Monday, January 2, 2012

My (Mostly Realistic) Goals for 2012

"Be always at war with your vices, at peace with your neighbors, 
and let each new year find you a better man.
-Benjamin Franklin

There's nothing like starting a New Year and feeling like you're opening the first page of a blank journal, pages waiting to be sketched upon. Or a whole calendar full of months and days to fill with hopes, and dreams, and accomplishments.

I've said before that I don't make resolutions any more. To me, resolving to do something on the first day of the year (like doing something cold turkey) feels like I'm setting myself up for failure. Setting reasonable goals makes me feel as if I am working towards accomplishments, while at the same time leaving a small margin of error.

I didn't share any personal goals last year, but I did share a few House Goals for 2011, which I'll give myself  a C- for...and that's being fairly generous. I'll share my House Goals for 2012 later this week, but I wanted to share some of my personal goals hopes that some of you can keep me honest. Maybe we can stay on track via my Facebook page?

Without further ado....

Family and Home Life:
  • Master the Art of Couponing- This continues to elude me, despite reading and signing up for various online sites. I think I need some hands-on instruction. This may require a call to my sister-in-law. SuSu is a coupon queen...maybe she will gracefully bestow her knowledge upon me!
  • Work on Meal Planning- as in, regularly...not "I'll plan to take the girls to Chick-fil-a tonight since T is working late." Cook more at home. Try new recipes! Would love to know if you have any recommendations for online meal planning resources.
  • Plan More Dates- Notice I did not say "go out on more dates." I think that T and I could find plenty of things to do together as a couple that don't involve going out and spending fistfuls of cash. Movie nights, collaborating on DIY jobs, and finding a hobby we can both enjoy together. (This rules out shopping for shoes or hunting)


  • Read more things that are not on Pinterest- I have a whole trunk full of books in the family room just begging to be read. I'll have to do a post on my Winter Reading List soon. The lure of winter TV is strong, but that's why God lets us have DVR, right??
  • Take my Nikon off Auto Mode- I've been meaning to read my Nikon for Dummies book for a full year, but just haven't gotten around to it. I think I'm afraid I might get a paper cut or break my camera or something. If you read the goal listed before this one, you know it's a must on my list.
I could add all sorts of extras here about learning to use various sewing techniques, running 2 miles a day, etc...but I'll leave the personal goals at this for now....


  • Make the most of the Haven Conference in June- This will be my first time attending a blog conference, and I am scared out of my wits! I want to learn as much as possible, meet some wonderful people, make some new friends, and do some networking.
  • Grow my blog- Let social media work for me without becoming a time suck. Use HootSuite for quick updates. Share great content that readers will want to return for. Find new ways to partner with other bloggers and companies.
  • Keep it in perspective- This blog is not life, and (newsflash!) neither is yours. At the end of the day, does it matter if you have 5000 Followers or 500? No. Blogging shouldn't happen at the expense of our families. I want to continue earning some spending money and making connections, but it's not worth anything if my family suffers because of it. Schedule more Features and Guest Posts to make family time a priority.
What about you? Do you make New Year's Resolutions or Goals? Care to share any of them?

*Be sure to check out Michaela Noelle Designs today! She's sharing some 2012 Goals from various bloggers and yours truly is one of them!*


  1. I make goals more than resolutions. Haven't thought about it too much yet but have come up with a couple:

    1) Break out of routines, shake things up.

    2) In good weather, park in the first parking spot I see.

  2. allrecipes is pretty good for meal planning, i choose the meals, then add to the shopping list and i'm set for the week. i need couponing help, too.

  3. I like to have a theme for the year and then apply it across the board. For instance, have more fun might be the theme and then incorporate it for meal planning (fondue night), snow days (have a snowball fight with the kids or keep peppermint sticks and whipped cream for fancy hot chocolate), date night with hubby (go to a rock climbing adventure place or lasar tag), etc.

    Here are two meal planning sites I like:

    Happy New Year!

  4. Good luck with those goals Amanda. I'm sure you will make progress on each one. I'm with you on NY resolutions. I generally don't do them. I have gotten in better shape over the past year and a half so my only resolution for 2012 is to continue that and not go backwards.

  5. These are great personal goals! I only make one resolution a year -it's much easier to stick to just one ;) I plan to learn how to use my new camera and do a 365 photo challenge- sounds enough right? Anyhow, I coupon and meal plan- started that about a year and a half ago. It's really just mater of making yourself spend the time (at least an hour a week) getting it organized. It makes such a world of difference so I'm definitely cheering you on for that one! Oh and I agree completely your blog is not your life- AMEN!

  6. Those are great goals Amanda! I would recommend checking out to for social media updates. I love it because it sends out your twitter and facebook statuses at the most optimal times and gives you performance feedback:)

  7. I love your goals - I can't wait to see where your blog takes you this year! happy New Year!

  8. Just found you via Michaela, and so glad I did! Love all your goals, I can totally relate to the couponing. I've been wanting to figure that out for a year but can't quite figure it out!

    following now, so helping on the grow your blog resolution :-)


  9. Happy New Year Amanda!
    Great goals! I have a few, one of them is to do a project life album!

  10. Happy 2012! You have some good goals to reach. I haven't written mine down yet but I have a few I'm aiming for.

  11. Amanda, I hope you make your goals. I am also excited about Haven. I can't wait.

  12. That is a great and inspiring list. I think I'll add some of those things to mine. I am your newest follower and look forward to your inspiration in 2012. God Bless, Wanda

  13. That is a great and inspiring list. I think I'll add some of those things to mine. I am your newest follower and look forward to your inspiration in 2012. God Bless, Wanda

  14. Great goals Amanda! I picked my word for this year, "quality". I am hoping to attend Haven as well, since Atlanta is my hometown and my hubby literally works 5 minutes from the conference!! Those are my stomping grounds. Just not sure if it will conflict with our youngest college orientation yet.

  15. Your goals for this year seem like good ones and ones that are obtainable. Couponing is something I should be better about but the only ones I end up using are the ones Kroger sends in the mail. The bad thing is half the time I leave them in the car and forget to use them! I used to be really good at meal planning and must get back to that. What works for me is to do most of the work on Sunday before the busy work week starts.

    I don't make resolutions, either. Goals are much more easily obtained. Inside, for 2012, I'd like to make over our guest bath and get new carpet for our stairs. Outside, I'd like to grow as many fresh veggies as possible in my garden and build a potting bench.

  16. I'm working on some reasonable goals, too. Something that won't make me feel like a failure should I not achieve them. I hate that part!

  17. Hi Amanda,

    Happy 2012. I like how you organized your goals and they are achievable for sure. I'm sure you will succeed!

    And I look forward to meeting you at Haven. It will be my 1st conference also.

    You will definitely have fun learning how to use your camera. I just got a Canon and am amazed at what it can do and I've just started playing around.

    Happy New Year :-) - Jessica

  18. What great goals! I should probably start couponing, too, as I need to start saving $ any place possible! Thanks for being apart of my New Year's Goals post today, friend (:

  19. "Keep it in perspective" - I forget to do this ALL THE TIME. Good luck with all of your resolutions! I'm sure you'll make plenty of progress with each and every one as long as you keep your mind on it.

  20. My main goal this year is to be more active. Hubby and I started off right today with a brisk walk in the cold air. I hope to keep it going with some winter activities like snow shoeing, cross country skiing, and ice skating.

  21. Great goal list. Especially relate to the blog goals - its so easy to get really sucked in, isn't it! Thanks for sharing. Happy 2012! liz

  22. These are very practical! A "Couponing Guru" came to our MOPS meeting last semester. Whoa- you can save some major money doing it. There is an entire blog world devoted to the pursuit of the sale.

    I am all about the 'keep it in perspective'. However, I DO need to be reminded every now and then!!
    :) Samantha

  23. You are a CHAMPION goal-setter compared to me. I'm such a scaredy-cat--I think I've always been afraid to set goals, in case I won't be able to live up to expectations. You know that old saying "If you fail to plan, you plan to fail"? Well, according to that, I'm a dismal failure.

    But maybe this year I can break out of my fear a bit. It's an odd thing--I'm a fairly confident person in some ways. For instance, I've always loved public speaking. I used to compete in public speaking, for crying out loud! Yet I'm scared that someone might think ill of me if I do this, or that, or the other thing. "Someone" has WAY too much control over me.

    I think maybe this year my resolution will be to replace that mythical "someone" in my life with the One who really matters--the one whose opinion of me is based on His goodness and grace, not on my performance! Or perhaps I should just say that this will be my prayer for this year, rather than my resolution. :)

    I do pray great things for you this year! You are such a bright presence in so many lives.

  24. We have a lot of the same goals for 2012. I used to be the coupon queen but have been slacking in that dept. Need to get back on track. Can't wait for Haven!!!

  25. I'd be glad to help you with couponing and meal planning! Just let me know.....The BEST site for meal planning is I love for recipes, too. My plan? I choose 2 weeks of recipes I like, buy double the ingredients, then cook double meals for 2 weeks and freeze the second meal each night. Then I don't have to cook for 2 weeks and we save a TON of money! I've got some recipes on my blog, too.

  26. I have some of the same ones as you!! Let's keep it up

  27. My word for 2012 is COMPLETE!! Complete those things I started in 2011.
    Happy New Year

  28. Great list!!! I need to learn how to use my nikon too!! I did the couponing thing for several years but quit after I went back to work after my 2nd. It takes TONS and TONS of T-I-M-E! BUT... you can save TONS of $$ too. :)
    Meal planning eluded me time and again, but last January I gave the 5 dinners in 1 hour a try and it has changed my life. Seriously. I plan out meals on Friday, shop on Saturday, prep the week's meals on Sunday afternoon when most of the rest of the house is snoozing or occupied. You just keep your meals covered and fresh in the fridge and at dinnnertime pop em out and cook. As a result I have tried lots and lots of new recipes this year and gotten out of my comfort zone when it comes to types of food I didn't think I knew how to cook. :) I love, love, love it!
    Looking forward to meeting you at Haven! It will be my first blog conference too!

  29. Great goals Amanda! How great that you're going to the Haven conference this year! And also what is HootSuite? I've created my own list of things to accomplish this year also, my blog & shop being a #1 priority & to read more about Indie/Craft businesses. 1st up is a mini blog makeover & loading up more posts & sticking to a regular schedule. :-) Happy new year!

  30. Good luck on accomplishing your goals! I have set a few myself...mostly spiritual goals, and also getting the house in order! Maybe I'll make it this year??

  31. I love reading other people's goals. These are making me feel productive just reading them. :) Still working on making Haven want to meet you!

  32. I just mentioned to someone that a new year's planner seems so filled with excitement and promise! :) I KNOW I too need to do a better job of meal planning and grocery shopping! As far as dates goes, actually GOING somewhere is a big one for us... Even somewhere cheap. We never go to anything spontaneously.

  33. I love your quote at the top (well, Bennjamin's quote, anyway :) ), and your perspective on it. There is something of an extremist in all of us, but moderate, steady change will usually win out. Great goals for the year (and I am with you about getting to know my camera--my husband gave me "DSLR Cameras for Dummies" for Christmas and it is currently staring me in the face on my desk).

  34. Amanda, those are GREAT goals for the year! I will be at Haven Conference in June, also! Maybe we can meet up? It would be a lot of fun, right? I like how you've set these up in a way that you are now accountable! Great idea!

    Becky B.
    Organizing Made Fun


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