I have always found that setting resolutions at the beginning of each new year never really works for me. I may stay committed for a month or two, but once I realize that it’s only been a month or two, I lose motivation.

This year is different, though. I have an incredible support group of friends here in PA and some wonderful accountability in David. He and I sat down on December 31 and set goals for ourselves individually and together. We prayed over our list of goals and committed it to God. With God in our corner, we will succeed! Here are my goals for 2008:

Keep a spiritual journal I don’t know how many people have encouraged me to do this, but I’m finally deciding to give it an honest, intentional try. As busy as I keep myself (blog to follow about busyness), my mind is constantly going in different directions–from one mental to-do list to another. I’m pretty sure that most all of my thoughts spring from some list somewhere in my brain. In the midst of all of that, I do sit down everyday and have a quiet time. Does it stick with me all day? No. That’s where the journaling comes in.

Have focused time with God each day Most of last year, I had a quiet time each morning, but it felt like more of a “check” off of a list instead of time spent with God. If I spent time with David in the same way that I spent time with God last year, our marriage would be a wreck. That said, I’ve discovered that in-depth quiet times in the morning just don’t work for me. They end up feeling unfocused and often rushed. Plus it’s tough for me to get in my “God time” all in one sitting. I’ve opted to spend three times a day with God; two will be more reflection-oriented (morning and lunch), and the other one will be in-depth (30 minutes before bed). It’s been wonderful so far!

Become a Mary Kay director This is a scary one to post, but an exciting one too. I’ve been building my Mary Kay business since April 4 of 2007 and believe that I’m ready to promote myself to “director.” Essentially, I’ll be the leader of a group of at least 30 other Mary Kay consultants that join my team. Along the way, and with God’s help, I should be able to earn my first Mary Kay car and be able to sell the Honda. How exciting would that be? Very. My path to directorship starts with holding at least 10 appointments in January. I have two booked so far and have 20+ more people to call in Pittsburgh before setting out a fishbowl. Keep me in your prayers!

Control and correct overindulgence Sounds intense, eh? Well, I have a problem. It’s spelled s-w-e-e-t–t-o-o-t-h and love-for-things-made-from-dough. Combine that with a lack of self-control, and it’s a serious problem. For the time being, I work out enough so that it isn’t an obvious problem, but in time, things could change for the worse. David will be helping me a lot with this one. I’m so used to wolfing down quick meals and chasing everything with dessert as a “reward” for doing whatever it is that I did that day. This habit started in undergrad for me and continued through graduate school. I want to be an example for my kids one day, so it stopped yesterday and won’t start back. Healthy cooking and minimal sweet snacking, here we come!

Continue to use gym membership David and I joined a local gym a few months back and committed to going to it at least three times a week. We actually kept up with that and want it to continue into the new year. Feels great! We’ll work hard to immediately find a new gym once we move to Savannah in June. There’s no way I’m running outside in a heat index of 120F!

Set aside money to use in traveling Both David and I have “Travel the World” on our Bucket List. It’s really easy to dream about, but in our efforts to save aggressively for the next few years, it’s tough to work in $500+ for plane tickets or $100s in hotel costs. Not to mention fees to take tours, etc. Whoa whoa whoa! Wait a minute. Thinking about all of that is missing the point, I think. We’re in Pennsylvania. We’re a 3-hour drive from Niagara Falls. Do I smell a day trip? Yes. We’re a 6-hour drive or a $150 flight from NYC. Perhaps a weekend getaway? In three weeks, yes. We’re not too far from Lake Erie, and I’ve never seen one of the Great Lakes. Another day trip? Of course. We hope to plan more trips like that when we’re in Savannah too. Maybe we can’t travel the world yet, but certainly the states.

Read at least six books  I have a pile of six books that I bought, but either never finished or never started. I can’t wait to get started!

Be an educated voter With the presidential election happening this coming November and knowing that this election is the first one that will truly affect me (since I’m out from under my parents’ roof), I want to know for whom I’m voting and why. It’ll make me feel much better, come November, when I know I’ve made an educated choice based on prayer and research.

Play the piano at least an hour a week My parents were super gracious in October to let David and I borrow their full-size keyboard. I excitedly brought up tons of piano books and planned to get back into practicing. Then life happened, and I forgot about it (even though it’s about two feet behind me right now). What was the problem? Not setting aside any time for it. Well, the time has now been set aside, and I cannot wait to see what happens over time.

So, what are your goals for 2008? Who will keep you accountable? Commit your goals to God, and ask him for strength each day to achieve them. You can do it!

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