Personal Development

My Goals & Word of the Year for 2020

As 2019 comes to an end, it’s time to look forward to a new year!  Instead of resolutions, I like to set goals every year.  I’ve also decided to choose a word for 2020.  I’ve seen others do this – also instead of resolutions – and decided that I needed one, too.


I started setting goals using the following format in 2014 or 2015.  There are five categories with several goals in each.  I review and update them throughout the year, probably about two to three times.  Some goals I’ve had since the beginning.  I like incorporate as many of my goals into my routines as possible.

Additionally, I have a long-term list with goals that I want to accomplish within the next five to ten years, such as becoming a landlady/property manager and travel.

Without further ado, here are my goals for 2020:


  • Pray daily using these four components: adoration, confession of sins, thanksgiving, and supplication
  • Read Bible daily (devotional)
    • Start the first 40 days of the New Year with The Purpose Driven Life
  • Regular, engrossed church attendance every Sunday morning
  • Purge worldly influences and replace with Godly ones
  • Practice thankfulness and contentment
  • Tithe my income


  • Continue to maintain a monthly budget in Every Dollar
    • Update finances/track expenses at least five times a week, every Monday – Friday
  • Ashton’s Hobby Fund: Save and maintain at least a $1,000 balance
  • 10th Anniversary (June 16th) Fund: Save $1,500 by the end of May 2020
  • Christmas Fund (gifts, income replacement, etc.): Save $1,900 by the end of November
  • House Down Payment: Save $10,000/$20,000 this year
  • 3-Month Emergency Fund: Save $15,000 by December, if not before


  • Daily Diet
    • Drink more water – at least the recommended 64 fl. oz.
    • Balanced, with more vegetables (salads, etc.)
    • Take a multivitamin at dinner
  • Monday – Friday Exercise Routine
  • Weekend Family Exercise
    • Go outside for a walk, playground, etc. at least once every Saturday


  • Marriage
    • Simple date night every Saturday evening
    • Complete The Love Dare by Stephen Kendrick and Alex Kendrick
  • Children/Parenting
    • Read books about parenting to learn how to become a better parent
    • Raise responsible, Godly adults
    • “Children learn what they live,” so teach them by example
    • “Power down and parent up” – it’s not about being right every time
    • Family meeting and movie/game/activity night every Friday
  • Family/Friends
    • Quality communication (active listening)
    • List of family and friends to stay in contact with, especially during birthdays and holidays
  • Others
    • Be caring, friendly, and patient

Work/Hobby/Personal Development

  • Work
    • “Do not let your adornment be merely outward … rather let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the incorruptible beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is very precious in the sight of God” (1 Peter 3:3-4, NKJV).
    • “Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself” (Philippians 2:3, NKJV).
  • Home Management
    • Continue to consistently follow and adapt routines/schedule
    • Finish turning apartment into a home via Project: Home by the end of the year
  • WordPress
    • Publish at least one post per month: dedicate 10+ minutes every Monday – Thursday morning to brainstorming/planning, writing, revising/editing, and posting
  • Read at least one chapter per week in a nonfiction/educational book
  • Create family scrapbooks in chronological order using Snapfish – complete years 2009 – 2019 this year
  • Use dialectical behavior therapy to quit vaping (and a few other bad habits)


There’s a compelling story in the Bible about a prophet named Ezekiel who was given a vision from the Lord, which is found in Ezekiel 37:1-14.  In this vision, the Lord caused Ezekiel to see a valley of dry bones and to walk among them.  The Lord asked him if the bones could live.  After Ezekiel responded, “Only You know,” the Lord prompted Ezekiel to prophesy to the dry bones to come alive.

So, prophesy he did.  There was a rattling noise as the bones came together.  Sinew and flesh and skin covered them, and finally the breath of life was breathed in the slain.  The awakened people stood up on their feet, a vast army.

The Lord explained to Ezekiel that the bones were the people of Israel who cried out, “Our bones are dry, our hope is lost, and we ourselves are cut off!”  The Lord commanded Ezekiel to prophesy to them that they would be awakened, rescued, and returned to their land.

I’ve felt like those dry bones for a long time, silently crying out in hopelessness, feeling cut off from the Vine (John 15:1-8).  And it’s my own fault.  I’ve lived several years as an unintentional Christian.  I still believed in the Lord and claimed to be a Christian, but I allowed idols into my life to distract me from Him for too long.

As a result, my bones are dry and my faith is weak.  Now, the older I get, the more I long to be awakened from my sleep and officially and unapologetically return to my First Love.  I long for the sinew and flesh and skin of intentional Christian living to cover me, and the breath of the Spirit of God to breath in me a new life.  I long to throw off this old self (Ephesians 4:22-24) that I’ve clung to for so long and put on the full armor of God (Ephesians 6:10-17).  It’s time to awaken.

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