my goals for 2013

 completely unrelated photo from a hike we took recently as a family

I wrote my 2013 goals down one morning when I couldn’t get back to sleep, and Elliott and I have been talking about them since then.  He helped me make some of them more realistic and then encouraged me to add others, so… we’ll see what’s realistic in the end!

  • Love Elliott and Lena and our Baby Boy.  

When I asked Elliott what his goals were for 2013, the first thing he said was, “Love you and Lena.”  This was humbling to me, as I was going to start with War and Peace.  Reality check.  Loving my best friend and my dear daughter (and my new son in just a few weeks!) is at the top of my list.

    • Finish War and Peace!  

    I got 1/3 of the way through it this year and then never went back to it.  This year I will finish it! 


      • Read at least 10 of these books.

      On another book-related note, I went through lists online of “the books to read before you die” and “the best 100 novels” and came up with this list of ones I haven’t read but have always wanted to.  So my goal is to read at least 10 of these books:

          1. 100 Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
          2. A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess
          3. A Passage to India by E.M. Forester
          4. A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens
          5. Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand
          6. Beloved by Toni Morrison
          7. Brideshead Revisited by Evelyn Waugh
          8. Catch-22 by Joseph Heller
          9. Confessions by St. Augustine
          10. Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoyevsky
          11. Dracula by Bram Stoker
          12. Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison
          13. Jude the Obscure by Thomas Hardy
          14. Kim by Rudyard Kipling
          15. Les Miserables by Victor Hugo
          16. Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert
          17. Middlemarch by George Eliot
          18. Midnight’s Children by Salman Rushdie
          19. Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving
          20. Slaughterhouse Five by Kurt Vonnegut
          21. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
          22. The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood
          23. The Moviegoer by Walker Percy
          24. The Road by Cormac McCarthy
          25. War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy


              • Sell 50 handmade items either through craft fairs or through my Etsy shop


                • Study Italian

                Complete this Italian workbook as well as the two volumes of Pimsleur Italian audio series that we have owned since… oh, since we got here 18 months ago…  Both Elliott and I thought that these goals were very manageable and would also seriously improve my Italian.

                  •  Learn more about and practice the manual settings on my camera.  

                  I have got to do this.  Where to even begin?  Where to set goals?  But at least this is a start.

                      • Launch my blog on a new website.  

                      I hinted at this development in my last post.  This time my blog will be self-hosted, which means I will own all my own content and have more control than Blogger allows.  Elliott has been encouraging me to do this for awhile and I just need to buckle down and get the website up and running!  I am eager to share this with you sometime in the next few weeks.  Wish me luck, as setting up and designing a blog is not my forte.


                        • Publish a piece of writing (fiction or non-fiction) in a non-blog setting.  

                        I have no idea what this will look like yet, so that’s why it’s a very vague goal!  But it’s a step in the right direction to improve my writing.

                          And then I made a separate list of all the things I want/need to do around home before the baby comes!  You know, things like…

                          • Replace the burned-out lightbulbs in bathroom
                          • Clear out guest room (which is covered in bags of baby clothing and organizational bins)
                          • Replace the old shower curtain
                          • Repair my jeans
                          • Start a recipe binder
                          • Get the car cleaned
                          • Wash car seat cover and install the car seat in the car
                          • Get new vacuum cleaner and sell/trash old ones  done!
                          • Throw out unused/mismatched plastic containers in kitchen to make room for the new ones on their way from Amazon
                          • Restack linens in the linen closet
                          • And more… but I won’t bore you!

                          Some of these things will take me 10 minutes or less but they must be done for my sanity.  Since Lena is napping, I have 10 minutes right now.  Gonna go work on that list!

                          What are your goals for 2013?  Inspire me!

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                          19 Responses to my goals for 2013

                          1. Kathy Stegall January 3, 2013 at 12:09 pm #

                            All wonderful goals, Becca! The first step to accomplishing goals is to set goals. The second strep is to tell someone else what your goals are. Well done! I occasionally make goals myself, but am hesitant to tell others what they are…they might remember and hold me accountable. ;~)

                          2. Eden January 3, 2013 at 2:38 pm #

                            Way to go! I recently heard that Brideshead Revisited was good so I may start that soon.

                          3. Erin January 3, 2013 at 4:04 pm #

                            One Hundred Years of Solitude is one of my all time favorite books. I highly recommend it. Your goals are so inspiring — even the household-related ones. Mine seem to be floating around in my head in an unorganized fashion. Good luck with yours and enjoy your lovely growing family. Wishing a happy and peaceful entry into the world to your little guy.

                          4. Abigail Ibarra January 3, 2013 at 7:42 pm #

                            What do you know? Four of the things on your household to-do list are on mine too! I’m trying to get everything organized before going back to school on Monday since Baby’s birthday could be any day now! The only other goal I have officially set is to call a friend or family member everyday. I am terrible at being in touch via the phone and figure it’s a good way to build on relationships I may have let slide.

                            • Becca January 4, 2013 at 11:18 pm #

                              Call a friend or family member… every day?! You are amazing! I am so phone-phobic that I could never do this. Maybe email a friend or family member daily, though. That I could do.

                          5. alli/hooray January 3, 2013 at 9:35 pm #

                            What a great list for 2013. Reading more books is at the top of mine – I haven’t read a single one of the books you listed, so maybe it will be a starting point…

                          6. Anita January 3, 2013 at 9:45 pm #

                            lovely blog.

                          7. Sarah January 3, 2013 at 11:34 pm #

                            Ah, you’ve inspired me! I haven’t set concrete goals for 2013 yet. The new site seems like an exciting venture- can’t wait to see it. And as for you writing, I will be so, so, so excited to read anything you write. You do it so beautifully.

                            If I may humbly offer advice about Les Miserables, though- I took a Victor Hugo course (recommended to me by Abi- thank you, Abi!) and even in that course we never did the unabridged version. I’d try to find a good-quality abridged version and go with that, unless you’re really committed to reading the whole thing. Then again, you are reading War and Peace, so maybe you ARE that committed. : )

                            • Becca January 4, 2013 at 11:17 pm #

                              Thanks, Sarah… this is helpful! My brother and cousin have both mentioned slogging through particularly long and painful passages in Les Miz. :-/

                          8. --- January 4, 2013 at 1:14 am #

                            You CAN do as much of this as your heart wishes! And Becca, you hit the jackpot already with Elliott, Lena AND a new little one on the way. Love love love coming your way from Dublin. Happiest new year to you!

                          9. megarber January 4, 2013 at 5:06 am #

                            I love the picture of Lena regarding the tiny frog. If you’ve shown some of the world’s wonder to your children this coming year, you’ve accomplished something wonderful! All those other goals you mention I think make it more possible to see the wonder of God’s world in many different ways or to exhibit even in ourselves the wonder. Certainly, this is an inspiring set of hopes for 2013! <3

                          10. Audrey (hkittygirl) January 4, 2013 at 6:13 am #

                            Good luck with all your New Years Resolutions! The tiny frog with Lena photo is so adorable!

                          11. Deidre January 4, 2013 at 6:48 am #

                            I think these are absolutely GREAT goals! I loved Catch 22, it’s one of my favourites.

                          12. Kate @ Daffodils January 4, 2013 at 10:52 pm #

                            Wonderful goals! The Haidmaid’s Tale is one of my all time favorite books.

                          13. Beth January 5, 2013 at 8:26 pm #

                            That’s a great list of goals! I should really put reading on my list of things too. Yours is a great list of books.

                          14. Inge January 6, 2013 at 8:27 pm #

                            Setting goals is always a great thing to do, I do it every year too (and than a couple of times during the year…).

                          15. Eden January 7, 2013 at 3:26 pm #

                            So intentional! I’m really impressed

                          16. Bethany Colas February 21, 2013 at 9:29 pm #

                            A friend of mine recommended your blog to me and I’ve enjoyed reading it. I like your list of books. Middlemarch is one of my favorites. In fact, we just named our little girl Abigail Eliot in honor of George Eliot (that’s what happens when two English majors get married and have babies). It does take a little while to get into (just like any long novel), but it’s worth it. Happy reading to you in 2013!


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