Goals & Productivity

A review of my 2023 goals

8 min read

If you have been reading my blog for any length of time you may have noticed that I like to set goals. I enjoy working towards a fixed challenge or complete a project.

Goals help me to think through what is important to me and to prioritise those things. Often, the goals I set are related to taking better care of myself, to make time and space for things that are good for my soul and that bring me joy.

I don’t goal-set my way out of needing Jesus

I am not a big supporter of the “new year, new me” notion. Self-improvement is a noble idea but one that often feeds perfectionist tendencies and it comes with a lot of pressure and shame. I don’t set goals to make myself a better person or so that I require less of God’s help and grace.

Rather, I set goals that help me live into the person He made me to be.

Of course, I want to work on my weaknesses. But not to make myself more worthy or deserving but because I want to keep growing.

Learning from failures and successes

With that mindset I approach this 2023 goal review. Not so I can pat myself on the shoulder or hang my head in shame. I want to learn and grow. What has worked well? Which goal, project or habit served me? What did not? And why?

Asking and answering these questions helps me in knowing what to continue, let go off and where a new approach might be needed.

So, let’s review my 2023 goals!

Alright then, let’s dive in! Here are the goals I set for 2023 and what I made of them.

Read the Bible everyday.

Learning more about God’s word is very important to me. I believe that God speaks to us through the Bible. Since becoming a mother, I have found it a lot more difficult to stick with daily habits, like Bible reading our journaling. However, I am so much happier when I do! Hence why this was one of my 2023 goals.

I definitely did not manage to open God’s word every single day. But I did engage with it a lot more than I had in the year before.

What worked well

To begin with I utilised a little booklet a lot called “die Losungen” which provides a verse for each day. I also worked through two or three Bible studies by “The Daily Grace Co.” which I enjoyed very much. During October and November I followed along with the “Bible Recap” chronological Bible plan. For a good while I did my “7-minute morning routine” which was really great actually.

During 2023 I purchased lifetime access to the “Dwell” app, which is basically an Audio Bible. Being able to listen to the Bible while having my breakfast or putting away dishes just makes it really easy to implement time in Scripture into my everyday life. However, I don’t absorb as much as I would when I open my physical Bible, where I can re-read sentences, highlight and take notes.

Learnings + takeaways

I will probably set a similar goal for the next year, simply because knowing the Bible is really important to me.

I can imagine that the audio Bible will be very handy, especially as it will be easy to listen to it while nursing our new Baby or doing other tasks.

However, what I am really craving is a regular 20 minutes to sit, journal some prayers and read God’s word. I have no idea how I can make this happen with two kids as I am already struggling to implement this with just one. Any tips would be greatly appreciated!

Organise SJs toys according to Montessori principles.

SJ is in a montessori nursery and last December I read “The Montessori Toddler” by Simone Davies. I love the philosophy behind Montessori and wanted to implement more of it in our home.

I think I am definitely absorbing more Montessori principles and kind of naturally implementing them. In May I made a DIY animal match game for SJ, which she played with a lot.

However I didn’t necessarily take a structured approach to implement Montessori principles. I would like to keep learning about and applying Montessori principles. However, I don’t think it is necessary to put pressure on myself to turn our home into a Montessori classroom.

Reach out to a friend every week.

I probably did this – at least more or less. However, I also processed a lot of hurt that I experienced in friendships, disappointments and realising a lot of my own failures in some relationships. There is a lot more work for me to do in this area. This topic feels quite vulnerable right now, but maybe I will write down some of my thoughts for the blog about it at some point.

Publish one blog post every month.

I set this goal simply because I love blogging. But the things I love and that are non-essential very often get put on the back burner.

However, I definitely prioritised blogging this year! So far, I have published 122 posts this year, a lot more than one a month. Blogging mire regularly has been one of this year’s highlights. I don’t know how much time I will have to write once the baby is here, but I am hoping to at least share short posts with updates and thoughts every now and then.

Something I realised about myself is that a project – like my 100 day project or this 12 days of blogmas idea somehow works better for me than planning on publishing a new post every Thursday. I am not quite sure why, but I guess it is okay to just follow when inspiration strikes!

Go to bed by 10:30 pm at least five nights a week.

Well, this definitely didn’t happen. I am not sure how this next year will be in terms of sleep. With our two-year old who still has never slept through the night and a newborn about to arrive. Ha. I think I will be very tired in 2024! Early nights will most definitely be a necessity.

Make time for creativity and making each week: knit, sew, play piano, spend time in the garden.

As said earlier, it is so easy to neglect hobbies in favour of doing laundry or dishes or cleaning the floor AGAIN. When I have time to make and create I am a happier person and much more fun to be around.

I think I achieved this! I reduced my work hours in the first half of the year and with SJ in nursery every morning I did find myself with pockets of time to do things I love, at least every now and then.

Also, with Edd being away so much I spend a lot of evenings either knitting or reading.

Piano playing has happened very little. I would definitely love to make more time for music in my life. Piano, guitar and singing are all things I love very much.

Read 42 books.

The good thing of having a child that will only fall asleep when I sit next to her is extra reading time. Normally, while waiting for her to fall asleep I read on my kindle app, Everand or the Libby app. Also, I listen to a lot of Audio books while walking or doing housework.

As of today I have read 59 books in 2023! I am confident I will make it to 60. I love reading and it makes me very happy I get so much time for it in this season of my life.

Schedule a weekly admin hour to go through post, organise our budget and deal with paperwork.

Well, I did this sometimes. I am not as behind on paperwork as I have been before but I have to admit that there is a big pile of things I need to file away. However, I did do our tax return on time and managed fairly well to stay on top of everything. Admin does not give me joy but procrastinating in this area is a perfect recipe for anxiety. So yeah, I should keep it up!

These were all of my 2023 goals.

I am quite happy with the goals I set and what I managed to put into practice. The key definitely is to be realistic in my expectations. In order to do that I find that it definitely helps to look back at what I managed the previous year. And then think through if the same goal is feasible, if there is room to grow or whether it would be wise to dial back.

Next year I will look after a new-born as well as a toddler. If, for example, I expect to be able to read as many books as I did in 2023 I will likely set myself up for disappointment.

Do you set goals? And do you do reviews? I would love to hear about your process and what things you are hoping to implement into your life in 2024!I

If you are interested in learning more about my goal setting process you might enjoy reading this post.

This post is day 4 of my 12 days of blogmas challenge. You can learn more about it here.

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