Countdown to a New Year


This is a great time to consider where you want to go in life and what do you want to see more of in 2019? Whatever it is – it starts with dreaming! But dreaming alone won’t get you there. You have to add determination and action to it. Time to get thinking! For years I did New Year’s resolutions and failed miserably. Now, I do New Year’s goals. Goals require plans, actions, and executions to follow through and hit the target. Every time you hit one you grow and learn from the experience. You grow in confidence and ability. I know cause I’ve been doing it. I like being a person who is highly productive. I know who I am doing it for – The Lord God who is my King. I know why I am doing it. Answering the why question is most important. It keeps you going when the excitement has worn off, helps you keep moving when you don’t feel like it or when something shinier catches your attention.

Looking back to see how far you have come and what progress was made is a great way to start reevaluating how you can hone in on your aim.
Aimlessness is lifelessness! If you aim at nothing you will hit it every time and nothing is just that – NOTHING!

Here are the 2018 goals (originally I wrote them here) and what I did to accomplish them: (My WHY’S are italicized below)

  • Pay off debt: Debt is a weight I don’t want to be a slave too. We rolled our crappy interest rate card to a no interest for 24 months card and have been hammering that thing down all year. We will have it paid off in the first part of 2019. YAY! We also paid off more this year on the husband’s Chevelle than last year. #goal
  • Get rid of 25% stuff in the house: Live with what you love! I started purging first in my room. Anything I consistently passed over in the closet or drawers to wear something else was the first things to go. Also, every single strap thing that fell off my shoulder got thrown out. Then after my daughter got married and moved out, my friend Jeniffer and I purged my son’s room. We worked our way around the entire upstairs for weeks until it was done. I knew it wouldn’t get done unless I had a buddy alongside me, so, I asked her for help and I paid her too. It was totally worth the $ for the peace of mind and the extra space! I aimed higher than my goal on this one. 20 years of stuff piling up in a house. Let’s just say it was well overdue. I got rid of 65% of the stuff in my home. YAY! #goal #overachiever
  • Give leading leaders the opportunity to speak:  Make disciples not followers. I chose two leaders Trent and Corinne within the youth group I coordinate and let them speak on particular topics throughout the year. We added a Jr. High lead, Adam to run a separate teaching time during youth group for the Jr. High students. Over the summer, we had two of our graduating seniors Josh and Noah run the summer Wednesday night bible study. Two of our leaders, Jonathan and Sarah, moved out of youth ministry to Young Adult ministry to run the yam bible study on Wednesday nights.       


  • Fix the Roof:  Always fix water damage.We replace the roof – no more leaks! YAY! #goal
  • Live in a house you love: We had talked about selling it and I figure instead of waiting to make updates when we decide to move -do them now- so I can enjoy them. I am sure this goal will take a few years but I started on it. I have lived in this house for 20 years. My brother in law Nick is awesome at drywall and painting. He owns and operates Finishmaster LLC (give him a call 319-721-6497 if you are in the Cedar Rapids Corridor area) I had the upstairs bathroom repainted and I redecorated it. I had the drywall fixed and insulation replaced from a couple of water leaks in my son’s old room and then turned the room into the Dad and Son music room. Which meant that the drums and guitars all over the dining room have a new home – upstairs! I had the upstairs hall and stairwell repainted. I had the kitchen and ceiling repainted. More updates to come in 2019 #goal #smallprogressbetterthannoprogress
  • Write more blogs: I love writing and I love to share what God is showing me. I grow more when I write. I have been blogging for 10 years. My first post was Dec. 13, 2008. It had 2 sentences: I believe that I am a Spiritual Being. Riding this life in the car of a Body. In 2017, I wrote a total of 9 posts. I journaled privately but blog posting – not so much! It was a rough year! <-read about it there. God was so good to us. In 2018, I wrote 91 posts. YAY! #goal
  • Read/Listen To More Books: What you put into your heart and mind comes out in your life. I read and or listened on audible a total of 20 books this year. I doubled what I had read the year before. #goal (below are the books that I read/listened to)      

All of the books were good but a few were quite impactful. I will mark them with an asterisk and a little note.

1. The Broken Way – Ann Voskamp * This is a beautiful display of the way to live life broken and open like Christ.

2. How is your soul? – Judah Smith

3. De-cluttering at the speed of life – Dana K. White

4. Living Forward – Michael Hyatt

5. Skin in the game – Nassim Taleb

6: Women of the Word – Jen Wilkin

7. What were you thinking – Dina Temple Rastin

8. Don’t miss it: Parent every week like it counts – Reggie Joiner

9. The 15 invaluable laws of growth – John Maxwell

10. The Organic God – Margaret Feinberg *I love the connections she makes with the scripture about bees, sheep, and the shepherd.

11. The gospel comes with a house key – Rosaria Butterfield * Hospitality is more than just the decor and the drinks. It is the way we reach hearts.

12. The attributes of God – A.W. Pink * The glory and beauty of my God! This book had me in tears nearly every chapter.

13. The Burning Word – Judith M. Kunst * A beautiful connection of the Jewish midrash and the study of scripture for every new testament believer.

14. High-performance habits – Brendon Burchard

15. Didn’t see it coming – Carey Nieuwhof

16. The Imperfect Disciple – Jared C. Wilson

17. Mudhouse Sabbath – Lauren Winner

18. Relaunch – Mark Rutland

20. Developing the Leader Within you – John Maxwell

Remember Aimlessness is lifelessness! What will you hit in 2019?

Thanks for Listening,

Starla Smith

One Comment Add yours

  1. atiltedtiara says:

    You did a great job on your goals in 2018! I may have to check out some of the books on your list. 🙂


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