photo credit: excerpt from axel vervoordt, wabi inspirations
As the calendar turns its pages to a new year, I find myself weaving a tapestry of aspirations for 2024. Unlike the familiar route of adopting a single word or phrase as my guiding light, this time, my mind is filled with various thoughts. Each demands attention and carries the potential for transformation.
In the spirit of practicality, I’ve distilled these aspirations into 18 tangible goals – healthy habits, relationship enhancements, personal growth endeavors, and a deep dive into the art of homemaking. Each goal, though broad in its scope, is dissected into simple, achievable steps, designed to be adapted to various lifestyles and circumstances.
These goals aren’t sweeping changes I expect to achieve overnight. No, they are a year-long journey, a gradual unfolding of growth and improvement. It’s about taking deliberate steps, starting with one or two aspects, and patiently working through the list. Perfection isn’t the destination; progress is the goal.
This list isn’t just for me; it’s an open invitation for you to join this journey. I pen down these goals to hold myself accountable, but more importantly, to inspire and challenge you to set your own objectives. Let’s navigate the challenges and triumphs together in 2024.
So, as we embark on this new chapter, filled with possibilities, I invite you to delve into these practical goals, to reflect on your own aspirations, and to stride alongside me in the pursuit of growth. Here’s to a purposeful 2024, a year ready for tangible progress and positive change!
1. spend less money
As I reflect on personal habits, one area that beckons for change is my approach to spending. The truth is, I often find myself prone to spending more than necessary, and it’s time for a reevaluation. In 2024, my resolute goal is clear: to spend less money and, in turn, reshape my financial landscape.
My aim isn’t just about curbing expenses; it’s a commitment to a more intentional and mindful approach to money. This shift in perspective is driven by a desire to tackle existing debts and pave the way for a financially secure future.
I recognize the challenges that lie ahead, but I am determined to achieve this goal. It’s about making conscious choices, differentiating between needs and wants, and fostering a lifestyle that aligns with my financial aspirations.
2. find a home for everything that we own
One of my key goals this winter is to systematically find a designated home for every item we own. The realization that we lack a specific spot for each possession has highlighted an issue – perhaps we do have too much stuff, leading to disorganization and the frustrating challenge of locating essential items.
My vision is clear: I aspire to transform our entire home into an organized haven, where every possession has its own designated space. The benefits are manifold; a well-organized home not only eases the stress of searching for needed items but also saves precious time in the long run.
I am particularly keen on establishing a routine of returning items to their designated places once they are no longer in use. This simple practice has the potential to significantly reduce stress and streamline daily activities.
This goal extends to my son as well. I’ve noticed that when he knows where his belongings are and understands their designated spots, it leads to fewer tantrums. He can easily locate and retrieve what he needs, and, equally importantly, knows where to put things back when he’s done.
Ultimately, the aim is to create an environment where everything has its place, contributing not only to a tidier living space but also to a smoother daily rhythm for both myself and my family.
3. print photos
In this digital age, our lives are encapsulated in pixels, stored on hard drives, cloud services, and tucked away in the vastness of our smartphones. As I glance at the countless images, I realize that these moments deserve more than a fleeting swipe on a screen. While these digital archives hold a wealth of moments, there’s a profound joy in holding a physical photograph.
I am, at heart, a nostalgic soul, finding solace and joy in revisiting the past. My mom, a curator of memories, used to craft us photo albums that were more than just collections of pictures; they were visual narratives, chronicles of our family’s journey through time. Polaroids and film photos adorned with stickers and annotations, meticulously ordered to tell the story of our lives.
In the hustle of modern life, I’ve realized that I’ve become a custodian of digital memories, which mostly remain unseen, and hidden behind screens and passwords. So, one of my paramount goals for 2024 is to bring these digital memories into the physical realm. I want to recreate the magic my mother wove into our family albums. I want to flip through pages filled with the smiles, adventures, and milestones of our lives. It’s time to print these images, to give them a tangible form that can be touched, shared, and cherished.
But it’s not just about reliving my own memories. My son, the protagonist of many of these digital tales, deserves to have his own visual journey documented in a way that transcends the fleeting nature of screens. I want to gift him the joy of holding a photograph, of flipping through the pages of his own story.
4. take more photos and videos for me
Another one of my resolutions for the upcoming year is to embark on a journey of candid capture, a commitment to taking more photos and videos for myself.
In the digital age, where social media platforms have become curated galleries of our lives, I’ve noticed a shift in the way I capture moments. A significant portion of the footage I’ve accumulated over the years has been tailored for Instagram, TikTok, and other platforms. In the pursuit of creating content deemed shareable and visually appealing, I inadvertently stripped away the raw authenticity that makes each moment unique.
Many times, the essence of the moment was lost in the pursuit of perfection. Scenes were staged, emotions were curated, and the end result often felt more like a performance than a genuine slice of life. It dawned on me that the memories I was creating were being filtered through the lens of external validation, and in the process, I was sacrificing the authenticity that makes these moments truly special.
So, in 2024, my lens will shift. I want to be intentional about capturing the unfiltered beauty of life – the messy, unscripted, and real moments that define our existence. I want to look back on these memories and see them as they happened, not as they were staged for public consumption.
This resolution is not about eschewing social media or abandoning the joy of sharing; rather, it’s a conscious decision to prioritize the personal over the curated. I aim to take more photos and videos for the sheer joy of capturing life as it unfolds, not for the applause or approval of an online audience.
There’s a certain magic in unscripted moments, a beauty in the imperfections that tell the story of our lives. In the coming year, my camera will be a tool for personal reflection, a means to preserve the authenticity of the moments that make life rich and meaningful. Here’s to a year of unfiltered memories, where every photo and video is a celebration of life in its unadulterated form.
5. travel more
One resolution that whispers to my soul, despite the potential hurdles, is the commitment to travel more with my family. The wanderlust in our hearts beckons for exploration, not necessarily in grand vacations, but in the simplicity of weekend getaways that allow us to discover the beauty in our own backyard.
Since our last significant vacation in 2019, life has unfurled with its own set of responsibilities and plans, including looming home projects. Yet, within the folds of everyday life, there exists a longing to break free from routine, to traverse new paths, and to do so with the ones I hold dear.
This resolution isn’t about elaborate journeys to far-off lands; it’s about the charm of weekend trips, the joy of exploring our immediate surroundings, and the anticipation of sharing these moments with our growing son. As he inches towards an age where travel becomes less of a logistical challenge, I envision weekends filled with laughter, discovery, and the kind of bonding that only a journey can foster.
Sure, the upcoming year may be laden with home projects and the intricacies of daily life, but I refuse to let these factors stifle our wanderlust. The memories we create during these shorter escapades will be just as vivid and cherished, etched into the fabric of our family narrative.
I want to capture the essence of each destination, whether it’s a quaint town nearby or a scenic spot within our country. I want my son to witness the world not just through textbooks but through firsthand experiences that stir his curiosity and leave an indelible mark on his young heart.
6. make more food from scratch
One of my next resolute aspirations for the upcoming year is to dive deeper into the art of crafting meals from scratch. For me, the kitchen is the realm of joy, a place where I weave flavors, experiment with ingredients, and serve up creations that speak not only to the palate but to the soul.
Cooking, for me, is an act of love and connection. There’s a profound satisfaction in knowing that the meals I prepare for my family and friends are born out of wholesome ingredients, free from the grasp of processed additives. It’s a conscious choice to nourish not just the body but the spirit with every carefully chosen element.
I acknowledge that, at times, life’s demanding stages, such as entering motherhood, can tilt the scales of practicality. The arrival of a little one shifts priorities and time becomes a cherished commodity. In those moments, the kitchen saw less of my presence, and the allure of convenience took precedence.
However, as my son has grown and the rhythm of our lives has found a new cadence, I find myself drawn back to the heart of the home – the kitchen. The joy of cooking from scratch is rekindled, and with newfound vigor, I am once again embracing the opportunity to learn and create.
This resolution isn’t just about culinary prowess; it’s a commitment to infuse every dish with intention and care. It’s about exploring uncharted territories in the culinary world, trying my hand at recipes I’ve never ventured into before, and savoring the journey of continual discovery.
In the quiet moments between chopping vegetables and simmering sauces, I rediscover the therapeutic power of cooking. It’s a mindful practice that not only elevates the dining experience but brings a sense of fulfillment to the cook – the curator of moments around the table.
7. eat a more wholesome diet
Building on my commitment to make more food from scratch, another significant goal for the upcoming year revolves around cultivating a more wholesome diet for my family. To be clear, when I speak of a wholesome diet, I’m not referring to restrictive eating habits or conforming to the ideals of a health enthusiast. Instead, my focus is on reducing our reliance on processed foods – the snacks, crackers, cereals, and dressings laden with mysterious ingredients.
This desire to shift away from processed items has been brewing since last year. The goal is simple: to minimize the purchase of pre-made foods and, instead, embrace the art of crafting these essentials at home using whole, identifiable ingredients. The joy of cooking, of providing nourishment for my family with my own hands, is something I hold dear.
Already, I’ve incorporated homemade bread, granola, and some dressings into our culinary repertoire. Looking ahead, I’ve set my sights on expanding this list to include the likes of mayonnaise, yogurt, cereal, marinades, crackers, and an exploration into a variety of breads and buns. Additionally, I aspire to delve into the world of crafting vegan milk and cheeses, opening up a realm of culinary possibilities.
This journey isn’t just about embracing a healthier approach to eating; it’s about gaining a deeper understanding of the ingredients that fuel our bodies. As I venture into these new territories, I am eager to share the process, the triumphs, and perhaps the occasional mishaps, as I strive to make our home a hub of wholesome, homemade goodness.
8. grow a garden from seed
One of my aspirations that tugs at my heart for the upcoming season is the commitment to grow a garden from seed. There’s an indescribable joy that comes with tending to a garden, but there’s something even more magical about watching a tiny seed you planted sprout and flourish under your care.
Reflecting on the past years, I found my garden neglected as the demands of motherhood took center stage. Sleepless nights and the all-encompassing nature of caring for a newborn left me with little energy to spare. The vibrant hues of my garden faded, and the once-thriving space became a quiet witness to the challenges of those early days of motherhood.
But as the seasons change and my little one grows, so does the yearning to breathe life back into my garden. This upcoming summer, I am determined to invest the extra effort and time needed to transform my outdoor space into a haven of blossoms and greenery.
In the quiet moments spent in the soil, I aim to rediscover the therapeutic connection with nature and got sidelined during the chaotic days of early motherhood. The vibrant colors, the fragrant blooms, and the simple act of watching life unfold from seed to bloom hold the potential to rejuvenate not just my garden but my spirit as well.
9. stop filling the silence with noise
Amidst the constant barrage of noise that permeates our world, one of my resolutions for the upcoming year is to intentionally stop filling the silence with noise. In an era where everything is at our fingertips, from music to images and videos, the quest for constant stimulation has become second nature.
I’ve observed a pattern in my own behavior – a tendency to fill any moment of silence with some form of external noise. Whether it’s scrolling through my phone or engaging with various media, I realize that in this pursuit, I often miss out on the invaluable opportunity to simply think. Reflecting, journaling, meditating, or merely being present – these essential practices often take a backseat in the clamor of constant input.
The goal is clear: to create intentional pockets of silence, allowing for genuine moments of reflection and contemplation. By consciously stepping away from the constant influx of external stimuli, I hope to carve out spaces for genuine self-discovery and thoughtfulness. It’s not about completely eliminating the noise but finding a balance that nurtures both external engagement and internal reflection.
10. read more books
One of my enduring aspirations, one that has lingered on my list for quite some time, is the desire to read more books. However, amidst the busyness of life, this goal remained elusive, a distant wish that I never really translated into practical steps.
As we stand on the threshold of a new year, I am determined to breathe life into this goal by making it not just a lofty ambition but a daily practice. This time, I am setting a tangible and achievable target: dedicating a mere ten minutes each day to the simple pleasure of reading. It’s a modest commitment, but one that I believe can foster a consistent reading habit.
Reflecting on my childhood, I recall the nightly ritual of diving into the pages of a book before bedtime. The magic of those moments, the worlds I explored, and the characters I befriended linger as cherished memories. In 2024, I aspire to resurrect that joy, choosing the embrace of a book over the mindless scrolling of a phone or the umpteenth rerun of familiar movies or series.
The genres that tug at my heart are those that contribute not only to my entertainment but also to my personal growth. Parenting books, mental health literature, and self-development reads have proven to be wellsprings of wisdom in my life. The value they bring, the insights gained, and the transformative impact on my mindset that make these books not just a pastime but a vital component of my journey.
11. listen to more podcasts
In the pursuit of personal growth and the desire to tap into the wisdom of others, I am setting forth a goal to listen to more podcasts. The transformative power of insights shared by fellow moms, wives, and individuals with diverse life experiences is something I’ve witnessed positively impacting my own journey.
However, acknowledging the challenges of finding uninterrupted moments in a bustling household particularly with a son who constantly demands attention, I’ve decided to approach this goal with practicality. I aim to devote time to a podcast each week, recognizing the constraints of a demanding schedule and breaking it down into 10-minute segments. This approach not only aligns with the ebb and flow of my daily life but also makes the goal more achievable and adaptable.
12. learn to rest well
Lately, the concept of resting well has been lingering in my thoughts and weighing on my heart. As the colder months envelop us, and the inclination to spend more time indoors grows stronger, I find myself contemplating the nature of rest. It’s during these cold, dark months that the temptation to succumb to what might be perceived as laziness creeps in.
I’ve noticed a pattern – when presented with an opportunity to rest, my default response often leads me to the couch, accompanied by a movie or a scroll through my phone. Yet, this passive form of rest doesn’t yield the rejuvenation I seek. I don’t emerge from these moments feeling rested or fulfilled. It’s a realization that, while my partner and I thoroughly enjoy movie nights and cozy shows with our son, relying solely on these activities for all my rest-time falls short of benefiting my well-being.
Don’t get me wrong; there’s a time and place for the comfort of a good movie night. It’s an avenue for shared joy and relaxation. However, when it becomes the predominant mode of rest, I sense a void in the replenishment I truly need.
As the new year approaches, I am on a quest to redefine how I rest, with the emphasis on doing so intentionally. I yearn for a kind of rest that leaves me feeling not just physically recharged but also encouraged and lifted in spirit. It’s about exploring different forms of rejuvenation, discovering activities that bring joy and fulfillment beyond the fleeting pleasures of screens.
I confess, I don’t have all the answers on how to rest well, but I am determined to embark on this journey of self-discovery. The goal is to cultivate a restful routine that not only caters to my need for relaxation but also nourishes my soul.
13. swap scrolling with ______
In the quest for intentional living, one of my foremost goals for the upcoming year is to swap scrolling with activities that foster personal growth, mindfulness, and genuine satisfaction. Acknowledging the addictive nature of social media, I aspire to break free from the endless scrolling cycle and redirect that time toward more enriching pursuits.
The plan is simple: trade mindless scrolling for activities that engage, uplift, and contribute to personal well-being. Whether it’s immersing myself in a good book, tackling a challenging puzzle, dedicating time to meditation, or experimenting with new recipes in the kitchen — the possibilities are vast.
The primary motivation behind this shift is to be intentional with my time, consciously choosing activities that contribute to mental nourishment rather than succumbing to the inertia of endless scrolling. Social media, while a valuable tool, often leaves me feeling drained and unaccomplished after extended periods.
The ultimate goal is not to eliminate social media entirely but to cultivate a healthy relationship with it. Learning to set boundaries, recognizing when enough is enough, and consciously choosing alternative activities that bring joy and fulfillment — these are the cornerstones of this endeavor.
14. no more phone in the bathroom
In the pursuit of a more mindful and connected life, a resolution that stands out is a simple yet impactful one: no more phone in the bathroom. It’s a reflection on the pervasive nature of our phone dependency and the need for constant stimulation, even in the most mundane moments.
Why do we feel compelled to bring our phones into the bathroom? Is a 30-second break truly unbearable without digital distraction? These questions underscore the essence of this resolution – a realization that our attachment to our phones has reached a point where it infiltrates even the briefest moments of solitude.
I confess, I’ve been guilty of this habit, especially during the demanding stages of newborn/baby care. Even during the quiet moments of nursing, my phone was a constant companion. It wasn’t until my son growing observant, interrupted his nursing to engage with the device that the gravity of this behavior struck me.
Children absorb and mimic our actions, and realizing that my son was picking up on my phone dependency was a stark wake-up call. The addiction to constant phone use needs to stop.
This resolution isn’t just about forsaking phone use in the bathroom; it’s a broader commitment to be present and mindful in every moment. It’s a step toward breaking the cycle of digital dependency, fostering genuine connections, and setting a positive example for the little eyes watching.
15. learn to embrace the distractions
In the symphony of daily life, the blessings of children bring both joy and cacophony of distractions. It’s a concept I ardently want to embrace – the understanding that amidst the requests, chores, and unexpected challenges, my child is indeed a blessing.
However, as I go about my day, the background noise often becomes overwhelming. My son seeks my attention, tasks beckon from different corners of the house, and the routine chaos threatens to derail my focus. The irritation that bubbles up when distractions interfere with my plans is something I’m determined to address.
The goal is simple yet profound: to be okay with these distractions. It’s an acknowledgement that life with a child is inherently lively and unpredictable. I don’t have a clear roadmap on how to achieve this, but the first step is recognizing the need for a change in mindset.
In those moments of frustration, when the burning food, the lingering trash, and the scattered demands converge, I aspire to find a calm center. The key is not to let the irritation seep into my interactions with my child. His needs are valid, and I don’t want my response to be tainted by the challenges of multitasking.
16. shifting my mindset
A significant focus for the upcoming year is a conscious effort to shift my mindset. Recognizing that I often find myself leaning towards seeing the glass as half empty, the aspiration is to reframe this perspective and become someone who consistently sees the glass as half full.
I want to embody a positive outlook on life, the kind that embraces every situation with optimism, making the most of each moment without complaint. It’s a commitment to resist the impulse to get upset easily, choosing instead to approach challenges with acceptance, resilience, and a readiness to let go of preconceived expectations.
The goal is not only to navigate circumstances with grace but to do so with genuine joy, radiating positivity to those around me. This journey involves a deliberate choice to find contentment and happiness in the present, irrespective of external circumstances.
By fostering this positive mindset, I aim to cultivate a disposition that uplifts not only myself but also those in my sphere. It’s a conscious decision to let go of negativity, embrace joy, and live each day with an appreciation for the beauty that exists even in the simplest moments. Through this intentional shift, I hope to create an environment of positivity, resilience, and boundless joy.
17. tame my tongue
In the quiet moments of self-reflection, I’ve come face to face with the impact of my words on those I hold dear. The tones I use, the choice of words – they reverberate through my family, echoing the echoes of my own past. It’s a realization that my tongue, a potent force, holds the power to shape not just moments but the very fabric of relationships.
This goal is vast, a commitment to tame my tongue in all its facets. It’s an acknowledgement that perfection is unattainable, but the journey toward mindful and positive communication is worth every effort.
Recent weeks have led me back to the echoes of my own childhood, the words spoken to me, and their enduring influence. Some were not meant to be negative, yet they left an imprint. In my role as a parent, I’ve recognized the echoes of my past resounding in my present. It’s a sobering realization that sparks the desire to change.
The tongue is a formidable instrument, capable of shaping destinies with its utterances. My aspiration is clear: to wield this power with intention, to speak blessings, and to breathe life into the lives of my family and those around me. It’s a journey where words become tools for encouragement, understanding, and love.
This transformation is not a sprint but a marathon, and I’m fully aware of the long road ahead. Each day presents an opportunity to choose words that uplift, to mend with kindness, and to foster an environment where the echoes are those of positivity and affirmation, and not of selfish motives.
18. take care of myself
A paramount goal for the coming year is to prioritize self-care – a facet of life that I’ve often overlooked. As the years pass, I’ve noticed shifts in my skin’s sensitivity and increased dryness, particularly since becoming a mother. Similarly, my hair has become noticeable thinner, with persistent shedding.
This resolution is a pledge to turn the tides, dedicating time and attention to care for myself. No longer content with neglecting my skin and hair, I aim to establish a mindful skincare routine that caters to the changing needs of my body. This isn’t about indulging in expensive treatments; it’s about crafting a routine that becomes a natural part of my day – a ritual of self-honor.
Gentleness will be the guiding principle, both in the way I move my body and in my skincare practices. Hydration, both internal and external, will be a cornerstone. Taking supplements, not as an extravagance but as a commitment to nourishing my body, becomes part of this self-care regimen.
The objective isn’t an elaborate and costly routine; it’s about embedding self-care into the fabric of my daily life. This means being attuned to the needs of my body and soul, treating myself with kindness, and acknowledging that self-care is not a luxury but a fundamental aspect of overall well-being.
As I embark on this journey, I look forward to the transformative power of self-care — not just for my physical appearance but for the holistic nurturing of my body, mind, and soul.
As we reach the end of this reflective journey, I want to extend my heartfelt gratitude to each and every one of you. Your presence, support, and the love that emanates from your encouragement have been the foundation of this endeavor.
I hope these aspirations have sparked a sense of challenge, encouragement, and upliftment in your own journey. Consider incorporating some of these healthy habits and goals into your life as we approach the new year.
Thank you for joining me in exploring these aspirations, for sharing in the highs and lows, and for being part of a community that thrives on mutual growth. Your presence has been a source of inspiration.
Before we part ways, I’d love to hear about your biggest goal for 2024. Drop a comment and let’s inspire each other as we embark on new ventures and strive for personal growth.
As we stand on the brink of a new year, I wish you all the best on this transition of time. May the coming months bring you joy, success, and the realization of your dreams. May the coming months bring fulfillment and exciting opportunities.
See you soon, and until then, take care and goodbye!