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One Little Word & Goals For 2018


It’s taken me awhile to choose a word for 2018. I discarded about 12 different words before I decided on Purposeful. 2017 was a super stressful, very chaotic, and borderline gloomy year in our household. There were highs like our trip to Niagara Falls and our kids all in the same charter school. But there were also some very low lows like Tyler’s concussion and some other things that I didn’t blog about. I’m not sad to see the end of 2017. I’m setting the bar a bit lower for 2018. 


I am striving to live a purposeful life this year and I have 4 areas that I will be focusing on. I definitely found myself getting bogged down with the stress of the last few months and depression/anxiety started creeping back in. I’ve worked too hard and come too far to slip back into that old pattern. So 2018 is starting with a fresh slate. 


-Watch less TV. Seriously. I notice that the more I struggle with my mental health, the more television I watch. Mindless, stupid shows that serve no purpose or even offer any real entertainment. I already swept through the DVR like a wrecking ball and deleted a bunch of shows that I really don’t care about. Matt and I are in the process of deciding which shows we actually care about and would truly miss watching. Everything else- gone!

-Read more books. I miss reading. I have so many books on my Kindle app that I want to read. I actually joined #theunreadshelfproject2018 on Instagram to try and read some of these books I’ve been meaning to get to. I created a whole collection on my iPad Kindle app for it! I also want to try and read more of a variety of books. I love romance books but they get stale after awhile. I want to add some non-fiction, paranormal, mystery, contemporary fiction…I need a variety. 

-Go to bed earlier. I’ll be honest, I hate this one. I am a natural night owl. I would be perfectly happy to go to bed around 1am and wake up around 9am. That’s my natural body clock. Unfortunately these kids have to leave the house at 6:15am for school. I’ve been getting around 4-4.5 hours of sleep a night and it’s not enough. That is also more than likely contributing to my issues with depression and anxiety in the last few months. I need to retrain my body and mind and shoot for at least 6-7 hours of sleep a night. 

-Focus on mental health. This is a big one for me in 2018. I refuse to slip back into that awful space that I lived in for years. No. I will focus on reducing stress, letting go of things I cannot change, practicing self care. I will take a hot bubble bath if I need a break. I will get out of the house every day if I need a change of scenery. I will blog more. I will not allow intrusive thoughts and negative behaviors to rule my life. I will be healthy, whole, and available for my family and I will model good habits for my kids. 


-Focus on our family. One of the most challenging parts of the kids switch to charter school has been the comparison game. We love our school, don’t get me wrong, but it’s been an adjustment going from public schools to a charter school with a large population of affluent families. Our kids are adjusting, we are adjusting. We need to keep our mind centered on our family and what is best for us. We will never be the family taking 2 week long vacations during Christmas break or giving our kids $200 allowance per week. We need to keep our family goals foremost in our minds. 

-Simplify our life. Life has been very chaotic and complicated recently. We just need a reset. We need to let go of commitments that are adding chaos to our lives. This year I will eliminate some things that have been stressing me out and be content with a more simple lifestyle. 

-Be home more. I’m an introvert and a homebody. I’m perfectly happy being at home all weekend and not going anywhere. That’s how I recharge. Matt and Mason are the same. Maliah and Zoey are introverts to an extent and Tyler is never home anymore anyway. I want to be at home more and be content saying no to invitations and extra commitments. A big part of that is creating a home that we want to be in all the time. 

-Embrace open door policy. Part of being home more and simplifying our life involves letting our kids have friends come and go as they please. We already have a fairly lenient open door policy for their friends. In fact, we actually have one of Tyler’s friends living with us right now. It doesn’t get much more open door than that. I don’t mind being the hangout house. I don’t mind having 15-18 kids in my house at one time. It just doesn’t bother us. Several times over this Christmas break we woke up to kids sleeping everywhere in our house- couches, floor, chairs….and it was great. We scrambled up 3 dozen eggs, added some fried rice and sausage and called it brunch. I like having my kids at home with all their friends. 


-Declutter every space. This is so important to me and my mental health. We have a lot of people living in our house and every space needs to be functional. Right now it’s jam packed with stuff and it’s raising my blood pressure. I intend to declutter every closet, every cabinet, every area in the house. I will be ruthless getting rid of the stuff we don’t need. If it doesn’t serve a purpose, then it’s getting donated or sold. 

-Rework the areas that currently don’t work. We have several areas in our house that are not working right now and I will fix them this year. Both the pantries need to be completely reworked. The laundry closet needs work. The upstairs linen/laundry closet is a hot mess. The front closet is overflowing. The kids bedrooms are too full of stuff. I’m making a list and I will get all these areas fixed. 

-Do one room a month challenge. In an effort to make this big declutter/rework plan happen I’m going to focus on one room per month. I will declutter, deep clean, fix, and rework every single room. Giving myself a month to complete each room/space makes it a doable goal. 

-Organize all the things. I cannot wait to organize all the things. Seriously. Organization is my love language. The biggest part of this is the declutter process. I function so much better in a clutter free, organized space. So that’s what I will focus on creating this year. 


-Practice minimalism. Every purchase needs to serve a purpose. I will not mindlessly buy things- clothes, decor, stuff. I will not make any impulse purchases. Not only do we not have the funds to be able to do that, it just doesn’t make sense. I have 3 huge boxes of stuff to take to Goodwill already and it doesn’t make sense to replace those things with new things. 

-Cut unnecessary extras. I cut out all magazine subscriptions, my Kindle Unlimited subscription, our HBO subscription….and there’s more that we can cut. We need to save money this year and cutting out little things is a good start. I’ve already cut out Starbucks, eating out, fast food, and expensive liquor. I’m sure as the year goes on we’ll find more cuts to make to our budget. 

-Eat at home every night. With the exception of 2 pizza nights when Papa John’s had 50% off their whole menu during Christmas break, we have not eaten out in a long time. That’s not to say that I’ve cooked every single night but we have eaten at home. Some nights it might have been grilled cheese sandwiches and ramen noodles but we didn’t get fast food. I plan to continue this all year long. 

-Work on meal planning and grocery budget. Part of making the eat at home every night plan work is having a wide variety of meals to choose from. I have a great app on my phone that I’ve been adding our family favorite recipes to over the last couple of months and I’m going to continue adding new recipes to try. My goals is to have our grocery/household budget at or near $600 per month every month. It’ll be a challenge but I think I can do it. 

Here’s to a fabulous 2018!


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  • Erika Dermody Murphy

    These are great goals! Similar to what I would like to do. Less material things, more family and just not letting negative people or things in my life. I hope 2018 is a better year for your family. Loving your blog and how real it is!

  • Stephanie Burris Towne

    So sorry that 2017 had rough patches for you and I hope that 2018 sees resolutions of those and nothing but great health and happiness for all of you!
    I am so glad you joined us on the unreadshelf project! It is going to be so helpful to me to either read or get rid of books and I feel better just thinking about it.
    $200 allowances?????? Who does that??????
    I’m really going to try to focus on get ridding of junk in our house this year…junk food and just plain old junk. I feel bogged down physically by both and it is time to simplify! Can’t wait to get some tips from you this year.