New goals, New habits for 2018

2018 is here and for so many of us that means new goals, resolutions, and ideas. I love writing down goals for the year and pushing myself to complete them. As I’ve grown, I have realized that I have to make my goals challenging enough to push me, but not too challenging that I can’t actually accomplish them. There are so many things that I want to do, or would like to do, but the reality is I am a full time teacher, who performs with multiple groups, and teaches private lessons– time is not on my side. With such a busy schedule, it is difficult for me to get the things done that I already have on my list, let alone accomplish more.

Being a huge perfectionist, it can sometimes be rather painful to even try and write out goals. If I don’t hit the mark, then I get super frustrated with myself and in a sense feel like a failure. However, over the last couple of years, I have gotten much better at goal setting, following through, and giving myself grace if I don’t complete my goal. I have begun looking at my goals as a journey, instead of just the destination. So with that being said, I have decided that there are a couple habits that I want to start making this year, to hopefully help me with some of my goals for this year.

One goal I have is to be the best me. I know, I know… you’ve heard it already? This is one of those goals that can many times seem like a “duh goal” or even a phrase that we like to throw around. I know I have been seeing this on others blogs, Instagram, and even Facebook. So what does being the best me mean? And what does it mean to me? I think the phrase “being the best me” has to do with so many different things. For one, I believe that self image is a huge thing that contributes to being the best you and in order for you to be the best you, you have to know your worth.

Your worth is not seen in the traffic that you receive on your blog, the amount of likes you get for your picture, or even the amount of followers you have on Instagram. But many times these are the things we weigh our worth with. I have done it too, and I still do. But when I begin to feel this way, I am reminded that I am unique and created by an incredible God, who doesn’t make mistakes and made me beautiful just the way I am. Being the best me means that I recognize who I am in Christ and allow God to open my eyes to the way He views me. Easy, right?!

In order for this to happen, I must be in God’s word more. I must begin to spend more quality time meditating on scripture and praying that God would open my eyes and speak to me through His word, and others. This is the FIRST HABIT I have to re-establish. It is always a hard habit to get back, but once I do, I crave my quiet time and love what I gain from it. It is in those times that I can fully understand and hear the voice of God. I can reflect on all the amazing things He has done in mine and Dave’s lives, allow myself to dream more, and redirect my attention to things that are important.

Being in my 30’s now (still sounds so weird to say), I am thinking more about my future and the habits that I creating. I want them to continue to help facilitate growth in my marriage and future family. I want to lead by example and I want my children one day to see me, always reading my bible and going to God, and realize how incredibly special and important it is for my relationship with Christ to grow. I believe being in the word more will help my marriage now, and in the future, allow me to continue to be a light, guiding people to Christ, and help me create a better sense of who I am. I would say this is the spiritual side of being the best me.

But what about the physical side?

My physical “best me” is about taking time for myself. This last year I started planning out “me time” and I actually wrote times down in my planner as if I had a meeting. I know it kind of sounds silly, but when you’re crazy busy, the last thing you feel like you have time for is yourself. MAKE YOURSELF A PRIORITY! Set a remind on your phone, or write it down in your planner, make it an appointment with yourself. I promise you, if you take a little time for yourself, you will feel less stressed, be more happy, and be more effective in your parenting, teaching, blogging, etc. For me, this means adding in some workout time and some relaxation time.

In order for this to happen with my crazy schedule, I am determined to schedule my “me time” in my planner. So my SECOND HABIT, will be me setting time each week to work out and to relax. I don’t necessarily have “me time” every day, but for my work out time I am going to try and schedule at least 3 workouts throughout the week, and at least 1 relaxing thing every week. I will definitely be adding some more yoga practices into my “me time”! If I add more “ me time” as I go, that’s great, but i am starting simple at the beginning.

Another goal I have for this year is to become a better wife. Now I wouldn’t say I’m a bad wife, but I know that there is always room for improvement. This is something that has been on my mind and heart a lot lately. Recently I have been confronted with numerous people, and even friends, going through marital issues, ultimately resulting in divorce. Divorce is becoming more frequent and less taboo — it is so sad and breaks my heart for so many couples. The crazy thing is that I never would have thought these couples were having issues, or even that the idea of divorce had crossed their minds. This is something I don’t want at all in my mind or anywhere near my marriage.

Dave and I are coming up on 5 years of marriage in August! If you’ve ever done any research about marriage, there are some years that can be harder than others, and 5 just happens to be one of them. I can only speak for myself, but I know that there are many times that my job, or my plans, seem to take the #1 spot of my attention and mind. I feel like I many times am so pre-occupied with what needs done, or writing my next blog post, or getting things ready for the next day, that I many times am missing quality time with Dave, as well as, doing things for him.

I recently read an Instagram post from a beautiful momma (Lindsey from sparrowandlilies) that she got from a devotional she read on the topic of marriage. It really grabbed my attention. It made me process how I interact with my husband and how I respond. So I thought I would share the post with you all and maybe it will grab your attention as well:

I recently read a devo about being a consumer versus a gardener in our relationships. It made me realize just how selfish I can be toward my husband. A consumer will buy something, and if there’s something wrong, they send it back. They don’t put their own energy into fixing it. Why? Because it’s immediately someone else’s problem. We all marry imperfect people. But many people become overwhelmed by the faults of their spouses, causing them to even wonder if they married the wrong person. If you have the perspective of a consumer, you don’t take responsibility or do what you can to nurture your spouse or help the situation. A gardener is different. If a gardener’s taking care of an unhealthy plant, they don’t accuse the seller or reject the plant. They forget themselves and pour their heart into taking responsibility for restoring the plant back to health. If you’re acting as a gardener, you’ll ask the question, “ I wonder what I could be doing that would cause the problem?” Or, “ I wonder what I can do that will fix it and restore it to health?”

Wow, right?!!! How many times are we consumers in our relationships, whether it be friendships, work friends, or our marriages? While I hate admitting it, I have definitely been a consumer more than a gardener. I want to get to a point where I am thinking more about the needs of my husband, his wants and ways to make his job or life easier. He many times thinks about me– how he can help me, what things he could do to make my job easier, or even allow me to relax more. He is a gardener!

In order for me to get better at this, I have to realize the things he may need, put my agenda to the side, be more observant, and listen more. These things can sometimes be easier said than done, especially during stressful weeks, but I am determined to look at my marriage through a gardener’s outlook instead of a consumer perspective. The THIRD HABIT I want to create is praying for my husband and our marriage, and that God will help me gain more of servants heart and become a gardener in all the relationships of my life.

I was looking on Pinterest for ways or things to pray over husbands and I found this amazing list! It is a list of prayers for 31 days to be praying over your Hubby! I am planning on starting this prayer list for my Hubby! Check it out Here

Thank you to Lindsey from sparrowsandlilies for posting an Instagram post, that gripped my heart and made me think about my relationships and marriage. Lindsey is an incredible blogger and an inspiration to so many. Check her blog out Here

What are some of the goals you’ve set for 2018? Can’t wait to hear some of your goals!

– Erin Ruscel

11 thoughts on “New goals, New habits for 2018

    1. Thank you so much for the beautiful comment! I am so glad you read my post and I’m so glad I ran across your post about praying for your hubby! I am really working hard to become the woman God wants me to be and to be a loving, caring wife. Wishing you a wonderful new year!

  1. We have a lot of the same goals. I am a perfectionist, too. It’s really hard! Are you a capricorn, too?? Anyway, I think actually making a daily schedule and having something to refer to all day can make a huge difference. Good luck!

    1. Jackie!!! So glad we share some of the same goals! I think if we lived closer we would be good friends- we seem to like a lot of the same things! And yes, I am a Capricorn as well! I have to make a daily schedule… helps me so much! I am doing pretty well so far on my goals, but this last week having some snow days kind of threw me off. Good luck to you as well!

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