Saturday Small Talk/2014 goals

It’s the new year! The blogosphere has been bursting at the seams with people sharing their goals and resolutions. If you haven’t done any goal setting for 2014 yet, here are some helpful posts for you.

Emily at The Orange Slate shared a Bucket List for 2014 with us. It will definitely get your creative juices flowing if you’re at a loss for what goals to set.

Seth Godin wrote a short, satirical post about goals at the beginning of 2009. It’s 5 years old, but still applies.

If you’re ready to get started, but aren’t sure how, Michael Hyatt can get you on the right track with The Beginner’s Guide to Goal Setting and why you should write those goals down.

My favorite way to represent my goals in something physical, something visible, is to create a vision board. It sits above my desk in the office, and I see it more days of the week than not. It reminds me what I want to accomplish this year.


This year, I’ve divvied my goals into two categories. My specific goals are goals that have an end. They have a date of completion. They are something to accomplish. The general goals are themes for my year, things I want to be conscious of. These goals don’t have an ending point, as they’re things I hope to incorporate into my life well past December 31, 2014.

Specific goals:

  • Complete a triathlon. I think I found the race I want to do, I just need to click “Register.”
  • Learn some Dutch (CDs–ordered). I have a 45 minute commute to work, so I purchased a method that is CD based.
  • Play a concerto with an orchestra. I’ve been working on this one since September, and will be playing with our local symphony in May.
  • Build our emergency fund. This will mean we have 6 months of living expenses in a savings account, so if anything were to happen (medical emergency, job loss, etc), we’d be covered.

General goals:

  • The water faucet is for two goals–drink more water, but also be more conscious of the water I’m using. I know I can be wasteful when it comes to water usage, and I want to get that under control.
  • Adventures! Have them.
  • Superfood/Essentials. Get back to a place where I’m eating primarily whole foods. Not 100% of the time, my sweet tooth is too big for that. But most of the time.
  • Yoga girl. That corner is about being mindful. Build meditation into my days, and carve out time for peace and quiet.

I wanna know: What are your goals for 2014? Do you have specific and general goals, also?

October Goals

Fall is officially here. There’s no ignoring it. Cooler nights. Trees turning vibrant oranges and reds. Here we are.

IMG_0835September was a great month–a great way to end the summer!

  • Spend a week in Washington (state)–check! We saw all three of the national parks in Washington, spent some good time with friends we rarely see, and generally enjoyed exploring a new place. Recaps forthcoming.
  • Start a batch of wine–totally did! Just not the type I expected to. I have a carboy full of peach wine in my kitchen right now.
  • Can tomatoes. Done and done. Good grief. We have 26 quarts of tomatoes. Overkill? Nope.
  • Practice piano–didn’t meet my goal. Sadly. But I did get a good 9.5 hours in. I’m learning the value of quality over quantity of practice. Out of necessity. Any tips from fellow musicians on the topic would be very welcome.
  • Celebrate our first anniversary. We did! Thanks to groupon, we went up to St. Ignace for a night.

October—here we come!

  • Whittle My Middle. Join me? I could use some accountability.
  • Try some new recipes out of my (newly) favored cookbook–Gourmet!
  • Practice goal–15 hours. This is my month to actually meet my practice goal. I can feel it.
  • Re-pot some herbs from the garden so I can enjoy them all winter long.
  • Vitamins. Get some Vitamin B and Vitamin D, and start shoring up for winter. This involves actually remembering to take them.

What are you up to this month?

Desk Project–Before and After

Pretty shortly after we got married, I was given a desk by a friend of a friend. It wasn’t in bad shape, but it certainly needed a little TLC. Over the past week, with the help of my extremely patient and encouraging husband, I refurbished it. And I’m in love!

Here’s where things started–scraping off laminate.

IMG_2274And…done! Check out that nasty black mark.

IMG_2279That mark alone will prove to take hours and hours of sanding. I wish I were kidding.

Sanded! Black mark, be gone!

IMG_2303Post sanding, I sealed with three coats of sealing stuff (the technical term), and then painted the drawer fronts and the paneling.


I’m so thrilled. One of my vision board goals for the year was to create a functional, yet visually appealing work space. I’m not there yet, but I’m well on my way! Any suggestions for what to do with the wall behind my desk will be welcome. Until that point, I’m going to breathe a deep sigh of relief and satisfaction for a job well done!