As most of you know, I just returned from a week-long vacation. It was, in short, everything I needed. Relaxation, connecting with my son and wife, connecting with family, and flat-out fun.
We rode waves, put my son in the ocean (he loved it), sat on the porch, laughed too hard, got too much sun, and ate way too much.
But that’s not all we did.
Each year, my wife and I use this trip to regroup. We reflect on the year gone by and set goals for the year ahead. I call it a spiritual year (read more about it here).
Much has happened in the past year, and I want to share that with you. Then, in the interest of holding myself accountable, I want to share my goals for the upcoming year.
The last year in review
Much has changed in my and my family’s lives over the past year. Here’s a quick rundown:
- My family became a family. We were blessed with a beautiful baby boy named Paxton (the chunker up above) on February 17th. I’m drunk with love.
- I wrote an eBook. This was a goal from the previous year. I wanted to see if I could focus on something longer than a blog post, and this is how I chose to do it. It was actually going to be a full length book, but I decided to keep it short and give it away.
- I grew this blog. I don’t talk about numbers here, as I don’t see that as my primary goal. But over the last year I have grown my readership modestly, up to around 500+ unique visitors per month with almost 1,300 pageviews. Those aren’t super numbers, but it beats the heck out of writing my heart out and seeing a flat line on my stats page (bloggers, you know what I’m talking about).
- I dated my wife. That’s right, I still date my wife. It’s key to keeping the relationship fresh and exciting. Plus, she’s really hot . This fell off in the second half of our spiritual year, but that’s due to Paxton being
a littlereally fussy for the first 4 months of his life.
- I also changed jobs (at the same place), helped launch a church, made new friends (online and off), helped build an online learning community for my church, and spent way too much time tweaking my blog theme.
Goals for next year
My goals for the upcoming year are more specific, because my wife and I broke them down into categories. Here they are:
- Become more gentle and encouraging in conversation. I want to speak life-giving words each time I open my mouth. I want others to walk away from talking to me or reading my words feeling encouraged and maybe even inspired. And real men, contrary to popular belief, are gentle. Tough when we need to be, gentle when others need us to be.
- Continue my prayer routine. This is something I started within the last month, and I want to keep it up. It’s not easy. I get up at 5:30am and immediately recite the same prayer twice to start the day (I awake in the name of the Father who made me, I arise in the name of the Son who died to save me, I rise to greet the dawn in the name of the Spirit who fills me with life). Then I grab a steaming mug of coffee (which I let cool down because I’m a wuss) and open up my Bible app where I read through 2 reading plans (currently the chronological Bible in a year and Craig Groeschel’s Soul Detox plans). Then I write.
- Write a book. Yep, I want to write a book. I don’t care if it gets published or read. I just want to finish it. (I’ll update more on this as it develops. I have the title and general outline in mind already.)
- Work on being present. I think this is something every parent struggles with. I don’t want to miss Paxton’s life because I’m concerned about something temporal or that won’t worry me the next week. He’s too important for that. God’s too important for that. I want to learn to focus on today instead of tomorrow, because today has enough worries of its own.
- Develop a regular date night routine. Yep, it’s that important that we’re working on it 2 years in a row. Like I said, we got sidetracked with a little thing called a baby, so it’s time to refocus. We are thinking of going on one every other week, and once a month spending money. The other night would be where we just simply get a sitter and have some alone/quiet time at the house together.
That’s it for me.
What are some of your goals? What do you think of mine?