New Year, New Budget

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January is a great time to create a new budget.  Here are some of our favorite posts about managing your money.


Budget: Where is your money going and where did it go?  Meet the Ghosts of Money Past, Present, and Future and learn their valuable lessons!  


Budgets: Eating Out and Entertainment  How much do you plan to spend on restaurants and entertainment in 2014?  Now’s the time to decide!


Budget Deliverables  7 money management printables, I mean, Deliverables, to help you take control of your finances this year.  


Grocery Budgets:  Grocery expenses can take a big bite out of your budget! What tips and tricks do you have to pinch your pennies?  


Budgets? Show your money who’s boss!  We want this to be the year where you finally break through and conquer your budget!  Get fired up here:


Budgeting, Self-Discipline, and Christmas Lists  How do those 3 things fit together?  



New Year, New Goals

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Happy New Year!

As we turn over a new calendar we like to sit down and plan for the new year.  What goals do we have?  What new challenges will we face?  What new things will we tackle?  Here are a few posts that discuss different kinds of goals for you to consider.  Several of these posts have free worksheets that you can print off to assist you in your planning, dreaming, and praying.  Enjoy!

Goal Post:  Don’t kick it wide left – take some time to think and pray about your goals!

Goals and ArmorIn order to accomplish our goals, we are going to have to fight!  This is how we suit up for battle and train our kids.  

Growth and Goals: Are you growing in the right direction?

Goals For Your Kids:  Goals – they’re not just for adults anymore!  Click here to find out more about how we are going to help our kids reflect on last year and look forward to the next!  

Marriage and Parenting GoalsPlan to start the year out right! Download our free worksheet to help you discuss your growth areas for this year.  

Career Goals: What are your values?  What small goals do you have?  What huge goals?  What actions are required?  This is a great time to think about these questions.  

Personal Goals:  Personal goals are like a compass – no matter how far off course you get, you always know which way you are going.  


Here are some of the worksheets with the date changed to 2016 if you are a type-A person like Dana and care about those types of details!

2016 Kid’s New Years Eve Interview

2016 Kid’s Goals 

2016 Gals Personal Goals

2016 Guys Personal Goals

Goals and Armor

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Last night we did our annual goals brainstorming with the kids. We reflected on the last year and reminded ourselves of the good things that happened. Then we took time to pray and think about the goals and plans that we have for the coming year. The kids were excited all day looking forward to this family time and celebration.

Kids’ Goals printable:  | PDF_Picture  Click here to download.  |

New Year’s Interview printable.  | PDF_Picture   Click here to download.  |

Year In Review 4 Squares printable:  | PDF_Picture  Click here to download.  |

After we finished this year’s sets of goals, we pulled out the goals from the previous two years. It was awesome to see how many of the goals the kids had accomplished!  But it was interesting to see which goals had changed, and which goals were staying the same… Continue reading

Goal Post

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This blog post is about goals.

I’ve often thought that if my boys go pro in the NFL, I would want them to be kickers. Great paycheck, potential for a long career, and with a low likelihood of concussion.  Pretty simple.  But I know it isn’t easy.  There is a lot of practice and a lot of pressure that goes along with that tall yellow goal post.


If you don’t have a goal, you’re just randomly kicking a ball around.  You won’t be challenged. You won’t know when you fail.  You won’t know when you succeed.  You won’t ever get any better.  A goal draws into sharp focus whether your discipline matches your passion, leaving no room for fuzzy wishes.  It gives you something concrete to strive toward.  And not only that, but goals also build on each other over time.  In 2007 one of our goals was for Hannah to learn her ABC’s.  Today she is in 3rd grade, and I’ll bet she would know her ABC’s by now, regardless of whether we set that goal or not.  But that does not mean that the goal was a waste.  The goal itself was practice.  The goals have since progressed to ‘sit and learn,’ ‘read,’ ‘overcome fear,’ and ‘gain confidence in math.’  The annual discipline of setting goals has helped us to guide her through each phase of development.  We have improved our parenting, year after year, through the setting of goals.


The second thing about a goal is that it can make all the difference.  You either kick the game-winning field goal or it goes wide right.  And sometimes this truth is just as harsh in real life.  You either save enough money for a down payment on your dream home, or you don’t.  You either invest in that new family at your church, or they feel disconnected and go elsewhere.  You either encourage your buddy to keep fighting, or he despairs and divorces.  This is real life, and achieving your goal matters!  You are on earth for a purpose, and setting goals is a great way to make sure you accomplish it.

The NFL may not be in your future, but the practice of setting goals will help you meet the pressures of this crazy life.  And now is a great time to start!

Posts You May Like:

With a website call Our Purposeful Life, you can bet that we have a lot to say about goal-setting.  Here are some of our favorite posts on the topic.

Growth and Goals

Personal Goals

Marriage and Parenting

Goals for Kids


Meaning in the Mundane


Every job has that list of pain-in-the-neck things that you hate to do.  If you are like me, you have a natural tendency to just avoid doing them.  This could be true at work, home, or wherever.  And no matter how hard you try to psych yourself up or force yourself to do it, you still lack the motivation and energy, and you still dread it and procrastinate.  Sound familiar?   Continue reading

Selfless Communication of Needs

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How do you communicate a need without hurting your spouse?

Well, this is a tough question!  After 11+ years of marriage I don’t think I have fully learned how to do this correctly, but we are getting better.

I can for sure tell you how not to do it…. Continue reading

Goals For Kids


For our last post of 2013 we will talk about how we help our children set goals. We started this tradition last year on New Year’s Eve. (We are getting old and would rather stay home and go to bed with our kids than stay up until midnight watching the ball drop! Perhaps you can relate?) Continue reading

Goals: Marriage and Parenting

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As you can see, goal-setting is extremely important to us. We love spending the time thinking and praying about the next year and what we want to accomplish. For us it is a way to stay focused. Throughout the year we can refer back to our list to see how we are doing and make adjustments or get started on our goals.

We have found that in the area of marriage and parenting it is so easy to procrastinate and settle for the status quo. Life is busy, we are tired or just don’t want to put in the effort. You may be able to get away with this for a while but eventually your inattention to detail catches up to you. The “minor” little annoyances or your child’s cute sassy talk become impossible for you to ignore.

God has big plans for you, your marriage and your children. He wants to use these relationships to grow you and your family into exactly what He created you to be. But to do this you need team work. You and your husband need to be on the same page and both working together to get to the end goal. For us this is best achieved by sitting down each January and evaluating our current status. We look at the last year and discuss how it went. What did we do well? What could we have done better? What did we forget about and not do at all? Did we not do it because we found out it wasn’t important (plans and priorities should change) or do we need to keep it on the list for the next year and try again? Continue reading

Career Goals

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I am taking a few days off for Christmas, and that is a perfect time to think about career goals. Too often we go into work each day, survive the Daily Tornado, and then repeat. We don’t have time to think about the future or about our goals for growth. All we think about is staying alive. But just like any other area of life, if we just survive each day we will not make purposeful progress. You see, the days turn into weeks, which turn into months, which turn into years and decades. We must take some time periodically to step out of the fray to reflect. But where do you start?


Goals Continue reading

Personal Goals

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Today I am going to talk about the importance of Personal Goals. For me goals are important because they remind me why I do what I do. Life is full of opportunities to get sidetracked or be thrown off course. However, if you have a specific goal that you are working towards it is easier for you to handle the potential detours that come up. But how do you get started?

Pray Your Plans

First, it is important to sit down each year or even every couple of months and spend time with God. He has a plan for your life and it is to prosper you and to give you hope. If you follow His will, you will open up many opportunities for Him to bless you. It is so much better to consult Him as you are making your goals instead of coming up with the first thing that comes to mind. It might not be a bad goal, but if it isn’t what you are supposed to be working on then it may crowd out some of the things God has for you. Continue reading