My Goals for 2018

(Piggybacking off of yesterday’s FB live about spiritual goals, today I am sharing my other goals)

In 2017, I did an experiment and didn’t make any goals for the year. My focus was on scheduling the things I wanted to do. However, it was pretty much a bust. 🙁 Don’t get me wrong, the scheduling part was great and I did get a lot of “stuff” done. The problem was that I felt scattered most of the time and unfocused.

This past year was a bigger challenge than 2016 and I didn’t think that was possible. And, not having specific goals left me feeling unhinged a lot of the time. I need structure. Goals give me that structure and allows me to have boundaries and white space. I also missed the accountability of not posting my goals online. It gives me incentive and have been told from readers that they like reading about the goals.

2018 Goals

Image by condesign (2014) via Pixabay, CCO Public Domain

This year, I am going to combine the scheduling with the goals. I have 12 goals for different aspects of my life and I will be taking some time today to schedule those goals into my calendar (in bite-sized chunks). My hope is that by combining them both, I will have a scheduled yet focused year. I am also posting them here for the accountability and will give monthly updates about how I am doing. (Any encouragement or push would be much appreciated!)

So, without further ado, here hare my goals:

PERSONAL GOALS

1. Read at least one chapter of the Bible each day

2. Cut out sugar and dairy for at least 8 weeks (fast Wednesdays & Fridays)

3. Read one personal book per month (fiction, self-help, spiritual, etc.)

MARRIAGE GOALS

4. Go on one date with Michael per month

5. Send Michael (and Andrew) at least one love/text note per week

FAMILY GOALS

6. Read one book out loud to Andrew per month

7. Go on a family vacation

8. Pray with Andrew daily (daily devotional book before or after school)

FINANCIAL GOALS

9. Rebuild emergency fund ($1,000)

10. Save at least $10 per week

BUSINESS GOALS

11. Launch two courses/programs this year

12. Do at least 2 FB lives per month (aiming for weekly!)

Have you made any goals for 2018? If so, do share in the comments! I would love to support and encourage you in any way I can!

***********

P.S.: In an unrelated note, I want to remind you that today is the First Friday of the Month.

Saint and Feast Days in November 2016

November is fast approaching so I thought that I would take a break from the 31 Days of Prayer series and post the saint and feast days for November.

Image by MK1_FIESTA (2015) via Pixabay, CCO Public domain

Image by MK1_FIESTA (2015) via Pixabay, CCO Public domain

Saints and Feasts

November 1All Saints Day (solemnity)

November 2: All Souls’ Day (commemoration)

November 3: St. Martin de Porres, religious (optional memorial)

November 4:  St. Charles Borromeo, bishop (obligatory memorial)

November 4: First Friday Devotions (optional)

November 5: First Saturday Devotions (optional)

November 9: Dedication of the Lateran Basilica (feast)

November 10: St. Leo the Great, Pope & doctor of the Church (obligatory memorial)

November 11: St. Martin of Tours, bishop (obligatory memorial)

November 12: St. Josaphat, bishop and martyr (obligatory memorial)

November 13: St. Frances Xavier Cabrini, virgin (obligatory memorial)

November 15: Saint Albert the Great, bishop & doctor of the church (obligatory memorial)

November 16: St. Margaret of Scotland, virgin (optional memorial)

November 16: St. Gertrude, virgin (optional memorial)

November 17: St. Elizabeth of Hungary, religious (obligatory memorial)

November 18: Dedication of the Basilica of Sts. Peter & Paul, Apostles (optional memorial)

November 18: St. Rose Philippine Duchesne, virgin (optional memorial)

November 20: Christ the King (solemnity)

November 21: The Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary (obligatory memorial)

November 22: St. Cecilia, virgin & martyr (obligatory memorial)

November 23: St. Clement I, Pope & martyr (optional memorial)

November 23: St. Columban, abbot (optional memorial)

November 23: Bl. Miguel Agustin Pro, priest & martyr (optional memorial)

November 24: St. Andrew Dung-Lac, priest & companions, martyrs (optional memorial)

November 25: St. Catherine of Alexandra, virgin & martyr (optional memorial)

November 27: First Sunday of Advent

November 30: St. Andrew, apostle (feast)

Other Dates to Note

Every Saturday is traditionally dedicated to devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary

November is traditionally dedicated to the Holy Souls in Purgatory.

November 6: Daylight Savings Time Ends

November 8: Election Day (USA)

November 11: Veteran’s Day (USA) & Remembrance Day (Canada)

November 24: Thanksgiving Day (USA)

*******

You can print out this list here. (No opt in required.)

***********

Tweetable: Saint & Feast Days in November 2016

Saints and Feast Days in August 2016

August is a week away and I am actually getting out this list ahead of time! Hopefully, this will give you some time to plan some fun activities for the various feasts. 🙂

Saint and Feast days in August 2016

Saints and Feasts

August 1:  St Alphonsus Liguori, bishop & doctor of the church (obligatory memorial)

August 2: St. Eusebius of Vercelli (optional memorial)

August 2: St. Peter Julian Eymard (optional memorial)

August 4: St. John Vianney, Priest (obligatory memorial)

August 5: Dedication of the Basilica of St. Mary Major (optional memorial)

August 5: First Friday Devotions (Optional)

August 6: The Transfiguration of the Lord (feast)

August 6: First Saturday Devotions (Optional)

August 8: St. Dominic, Priest (obligatory memorial)

August 9: St. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross [Edith Stein] (optional memorial)

August 10: St. Lawrence, Deacon and Martyr (feast)

August 11: St. Clare, virgin (obligatory memorial)

August 12: St. Jane Frances de Chantal, religious (optional memorial)

August 13: Sts. Pontian, Pope, and Hippolytus, priest, martyrs (optional memorial)

August 15: The Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary (solemnity)

August 16: St. Stephen of Hungary (optional memorial)

August 19: St. John Eudes, priest (optional memorial)

August 20: St. Bernard, abbot and doctor of the church (obligatory memorial)

August 22: The Queenship of the Blessed Virgin Mary (obligatory memorial)

 August 23: St. Rose of Lima (optional memorial)

August 24: St. Bartholomew, apostle (feast)

August 25: St. Louis (optional memorial)

August 25: St. Joseph Calasanz, priest (optional memorial)

August 27: St. Monica (obligatory memorial)

August 29: The Passion of St. John the Baptist (obligatory memorial)

August 30: St. Jeanne Jugan, religious (optional memorial)

Other Dates to Note

Every Saturday is traditionally dedicated to devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary

August is traditionally dedicated to the Immaculate Heart of Mary and to the Blessed Sacrament

August 3: Civic Holiday (Canada)

Here is a printable version of this list: SAINTS and FEASTS in AUGUST 2016. No opt-in required.

************

Tweetable: Saint & Feast Days in August 2016

First Friday Devotion

I sometimes feel like September is a “mini New Year’s” because the kids are going back to school, summer is fading into fall, and there is a “newness” of sorts in the air. New clothes, new shoes, new supplies, and a new chance to begin again. Do you get that feeling too, or is it just me?

Since posting the saints and feasts for September on Monday, I starting thinking that the fall can also be a new opportunity to start fresh spiritually, as well. If you let your prayer time go by the wayside, now is a great time to get it going again. As you prepare for your fall schedule, make sure you add time in to pray alone and/or as a family.

FirstFriday

Image by gracemazzaurbanski (2013) via Pixabay, CCO Public Domain

One way to do this is to commit to the First Friday Devotions. It is a very simple devotion and the only “requirement” is to go to Holy Mass and receive Holy Communion. Of course, there are other practices worth doing if you have the time.

If you can’t make it to Mass, you can certainly make a spiritual communion and say a small prayer such as “Jesus, meek and humble of heart, make my heart like unto Thine.” Or, if you read this too late to go to Mass, mark the First Fridays on your calendar now so you won’t forget for next month.

While you are at it, tomorrow is First Saturday, so mark it on your calendars now to head to mass. (There are other requirements for First Saturday devotions which you can read here.)

————

Tweetable: First Friday Devotion

7 Quick Takes: Lenten Randomness

— 1 —

May I start with a prayer request? One of my dear friend’s father was confirmed with stage 4 lung cancer. I believe he is only in his 60s. Please not only pray for him but for his family. Thanks.

— 2 —

Reminder for those of you who participate in the First Friday Devotions to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, today is First Friday. 😉 If you don’t participate in the First Friday devotions, Lent would be a good time to start!

— 3 —

While I am at it, tomorrow is  First Saturday which is traditionally devoted to Our Lady. Lent would be a good time to start the First Saturday devotions, too.

— 4 —

A beautiful song that is perfect for Lent: (It is 4 minutes and 21 seconds)

— 5 —

There are 31 days until Easter Sunday. Andrew’s birthday the 31st and so falls on Easter Sunday this year. He is absolutely thrilled and excited to have his birthday on Easter and is counting the days. Not that he would be any less excited if his birthday didn’t fall on Easter. 🙂 Every year since he was three he has been counting down to his birthday starting in January! Remember those days when you were excited for your birthday to come?!

— 6 —

What are you making for dinner for this Lenten Friday? If you are looking for ideas, here is a list of some meatless recipes. Still, I’m always looking for new recipes, especially for meatless ones for Fridays because we forego meat even outside of Lent. I don’t want to fall into the rut of having pizza or fish sticks every week. Tonight I’m using a shrimp recipe that Jen (Conversion Diary Jen) shared a while back. (Scroll down to #6 to see the recipe.) It is ridiculously easy to make and so good. I’ve made it three times so far and it’s been a big hit every time.

— 7 —

Finally I thought I’d share this website that I found called Praying Lent. It has prayers and other resources such as an online Lenten Retreat. I haven’t delved that far into the website yet, but what I’ve seen so far looks good.

God Bless you!

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!

7 Quick Takes: “God is Good!” Edition

— 1 —

We own a house in Ohio that we are currently renting out. On Tuesday night I got a call from the tenant saying that when he replaced the batteries for the carbon monoxide detector it kept going off repeatedly so he had to evacuate the house. We got someone in there on Wednesday and I am happy to report that the problem was with the detector itself. The guy tested everything and there are no problems. I have to pay $85 for them to go over there, plus the cost of the new detector but that’s better than possibly paying thousands!

— 2 —

Tomorrow (Saturday) my son is making his first Holy Confession in preparation for making his first Holy Communion at the end of April. It is such a blessing to see God work in our children, yes? Up until about two months ago my son told me that he wasn’t going to go to confession because he is too nervous. Now he is so excited and can’t wait to go that he has been counting down the days.

— 3 —

We had rain/wind on Wednesday night into Thursday which caused us to lose power. It seems like every time there is a little wind our area loses power. We lost power at 2am and got the power back around 11am, so I won’t complain. Thankfully it was just for a few hours rather than two weeks like it was out during Superstorm Sandy.

— 4 —

Just a reminder: Today is First Friday and Tomorrow is First Saturday if you practice those devotions. If you aren’t in the habit of doing those devotions, today would be a good day to start. 🙂

— 5 —

With all the writing I’ve been doing, by following my “5 minutes a day” program, I finally finished a short story and two flash fiction pieces. I’m not sure If I’ll share them publicly or not, but it feels good to actually finish a writing project. Up until I finished these, most of my 5 minute writings have been mostly snippets of ideas and scenes and character development. Maybe the next time someone asks me what I do I’ll be able to say. “I’m a writer!” 🙂

— 6 —

If you are wondering what flash fiction is and how it compares to writing a short story, here’s a little introduction. For me, someone who can be rather wordy, writing flash fiction is real difficult. But I am liking the challenge and by writing flash fiction I am forced to be more careful with word choice and plot development. I figure that if I can master, or at least get pretty good at writing flash fiction, then all of my other writings will be better too. That’s my hope anyway.

— 7 —

Here’s a fun song, “God is Good” to bring a smile to your face for this First Friday: (it’s a little over five minutes)

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!