2017 Goals + January’s Baby Steps

Today I’m sharing my 2017 goals. It might seem boring, but I’ve had the best ten days or so reflecting on what I’m hoping for this year. For the past several years, I have loved using Lara Casey’s goal setting series + Powersheets as a way to set goals in the new year– and (for the most part) actually achieve them! I can’t recommend her blog, company, + book enough. I’ve worked through my 2017 Powersheets prep + I’ve decided on 10 goals for 2017. Some of them are broad, some are specific, and some are downright scary– but I’ve prayed + know they are what are best for me and our little family. I want to share them with you here today + each month as a form of accountability + so you can follow along in case you’re interested.

My 2017 Goals

For each goal, I’ve outlined the goal, a Scripture I relate to the goal (from the Message, to keep it practical), along with the why and a few how’s.

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Goal 1: Abide in God’s promises + love for me.
“Make your home in me just as I do in you.” – John 15:4
Why: This is one of the greatest lessons I’ve learned in the past two years, since “abide” was my word of the year in 2015. God has continued to lay it on my heart, and little by little, I’m growing.

How: Pray daily. Memorize Scripture to help me through tough days. Respond to / act on the little nudges the Spirit gives me throughout the day. Practice the Sabbath.

514ndpl54tl-_sx319_bo1204203200_Goal 2: Read the entire Bible by December 31, 2017
“The revelation of God is whole and pulls our lives together. The signposts of God are clear + point out the right road. The life maps of God are right, showing the way to joy.” – Psalm 19:7-8

Why: There are books of the Bible I haven’t read before and I want to learn more about God’s Word. I also believe it will help with Goal 1. I’m excited to use the NIV Bible for Women through this journey.

How: I already chose a reading plan that provides a passage from the Old Testament + the New Testament for each day of the week. I’ve also started a morning routine where I spent about 20-25 minutes completing the reading and journaling about it.


Goal 3: Find joy in each day + give thanks for it.
“I’m thanking you, God from a full heart, I’m writing the book on Your wonders. I’m whistling, laughing, + jumping for joy; I’m singing your song, High God.” – Psalm 9:1-2

Why: This may seem like a no-brainer, but there is so much I take for granted. I want to have open eyes and notice the small details that God orchestrates into each day. There is always something to be grateful for, and I have seen this to be true even in my worst days. I believe this focus will help shift my perspective in 2017.

How: My friend Chrissy + I have a text stream going that we have kept up with for a while now where we text each other throughout the day with things we are grateful for– big, small, doesn’t matter. I want to keep this going! I also want to say “no” to negative talk and gossip (have you been in a teachers lounge?) and choose a memory verse for times when I need to shift my perspective.


Goal 4: Be present in relationships that matter most.

“If you’ve gotten anything at all out of following Christ, if his love has made any difference in your life, if being in a community of the Spirit means anything to you, if you have a heart, if you care— then do me a favor: Agree with each other, love each other, be deep-spirited friends. Don’t push your way to the front; don’t sweet-talk your way to the top. Put yourself aside, and help others get ahead. Don’t be obsessed with getting your own advantage. Forget yourselves long enough to lend a helping hand.” – Philippians 2:1-4

Why: Community inspires me to be and do better. I also believe that I can share Jesus’ love best when being fully present. As Shauna Niequist says in Present Over Perfect (favorite!): “Present means we understand that the here and now is sacred, sacramental, threaded through with divinity even in its plainness. Especially in its plainness.”

How: Keep my phone away during conversations. Text a friend with encouragement when I think of them. Have people over for meals regularly. Send snail-mail to someone each month as a nice surprise 🙂

Photo: Jon Bugg

Goal 5: Invest + connect intentionally in our church.
“You are Christ’s body– that’s who you are! You must never forget this.” – 1 Corinthians 12:27

Why: I love our church and our Matthews campus. I want to help provide the best experience for guests + volunteers, while helping support our campus staff.

How: Attend monthly volunteer meetings. Get to know one new volunteer each Sunday. Grow the Outreach team. Invest in the 2K2 families placed at our campus each rotation.


Photo: Ashley Bugg

Goal 6: Love Zach well + celebrate our marriage.


“Wives, understand + support your husbands in ways that show your support for Christ.” – Ephesians 5:22

“A good woman is hard to find, and worth far more than diamonds. Her husband trusts her without reserve, and never has reason to regret it. Never spiteful, she treats him generously all her life long.” – Psalm 31:10

Why: This is the most sacred relationship I have outside of my relationship with Jesus. I want to give Zach my very best and to build a strong foundation for our family in years to come.

How: Pray for Zach daily. Say “thank you” + “I love you” more. Give words of affirmation everyday. Plan a date night for every other week.

14718274_1429318690430552_1708551390646763520_nGoal 7: Run another half-marathon + raise $1500 for ISF. 
“Don’t you see that you can’t live however you please, squandering what God paid such a high price for? The physical part of you is not some piece of property belonging to the spiritual part of you. God owns the whole works. So let people see God in + through your body.” – 1 Corinthians 16:20

Why: I need to take care of my body– I only get this one. I am so grateful for the Isabella Santos Foundation and I love running in honor of Tori.

How: I need to choose my half marathon for the year and start cross training (read: get back into shape). I also need to do a few practical steps each day like charge and wear my Fitbit and drink more water.

15276698_1033583543436448_757528258446098432_nGoal 8: Prioritize weeknights at home with homemade, healthful meals 4 or more nights each week. 
“They broke bread in their homes + ate together with glad + sincere hearts, praising God…” – Acts 2:46

Why: Time at home recharges me and keeps me centered. Being with people all day long (hello, teacher here) zaps my energy, so quiet weeknights are really helpful. I also love to cook and want to find more recipes that are healthy (and also don’t make Zach want to gag).

How: Say “no” to non-essentials that happen during the week. Use Shipt to cut down on errands (seriously one of my favorite finds from 2016). Research healthy recipes / cookbooks. Leave work by 4:00 on days without meetings.


Goal 9: Become debt free in 2017.
“Don’t run up debts, except for the huge debt of love you owe each other.” – Romans 13:8

Why: We want to set ourselves up for success in the future!

How: Participate in a Contentment Challenge (like a spending fast) from January 3 to March 31. Revise the family budget + save up our emergency fund. Pay down our debts each month.


Goal 10: Embrace + stimulate my creativity through reading, writing, + other hobbies. 
“Since we have found ourselves fashioned into all these excellently formed + marvelously functioning parts in Christ’s body, let’s just go ahead + be what we were made to be, without enviously or pridefully comparing ourselves with each other, or trying to be something we aren’t.” – Romans 12:4-6

Why: Having a creative outlet will help me celebrate + reflect on my experiences in 2017 while also growing fun hobbies!

How: Read 1 fiction and 1 nonfiction book each month. Write regularly. Research possible creative classes I can take at a place like SkillPop or online. Set aside time in my afternoons + evenings for the fun stuff!

January Baby Steps

In order to put these goals into action, there are specific monthly goals I have set for January. My Powersheets help me break this down. Here is what I have for this month, broken down by monthly, weekly, + daily goals:


  • Invite friends over for 3-4 meals
  • Read 1 nonfiction and 1 fiction book
  • Begin Contentment Challenge
  • Revise monthly budget + track spending
  • Contribute $500+ to emergency fund
  • Research half marathons for the fall
  • Set outreach meetings for church with B, T, + J
  • Find 8-10 new recipes to try
  • Go on 2 date nights


  • 4+ dinners at home
  • Get to know at least one Matthews volunteer
  • Practice a Sabbath day.


  • Morning routine (Bible study + journaling, breakfast)
  • Afternoon routine (Alternate exercise + writing, complete one chore)
  • Wash face at night
  • Read for 45+ minutes
  • Speak words of affirmation
  • Text Chrissy what I’m grateful for (#GratitudeGirls)
  • Complete the Simplicity Challenge task of the day (follow @simplifiedplanner on Instagram for details)

So, that’s it. I can’t help but chuckle typing that when I think about how long this post is, but I’m so grateful to have this down in writing.

I hope you will follow along with my journey in 2017. Let’s make it a great year, friends!

Graphic from Lara Casey


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