Tuesday, January 07, 2014

7 on the 7th: 2014 edition

Happy New Year Y'all! I hope that everyone had a wonderful holiday season! We had a great visit back home in Kentucky. We were able to see all of our parents, siblings, and grandparents-- which is pretty much impossible most trips. Both of the weddings were beautiful and we had the best time celebrating with our family and friends. The past few days I have been trying to get back into a routine since being gone. You know how that goes... You leave home for a week and come back needing a break to catch up!

With the New Year, many are thinking about goals and resolutions. I shared some of my planning and dreaming process here last month. Lara Casey has been doing a Goal Setting series on her blog. Check it out here. I have enjoyed reading several posts about other people's goals. Everyone has their own story, path, and priorities. It is encouraging and inspiring to me when I read what others are planning Make Happen in 2014! Each of us are given unique talents, passions, and dreams! It is also a great time to find common interests with others and help hold each other accountable. I wanted to share seven of my main goals for this year for this month's 7 on the 7th.

1. Read the entire Bible
This has been a recurring goal of mine. Unfortunately, each time I fall behind on a plan and then fail to pick up where I left off. What I have learned in 2013 is that God's Word is living and active. It is our daily bread, our manna from Heaven. As believers, it is essential for walking through life with Him. Since making an effort to be in the Word every day, my heart has grown to know so much more love, peace, and gratitude. Dustin and I have been reading together since we got married. However, we have not been very disciplined or consistent with our plan. We want to grow in our understanding of God's word as we aim to live it. Our church is starting a new series in a couple of weeks over the book The Story. I can't wait to start! Basically, it is a companion to the Bible that outlines the events in chronological order. In addition to reading the Bible, I also want to commit scripture to memory! 

2. Follow our budget each month
Last month I posted about beginning The Contentment Challenge. I anticipate this process making following our budget easier. Aside from eliminating non-essential purchases, Dustin and I plan to discuss our finances each week so that we are conscious of where our money is going-- bills, savings, tithing, etc. We are saving our receipts and documenting our spending, all while keeping a prayerful attitude. In addition to following our budget, I plan to be simplifying our home and routine as much as possible- I will share more on that process later. 

3. Send a card weekly
I am a snail mail lover. Always have been, always will be. I want to make a point to send encouraging notes to those I love. Pretty stationary and stamps make me so happy. I want to share that happiness with others! Social media is fabulous for keeping in touch and uplifting those who are near and far, but so is an old fashioned card! I plan to send at least one card a week. If I don't have your address, send it to me in an email. I would love to surprise you with snail mail sometime! 

4. Prioritize my health
As a Registered Dietitian, food is of utmost importance to me as I know it directly impacts our health.  I haven't always had a healthy approach to eating but this year I am making it one of my priorities. I have learned that for me, when I eliminate gluten from my diet I feel better physically and emotionally. Everyone's bodies react to foods in different ways so I am not saying that everyone should be gluten free, I am speaking only for myself. I don't have the digestive discomfort or sluggish feelings when I am careful to eat foods that are gluten free. This is also true for refined sugar. When I load up on sugary desserts and snacks, my sweet tooth cravings just intensify. This year, I am saying "no" to gluten and "yes" to a healthy lifestyle. I will allow myself to enjoy "treats" rather than thinking of special occasions as "cheats" which is a more negative connotation. Isn't that so freeing? I am also making time to rest each day-- whether that is taking time for a foot soak, a bath, drinking some tea, stretching, or cuddling up on the couch with Dustin and the pups. Having time to unwind each day is so important physically and emotionally!

5. Read
Y'all know I am a bookworm. I can't wait to dig into a new book! This year I want to read even more than I did last year. I originally planned to have a list of books I would read for the entire year, but I think for me it will be better to take each month as it comes. I have plans to join the Library in our town so that I am not constantly purchasing every book I want to read -- even though I so would love to add to my physical Library! I do have a few books that I am for sure going to read, but no set schedule. Some that I can't wait to devour are: The Chronicles of Narnia series, finish The Excellent Wife, Gone With the Wind, The Divergent series, Grain Brain and more! What books are on your list? Be sure to check out The Library page of the blog for the books I have read thus far and be watching for more reviews.

6. Go Green
There are so many ways that we can make eco-friendly choices that better the world around us. Sometimes I can get overwhelmed with all of the possibilities but I also know that there are some very doable steps I can take to be more green. I want to be conscious of how my choices impact the environment. We have those convenient reusable grocery bags, however I am not always the best at actually taking them when I go to the store! I aim to do better about this! Another thing I want to do is eliminate paper towels in our home. I am very generous wasteful with my paper towel usage.  I've read of several who made the switch to using only rags that they can toss in their weekly wash cycle. We just finished our last roll so we will be implementing this tonight! Making our own laundry detergent is something I have considered for a while now. I hope to try it out this year. I also want to begin using our compost bin again and start some plans for planting a vegetable garden.  

7. Learn
This year I really want to grow and learn more about the things that fire me up and get me excited. Nutrition and dietetics, new cooking techniques and recipes, crocheting, gardening, reading, writing, the Bible, budgeting, exercise, etc. These are some of the things that either I really care about or want to learn to care about more! For me, I do best when I study up on different topics and surround myself with people who encourage and provide food for thought. This means reading the latest nutrition topics and studies, diving into books about gardening, and seeking out the experts in different areas. Too often in the past, and sometimes still today, I think I know it all--wrong. A fellow Dietitian and blogger, Katie, told me recently-- learning takes patience and humility. So true and so convicting. We have to be life learners. I am excited to see what God teaches me this year!

So those are my main focus this year. I anticipate them growing and evolving throughout the months and I am excited to see where He leads us. The following verse has been on my heart during this season of planning and goal making. I keep seeing it in various places-- usually a hint that I need to keep something in mind!

Many are the plans in a man's heart, but it is the LORD's purpose that prevails.
Proverbs 19:21

No matter what my dreams and plans are, my ultimate desire is for His plan to prevail, and I know it will. This verse brings so much comfort! Yes, let's make our lists and goals, but all the while, let's seek His will and present our desires and hopes to Him. He is so faithful.

So let's hear your goals! What wonderful things are you going to Make Happen in 2014? I can't wait to hear them and cheer you on towards good deeds! 


  1. Hello! I see your Lara Casey insights! I originally wrote down 5 goals but then I went through her 5 steps on her blog and will be re-writing or maybe keeping those original goals but hope to spend concentrated time following her 5th step. This is all so good! Thanks for sharing!

    1. Yes Katie! She has been so inspirational to me since hearing her at the Influence Conference! Thank you for your encouragement. Thankful our paths have crossed via the WWW!

  2. LOVE your 7! I am so excited for your contentment challenge. I know I need to do something (IT) but I am just terrified honestly! But that's the point....? ha! I am also obsessed with stationary & stamps! So glad that we exchanged addresses!

    1. Thank you ma'am! Listen, I completely understand... I have basically avoided going to any store besides the grocery store, and even then it has been a challenge not to buy the specialty items I am guilty of caving into! Pray about it! Maybe now isn't the time... Or maybe it is! I will pray He reveals what He wants you to do! I'm so glad we exchanged as well! :)