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It’s a new year and that means for our family, our yearly planning meeting. I was recently a part of a group session where New Years Resolutions were brought up. We’ve never been on the Resolution bandwagon. To me they seem like you are setting yourself up for failure. Resolutions are nothing but a pledge to do something that you haven’t done before simply because the calendar has flipped to a new year and society as well as maybe some introspection has urged you to make a pledge. And really that’s all it is…a pledge to yourself. Lip service.

You may have heard the phrase, “The difference between a dream and a goal is a plan.” And this is something that we have really lived by in the last 10 years or so. Dreams are like resolutions. They are lofty ideas or wishes we have for our lives, but they rarely come to fruition because nothing is behind it…again, lip service. But when you take that dream and break it down into measurable, attainable steps and make a PLAN…well that’s when dreams become reality.

So every year during Christmas break or shortly after, my husband and I sit down with a list of categories and set our goals for the year and try to plan accordingly. Your list of categories may vary, but for the most part our categories stay the same from year to year: Financial, Spiritual, Couple, House, Homeschool, Family, Personal (each individual in the family) and this year we added Youtube with the addition of our Youtube channel(s).

These yearly planning sessions led to us finally being able to sell our first house after years of saying we wanted to move, but feeling stuck due to the amount of work and money it would take to get the house to where it needed to be to put on the market. We had a dream to sell the house and build our dream house…but we didn’t have a plan to get there. Once we made a 2 year plan and put measurable, attainable goals for each year and worked that plan, then the dream became a reality. We were able to build our dream house as a result of staying focused and working that plan.

We got ahead of our finances when we were a bit underwater from poor choices years before that we just never seemed to get on top of in much the same way. We made a plan and started paying things off and over the years pulled our credit score up to where it is today….833-852 depending on which service. If you had told me that we’d be where we are now 10 years ago, I would have laughed at you. But the unattainable became doable when we just worked the plan. For those interested, we mostly used the Dave Ramsey snowball method.

This year there are things in our lives that are up in the air and some might say it’s a good reason to take this year off when it comes to planning because some things we just can’t predict. However, there was still plenty of things we could plan for to get closer to obtaining our goals and improving our lives. We’ve already been making changes just 2 weeks into the year that’s making a difference by saving me time. That time is allowing me to get a little caught up on other goals and have a little more breathing room. Our plans can be big like selling the house and building our dream house or small like regularly scheduled date nights or changing up how we make meals to save time. Working towards a goal not only makes dreams a reality, but they give you a tremendous sense of accomplishment.

So what say you? Do you do resolutions? Do you make goals? Do you skip all of it? For us the goals are about living intentionally. I think for years we just let everything happen to us, got over committed, stressed out and eventually resentful. Making goals and knowing our priorities keeps us focused on the important things and help us make good use of our time.

Thanks for reading!

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