched on to toggl (since your post about favorite apps), and it’s my new goal to break my regular activities into categories and keep track of time spent. So far so good! Thanks for that post!

  5. Beth Anne says:

    1.) Can you talk more about your writing group?! Sounds awesome! I’d love to hear how you all hold each other accountable and encourage one another.
    2.) I’m addding On Writing Well to my goal list for this year too.
    3.) Very, very interested in a kid lit book club, especially as my soon-to-be 4 year old grows older. He’ll already sit and listen to some children’s chapter books but it really depends on how connected he is to the story. Reading was such a huge part of my childhood. I want to make sure I foster that love in him and find the best of what’s out there.
    4.) Goals for me – complete my 2nd half marathon (and beat Pat Flynn’s time!) I know silly, but, realistic and would make me feel pretty great! Help Holden walk 10 steps in a row with his new walker. (Big, big goal but really involves me being consistent in helping him. I suppose the real goal should focus not on outcomes but on what I can control – work with Holden on his walker at least 5 days per week.) Host our first Google Hangout and/or webinar for Brilliant Business Moms, write our first e-book for Kindle.
    email series – started, private fb group – started.

    New goal – read the Bible every day, even if it’s just one verse. I am very shotty about quiet time. Some days are great – some days are nonexistent. Setting a small, realistic goal is good.

    Thanks for sharing your goals. It’s great to see what you’ve accomplished and what you’re prioritizing in your life. It makes me re-think my own priorities and make sure I’m on the right track.

    • Anne says:

      Beth Anne, these are great goals! I love the way you articulate them and break them down.

      As for writing group: it’s a casual thing. Share your pieces in advance, mark them to pieces, come prepared to discuss. “This was nice” and other extremely unhelpful feedback strictly prohibited. 🙂

  6. Tim says:

    I read Zinsser’s “On Writing Well” earlier this year and enjoyed it a lot. It was at times informative, at times encouraging, and at times intimidating. But all of it was good.

  7. Betsy says:

    For me, this was the summer of Bill Bryson. I read One Summer: America 1927, A Walk in the Woods, Notes from a Small Island, and I’m a Stranger Here Myself. My favorites were A Walk in the Woods and I’m a Stranger Here Myself. I just love his sense of humor!

  8. liz n. says:

    Bill Bryson! ADORE everything he’s written! The last two books of his that I re-read were A Short History of Nearly Everything and At Home.

  9. Jenn says:

    Would love to get involved with a kids lit book club. I have a 9 year old and who reads at a YA level and that genre has changed sooo much since I was reading it regularly.

  10. Faith R says:

    I love this post. It makes the idea of goal setting less intimidating. I read “the a Well Trained Mind” when my oldest was in Kindergarten (she’s in middle school now!!!) I actually read it while walking on the treadmill at night after the kids were in bed while my hubs was doing whatever it is that hubs do at night… I LOVED that book.

  11. Kristy says:

    I think you first introduced me to the Whole 30. I then read It Starts With Food. And that began it. My husband and I did a Whole 21 because we were about to go on vacation and didn’t want to spend it in the bathroom! That was in February. Just recently, we decided we needed to do something again, but didn’t want to give up everything again. So we decided to give up grains and sugar. And then we decided, we needed treats on the weekend! It ended up being a Not Whole 7. Sigh. But, it’s been good to reset from grains and sugar and they really are more of a treat. And I dropped a couple of pounds, so that helps!

    I was glad to see when you revisited it, you didn’t do the whole 30 days! Your goals encourage me to write out goals for myself. I do so much better with lists staring me in the face!

    • Anne says:

      It’s great that you know exactly what you need a reset for. Sugar is a huge one for me, and it’s soooo easy to let it creep back in incremental doses!

  12. Anne says:

    This post was a nice way to lessen the sadness of not sighting a 31 days topic from MMD this year. Thank you for letting me down nicely. Goal-setting is another one of my nerd alert subjects!! 🙂 Last year’s was top notch, Anne! It was my fave of all of them, no joke.

    For 2014, I am just going to, like, make a folder of 2014 pictures that made the cut and let MyPublisher decide what to do with them. I believe that is an option. As long as it is chronological, I might just do it! Wouldn’t that be so much easier?? Ha!

    Thanks for the update. Love reading this kind of stuff.

    • Anne says:

      Oh my goodness, I would LOVE it if I could just let My Publisher do something, anything with my photos! There’s a market there, I’m telling you. 🙂

      Thanks so much for the kind words on cult classics. I’m not 31 days-ing this year, as you noticed. 🙂

  13. I tried twice to read Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook and just couldn’t get into it. I liked his other books so I’m wondering what the disconnect for me was this time.

    I love the way you categorize your goals. Breaking it down this way makes everything seem much more manageable than just looking at a big list. I’ve been doing monthly challenges which makes me focus but this is a good approach to consider as well.

    • Anne says:

      For JJJRH, it felt more like a handbook or a how-to manual than a book-book. I can understand how you couldn’t “get into” it. I appreciated the content, and yet it also felt like the kind of content that would go stale very, very quickly.

  14. Sarah says:

    Hi Anne. I’ve enjoyed many of the same non-fictions that are on your re-read list (Quiet, Rubin’s book, Habit). But I often find that the key take-away messages (for me) fade away in short order. Do you have a system for note taking or recording what you’ve gleaned from particularly informative books? Maybe you’ve already written about this somewhere? I sometimes end up feeling as though its not worth the time commitment if I don’t bother to preserve what I’ve learned somehow, esp since I don’t typically re-read.

    Thanks for any suggestions you may have!

    • Anne says:

      I keep a quote book, and I’ve been experimenting with keeping notes and quotes in Evernote. It’s imperfect, but it’s something. I’m constantly experimenting with new and (hopefully) better ways to do this.

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