The Alnwick Rose, a David Austin Rose, cut from my garden this week.

This year, I want to do more for my home and garden. I expect that this is where we’ll be spending most of our time this year, and I want it to be even more beautiful, as this is what we see every day.

With that in mind, I’m planning my goals accordingly. The last year, in many ways, has been very normal for us: working mostly from home, homeschooling, haircuts at home, not shopping real often, and lots of time at home (though the loss of church activities has been a huge change for us and our children).

I adjusted my grocery budget up last year to stock up when I did go shopping, filling gaps in my pantry and toiletries with the thought that with continuing rising virus numbers, we will need to stay out of the stores as much as we can. I’m grateful that we had the income available to do that starting several months into the year. This year, I’m ready to bring it back down as we work to achieve our other goals. My budget will return to $300 a month, with a limit of $100 a month for the first three months of the year (giving me $600 to use towards our garden project.)

My Goals for 2021:

Spend more time in the scriptures. I was given a book of 140 devotionals for Christmas that I plan to read as well.

Watch all the online classes that I’ve purchased and learn some new skills.

Lose 13 pounds.

Sew the bedroom curtains that have been on my goal list for the last 14 years. As the only sewing project on my list this year, I’m hoping this is the year!

Finish making over our garden: Dig all the beds, fill them with soil and manure, run irrigation lines, paint the new trellises that my husband is going to make, paint the arbor that he’s making, sand and paint the benches that I’ve purchased, and plant everything. 

Cut more bouquets from the garden to enjoy inside. How much I can cut will depend on when we are able to plant this year, as most of the annuals that I cut need to be direct seeded no later than January. If we finish in March or April, I’ll have fewer flowers to cut. It may be mostly zinnia arrangements this year during the second half of the year.

Enjoy more meals al fresco. With the new garden design, we plan to set up tables outside in the shady areas where not much but mint grew. We plan to purchase two of these tables and chairs to put in the shady spots.

Grow and dry more mint in the garden. I’m loving mint tea this winter and now I need to find a new space to grow a ton of it! I kept a few plants that I dug from the garden to plant somewhere in the new design.

Grow more food in the garden, reducing our need to go shopping for fresh produce.

Purchase birthday and Christmas gifts far ahead of time. I did this over this past year and I found I had less stress and worry over gifts. Ordering early when so much shopping is happening online also ensured that my gifts arrived in plenty of time. I already have several items for birthday gifts for my children this year.

Enjoy more free and close to free outside activities as a family. We plan to go on more picnics and take more hikes.

Hang new pictures on the wall in frames that I already have.

What are your goals this year?

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  1. Well, I plan to be a nicer, more agreeable person, LOL! I want to go back to church and to read more.

    I have dropped about 20 lbs. and I would like to stay there, or lose another 5 lbs.

    I plan to do more sewing. I just finished a new robe for myself. While I am not particularly interested in sewing clothing, I do need to hem new jeans (in a smaller size!) and make potholders, masks, etc. I also want/need to cook even when I don’t want to! This probably means deciding what to eat earlier in the day. It is amazing what two old people will eat when nobody can be bothered to cook!

    1. I don’t like cooking so I find that prepping the day’s meals immediately after breakfast really helps. Once that’s done then the day instantly improves.

      1. I agree! The thought of cooking dinner was like a dark cloud over my day. I decided to begin preparing right after breakfast and discovered my day is so much better and I am not so stressed about cooking. Much better than to keep putting it off.

    2. My big goals this year are to pay off 2 big bills we have. Neither of them are scheduled to be paid off for another 2 years or more but I have been budgeting to be able to send much more than the regular payments. I’ve sat at the calculator far to long but I think if I can make it happen I’ll have them both paid off well before the end of 2021.

      Another big one for me is to have a garden and expand on my garden space. I didn’t put my garden in last year, to be honest I was supposed to work at the scout camp all summer and knew there wouldn’t be any chance to maintain and properly harvest a garden so I skipped it, I couldn’t justify putting the money out and chance it burning up or rotting in the field if our restrictions were lifted and we could go on about life as planned but the governor kept putting the state off with extensions to the shuts downs and a garden never happened. I’m kicking myself now for it but this year a BIG garden is already in the planning works and it will happen for us.

      I have smaller goals more organized house, more homemade gifts, more craft show items to sell, lower my grocery spending, etc etc the norms. What can I say I’m a work in progress!!

  2. This week we had a great goal-setting, planning meeting and started looking at our new mortgage-free budget.
    Home improvement:
    We have lots of projects to do to the house, some quite large and costly. But we are choosing to focus on some of the small “punch-out” ones that we already have materials for that will take just a day or two (at most) to complete. These include regrouting a few places on south bathroom floor, putting up the crown molding and window trim we made already for our bedroom. There are some that we are choosing to hire out a bit at a time. We will continue purchasing room by room replacement windows for the house. We have just ordered the 5 next ones for parlour/dining room which will bring the number still to replace down to 19.
    We will put an additional $800 into savings per month. We will also meet with an attorney to make sure things are in place should one or both of us pass away.
    We will set aside individual time each day for Scripture reading/studying.
    We will pray each morning to know how we might best serve someone else and then act on the promptings we get.
    Every day on the treadmill or doing at home strength training starting at 15 minutes and increasing to 1 hour each day by the end of the year!
    Food storage:
    Increase the efficiency and output of our garden.
    Retire/Replace 3 of our older hens this Spring to increase our egg production.

    These are the things we are setting as individual and couple goals for 2021.


    1. Pat, I meant to congratulate you last week on paying off your mortgage early! Congratulations!

      As well as an attorney, I would suggest planning out funeral services. Those can also be prepaid, which will save money over the long run, and you will know one another’s wishes. The funeral home can give you a booklet to plan everything so that when the time comes, everything is ready.

      1. We just buried an uncle. They didn’t have the casket he picked out. Caskets are one of the items hard to keep in stock during these days. Because he had pre-planned and paid they upgraded his casket at no charge. The funeral director said they are having a hard time getting in caskets.

    2. Gardenpat…who I repeatedly call grandmapat 🙂
      I want to thank you as your posts here (so a thank you to Brandy also) about paying off your mortgage and how you did it. Since you are in Ohio , hubby was more willing to listen and stopped the mode of “it doesn’t matter if we die before it is paid off”. We as of today have cut 8 months off the the mortgage in last 2 months.

  3. In December I spend a lot of time thinking about if I reached my goals for the year. If I didn’t I look at the goals I missed and why I missed them. Maybe those goal were unrealistic or perhaps they weren’t really important to me. Then I set goals for the next year. I’ve done this for the last 15 or 2o years. I made resolutions before that time and they never worked for me.
    This year my goals are to redo my sewing area. I sew for a living and I need things more organized.
    I want to garden more. We enjoyed the salad garden I had last year.
    I, also, want to grow some flowers.
    My rose bush died last year. I have no idea why. There are so many flowers I love that don’t do well in Texas. I grew up in Indiana and a lot of the flowers I love last about a week or two here. About 10 years ago I had rogue sunflowers come up in the front of my house. I have loved having those happy flowers in my yard. My husband wants to yank them out about half-way through there time. I keep them until they go to seed and when they are pulled out we beat them on the ground to knock out what seeds are left. All of these years I’ve enjoyed those flowers they have been free of cost.
    I want a kitchenette in the front of my house. I am designing it as we speak. My daughter and her 2 teens have lived here the last year and I can no longer find anything in the kitchen area. *laughing* I am going to put some of my small things in an area up here so I can make tea without going to the back of the house. A small microwave for popcorn and warming up leftovers. I may put a slow cooker or an electric skillet up here too.
    My last goal is to put more in my Etsy shop.
    Perhaps my real last goal is to stay away from Covid-19. *smile*

    1. In a hotter climate, the flowers sometimes need to be different. Zinnias are the one flower I can count on here in summer for bouquets, and even then, I had a couple of years where I couldn’t get them to germinate!

      1. Thank you Brandy.
        Our weather is very similar.
        I’ll look for Zinnias. The are lovely. I’ve never met a flower I didn’t like.

        1. They usually come as a mix, but there are so many more choices! Check out Wildseed Farms, Outside Pride, and Eden Brothers for more options, like if you just want to grow a specific color.

          1. Wanted to note for Becky that once you have zinnias growing, you save the dead flowers to use for seeds for replanting. One package of seeds for the first season will literally turn into an endless supply of flowers for the next planting. They come in a variety of sizes and colors. They are my very favorite cut flower that I can actually grow. The more you cut them, the more you get. I plant a variety of small, medium and large zinnias all in the same bed and they are a treat!

  4. .Get off the weight that I gained in 2020 by returning to my low carb way of eating and exercising more – already getting back on track in both these areas.
    ,Pay off the small CC and then roll that payment onto the large CC payment. I’m targeting the end of April for this.
    .Put some emergency cash away every month.
    .Continue to remove clutter from my small apt. There’s not really a lot but there are always some things that can go!
    .My Winter project is to go through a couple of boxes of old photos – cull some – sort some – send some to one sister who has asked for a few.
    .Finish the pile of shredding that seems to keep accumulating!
    .Learn some new software for the office.
    .Personal Learning (Future Learn course – online lectures & tours from museums, galleries & universities) – until I can get back to in-person classes

    I’m not expecting to change myself or accomplish miracles overnight – I just want to know that I’m making a small effort every day,

  5. I would like to lose 20 lbs but I will set a goal of 10 lbs. I would also like to figure out where I want to live when I retire and get a home there eventually. This goal may be a one month to four year goal, as I could retire anytime now, but really would like to wait four more years. Most likely, I will retire somewhere in the middle around year two. I have already narrowed the areas down significantly. My more immediate goal is staying healthy and alive. My high school friend, who was a college professor and who was my age, just died of Covid yesterday. That is why I said I may retire in a month, or up to four years. My other major goal is to help my children, when I can, in their business/career and school endeavors. That may involve financial, if I am able, but definitely emotional support. If retired, I certainly would provide free babysitting, if close by.

      1. Thank you Brandy. She was a very lovely person. Covid has made me rethink a lot of things in my life.

    1. Cindy, I am sorry for your loss. I pray for wisdom and clarity in all the future choices you will be dealing with.

    2. Sincere sympathies for your friend, I am a nurse and just have seen so many really sick even if they got better
      I triage pediatrics and so far youngest so far is 4 months old

  6. I am totally with Maxine. I am so tired of coming up with thoughts for meals. My husband is a treasure but he has a tiny repertoire of food items that he eats. T..I..N..Y. There are just two of us and we fall back on frozen, prepared stuff from Costco too often.

    1. I am going to grow tomatoes this year, for the first time. Not so much for the financial savings, but for taste and convenience.

    2. Our bedroom window and living room sliding door need to have the shaded coating replaced. That will be this year.

    3. I need to drop about 8 pounds. At age 72 I am finding it darn near impossible to shift a few pounds. I resolved to eat no sugary foods this year (at least for awhile) and I made it to Jan. 3rd before I fell off the wagon and ate a bag of peanut M & Ms. (She hangs her head in shame.)

    1. Hi Anne,
      I love sweet things and it’s so hard to give them up completely. I don’t know if this will work for you, but this is what I do. Every day, I allow myself to have a small treat – usually a piece of chocolate – after lunch. I totally look forward to enjoying it as my dessert. If I want more, I can look forward to my treat the next day. I find it works better with small prepackaged items so there is automatic portion control. Or, if I make a baked good like brownies, I wrap individual browinies in plastic wrap and freeze them. Then I take one out the freezer each day for my lunch.
      Hope this is helpful.

    2. Anne, I am also 72 and managed to lose 18 lbs during the pandemic by walking…..a lot! Start out small and do it faithfully daily. If you can find a walking partner even better. I find when I walk 4 plus miles a day I can lose. Don’t be discouraged just start small. If you walk in the house wear walking/running shoes. If you are talking on the phone inside…walk. Find excuses to get up and move inside. Park the car far away from the stores you are going in. Move, move, move as much as you are able.

    3. Anne,
      I suggest you have one treat a week — that way it’s not too big a sacrifice and you won’t be tempted by the M &Ms!
      It works quite nicely for me — although my treat was once a month. Ann

  7. I always enjoy these goal posts!
    Our goals this year include paying off our RV loan and continuing to improve our garden to produce more food to eat fresh and to preserve. I did a good job last year of purchasing and preserving food in-season to eat all year and want to continue that this year. I want to focus on being grateful for and really enjoying everything we already have.

  8. Goals for 2021…..
    I must say I have never been a resolutions person but I feel that setting goals is a worthwhile exercise and accountability is a wonderful tool, so here goes.
    I am planning to spend more time in the Bible. I have studied it over and over throughout my years but really want to do more solid daily reading in an effort to write the scriptures in my heart and mind. Quick study doesn’t really help me with this but daily reading will.
    I am planning to grow better flower beds. I have been so encouraged by your writing Brandy and I want to apply that inspiration in a practical way. I have been researching flower seeds and seed trays, amended soil and different types of manure and the best places to purchase all of the above. I have several different types of flower seeds in my cart at Outside Pride and will likely purchase in the next week or so as I want to finalize plans. I want more flowers to enjoy outside and cut & enjoy inside. I am nervous to grow so much from seed but I am hopeful that it will turn out well. If anyone has recommendations for great flower seeds let me know!
    I am also planning a more successful vegetable garden. To that end I have been researching the plants that we grew last year, the harvest we received, what did well & what did not. We had tons of tomatoes of all varieties, peppers of all varieties, field peas, green beans, cucumbers and my oh my the okra! Other items did not do well so I am planning to plant more of what performs well and less of what does not, more of what we love and less of what we do not love. There are several trees in our yard that need their canopies trimmed in order to give the garden area more sun so we will be scouring the area for the best price as this requires equipment and skill that we do not have & when we trimmed the chestnut tree ourselves, I got hit in the head with a very large limb.
    I am focusing this year on improving the grass in our yard. We have a large lot and there are a lot of weeds. I will be applying weed and feed, fertilizer, aerating and seeding the yard this year.
    I am focusing on losing 25-30 pounds as well. This is an area I just need to get my head in gear on. I need to make better choices, drink more water, and exercise more. There are lots of excuses I could come up with but in this area I just need to I am great at taking care of others but let myself go by the wayside more often than not – time to take care of me.
    More organization. More purging. More donating.
    Less worry, more prayer.
    Happy Monday Friends!

  9. Dear Maxine, your post could have been written by me, except I’ve not lost the 20lbs yet, congratulations on doing that. I pray for more will power! I’ve just started getting to grips with a bullet journal, a gift from my daughter’s, so proper meal plans should help. Looks like we are going into lockdown (UK), so will be doing plenty of sewing to save money.

  10. My goals for the year: I hope to have a bigger garden. I want to study more French and possibly some other languages. I’d like to finish parts of my house that need it. I would like to write more and send things out for publication. I’d like to reduce spending, increase income, and save. I hope to use the food that we have and not waste. I like to plan meals ahead of time so I know what I am cooking and am not tempted to get carry out. I hope to decrease my A1C. I want to learn more about diabetes so I am reading blogs and books. I hope to eventually not crave the foods I once ate. I also want to make my home a nice place since this is where I spend almost all of my time. I hope to travel someday. Even if it is not this year, I will read about places I could go to someday. I like my little home, but there are things I want to do to it. I also would like to sew curtains for my house. This will be quite an undertaking for me, since I am not a seamstress. But I think I may try this year. I have the material for my kitchen that we bought several years ago. The material is beautiful. I am almost afraid of ruining the material. But I will probably try to sew anyway. We were hoping to get a greenhouse built, but it may not happen anytime soon. Once we do build one though, I hope to start plants in it. My husband may build me a cold frame that I could start things in. That would be easier and cheaper for us. I hope to lose weight….lots. But I am feeling better because I am eating lots of veggies and water.

    1. Tammy – my mom taught me this. She gifted me with some lovely silk that I was afraid to cut and sew. She told me that what she did was to make the pattern in something inexpensive but similar in weight. Then she knew if the pattern fit and could make any changes needed. You could make the curtains in a basic background color/less expensive fabric and see how they work. I did that with some light blocking fabric that I could then use as a backing for the more expensive hard to find fabric.

    2. Tammy, I used to be pre diabetic several years ago, and had a bad A1C number. I watched a lot of free YouTube videos by Cyrus Khambatta and Robby Barbaro. They have a program called “Mastering Diabetes” which is excellent, and now have a book out by the same name, “Mastering Diabetes.” It is all excellent information, and following it I managed to lose 55 extra pounds and lost my pre diabetes diagnosis as well as dramatically lowered my A1 C and cholesterol, blood sugar, etc. It took me three years, but I feel SO much better now! I only wish I had learned how to eat healthy years earlier!!! No more painful arthritis in my feet either, and I had suffered from that pain for probably five or ten years!

  11. I will be semi-retiring in May. After that, I will only be coming in the office to do training and review. So, my goals for 2021 are to catch up on all the home tasks that keep getting brushed aside.
    I want to paint one bedroom and one bathroom. I also want to finish painting the downstairs pantry.
    I want to keep my garden up better. I am fine with planting and harvesting, but in between I let it go more than I wish. While I might win prizes in production, I would never win prizes in beauty. I want to keep it up more. I would like to plant more flowers. Vibrant colors of yellows and oranges and maybe some purples. We get snow in the winter, so by the time spring and summer roll around, I am so over the color white.
    I want to do some volunteer work with our food bank. Hunger is my number one issue.
    My son is getting married in April, and I want to help my future DIL with anything she needs for the wedding.
    I plan on walking more.
    If things open, I want to visit at least 2 new museums with my DH. We both love museums.
    I would like to lose some weight, about 15 pounds. I am hoping the walking and increased gardening will help. Additionally, having less stress from work should help.
    Drink more water.
    I think that is enough. Anything more and I will either forget or give up.

  12. Mint also works fabulously in floral arrangements, so all the more reason to plant a lot!

    Many of my big dreams for the year revolve around my home and garden as well. I’ve been tinkering around with the idea of doing a backyard flower farm for awhile now—not necessarily to sell at market (though that might happen, we’ll see), but mostly for my own enjoyment and learning process. I’m guessing you’ve heard of the book that Floret Farm has put out? There’s one called Cut Flower Garden (I think), and another called A Year in Flowers. Kindle was running a crazy deal on them the other day for like $2.99 or something. My husband got me the hardbacks for Christmas (at my request), and they’re just the most beautiful books, not to mention super helpful.

    Best of luck with all of your goals this year! Here’s hoping church services and activities can start resuming again as before because we’ve sorely missed all that as well, especially as we just barely moved to a new place. It’s hard to get to know your neighbors when you never see each other, or at least not other than the 40 minutes in church when everyone is socially distanced and masked up!

  13. Last year was so busy and so stressful, I was barely able to keep up with basic house chores and cooking. Now that I am not working, I will actually have time to do some things.

    Get outside every day, rain or shine.
    Do some form of exercise every day (walking, at home workout, go swimming if possible).
    Help my mom sort through her condo in preparation for her move to a retirement community. Assist her with packing and moving when the time comes. Continue to visit her once or twice a week.
    Preserve more food: make jam, can tomatoes and salsa, and freeze excess produce from our farm share in the summer.
    Paint and experiment with watercolors. I already have all the supplies.
    Follow a drawing class I purchased a couple years ago.
    Spend some time sewing. Replace a jacket zipper for my sister. Finish sewing two fleece sweatshirts for my husband.
    Sit out on the patio when it is sunny.
    Keep in touch with friends by phone/text/zoom as long at is not safe to meet in person. When the weather is better, meet for outside walks/visits with the proper precautions.
    Visit two cemetaries to place flowers on my relatives’ graves.
    Take trips to various parks in the Seattle area (I have a list of parks I would like to visit this year). Use my state parks pass that I already paid for.

    I never write down goals, but it was kind of fun to do that. Looking forward to reading about everyone else’s plans for 2021!

  14. My goals for 2021 are done monthly. I make goals for each month instead of the whole year. It’s just easier for me. But in general, my goals for the year are the following:

    *Study Come Follow Me lessons and extra material for church lessons.
    *Continue to lose weight and exercise/strength train.
    *Plant a garden, can and freeze produce.
    *Have several low spend months and increase our savings. I’m planning on decreasing the amount I’m spending on birthday/Christmas gifts/family dinners. I also have to a goal to read every book on my kindle and the books in the nightstand drawer before I buy any others. Also try to utilize the library and prime reading more. I read 100 books a year but I should have enough to keep me busy for quite some time.
    *Continue to reduce grocery spending by shopping in my well stocked pantry first. Keep stocking up as needed.
    *My husband and I want to move at some point into a different type of house. My goal is to pay cash for it. We have this house paid off and I would like to save an additional amount to pay cash for our next house.
    *Finish a quilt that has been in my stash forever.

  15. Keep decluttering the house

    Hopefully finish our backroom remodel and get to 2 more rooms this year

    Find a second part time job.

    Make at least 3 full extra payments on my truck

    Pay off hubby’s 2 credit cards.

    Start saving for a down payment on his next vehicle.

    Find more time to read

    Have less food waste

    Start yoga. I need mats, dvds, and motivation, lol

    1. April, I suggest looking up Yoga with Adriene on YouTube. She is very easy to follow and has a huge variety of videos for all skill levels, including lot of excellent (and easy) beginner videos.

    2. April you can start yoga today! I do a 5 minute stretch daily It’s called 5 minute full body stretching routine for women over 50. Don’t let the name fool you. It is for everyone and the routine is done standing up so no mat needed. I actually developed vertigo for the first time in my life and had it for months no matter what kind of vertigo therapy I did. I started doing my daily yoga stretch for other reasons and then about a week into it I realized that my vertigo was gone! I do it every morning on my phone while the coffee brews. Life changing!

  16. My goals for the year- read three books a month. I found that a book a week was too much, particularly if it was a long novel.
    Keep walking, keep writing in my journal and try to increase my walking time each day. I had to avoid the sun for several months but a lovely art-inspired umbrella is just the thing.

    Working on my garden- I also live in the desert and we have the additional challenge of wild animals coming up and in through the fence to devour everything. I am working on finding a balance between finding scented plants, flowering and fruiting plants and finding things that thrive in the desert and won’t break my heart again (I lost a beloved rose bush this winter that I had had for ten years). So, I am continuing to grow pineapple guavas- the ground squirrels don’t bother the foliage nor the fruits. I have a tall galvanized trough that I use for herbs that is out of reach for all but the occasional packrat.

    I will be planting blue myrtle cactus- they produce fruit. I have another cactus that I have named “snake” that produces giant flowers followed by edible fruits that look like dragon fruits. Two pomegranate trees are well established on drip lines- we also have the problem of caliche but on top of that, our development put in fill dirt that is mainly good sized rocks with cement-like clay. I keep thinking about all of your hard work as you take such good care to dig down and prepare your yard for adding good soil, Brandy.

    I have a large potted lemon that provides fruit and fragrance when it blooms. I’ve put in Mexican oregano shrubs and they are good in cooking as well as flowering and attracting hummingbirds.

    Our neighborhood has a community garden with plots to rent. I would like to go back to having a plot but at the moment, I am caring for a family member with dementia as well as helping to provide care for a grandbaby. So I am gardening as best I can but part of my heart will always miss my childhood favorites, like phlox, peonies, lily of the valley and lilacs. But you did recommend a desert-friendly lilac bush, Brandy and I will see if maybe, possibly, I can fit one into my compact yard.

    Wishing everyone a happy, healthy and productive new year!

    1. We have fill dirt here too, but when we dig lower we hit caliche. The fill dirt is practically caliche as it is mostly caliche rocks.

      I just looked up phlox. I have heard of it but never seen it. Have you tried growing vincas instead? They look similar and come in several colors. I get mine at the local nursery but the box stores carry them too (they’re just more expensive) or you can try growing them from seeds. I plant them in June and they flower until November.

      1. Phlox grows great here, but Brandy, you must have different vinca. They don’t look alike. Here everyone puts them in window boxes or pots and they trail down. Just variegated green and white leaves. No flowers.

      2. My grandma grew phlox, the kind that grows low to the ground. I love it because it reminds me of her. She grew it by rocks on a hill.

  17. Thanks for this post Brandy-your encouraging example is inspiring. In 2021 the plan is to-

    -Spend more time in worship and praise.

    -Be with our family, hug my granddaughter, host gatherings with our friends.

    -Continue to save and build a storage shed rather than keeping trailers outside.

    -List a few things on Ebay and use the earning on rummage sales this summer.

    -Be more mindful and if something take 2 minutes to do; I am going to take care of it.

    Happy New Year

  18. I decided that to keep focused I would set some small goals for each month but in larger categories. So to improve my health I January I am focused on doing yoga 3 times a week and walking 3 times a week. Also better posture.
    Keeping our life in order in January means the annual financial review plus cleaning up digital and paper financial files and selecting tax software. Also taking advantage of our supplemental health insurance incentives.
    I am currently first year President of a service and social club (a challenge in a pandemic shutdown) and we have reports due, scholarship application info to get to local high schools, and need to research switching our property and liability insurer along with monthly meetings.
    I need more fun and learning in my lockdown life so hope to sign up for an OLLI class. I also want to increase the frequency of social connection with extended family and friends.

  19. 1. Pay off my house by my 50th bday in December.
    2. Lose 40lbs by my bday. I am doing Keto and love it. Intermittent fasting is amazing.
    3. Not to use my CC.
    4. Continue to build my emergency fund to 6 mos of expenses.
    5. I want to volunteer at Catholic Charities distributing food. Such a need.
    6. Spend more time in prayer,
    7. Get some campus visits in for my soon to be senior.
    8. Saving to take a week-long trip hopefully to South Padre Island early summer.

    1. I love that your goal is to lose the weight by your birthday! What a great goal! And paying off your house by your 50th birthday is an even greater goal!

  20. -pay off our mortgage
    – live off of husband’s pension and the casual hours I put in and not access our 401K’s.
    -plant a garden and preserve the harvest
    -do some sewing with my fabric stash, especially for birthday gifts.
    -catch up scrapbook album (be only a year behind at most-2 years right now).
    -deep clean every room this winter. Hope to be done by May 1. Since we are now retired. Hubby will help.
    -make a list of things needed to be done on the house in the next 5 years and try to figure what will be done and at which year. Will declutter at the same time.

    Think that is it. Hopefully it is a productive year!!

  21. We are in a new home so I have many projects to do.
    * I am making curtains for all the windows
    *and pillows.
    * I want to monogram bath towels.
    *Make a couple of embroidered tea towels.
    *I bought the yarn and crochet hooks to crochet a couple of dish cloths.
    *We also have a major back yard job. We had Stine paver patios laid, and have bought a large kettle to make into a fountain. I planted 4 fruit trees around a round patio and want to add boxwood borders and then plant bulbs and roses in each section. I want to plant hydrangeas along the back wall of the house. Then on our hill we will build a terraced vegetable garden. I want to add an arbor entrance and fence around the vegetable garden and a pergola over the patio, but wood is triple in price so we will wait to do that later.
    * Lose 80 lbs. Walk atleast a mile daily and do weight and yoga workouts
    * bike with husband
    *kayak this summer
    * hike atleast 10 new trails
    * Use dad’s shirts to make 6 lap size quilts ( already cut into strips with two tops pieced)
    * make a Cathedral and Christmas tree quilt
    * Be better about sales and coupons and Ibotta
    * Spend daily time in the Word
    * learn French with Duolingo
    * read 24 books
    *make a flower arrangement 1x a month
    * reupholster the setee and 3 chairs I have
    * Take captive negative thoughts. My 80 year old mother in law moved in and it is so hard to have someone with their way of keeping a home. I have been complaining a lot to my husband. I have to make changes and take these thoughts captive and let what I can roll off my back, be patient as her whole life ended and she had to move 5 hours away from her home, and just not allow the negative to take root.
    * work on night time routine, turn phone off at 9 and get 8 hours sleep a night- wear my CPAP machine.

      1. I am excitedly watching yours. Much will have to come in time. I learned from you about rooting the boxwood from a larger plant so I think instead of filling it in I will buy a few and start cuttings to fill in until I have a full border. And I joined a Facebook group for garners in north Alabama and people always offer cuttings or plants, so I will watch the page.

        1. Oh how nice! The local groups here don’t usually offer cuttings. Most gardeners are pretty new, so they’ve joined the groups to learn how to grow things, but they are mostly interested in just growing a handful of plants.

          I am thinking to try flower or vegetable seeds along the drip line until my hedges fill in.

        1. Peppermint and chocolate mint. I have grown spearmint before but I have determined that I prefer the taste of peppermint.

            1. Usually, the children just munch on it! I have also used it to top desserts. I want to try it as an herbal tea this year. I need to move it to a new place in the garden first.

  22. I’ve been more physically active this year and want to increase my walking and strength training.
    I also turned to a whole food, plant-based diet last year and want to keep eating this way and expanding my skills and recipe repertoire.
    I want to be better about finishing things (sometimes I stop a project at 90-95% completion but I need to persevere to finish.) and making sure I clean up after myself immediately. Emotionally, I feel better when things are cleaned up and finished.
    I want to devote more time to spiritual practices.
    I’m turning 60 later this year and want to write 60 letters to people who have been influential in my life and thank them. So I need to devote time to make my list, find people, and start writing!

    1. I, too, am now eating whole food plant based, at age 55. Just started this about three or four years ago, and feel SO much better!!!

  23. I have 4 large goals for 2021:
    1) Pay off all debt besides mortgage.
    2) Make our home a haven.
    3) Nurture my relationship with my husband.
    4) Continue on my health & wellness journey
    Each month I set mini goals or things I want to accomplish that will work towards the large goal. For instance, this month the money we save by eating from pantry & freezer will go towards debt, I am committing to fresh flowers on the kitchen table all the time (achieved by the 4/$1.00 carnations at the grocery store), cleaning out cabinets and keeping only the items we use and love so we can live in an uncluttered space, and writing daily in my journal.

    1. Melissa, your goals are very similar to mine. My word for this year is Intentionality. I have slipped into some bad habits this year and want to rectify them.
      1) Continue trying to accelerate mortgage payments,we are still about 18 months away.
      2) Make my home a haven. Candles, clean surfaces, simple but tasty meals, etc.
      3) Bless my husband with gratitude for all he does, kisses when he walks in the door, walk and talks on the weekend.
      4) Bless my children, grandchildren and siblings with more affirmation. Friends too!
      5) Health and wellness. Dry brush scrubs daily, detox baths weekly, Cut out sugar for the next 3-4 months. I have gained 8 pounds over the last 4 years that just don’t feel good. Regular walking, core and weights EOD, and stretching at night.
      6) Start working on weeding and prepping garden beds and get spring seeds planted in February and March. Last year my garden did great with some things and terrible with others. More diligence is needed and use the seeds I have as much as possible.

      I love the new year and a chance for fresh starts. Praying for a healthy safe year for each of you!

  24. I love reading everyone’s goals for the year as it inspires me with many good ideas. I set daily goals and that works well for me.
    I just have one big goal, or I guess I should say change I hope to make this year, and that is to shift my thinking to “today I GET to do “such and such as opposed to “ today I HAVE to do “ such and such. I read this somewhere and have been trying it, and it has already made such a difference in my life and heart. Today I GET to go help my mother clean out her kitchen cabinets and move things where she can reach them easier. She will be 85 at the end of this month. So many would be thrilled to go help their mother with such a task if only their mother were still living. So today, I GET to do this instead of I HAVE to do this. I hope this speaks to someone today. Happy new year to everyone.

  25. Reading about everyone else’s goals is so inspiring!

    This year, we’re focusing heavily on finances. We have increased what we put into savings each month, and also on changing up our investments a bit and investing more in certain areas. We are also doing a “low buy/no buy” for a list of items. We both have a bad habit of just buying whatever we want, all the time, and we want to work through some of our large supply of certain items (shampoo & conditioner, for example) before we purchase more. The list also includes things like shoes, clothing, hats, sunglasses – basically just things we have a lot of. I’m excited to see how it goes!

    Otherwise, being more active. I’d been working out 4-6 days per week and lately (over the holidays) I’ve just gotten lazy and haven’t been going at all. I’m determined to get back into the gym at least 3 days per week.

  26. I am doing the read the Bible in a year plan. Loving it so far.
    I plan to lose the 30 lbs I’ve gained during the pandemic. Less carbs and sugar and more water. More moving my body.
    Planning the travel more in our RV.
    Planning to pay off the RV and our truck by April.

  27. You must have so much energy, I’m exhausted just reading all that you do, its amazing! Your garden and outside area is really so pretty you have so much talent. With spending so much time outdoors can I ask what you do in your yard for mosquitoes? Our yard once it gets to July is almost unbearable because you just get bitten sitting outside. I’m not sure how it is in NV, do you have the same problems? What do you do to help this situation that is cost effective?

    1. We received just over 2 inches of rain here last year. On a normal year, we receive around 4 inches. While we do have mosquitos, we don’t have many, as it is so dry. It’s 113 degrees at 8 pm here in July, though, so there’s that, haha!

  28. David Austin roses are the best. Looking forward to ordering a few for the new beds we are currently digging in our front garden – and planning a few more in pots because they are so lovely. The catalogue sits by my armchair.

    1. I have been checking the mail for my catalog since last month. I commented on their Instagram and they said the American catalog comes out in January. I hope we receive a 15% off code as you did in the U.K. Some years they have a code and some years they do not. This is the largest order I will have ever placed with them, so the savings would be considerable. I have chosen my roses and I am so anxious to order!

        1. I can order online at any time. I am waiting for the catalog because if there is a discount code, they always put it in there. They also usually include it in their emails. They redid their U.S. website and said that all accounts would need to be recreated. I haven’t been receiving emails from them since they redid their site. Last year I did not receive the catalog, which I keep around all year (it has many useful tips on pruning and growing roses) though I did receive an email with a coupon code–but last year I was not ordering. 15% off would save me no small amount on the 19 roses I am planning to order, so I wait in hopes of a 15% off code.

  29. 1. Framework my day toward prayer.
    2. Continual working on yard beds of vegetables, flowers, herbs, etc. Keep learning.
    3. Focus on reducing waste-learn more about changing habits toward zero waste ( like nature does it)
    Happy New Year!

  30. We don’t really make resolutions but discuss the direction of travel which means we don’t
    “fail”. We have already discussed our garden plans and placed a seed order. I would like to cook more meat free meals and use more fresh herbs in my cooking.
    We have a big house and to keep up with maintenance we need to redecorate one principal room each year and this year we want to add a smaller room too.
    There is still decluttering to do and we have some items to sell which will be my project to bring in a bit of extra income.
    We need new curtains in the sitting room.
    I want to sew some useful items for the house and work on reducing plastics and disposables in our household.
    We both want to make better use of our time at home and reduce unproductive bimbling around and accomplish more.
    We have just found out that public exams are not happening this year in the UK so my earnings as an exam invigilator have gone up in a puff of smoke. So we need to monitor our spending even more closely this coming year and use/ preserve every bit of produce from the garden.
    These aims are all small scale and domestic which suits us fine!

    1. I am sorry about the exams. It’s a huge thing to not have them, and I am sorry for your loss of income.

      1. Thank you Brandy. I’m sorry for the students too. We remind ourselves that far worse things have happened to other people.

  31. Brandy,
    Happy New Year!
    I gave some of my canning and preserved foods as gifts this year for the first time and everyone seemed to enjoy getting them so I plan to continue with that this year which means more gardening. I have already purchased some of my seeds.
    I plan to spend as much time as possible with my family-especially my grandson- they grow up too fast.
    My husband is in the early stages of dementia so I hope to become more organized so I can take over more of the responsibilities. There are so many little things I have to do now that I never had to think about before. Such as ordering his meds in a timely manner, keeping up on vehicle routine maintenance, paying all the bills and other financial things. It requires me to be very organized and stay on top of things so I don’t get overwhelmed.
    One of my most important goals is not in my control but like everyone else, I hope and pray we can go back to church and that we can find a home church we truly love.

    1. Kim – Sorry to hear about your husband’s dementia. Hopefully you can work out a good organizational system to keep things running smoothly. My system with medications for two people was to refill their pill containers once a week on Sundays and then make sure each bottle had enough meds for the next week. Once the bottles were set aside that needed refills, I would call in the orders to the various pharmacies and mark an X on the bottles. That gave me 2 weeks to plan my trips to pick up prescriptions that were from local pharmacies and 2 weeks for mail orders to arrive (before anything had run out). Where possible, I switched everything to 90 day prescriptions. Also, I agreed to get text notifications from Walmart and Walgreens pharmacies since I don’t have to pay per text. I get a text telling me X prescription(s) are available to refill. Reply YES to refill. Reply YES and I’m done.
      For the rest of the bills, I put reminders that pop up on my calendar monthly for each of the bills and don’t dismiss them until the bill has been paid online or put in the mail. I don’t like setting up automatic drafts from the bank account, so I don’t. But that’s another option you might investigate. Good luck!

  32. I’ve been reading your blog for years while longing to have more time at home. I’ve been working many, many hours a week for the past several years and have taken advantage of the pandemic to finally pull back and prioritize my home life. In 2021 I want to continue this process. Years ago I took one weekday afternoon off a week and my goal is to be able to do that again in 2021. I want to sit at my weaving loom again and produce a beautiful weaving project. And I want to bake the perfect cinnamon rolls.

  33. My goals are different this year. Read 12 books BUT they have to be books I already own and have never gotten around to (Charles Dickens and Jane Austin are on the list). Eat only my own food. This means no finishing off of my kids plates. I started in Dec and I can’t believe how much food we’ve saved for them to finish for later instead of me eating it while doing dishes. I am already losing weight lol. Lastly my word of the year is PAINTER. This is my most joyous hobby. So all year I’ll think “what would a painter do? I am a painter, I don’t stay up all night watching tv, I paint! Etc.” Can’t wait for your garden!

    1. What a great goal…”eat only my own food”! Sounds like in the long run it will save money and calories. I have a messy adult family member in my house, and it would drive me crazy that they would not finish what I consider a normal adult sized meal, and then I’d have to throw out the rest. (The only difference is it was unappetizing enough that I definitely didn’t want to eat after them. LOL!) In a light bulb moment, I started serving them a little less. It doesn’t always get all eaten now, but it’s a lot better. They always have the option to have more too. I occasionally bring home a Whopper or Big Mac when I don’t want to cook. Those are cut in half either for 2 meals for them while I have a salad, or we split the burger and I add a simple side dish. While I can easily eat a whole one myself, do I really NEED to? NO!!

  34. We thought we had our goals this year set… NOPE. February 16th I have hip replacement. My surgeon even suggest a kneeler seat for the garden when he asked what I did during warm weathers. They are hoping I am back up on my feet (won’t be able to bend over awhile) with in 2 months with decent recover at 3 months with limitations. Since daughter 1 took 6 months I know what to prepare for. We are still focusing on paying more on the mortgage and 2 life ins loans. Hubby has some project material here for a couple things he can do by himself . I have started the reading of one book to learn something * this week is zero waste * and one for pleasure that I have.
    I am moving artisan lilies to the north flower garden that ends up being mostly weeds. I had them on the north side at the old rental and they not only did well there they crowded out the weeds.
    Blessed Be everyone

  35. Last year my word for the year was productive. I did what I could and finally finished a lot of projects, stocked up fully(!), and organized the entire house.

    This year my word is restore. I’m looking to get my life back after the stem cell transplant treatment is over. There will be lots to restore…strength, hair (yes!!!!!), routines, church, visits, and more than I can even imagine I expect.

    I’m going to save up for some plans that I’m formulating now that we are stocked back up. It’s a good feeling to have our house in order and to be able to plan. Yeah!!!

    I’m also going to let go of a lot of the planning for the family that I’ve always done. They don’t really need me to anymore, and I need the freedom to focus on getting my strength back.

  36. I “get” to find the remaining financing for the book, then I “get to” work on finishing the book. After that, I hope to finally finish the two remaining photo albums and get them mailed off. And then I’m going to put the house in order, finish sorting boxes and give clothes to Goodwill (I’ve already given a lot away). I am going to replace a couple of the many items that were thrown out that I need. And when spring finally comes, I’m going to, with help, finish the dry course (not a stream) but with ledges for bird bath ponds down the little hill –– it was started three years ago but not finished due to my broken tendon. Then, I’ll find another project and put my feet up and enjoy all of the summer. After the book is finished I want to write a poem a day and illustrate each poem with a photograph. I’m not going to diet or worry about my weight –– I will take a breather and just let it be for a year. I will go shopping and find two pairs of pants on sale as mine keep falling down. As I will not have a garden plot this year, I’ll find ways to grow veggies at home. I may hire someone to repaint the house one side per year so in 4 years time it will be perfect again.


  37. My goals for 2021 -Health and Wellness – spend more time outside in nature, increase my flexibility, continue daily meditation. Career/work – update my resume, take some free on-line courses, put more thought into seeking an advanced degree in my field. Financial – pay off all debts except the largest two (which are student loans and mortgage. Those I will start to tackle in 2022.)

  38. Not sure how I missed this post earlier this month….oh yeah…online teaching…life outside of that stops when we have to go online. lol. To all you paren’s getting to teach from home right now when you are having to work etc., hang in there! We know it’s a struggle. I am so thankful our little school has been in person most of the year so far.
    2021 goal? Get my act together. Plain and simple. I am entering year 4 of being a widow and have neglected so many areas of life. Self-care, finances, etc.
    Keep monthly expenses to my teaching salary (christian school….very low pay) and use my 2nd income (partial retirement benefits from dh’s military time) to pay off debt and use for all the various taxes – property etc).
    Vacation – I NEED to get away for a while, Hoping to get 2 weeks away at some point. I have money put aside for this already.
    Additional source of income – small ways to early extra money. Even just using IBotta, Fetch, etc., selling excess “stuff” etc.
    Additional source of income part 2 – find ways to market my jewelry business. Covid has wiped out the craft shows business in my state.
    Purge 2 households. I have a basement full of things that needs to be sold or given away. My husband got sick shortly after my mom passed, so I have a lot of her stuff in my basement now too.
    Garden – continue to improve my gardening skills.
    Move? – considering moving to a lower cost of living area
    Paint a few walls in the house.
    Redo my front garden beds

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