My Goals 2018 | Let The Life Planning Begin

Goal Setting - Where Life Planning Begins

My Goals 2018

Let the life planning begin! 

It’s a new year, and I’ve been busy working on new goals and hoping for grand achievements this year.  Whether you have a plan of action going yet or not in your life, let’s talk.

Goal Setting - Where Life Planning Begins

Goal Setting – Where Life Planning Begins

With the first days of a 2018 now in the rear view mirror of your life and new days on your horizon, may I ask if you have been setting life goals for yourself?  If so, what are your personal goals in life?  

Have you been putting your goals in writing?  Do you have a goal setting planner, or even just a piece of paper, to help you stay on track with the goals and wishes you hope to make happen this year?  

Have you thought about what you want to tackle in your life right now?  What have you been doing well already?  What do you need to improve upon?  

Have you thought about these things, or are you taking in the scene still and thus still getting ideas?  
It’s OK no matter where you are here!  Those are only questions to get you going.    

I guess I’m asking because I’ve been busy myself with some goals and life planning recently, and I’m so excited, I would like to share them with you in hopes that you might be spurred on yourself some too, especially if you haven’t quite completed your thoughts on any New Years resolutions, goal setting, or new goals in life to begin (or continue) this year. 

If you’re ahead of the game, congratulations!  I’m wishing you and your family well! 

If you are somewhere else other than ahead of the game (or standing around still LOOKING at the game board, lol), I’m hoping that perhaps seeing a normal gal like me start a life planning process might help you get started too. 

Furthermore, I figured putting my goals in writing, out there for all to see, would make me just a little more accountable to moving my own game pieces forward on this game board of life.

After all, I want to succeed in my goals in life!  Why not tell the world what those goals are and either get going on what I need to do in my life or face the music if I don’t.  I know I would rather get going and make life better for myself and others I love than face the music if I don’t make the changes I know I need to make.

So here we go: 

My personal goals for 2018 include: 

1 Lose 60 pounds on a whole food, plant based diet

This includes 30 pounds before my husband and I take a trip to the Ohio Amish County with my in-laws in the early summer and then 30 pounds after that time period. 

2 Write 100 blog posts on The New American Home with Chris Stevens before December 31, 2018

3 Write and publish 4 ebooks this year.  

I’ve got the topics already chosen but will keep those close to my vest for right now if you don’t mind.  🙂 

4 Start 1 niche blog this year and prepare for a 2nd one to start early 2019

5 Join a small group at our church with my husband

6 Set up a $5.00 per week automatic transfer from our checking account to a new savings account, ending the year (at any point this year, even the end if I so choose) with a $10.00 per week automatic money saving transfer 

7 Place $200.00 per month into an IRA / Investment account

8 Complete John’s breakfast, lunch pack, and morning send off; my shower, grooming and breakfast; and worship and prayer before 8:00 AM M-F.

9 Office Work and Family Finance time between 8:00 AM to 10:30 AM, M-F

10 Prep for a new blog post 10:30 to 11:00 AM

11 Take one class in social media marketing, 

The specific class TBD, but I’m thinking about either Public Relations Fundamentals or Integrated Web Marketing and Google Analytics, either good towards the Social Media Marketing Certificate I began at University of Texas in Arlington a few years back.

12 Learn how to invest and trade

Here is one of the books I am currently studying on how to begin investing in the stock market.

13 Read and discuss two books, together with my husband, this year

14 Do a Bible / Christian book study with my Texas daughter and daughter-in-law 

15 Go Fluoride Free in our entire home

This includes purchasing a water filtration system, a filtering water pitcher, filtrating water bottles for on the go, and shower heads that filter fluoride as well as other heavy metals from the water. 

16 Experience four 4-day water fasts throughout the year (spring, summer, fall, winter)

17 Have a salt lamp in every room of the house

18 Incorporate one green juice drink per day into my husband’s and my daily eating routine

19 Take our oldest grandson Liam on an overnight trip

I’ve got him thinking about what kind of trip he would have fun doing.  However, his mama has already told me that, so long as there is an indoor pool, he will be as happy as a clam.

20 Bless each one of our childrens’ families (Carrie’s family, Amy’s family, and Scott’s family) with a special fun event or trip this year, lodging, food, activity/ activities, etc courtesy of my husband John and me

21 Prepare for and enjoy a trip with my mother-in-law Jo and her husband Vince to the Ohio Amish Country, that trip to include a much longed-for trip to see my brother and his family in West Virginia and a special aunt I have in Ohio 

My husband and I are still trying to determine if we want to incorporate meat into our meals there, want to just be vegetarian, or stay plant strong, vegan (vegetarian, no eggs, no dairy, ie “vegan) while in the Amish Country.  That is very possible.  After all, as my husband remarked upon one of our discussions about this so far, there should be lots of great vegetables and grains to eat, courtesy of the Amish farmers!   

22 Help my husband John get an updated teacher’s certification for the State of Texas

23 Help set up a website, marketing plan, and social media accounts for my husband and son’s duo music group

24 Work on a VA Disability appeal with my husband

25 Buy most of our produce at Town Talk, organic when possible but will not insist on organic as a means of saving money on groceries

Town Talk is a discount salvage grocery store in the area where we live.  Salvage grocery stores are all over the country.  If you don’t know about them, do an internet search on “salvage grocery stores”, get the information you need to get to one, and you can save money on food… like big time!  

26 Begin buying more online, especially nicely-priced food items from my Amazon Prime account (Amazon Prime and Amazon Prime Pantry); well-priced home goods from Amazon; and home, personal, beauty, essential oils, and natural grooming items from Amazon Prime and Thrive, and office supplies from Amazon

Experience all the benefits of Amazon Prime.  

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27 Pay off 4 credit card bills this year (all early)

28 Complete last payments of one unsecured loan and put that money towards investing in peer-to-peer lending as a lender ourselves

29 Trade in our small car for a little bit larger, nicer car

This will keep a car loan going for us, but hey, we are at least used to having a car loan, and we both feel this is the best option we have right now given all considerations in our life

My van will be on next year’s list, I’m sure, and THAT will be paid for in cash. 

30 Put a new tin roof on our back patio

31 Paint and tile John’s office

32 Lay an extended concrete patio from our back porch patio to our garbage can area

33 Plan and attend two festivals with my husband

These do NOT include the festivals I attend with him where his band plays. These are OUR trips! 

34 Visit our daughter Carrie and her family in Tennessee two times this year, once this summer and again early December or thereabouts  (time based on everyone’s schedule)

I hope that will be more next year, Carrie!  

35 Mail something special to my mother-in-law sometime this year… just because. 

36 Mail a birthday gift basket to our two granddaughters in Tennessee this year

37 Purchase a used but nice wooden playground for our grandchildren

38 Take each one of our grandsons (three, 3+ years old and older) on a date two times this year

39 Go on a romantic weekend getaway with my husband sometime this fall

40 Meet my husband AT THE DOOR every evening when he comes home from work.

Yea.  Yea.  Call me old fashioned.  I love being old fashioned, and I love my husband enough to make sure he feels loved. 

41 Write a daily to-do list on my beloved clip board at least 5 days a week

42 Develop my own process of personal organization, life planning, an organized housework schedule (daily, weekly, monthly, etc), and an organized home and garden timeline, the development and testing of such to be work on throughout and then completed sometime this year but then ready to perfect, write, and publish sometime next year 2019. 

OK.. Whew, that’s a lot!  So how do I get to my goals? 

First of all, I believe I’ve taken one first big step.  To make a list of goals is a great start!  (Yes, I’m patting myself on the back!)   

Although setting an overall life vision and yearly vision first helps many with setting up a life plan and then yearly life plan, I wasn’t organized enough in my thoughts yet to quite be there.  I’m planning on working on those areas better now though! 

However….setting goals, for ME anyway… was a great help in envisioning the life vision I had, at least for this year.  It was the beginning of this year’s life planning for me. 

My next step is coming.  I’m going to buy a life planner like this one. 

I chose one that has a daily life planner as well as a monthly life planner.  The goals as I have them above will require a lot of daily organization.  Lord help me.  I sure need some personal organization skills.  I need personal organization help!  

OK, so my goal setting now public, I stand fully accountable for working on goals and working towards a more organized life to be more successful in my areas of focus this year. 

Whether you are already great at goal setting or struggling with your own life planning tools and skills, I hope my own challenges and my transparency here help you all in some way. 

I need to go for now.  (Other work.. and fun activities…. await,)  We’ll talk again though soon.  


Chris Stevens

Editor and Publisher, The New American Home

New Season, New Thoughts, New Goals

Finding a vision

Finding a vision

New Season, New Thoughts, New Goals: When a Christian Senses a Distant Calling

It’s a new season here in America.  

Autumn, with all its beauty and invigorating temperature changes, just seems to create the perfect atmosphere for changing up what needs a little lifting.

It’s also a new season in my own life.  I just got off the presidential primary campaign ride of a lifetime.  Now I think it’s time for a new season in my personal life as well.   

I figured:

“Well, I’ve been working to help America become a better place.   Now maybe it’s time to go more personal in people’s lives, to help them make life a little better… not just in some big way as in a presidential race or even politics… but up close and personal.”

Yes, it is a new season all around.  I have some new thoughts I need to work on, and I have some new goals yet to be determined.  

Have you ever had a time when you suspected, or knew, the Lord had a new path for your travels, yet you weren’t quite sure what that new path would look like?  

Well, that’s where I have been.

I went to the Bible for some inspiration

And the Lord answered me: “Write the vision; make it plain on tablets, so he may run who reads it. For still the vision awaits its appointed time; it hastens to the end—it will not lie. If it seems slow, wait for it; it will surely come; it will not delay.    -Habakkuk 2:2-3 (ESV) 

 Autumn Leaves and Bible

OK.  I have to admit I wrote that first part of this post a few days back.  Right above this paragraph and photo is where I stopped, and I just couldn’t get started again.

I knew I should be seeking the path for my “vision” of doing something good for others.  That even seemed confirmed when I almost immediately found that Scripture from Habakkuk above, telling me what to do with my vision. 

Write it down.

Make it plain.

Be patient.

Keep working on it.

The problem was, I had no idea what exact “vision” to write down even!  

So I put this post “away” in my top computer drawer hoping the Lord would somehow show me that new vision for my life.  

“Come on, Lord.  I’ve got the basics.  I get the gist of it all.  I just don’t see the vision.  Tell me, please, Lord.  I can handle it.”


No magic words came to mind for me to write down in any plain fashion.  

Today, I sat down at my computer determined the Lord would show me that vision for my life – what goals I should be working towards if I want to put my desire to help people into a different working goal.  


“Is this where the patience comes in, Lord?  Apparently, it seems so.  I’m going to keep working on this though, if you don’t mind, Lord.  I’m not giving up on thinking about what you have for me to do now in my life.”  

Finally I did a google search on this exact phrase:

God will give you a vision

(Notice I was very positive in my search for the Lord’s direction there.)  🙂 

Hummmm… The very first search result spoke to me immediately.  

I was looking at a devotion from “My Utmost For His Highest” with the title “Visions Become Reality”. 

That specific devotion was all about finding what God wants us to do with our lives….  His goals for us and how he gets us to where he wants us to be – ie The path He puts in our life travels so that He assures we will begin striving for those goals He wants us to work towards, in all effect HIS vision in OUR lives.   

Well, that spoke to me for sure.  I kept reading.

Patience was the first operative word I really noticed.  

“Again?  Awe, come on, Dear God.  Are we really into this patience thing again?”  

It appeared so.

If I may, let me share just one little part of that daily devotion I was hoping would help me find a clear vision for me…. today…. not tomorrow… right now!  


God gives us a vision, and then He takes us down to the valley to batter us into the shape of that vision. It is in the valley that so many of us give up and faint. Every God-given vision will become real if we will only have patience.


“Not today, Lord?  STILL not today?” 

One more paragraph down, I saw perhaps why I don’t have the exact vision yet.  


Ever since God gave us the vision, He has been at work. He is getting us into the shape of the goal He has for us, and yet over and over again we try to escape from the Sculptor’s hand in an effort to batter ourselves into the shape of our own goal.


And then it all pretty much made sense to me when I read this excerpt at the very end of the devotional reading: 

Allow the Potter to put you on His wheel and whirl you around as He desires.

Excerpts from “Visions Become Reality“, My Utmost For His Highest”. 

Setting new goals

I know there IS a vision.  I can sense it so strongly!  It’s just not a plain and simple vision for my life yet.  Therefore, to make life goals is a little difficult.  

Once that vision is plain and simple and oh-so clear in my thoughts, I’ll be able to set new goals and make life changes.  I know that new season is just around the corner though…  The Lord has given me at least that much as a token of His hope (in exchange for my patience). 

However, as noted in the devotion above, God DOES give visions to His children sometimes yet withholds the specifics, or the full picture of a vision in its entirety, while He molds those children into more-fully-formed disciples who can fulfill the goals, or the new goals, He has to complete on this earth.

I guess, from what I can tell right now, I’ve got a glimpse of a vision.  I just don’t have the full glimpse of it at a far distance down the road.  

It seems perhaps the best thing right now is to just keep traveling the path the Lord has given to me today while I keep my eyes on the path He has for me to walk.  Of course, while my feet are moving down the road with expectation, and even little goals along the way will help my daily walk, my eyes will be attentive to that horizon down the pathway.  

With attentiveness to God’s direction, a willingness to go further in His Will, and a little patience as the Spirit molds and makes me into the person I need to be, I am confident the Lord will begin making that now seemingly-far-off vision into more-clear thoughts and more-concrete goals which can then be simply and succinctly written into stone. 

All in God’s time.  

In the meantime, at least I know I’m still being productive by letting the Lord whirl me around as needed.  

And I’ll patiently keep my eyes open with great expectations. 


Do you have a testimony of a time you could feel the Lord guiding you but yet didn’t have an explicitly clear understanding of where you were supposed to go?  

If so, and you have some words of encouragement or wisdom to share with others, please feel free to write YOUR story in the comments section below.  

Thank you in advance for sharing so freely with others who need a lift today.