2019 Goals

Happy 2019! It feels both exciting and weird to be working again after taking so much time off. To be honest, I’ve never been great at relaxing, and always itch to get back to work after about five days, and this time was no different. So instead of just relaxing, I spent a lot of time thinking about how I want this year to look on Lemon Stripes.

I want to thank the 900 amazing people who took my survey over the last two weeks. I’m almost finished reading every single comment and suggestion, and I can’t believe how helpful they’ve been. The results have shaped many of my goals below. I was also shocked and humbled by your kind words and positivity. It meant more to me than you can even know! I’m leaving it open for one more day and then will be randomly picking three winners who will each receive a $100 Amex gift card.

For the last three years now, I’ve made a list of big goals to complete by the end of the year, divided into categories. It’s a list that’s both completely achievable but also aspirational so that I feel good about completing it, but it doesn’t feel looming or stressful. Instead of resolutions, these achievable and tangible goals actually get done instead of being forgotten a few months into the year.

I keep the list in my phone under the notes app and look at it whenever I think to do so.  I just looked through my 2018 goals and realized that I completed everything on the list except for one item which I’m including again below.

2019 Goals: Work

Post more recipes and wellness content. One the overarching themes that I saw over and over again in my survey results is that you want more recipes and more wellness content, which makes me so happy! I love writing that stuff and because my background is in wellness, I have a lot to say about it. I’ve also loved sharing easy weeknight recipes on my Instagram Stories, so I’ll be bringing more of those to the blog as well. My goal is to have at least one recipe and one wellness post live each month this year.

Get organized. I used to always be the most organized person on any team when I worked in an office. As a blogger, I kept my content and systems organized for years, but when I became a mom, I kept letting those systems slide and 2018 felt all over the place. I found myself writing last minute blog posts way too often, and not looking ahead in my content calendar. To battle that in 2019, I’m creating more series (like monthly recipes and quarterly workouts with Anel) that will keep me on track and give you guys things to look forward to and request!

Focus on growth. Because I felt so anxious last year, I often felt like I was struggling on a daily basis just to stay above water. Now that I’m able to step back and see the bigger picture, I want to grow my blog and social networks to connect with more women all over the world!

Figure out my next steps. People often ask me where I see myself in five years in blogging and I have no idea. For a while I really wanted to write a raw and real book about motherhood and my experiences with it, but that whole situation terrifies me so for now it’s on the back burner. Another pipe dream of mine is to create a line of striped clothing but I wouldn’t even know where to start with that. Last year I took on a couple of digital marketing clients and loved using that part of my brain again, so that’s a possibility too. I have no idea if blogging will even be a thing in five years, so I really want to focus on my five and 10 year goals, as this is the first time in my life where I don’t really know what the next step will be!

2019 Goals: Personal

Set up our last will and testament. I am embarrassed to admit that this has been on my list for two years running and I’ve yet to get to it. Anel and I were so busy setting up his new business last year, that it fell to the wayside, but we’re committed to making it happen in 2019 because it will give us both peace of mind and will protect our family and assets if anything should happen.

Continue to work on my anxiety: 2018 was the year that I tackled some pretty serious mental issues, and while I feel like I finally have a great handle on my anxiety, I will continue to go to therapy and do whatever I can to keep it at bay.

Ask for help. A while back, I wrote about emotional labor, and how hard it can be for many women to stay on top of their work, their kids, and all of the tasks around the home. Anel and I have talked a lot about how to make this more fair and came up with a system where I wrote out every single task I do around the house (from big ones like feeding our family to small ones like making the bed every morning) which we then reviewed together last week.

He went through the list and picked a few things that he could take on without me having to ask. We have it in our calendars to check in again in a month to see if he stuck to them, and if he can take on any more.

I’ve realized after many conversations with my husband, that he wants to help out more around the house but didn’t know where to start because I just handle things.

Organize our house. I’m really good at keeping my house clean and tidy 90% of the time. But Anel likes to say that I’m the dirtiest clean person he knows because he’ll open a closet or drawer and it will be a hot mess! I hired a local organizer to work on my closet and office and plan to have her back for our kitchen and other closets this year. I’ll be sharing my office and closet organization later this month and will give you tips as I get them. I’m excited to get every section of our home in order this year!

2019 Goals: Finances

Hit our yearly savings goals. This one is on my list every year, and it’s important that Anel and I keep savings goals both for Amalia’s 529 account as well as our personal savings accounts, otherwise we would never contribute to either. As we think about growing our family in the next year or two, we would like to move to a bigger home, and our personal savings goal is based on that fact.

Set a budget that we actually stick to. Anel and I are the worst at budgets. We have them for each of our companies but when it comes to personal finances, there’s no rhyme or reason to how we spend our money. We’ve committed to sitting down together this month and figuring out a budget that is realistic for our family. I’ll share the process as we go through it!

So there you have a handful of my many 2019 goals. What are some of yours?

The White Company Sweater c/o / J.Crew Hair Bow / J.Crew Jeans / PB Teen Desk / PB Teen Pinboard / Society Social Chair c/o / Home Depot Closet System

The White Company Sweater c/o / J.Crew Jeans / PB Teen Desk / PB Teen Pinboard / Society Social Chair c/o / Home Depot Closet System

Photos by Julia Dags.

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  1. Melissa said:

    Happy New Year! Fabulous goals!!

    1.2.19 · Reply
    • Julia said:

      Same to you, Melissa. And thanks!

      1.2.19 · Reply
  2. Katherine said:

    Love these. I love the New Year and the fresh start feeling that comes along with it. I decided that this year is going to be my year of saving. I really want to be more fiscally responsible and spend less on material items and really think about the long term value of something. Thanks for sharing.

    1.2.19 · Reply
    • Julia said:

      Such a great goal. I suggest making monthly savings goals for the whole year so that it doesn’t get lost by the summer! That helps us a lot.

      1.2.19 · Reply
  3. Kristen said:

    Happy New Year! My husband and I struggle with budgeting for personal purposes as well, very interested to hear what path you choose to follow on this topic!

    1.2.19 · Reply
    • Julia said:

      I really hope I can be helpful. We’re not the best at it either, but I’m committed to making a change!

      1.2.19 · Reply
  4. Nina said:

    Love to hear that I am not the only one out there with a tidy house but messes lurking in closets and drawers!

    1.2.19 · Reply
    • Julia said:

      Hahah nope. It’s an epidemic in the Dzafic household!

      1.2.19 · Reply
  5. Love your list. My goals are controlling my anxiety. Get my house organized my bedroom is a hot mess. I can not wait for your recipes and the workouts. Happy New Year to you and your family.

    1.2.19 · Reply
    • Julia said:

      Those sound familiar! Good luck with the anxiety. I’ll post more content around that as I learn and grow in that department too.

      1.2.19 · Reply
  6. Katherine said:

    There is so much truth in your line of “just handle things”. I have found myself angry and bitter that all the home things haven’t fallen completely on me over the last couple of years; though to be frank, I don’t “work” outside of the home. We have had similar conversations, mostly out of my anxiousness to breathe again, and he’s always just said he didn’t know what needed to be done. It baffled me and would further anger me because to me, the list of things was clear. But for someone who isn’t home to notice wiping base boards or polishing cabinets, it isn’t. This just reminded me the conversation can be had again, without attitude (oops!), and together we can make it work. Sometimes we feel alone in our problems and then we read something that reassures us we aren’t. This isn’t OUR marriage issue, it’s an issue in other homes, too. Thank you for your honesty. You could write that raw book and it would echo a thousand other hearts.

    1.2.19 · Reply
    • Julia said:

      I completely understand where you’re coming from, and I’ve been there with that same type of conversation, trust me! I suggest going into it with a different attitude and a solution that will work, and it will be a game changer! And thank you for your words of encouragement for the book. It’s still on my mind!!

      1.2.19 · Reply
  7. Brynna said:

    I’m so excited to follow along this year! All of those goals seem realistic, and I’m actually going to adapt a few of them myself!

    Where did you find Boots’ bed? Happy New Year!

    1.2.19 · Reply
    • Julia said:

      Amazing! I love to hear that. Boots’ bed is from Orvis. We love their dog beds. He has two!

      1.2.19 · Reply
  8. Katie G said:

    Thanks for sharing your goals for the new year. I’m def making mental notes to use some of these for myself (I’ve never been one to make goals at the beginning of the year). I guess you can say a goal is to start making goals. Ha.

    Happy new year!

    1.2.19 · Reply
    • Julia said:

      Ha, perfect! I hope it goes well for you!

      1.2.19 · Reply
  9. rt said:

    I don’t really have resolutions, nowadays I just have a rolling list of long term and short terms goals and things to do. It’s a pretty messy handwritten list but it’s always satisfying to cross things off of it.
    As far as getting organized, I would temper your expectations on how long that can last if you decide to have a 2nd child. One child you can keep fairly organized but 2 is a different ball game. I remember being able to pretty easily organize by linen closet when my daughter was a baby, but now I really have to hustle to do closet organizations during the times my kids are both at school. As they get older they have more stuff too, toys, more clothes (and seem to grow out of them quicker). Plus the children play together and there is the combined mess and chaos. I’m sure there are people who do a better job of keeping it clean than me (some who may do worse), but design mags and let’s face it blogs make it look like everything is pristine in the kids rooms and playrooms like they never play with anything. I guess what I’m trying to say is if you have multiple kids you are never “done” organizing, its not a goal that can be accomplished, just managed – constantly managed.

    1.2.19 · Reply
  10. Kristie W. said:

    All great goals that sound achievable! I think having some monthly features is a great idea to have consistent content planned. Always writing the night before has to be stressful!

    My goals are to shop less, pay down debt and hopefully craft more. I also need to get my health in order, made a lot of progress in 2018 but had some new issues pop up that have to be addressed.

    1.2.19 · Reply
    • Julia said:

      Those sound like great goals as well! I’m so sorry to hear that you’re having health issues, but I hope you can work through them this year.

      1.4.19 · Reply
  11. Looking forward to more wellness content! I’m focusing on being intentional with what I put in, on and how I take care of my body (including mind) this year. I decided I’m not making goals per say but small habits that hopefully will help me reach over arching goals! Happy New Year girl!!

    Amanda @ Cupcake N Dreams

    1.2.19 · Reply
  12. Tanya WIlliams said:

    Would love to hear more about how you go about setting up your will. This has been on my to do list for two years… it’s gonna happen in 2019! Any tips or tricks you find along the way would be helpful.

    1.2.19 · Reply
    • Julia said:

      I will keep you posted as we do this! I’m hoping to get it done in Q1 and I’ll do a full blog post about our process.

      1.3.19 · Reply
  13. Emily H. said:

    LOVE the idea of listing out everything you “handle” and reviewing it with Anel. I’m doing this with my husband because there is so much I do that he doesn’t even know about. And it’s exhausting to try to do it all even though he helps a lot!

    1.2.19 · Reply
    • Julia said:

      Exactly! When he saw the list he was shocked. It’s the silly little things (like washing the dog beds) that add up. He had no idea about half of them. It’s a good eye opener for them!

      1.3.19 · Reply
  14. Cate Green said:

    I love the way you’ve organized these goals. They seem so reasonable and attainable. I can relate to what you wrote about emotional labor and Anel taking on tasks. My husband and I have “labor negotiations” regularly (quarterly?) and particularly when we have a shift in activities for us or our boys. It is for sure a contributing factor in feeling successful in our marriage 17 years later. I’m looking forward to watching you grow this year.

    1.2.19 · Reply
    • Julia said:

      Thanks Cate! LOVING the term “labor negotiations” and I’m totally going to sue that in my house. I also love that you do it regularly. Great tip!

      1.3.19 · Reply
  15. Vasiliki said:

    Great goals! Thanks for sharing and inspiring us!
    Some of mine include spending more time outside the house (not easy to do with NorthEast weather) and travel internationally as a family of four.

    1.4.19 · Reply
    • Julia said:

      That last one is a bold goal, I love it!

      1.4.19 · Reply
  16. Nicole said:

    You would have the cutest clothing line! #justsaying

    1.4.19 · Reply
    • Julia said:

      #allthestripes 🙂

      1.4.19 · Reply
  17. Julie Johnson said:

    Anel’s “dirtiest clean person I know” description gave me a good laugh! I’m always in awe of what a great partnership you two have. It’s heartwarming! Good luck with the goals!

    1.4.19 · Reply
  18. Love these real, honest and relatable goals. Lack of organization coupled with general busyness in life almost did me in last year.
    I started the Miracle Morning routine on the 29th and it made a huge difference already. My days are morphing from blobs of random activity into clearer, more organized and more effective hours.

    All the best in 2019.

    1.4.19 · Reply