Lessons from What Worked and Didn’t Work in 2013


Happy New Year! I hope 2014 finds you well. As children, my siblings and I always loved to announce the first time we did things in a new year (going to the bathroom, eating a particular food, riding in a car, etc.). Though I don’t mark every milestone of a new year now, there is something incredible about not only a fresh start but the closing of a chapter.

As I mentioned in my previous post, I am working through Lara Casey’s Goal Setting posts for 2014. If you want a place to start thinking through what you want for 2014, I highly recommend working through her posts. It’s less about making resolutions and much more about a vision for the year.

Today, I’ll share my lists of what worked (more fully developed from my last post) and what didn’t work, as well as what I learned from looking at both lists. I won’t share everything, as some details are a bit personal. But here’s the gist.

What Worked in 2013

Discovering the Youversion app and reading the Bible while nursing//Preparation for birth, overall health and strength, yoga, walks//eating healthily and preparing healthy meals for our family//Learning how to say “no” and “yes”//making time for reading again//writing more consistently//keeping up with friends better//maintaining letters and working on memory books for Liam//making time  (even last minute, which is HUGE for me!) for friendships//Staying home//Organizing//Family situations improving//Learning not to make such a big deal of little things//Breastfeeding Liam//Learning to make decisions apart from books//Going back to church//Beginning menu planning//Confronting fears and taking risks//Cloth diapers//Jon’s job//Trusting God about the move, Jon’s job, Liam’s birth, and insurance //Finish my last (for now) year of teaching (and some of the sweet notes from students since then)//Studying and implementing ideas for teaching Liam even now//Friends who love me and my baby (so beautiful to see you childhood friends love your baby!)//Family members who bless me over and over with generous gifts of time and gifts and love//Doing a better job of prioritizing tasks//Writing through parts of my spiritual journey

What Didn’t Work in 2013 

I have to be careful with this list at this stage of life with a six-month-old because I desperately want a cleaner house, more consistent yoga, and more time to write. These things are becoming more attainable, but I can’t say these things didn’t work in 2013 because they are part of the realities of life with a newborn.

Criticalness of Jon//Comparing myself and my life to others//Worry about the future–fear and doubt. Living so much in the present that I dread the future at times//My lack of intentionality and consistency in studying Scripture//Family issues //Talking about negative things over and over that might not even happen//Guilt over taking breaks from playing with my son to write or exercise//Fear about money with no real goals or plans//Letting the criticism or opinions of others weigh me down//Inconsistent menu planning//Expecting too much of new seasons of life//Sleep–we’re looking forward to ending co-sleeping (which began out of necessity with Liam’s stomach issues). I want him to sleep well, but for now I’m not sure about cry it out//Still need to better prioritize tasks and align them with time that I have


Okay, this is my favorite step. I looked over both lists and determine what I learned from what worked and didn’t work. Lara Casey recommends boiling each list into three major things. This was an incredibly helpful step.

What I learned from what worked 

1. That God is faithful. That He is the Great Provider beyond my wildest dreams. I have to trust, let go, and stop the worry tapes that play over and over in my mind. He is sovereign.

2. That God gives strength and blesses my endeavors. That through Him and His strength, I can make things happen. That I can make good decisions, using the mind He has given me and filtering the opinions of others and of books. That healthy eating is essential.

3. That I can have peace and joy and delight even in the messy, unfinished parts of life (because really, isn’t that all of life?). I’m learning how to not just survive busy, chaotic seasons but how to live. 

What I learned from what didn’t work

1. I am far too driven by fear and future-oriented thinking. I can let others dictate to me too much. I can let the future dictate to me too much.

2. We need a better, logical plan for money long-term and for Bible reading. I do well with plans and goals.

3. I still often have too high expectations of all I can accomplish in this stage, but there are non-negotiables (including having a good attitude, spiritual growth, loving my family well, patience, laundry, etc.).

Over the next days, I’ll share my one word for 2014 and finish and share my goal-setting. Seriously, go check out Lara Casey’s series. You won’t be disappointed.

This is how you will feel if you don't start goal-setting now!

This is how you will feel if you don’t start goal-setting now!



One thought on “Lessons from What Worked and Didn’t Work in 2013

  1. Pingback: My One Word for 2014 | Pilgrim Sandals

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