Failed Goals – But Not a Failed Year

Who set goals for this past year? I did. I thought I’d chosen some really great ones to strive for… some things I really wanted to accomplish, most of which would benefit me in countless ways, and would keep me headed in the overall direction I wanted to go.

But how did I actually do? Let’s take a look…


Failed Goals - But Not a Failed Year


Bible Reading & Studying:

  • read through the entire Biblecomplete!
  • study James with our Sunday School class complete!
  • participate in 1 other group Bible study – not sure this ever happened!

Bible Memorization:

  • memorize 4 new chapters in the Bible – only completed 2.5 chapters
  • review and solidify chapters memorized in 2012reviewed, but not solidified enough


  • read at least 2 non-fiction books per month – Honestly? I completely forgot about this one. I met it some months, but not every month.
  • read a total of 50 new books this year  – I’ve read 88 so far!
  • consistently track my reading on Goodreads  done, and will continue to do so.


  • publish Touching the Hem  YAHOO!!!!! It’s in print!!
  • write & publish another ebook – no ebooks, but I did {barely} start working on my next regular book


  • continuing refining the focus and purpose  done, but still an ongoing process
  • revise mission statementcomplete!
  • regularly contribute to other blogsgoing with “complete enough” on this one


  • continue in discipleship/mentoring ministries – let’s call this a “work in progress,” as they’ve shifted to “unofficial” mentoring relationships


  • invite other couples over for a meal/desserts, at least 1x per quarter {not counting family} – I did 3 out of 4… so who wants to come over before January 1?


  • learn one new skill, preferably something that can be used for gift-giving in the futureit’s not really a “skill,” but I was introduced to essential oils this fall, and I definitely see myself making gifts with them in the future!

Physical Fitness:

  • consistently exercise 5 days/week, when energy allowsstayed pretty consistent on my good weeks
  • increase fitness level in at least one area – nope, not even close

Physical Health:

  • continue strength-training for metabolic benefits – did great until June… unless normal housework counts, in which case it’s going great! 🙂
  • lose 15 pounds to reach my goal weight – I lost 8 pounds, which is awesome… but not quite 15


Ouch. There’s a lot that didn’t get crossed out! Although I worked on most of these goals fairly consistently throughout the year, it wasn’t a great year for actually completing all of them. But I don’t consider 2013 a failed year, just because I failed to meet my goals!

On the one hand, I do confess to completely forgetting about several of them by the middle of June… and not remembering again until November. But on the other hand, the first half of 2013 was filled to the brim with meeting my biggest writing goal to-date: I got my first book published!

Side Note: I can’t take all the credit for that accomplishment — and I don’t want to anyway — because it never would have happened outside of God’s providence. He directed me to the right publisher, supplied the necessary funds (through many of you!) to get the process started, and allowed the whole thing to progress smoothly and quickly, from the first revision to the final printing and placement. To HIM be the glory for any good that comes from it!

Getting a book published is a pretty big accomplishment, I think… and so I’m actually okay with not meeting every single one of my other goals.

But I wish I had done better!

One problem was the lack of accountability. Knowing that others know specifically what I’m planning to accomplish, whether in yearly goals or some other specific goal (like writing a book), usually provides great motivation for staying on track. But this year… I shared my goals in January, and that was it. So maybe, in 2014, I need to share quarterly updates. And maybe y’all could help me with that…

Are you interested in a quarterly link-up to share progress (or lack thereof) on our goals? Let me know “yay” or “nay” in the comments, please!

Another problem, was probably choosing too many goals. Looking back, I count 20 separate goals I wanted to achieve in 2013. That’s a lot of stuff to focus on! I thought that categorizing the goals would help with that… but I think, as Thomas Edison said, it’s just “one more way not to do something.”

How many goals is too many?
What are some other good ways to stay on track with yearly goals?


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12 thoughts on “Failed Goals – But Not a Failed Year

  1. I know one blogger who is part of a small facebook accountability group. Yes, I think accountability is the key. Right now I don’t have that.

    1. I’m part of a small accountability group – and we’d love to have you join! We have a private group on facebook, and focus mostly on weekly/monthly goals. Let me know if you’re interested!

  2. I would say that you did a great job. Don’t look at the things you get get done, but that all you did. I’m sure the Lord is pleased Good for you….Happy New Year, PS….I think we can come over for coffee before tomorrow….do you live somewhere warm. It’s freezing here in Michigan and they are forecasting snow.

    1. Come on down, Jane! It’s a balmy 46 degrees here in SC… gotta love southern winters! 🙂

  3. Hello! I was especially intrigued that you read a total of 88 books ! Wow. Publishing a book is no small feat either ! You’ve actually now inspired me to write down a few goals myself in the upcoming year.

    God bless you in the upcoming year and may you do even greater things than you did in 2013. I came across your post from Titus Tuesdays.

    1. Thanks so much for stopping by, Gertrude! I would definitely encourage you to write down some goals – maybe share them publicly on your blog, if you feel comfortable doing so. Even though I didn’t meet all of mine, it’s really helped the past few years to make some progress in several areas, and keep heading in the right direction overall. I’d also invite you to come back each quarter for our goal check-in’s!

  4. That one word thing, it’s a great way for me to remember how to pray for my friends and their goals. I don’t know what that says about me and my mental capacity, but one word from you would really help me to keep you accountable.

    1. I appreciate that, Jen! I think I’m going to take some time this month to pray about my word/goals for the rest of the year – but I’ll definitely share it when God shows me what direction He wants me to take this year!

  5. I would be interested in a quarterly link-up to share progress with our goals.

    Michael Hyatt says that 7-10 goals are the most you should set for yourself

    1. I think 10 is probably a good maximum number for most people. I’ll probably be paring to even fewer goals for this year, so I can really focus on a couple things in depth.

  6. Great thoughts about accomplishment vs. failure…I tend to lean toward perfectionism and sometimes set too many goals for myself. So last year I set only one goal – to be in the Word daily by reading through the Bible and I made it! 🙂 Even though it’s now Jan. 2, I’m praying about other goals for my walk with Christ, family life and home life. Maybe I’ll set 3 goals this year 🙂 Happy New Year to you Elizabeth!

    1. If you only set one goal for the year, that’s a perfect one to have! Hope you can figure out some helpful goals for this year too. Happy New Year!

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