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A Beautiful Life: 12 Months of Goals

by | Dec 31, 2008 | Inspired Living

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A Beautiful Life: 12 Months of Goals

Hey all you beautiful people!

I am starting something new for 2009 and I would love it if you joined me in whatever way you would like to.

Here is my plan: I am going to set twelve key word goals for living the kind of life I want in 2009.

I am talking simple stuff here (no 40 mile marathons, I’m not that disciplined!): Things like trying to add more beauty every day, create more ambience in my home, living a life of contentment, nurturing an attitude of gratitude in my family, incorporating goals for healthy living, focus on financial freedom, creating a welcoming home, organization, practicing regular solitude and quiet times — nothing too complicated or out of reach!

Each week at home I will incorporate as many of the goals to every day living as I can,  but will also focus intently on the particular goal for the month. My blog will continue with its regular content, but I’ll share ideas and inspiration for the 12 months of goals from time to time.

Because I had so much fun with Friday Holiday Linkies, I’d like to keep them in the new year. But instead of Holiday Linkies, they will be Beautiful Life Linkies. Every Friday there will be a Mr. Linky where you can link up posts showing how you are striving for the life you want at your own home.

Everyone may have different ways of making life beautiful at home, so it will be fun to be inspired each week by how you all are trying to savor the life you have. We can all go about this in any way that works for you. Or, feel free to just be inspired by others and not participate. Totally up to you.

Friday Linkies will be up each week so we can keep ourselves focused on the positive traits or goals we’ve set. And, by sharing our journeys together I think we can get to know each other better and be an inspiration to others. If you don’t have a blog you might want to set up a journal at home to record the positive steps you make each week.

Does this make sense? Remember, I am moving tomorrow so my brain is a bit fuzzy (shhh…don’t tell my hubby I am in here talking about living a beautiful life and not CLEANING with him, heee hee hee!).

I really want to start this year off fresh and focused on living a beautiful life. That doesn’t mean an expensive or perfect life, or setting unrealistic resolutions, just living a life that is intentional on finding contentment and beauty every day. So often in the rush of life we miss out on what is really important. This is my way to keep myself enjoying life everyday with no regrets.

A Beautiful Life: 12 Months of Goals

Here is the plan:

The first step will be setting 12 goals for living the life I want in 2009. I’ll share those with you (below) and you can either use mine or set your own or just enjoy the inspiration others will share.

The second step will be looking at the 12 goals and seeing how many I can fit into my week right from the very beginning of January, paying particular attention to the specific month goal as we go through the year. Little successes are all I am hoping for!

The third step if you want to follow along is to share the positive ways we are creating the life we want. We can link up posts through Mr. Linky or in the comments on Fridays. You can use my focus word or use your own.

The end result:

Hopefully by the end of 2009 we will have formed some new habits and feel all twelve goals were a regular part of our life.


Balanced Living

I think balanced living will set the right tone for the first month. It is usually the word I think about in January! I want to spend the month of January looking at my 12 goals and finding small ways to incorporate them right from the start. I think living a balanced life is really important and the key to being successful in all the other goals I will have.

Here is the complete list as it stands now!

January: Balanced Living
February: Ambience (finding beauty every day)
March: Organization
April: Solitude (regular quiet times)
May: Family
June: Healthy Living
July: Financial Freedom
August: Contentment
September: Routines
October: Hospitality
November: Gratitude
December: Giving

Looking forward to sharing 2009 with you all!

Our first Beautiful Life Linky will post on January 9! If any of this is confusing, I’ll try to clear it up by next week. Feel free to ask questions. HAPPY NEW YEAR!

photo: HGTV


  1. Arleen

    What a great list. I’m going to do the same. Balance is definitely key!

    Happy New Year, Melissa!

    Arleens inspiring blog post..Inspiration ~ Window Treatments

  2. Sheryl

    I love this idea and would love to participate!

    Happy New Year!

    Sheryls inspiring blog post..I’ve Moved!

  3. Rita

    I love the idea of goals instead of resolutions! My first goal is to organize all of the hidden cluttered areas, drawers, closets and the pantry.

    Ritas inspiring blog post..We Warned Them

  4. Christi from Charm & Grace

    Sounds like you are making wonderful plans for the new year. I have really enjoyed your blog and look forward to what you do with the list. I pray that in 2009 you will be blessed as never before.

    Happy New Year,

    Christi from Charm & Graces inspiring blog post..Looking toward the new year…

  5. Rachael

    A lovely idea Melissa and works in with my goals for this coming year. All the best for the big move – Rachaelxo

  6. Suzy

    Oh that is such a great idea and I sure will participate. We can actually do so many things, and I have transformed my life in 2008 by finding beauty in small everyday life. But with such goals that you made , wow, it will be so much fun and educational…

    Happy January! Suzy

    Suzys inspiring blog post..New year resolutions

  7. debi

    Honestly, where do you get your energy? Starting a project like this in the middle of a move? I LOVE this idea, this is just the boost I need. I am in!!

  8. Cathy

    Happy New Year! Good luck with the move. What an exciting time. Love the list idea, look forward to more details.


  9. Meghan

    I totally love this idea & am going to try hard to incorporate it into my life!!!
    You are such an inspiration Melissa.
    Happy New Year!

    Meghans inspiring blog post..One last tag of 2008

  10. Kathy

    This sounds like a wonderful idea. You already have a handle on it leaving the cleaning to hubby:>) Have a good move Melissa!

    Kathys inspiring blog post..Year in Review

  11. Vee

    Sounds wonderful to me…this moving thing must really be working for you…no fuzzy brain-ness that I can see!

    Thinking of you and keeping this move in my prayers…

    Vees inspiring blog post..Prayer for a New Year

  12. Emily-Sarah Lineback

    Great list and excellent idea for us all. Thanks for that — and happy new year!

  13. Kristen

    Oh my goodness, I just love your list! It seems just perfect. I look forward to the Beautiful life parties. And happy moving. We’ll be thinking of you and praying for you in the next few days.

    Kristens inspiring blog post..A Year Well Lived

  14. jen

    Fuzzy brain? Are you kidding? This is one of your best yet. We will be encouraged and motivated every Friday. Love the key word topics…they match mine almost to a tee, and starting out with balance as the very first? Oh yes….I am constantly striving through my blog with that topic, but Dec. got us a little askew so it will be good to refocus and refresh.

    [email protected] Beauty and Bedlams inspiring blog post..Thank you for a great 2008!

  15. Cindy

    I love this idea and I love the goals you’ve set. Thanks for sharing.

  16. Yvette Adams

    This is an awesome idea! And I love your list and will be using it! This is exciting!
    Hugs and Blessings for everyone in 2009!

  17. The pleasures of homemaking

    Hi Melissa, what a great idea – love it! I’ll try to join in as much as I can. Just wanted to stop by to say “Happy New Year” and good luck with your move.


    The pleasures of homemakings inspiring blog post..Happy New Year!

  18. cynthia

    that is too funny!
    BALANCE is exactly my word for 2009…and gosh, i need it!
    i make sterling silver jewelry and have made myself a “reminder” to wear each day! You should get one too….but not 12!
    I could have chosen ALOT of words but they all brought me back to “Balance”…that is so important!

    and i love the idea of having individual ones for each month.

    cynthias inspiring blog word for 2009

  19. jodi

    love it-my word for the year is “remember” with 12 things (one for each month) to remember and my thing to remember in january is balance! i’m also preparing to make my blog public once we move (not sure if/when we’ll have internet connectivity while living with my in-laws). up until now it’s just been a way to keep my mom/family up to date with our kids.

    looking forward to participating with you!
    jodi–who will be praying for your safe and peaceful move as we do the same thing

  20. Stacey

    Of course, I love your idea! Balance is the best place to start…I might start by balancing the junk around my house!

  21. My First Kitchen

    That’s a really great list. I think this will encourage people to look big picture at things that can bring joy rather than the offshoots. I notice you didn’t have “exercise regularly” on your list. AWEsome. We need to focus on things like gratitude and family instead of our waistlines. And I firmly believe that if those big picture things are fulfilling, the smaller things usually just fall in line. Have a great New Year!

    My First Kitchens inspiring blog post..The NO-DIET Diet

  22. Denise

    Thanks for the great ideas!!!! I am on board for sure! Thanks for all the wonderful inspiration in 08 and I look forward to more of your wonderful blog in 09! Good luck on the move! Can’t wait to see what you do with your next home! Happy New Year!

    Denises inspiring blog post..To Live Simply

  23. Mary Beth (Cats, Books, Life is Good)

    I come visit your blog every day for the beautiful pictures of rooms that I’d love to have in my home. I love your idea of the twelve monthly goals – maybe I’ll use it for the rooms in my house? Each month, work on making a different room a little prettier and nicer to spend time in. Then by the end of the year, I’d be done and with a whole month to work on the room, I’d be less stressed than wanting it done NOW! I need to think on this and formulate a plan:)

    Mary Beth (Cats, Books, Life is Good)s inspiring blog post..2009 READING CHALLENGES

  24. Melissa

    Happy New Year everyone!

    PS. Yes, you can apply the Beautiful Life Linky to home redecorating or projects you want to tackle. That is definitely going to be a part of my life this year too and will fit right in with having a beautiful life!

  25. martha

    Great idea. Looking forward to reading more. I specially like the photo at the top of this post. Very good choice indeed!

  26. teresa

    Yes, I definitely plane to join in. What a wondeful idea- I had been searching for a way to help me focus more this year. this sounds like just the ticket-
    Thanks again- Happy New Year.
    Tons of hugs sent your way- I know what its like to move- yikes!

  27. Penny

    Have a safe move Melissa! I love your list…..

    Happy New Year!

  28. cityfarmer

    I’M IN!


  29. Karen B

    You hit the nail on the head! I will be there with you, trying to live intentionally and not haphazardly. I like your list, I’m not sure it can be improved on. Thanks for the impetus and many prayers for your safe and smooth transition.

    Karen Bs inspiring blog post..Disneyland Fun

  30. Chris

    Thanks for doing this year long project. Oh, I want to join in. I don’t have a blog (someday I hope to join all the fun). So I’ll be join on hard copy. Thanks for inspiring us all!


  31. sue

    Another wonderful linky! Can’t wait..better start my lists

    sues inspiring blog post..Happy 2009

  32. LuLu

    You said exactly what I could not articulate to my sister. I am in! I can’t wait to get started! making my list.. full of ideas… my husband was just teasing me about having more goals in ’09 then days!!! I feel very eager this year!

    LuLus inspiring blog post..Happy New Year

  33. Amanda

    This is just a wonderful idea. I am so on board with this. Good luck with your move. We’ve moved 3 times since 2004 so I understand this season and I’m praying for your family.

  34. Amy

    Oh my, you are thinking way ahead! Good for you. I will do my best to participate. Sounds like fun. Good luck with the move!!

    Meeting you was one of my highlights of this year. I’m looking forward to seeing you in person at Blissdom! Happy New Year!

    Amy @ Living Locurtos inspiring blog post..Happy New Year

  35. Rosie's Whimsy

    Happy New Year!

    That is perfect for January! It always seems to be the best thing to do for a new year …. achieving a balance in one’s life. I will be so interested to see what people are doing to achieve this goal!

    ((hugs)) Rosie

    Rosie’s Whimsys inspiring blog post..Happy New Year!

  36. Karen

    This is a lovely idea and I’m going to blatantly copy it! LOL Can’t wait to see what everyone has in store each Friday.

    Happy New Year! I love your blog – always such beautiful photos.

  37. Pinky

    I don’t have a blog so I guess I will have to participate in the comments every Fri. but I LOOOVE this idea and am anxious to share what I can and get inspirati9on from others!!!! I am so lookinf forward to a new year! GOOD LUCK with the move and BLESSINGS in your NEW HOME!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I am so happy for you! Pinky

  38. Miss Sandy

    Lovely idea! I’d like to participate from time to time! I wish you a blessed year of success in intentional living and a wonderful new year!

  39. Pretty Organizer

    Those are perfect goals! I’m going to also work on being more loyal to my sweet husband… not that I’m skipping out on him! I want to make sure every word I say always bears a testimony of my loyalty and love for him. Too often women get caught in badmouthing husbands and I am at times too casual in my conversations. I’ve decided that I never want to say anything to anyone about him that I wouldn’t say if he were standing right next to me… loyalty.

    I will be more than happy to join in.

    I’ve been working on a post for BD… but I may need a little help with this Word Press thing. Totally daunting. I don’t know how to size pictures yet… I’ll get hubby to help with that.

    Happy moving. Love you! Fill us in when you’re out of boxes… hope that won’t be 9 months later (when I usually get through the last box.)

  40. Kathy

    Best wishes Melissa as you begin the new year in your new home. Moving is always an adventure! I’m looking forward to hearing more about your list and joining in as I can. Thanks for the inspiration. ~Kathy

    Kathy @Shocking Pink Threads inspiring blog post..A New Year, A New Look

  41. Tamara

    This is such a wonderful idea. I will see if I’m able to participate but life does get a little carried away around her at times :) We just spent a wonderful 3 days with family in the Rocky Mountains and it really was a time of warmth and beauty……..I want to remain inspired!

    Happy New Year :)

    Tamaras inspiring blog post..Caution: Physical Activity May Be Hard on Your Body

  42. Jamie

    What a great idea…love all the inspiration :-) Thanks and good luck with the move tomorrow :-)

    Happy New Year!

  43. Becky

    Love this idea–thanks for putting so much thought into it. Good luck with the move. If you have a chance–pop on over to my blog for a give away!

    Beckys inspiring blog post..Give Away Goodies

  44. Jamie

    Love this idea! I’ll definitely follow along, and hopefully participate on occassion too. Happy New Year to you!

    Jamie @ Purposeful Pursuits inspiring blog post..There’s A Party Going On Right Here

  45. laura

    I think this is a GREAT idea! If I can make it past “Balanced Living” I’ll be happy, LOL!!

    My best wishes for a wonderful, successful and happy new year (and a stress-free move!). It’s been a pleasure to “meet” you this year.

    laura @ the shorehouse.s inspiring blog post..A melancholy post.

  46. Suzanne, the Farmer's Wife

    Good luck with the move. I can’t even think about such a thing. I have nightmares about having to move again. HA.

    I’m anxiously awaiting your new linky project.

    – Suzanne, the Farmer’s Wife

    Suzanne, the Farmer’s Wifes inspiring blog post..Party Food

  47. Stacey

    Oh, I’m praying that you have a wonderful, stress-free move!!! My heart is with you as I’ve done this countless times over the past dozen or so years :)! May God bless you on this new adventure!!!
    I just love the words of the month that you’ve chosen. I’ll have to incorporate that into my 2 chosen words for the year “Peace” and “Purpose”! I had no idea that others were choosing words for 2009 goals this year. It think it will help me focus, and live a better life! Love this :)!! I’ll be joining in the linky’s for sure!

    Stacey @ The Blessed Nests inspiring blog post..Happy New Year, Indeed!

  48. kayellen

    inHappy New Year Melissa!
    Wonderful idea to have a new goal every month!
    Such a pleasure to have met you in blog land and so glad we connected on Facebook too!
    Hope we can have a cup of jo…the next time I am in your area…
    Blessing to you in the New Year!!!
    Good Luck with moving!!! That’s a big job;0
    You may need a getaway after your done! Right?!

    kayellens inspiring blog post..Looking Back

  49. pam

    What a wonderful idea, and love your list, I know I will be soaking up all your wonderful ideas to help me along my path. Thanks I can’t wait to be touched.

    pams inspiring blog post..Chaos

  50. Tidymom

    I’m SO there!! What a great list!! I will participate as much as I can!!!

    Hope you have an easy move and Happy New Year!


    Tidymoms inspiring blog post..Happy 2009!!

  51. Megan

    I love this! I have recently found your blog and I am so glad that I did!

    I’ll be hooking up with Mister Linky and sharing my goals as well! Can’t wait to see how the year develops!

    Megans inspiring blog post..And we have a winner…….

  52. Peggy

    I love your idea for 2009 and plan on participating.

    Have a great 2009!


    Peggys inspiring blog post..HAPPY NEW YEAR

  53. Jean Prescott

    Perhaps this is too specific, or perhaps it falls within one of the items on your list, but for me personally, I mean to make 2009 better for me by improving personal communication, giving snail mail a new chance. My grown daughter (who lives 7 hours away by car) and I decided that if we don’t make the effort to write notes, send cards, even postcards, there will be no family memorabilia in the future. Texting and e-mails are great, fast, in this day, almost necessary. But nothing compares with a personal note. Might fit in balanced living or maybe simply — and oh, so importantly — family. Happy New Year and let’s all be hopeful about 2009.

  54. Meredith

    Once again, you’ve set the standard. I’m looking forward to being deliberately focused on these goals. Thanks!

    Merediths inspiring blog post..Quintessential Pleasures

  55. Debbie

    Brilliant Melissa, but Hey Pastor’s wives are known to be incredibly smart…no brilliant! Love this idea and I think it is great to set the tone for the year! It is like bumper pads for big people! Blessings, praying all goes well, smoothly and peaceably for you!

    Debbies inspiring blog post..Organizing Roundup! Yippeeee!

  56. Dana

    I can’t wait to join you in this! I never have any real motivation for the cliche “I resolve to run 3 miles 4 times a week” type resolutions. However, these way of phrasing it leaves it open to interpretation…feels much less constricting. I can’t wait to see the ways that God has changed and grown me at the end of 2009! Thanks for helping me set some goals that matter!


  57. LeAnn

    I love it!! My husband and I are both working on lists and when we are both done, we are going to sit down and compare our goal lists. I love how you have done this. I especially want to work on my quiet time with the Lord, organization and financial freedom. Count me in. Good luck tomorrow. Will be praying for you guys.


    LeAnns inspiring blog post..HAPPY NEW YEAR!!

  58. Gayle at Mountain Moma

    I never thought about doing a word a month. That would be a good idea, as there is always so many areas I want to grow in. I look forward to staying connected and inspired for the new year.

    Gayle at Mountain Momas inspiring blog post..Lilic in White

  59. Maven

    Oh my gosh – I just adore you Melissa!

    I LOVE this idea. LOVE, LOVE, LOVE it.

    It’s just what I need. How did you know that? *gein*

    I’ll start thinking about my twelve words and will absolutely do this on Fridays.

    Mavens inspiring blog post..New Year’s Cioppino and Living Fabulously in Ways Both Big and Small

  60. DebbieW

    Happy Fresh Beginnings in so many ways, dear heart! I know you have a huge amount on your plate right now, so I pray that you will be able to achieve your first goal of the year, balanced living!

    Truly, Melissa, you have been such a blessing to me in so many ways. I am so glad that we “found” each other in the very, very big world which is the internet! What are the odds of that happening? And yet, somehow, I believe that we somehow find the individuals who will have the greatest influence on our lives. You have taught me so much about living a more beautiful and inspired life. I know that I will continue to look towards you throughout the coming year for more wonderful ideas.

    You will always be my dear BFF.

    With big hugs and lots of love,

    DebbieWs inspiring blog post..It’s a Dog Life

  61. DebbieW

    Oh yes, I do hope that your move went well and that you are coming out from beneath all of the boxes!


    DebbieWs inspiring blog post..It’s a Dog Life

  62. Jennifer

    I absolutely love it. The linky thing will be so much fun and help keep everyone on track. Good luck moving.

  63. Kim

    sounds like fun… and inspiring… and possibly challening. Can’t wait to see how it goes… maybe a little blog button with a link to your posts would be fun to spread the word? :) K

    Kims inspiring blog post..resolutions

  64. Pam

    Great idea for inspiration!

    Pams inspiring blog post..Good Times

  65. mary

    What a great idea! Count me in!

    I have an award that I would like to pass on to you if you don’t mind. It is a little different from other awards and I think it speaks of you perfectly. Would you hop over to my blog when you have a minute to pick it up.


    marys inspiring blog post..Making Lemonade from Lemons-

  66. Pearl Maple

    Simply beautiful.
    Always good to start the new year with a plan and what a plan it is. Can’t wait to see how everyone interprets the themes.

    Pearl Maples inspiring blog post..Sky Watch Friday

  67. CatHerder

    Sounds like a great idea to keep every one on track……i will have to learn more about my computer, however, since I am computer illiterate. Im embarassed to say my blog doesnt have all those cool bells and whistles other blogs do, because im computer illiterate……i dont even know how to link lol! I promise i will work on it for the new year….happy new year!!!! :-)

    CatHerders inspiring blog post..any last words???

  68. dolce chic

    Wonderful list! I would love to participate as well!

  69. teresa

    Melissa- would it be okay to us the graphic you have “A beautiful life”
    When I post or talk about your Friday’s beautiful life Mr. Linky?
    Hope you are moved in- and had a warm bed to crawl into-

  70. Anna R

    Happy New Year! What a great list. Would love to join in.

  71. all things bright and beautiful

    Dear ms Melissa – happy New year and ……

    Just want to let you know – you never cease to be an inspiration.

    God bless, hugs and love to you beautiful lady


  72. Melissa

    What a great idea – I look forward to following along your journey.

    Melissas inspiring blog post..2009 Blog Awards

  73. Delighted

    What a great idea! I’m looking forward to coming back on Friday!

    Delighteds inspiring blog post..Fresh

  74. Nicky

    I’m definitely. It seems like so many of us are on this authentic living “page for 2009. Here’s to us making this year authentically beautiful.

    Nickys inspiring blog post..It’s a Beautiful Life ….

  75. Kathleen Solomi

    Hi Melissa, today it,s Sunday, reading your blog and the comments on it have been very inspiring . I thought I was organised, but I slip badly on the Kitchen, simply because I have lots of friends popping in , mostly because,they need a bit of peace in their,my kitchen gets untidy . Solitude I have ,and I do cherish this . Contentment, I have most of the time but there are areas that I wish I could be brave enough to change and make better.



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