2018 Look Back — What Goals Worked and What Didn’t?

2018 is DONE! And now we are into a whole new year. A brand new start and yet another opportunity to give up on goals in January. So, to avoid that, we’ve been looking at analyzing the goals we made in the past year and figure out what worked and what didn’t. Okay, first thing’s first.

I missed the mark on a lot of my goals this past year!


this year held the most goals I have ever made. I jumped in, made some goals, hit some and missed others. But like I said in a recent blog post, I am trying to focus on those that I hit.

Wayne Gretzky, the hockey Hall of Famer, said this:

“You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.”

Taking action is the most difficult thing about hitting goals. Good news is, action was taken. Now, let’s take a look at the goals I made in 2018 (click here for my post last year).

Goal Set 1: Financial

We did completely save the remaining money necessary to finish Bailey’s education (feels good!). And we also helped sponsor our youth group for our church’s summer mission trip which was rewarding to hear about after the trip.

Were these too easy? Maybe, maybe not. Bailey and I have talked about how we can change our financial goals to stretch us just a bit more in a few areas. More on this in a coming blog post.

Goal Set 2: Intellectual

I hit my reading goal of 4500 pages (about 12.5 per day)! This turned out to be an excellent goal. I haven’t ever read as much as I did this past year. As in, before I graduated from college, I probably had read fewer than ten books for the fun of it.

I completed this goal with seven days to spare. Towards the middle of the year, I was running about thirty days ahead of schedule. I was on track to hit my stretch goal of 5000 pages pretty easily but was slowed down tremendously by my second intellectual goal — writing a book.

Graduating from college, I experienced a lot of confusion surrounding the move out of my parents’ house, getting married, and starting a job. I’m still learning, but I wrote a book (called Graduated and Clueless) to help others in the same transition. Check it out on Amazon!

This goal was initially set to be completed by June 30th but I hit some roadblocks. Like the whole editing and formatting process took way longer than I thought. So I published it a month later on August 1st.

Goal set 3: Physical

Thus begins Caleb’s goal failures.

First of all, we didn’t hit our goal of going to the gym an average of ten times per month. It was closer to eight times per month. Not bad considering I have never worked out on a consistent basis. What we did find was that when the fall semester started, Bailey and I had a more difficult time of going to the gym regularly because I was getting up early to go to work and she would get home (very) late from classes.

It made it particularly hard to get enough sleep and get to the gym together. However, we did manage to change up our schedules a bit so so we could go more often. We’ve been talking about how we can make our physical goals a bit more achievable this year.

I did hit my benching goal of 175 lbs! This was exciting because I have rather long, gangly arms which makes some physical things more difficult than others (engineers know what I’m talking about).

I did not hit fifty push-ups in a row. Also, twenty-five chin-ups are unbelievably difficult to hit. So I didn’t hit that. Also, also, I didn’t hit my 500 miles of biking. I biked like 100 miles. It was so pathetic, I haven’t even added them up yet.

Goal Set 4: Spiritual

This was a tough one. Mostly because I get a slightly weird feeling when I make a spiritual growth goal. I think it’s because it feels like if I hit my goal, I wouldn’t strive to grow even more in my spiritual life. However, it was a great way to get more Biblical learning and spur growth in my faith than I would get otherwise.

In the first few months, I was great at getting to work twenty minutes early three times a week to read my Bible. I dropped off a bit during the middle of the year. After Bailey and I reworked our schedules in the fall, we read the Bible almost every workday morning together which worked well.

I did participate in a bi-weekly Bible study. I also served as an usher at church, joined the choir and am currently responsible for the website and monthly newsletter.

Almost every week, I listened to five sermons. Plus, over 1000 of the 4500 pages were in spiritual learning. The two that impacted me most were The Treasure Principle by Randy Alcorn and Experiencing God by Henry Blackaby (check out the list of books I read in 2018).

Reasons for goals

To be clear, I don’t say any of this to pump myself up for my spiritual goals (or any of them). This is all by the grace of God that I was able to hit any of these. I don’t want it to sound like “I did this good, spiritual thing!” or “I did that good, spiritual thing!” They were simply goals to help me grow in my relationship with Jesus Christ.

Speaking of which, that’s why I do all of these goals. God has given me so much (not to mention taking away a lot of sin!) and this is one way I am striving to glorify Him with my life. It’s like the parable of the talents from Matthew 25:14-30. One man was given five talents, doubled them and was consequently given more to manage by his master. Similarly, the man given two talents doubled his and was given more to manage. The last man was given one talent. He did nothing with it and was punished for it. I’d be thrilled if God used my life to give even more back to Him!

That’s it, Folks

That is a look back at 2018. And though I’m having a slow start to 2019, goals are being developed. In fact, my family just did a couple of days away to look at our vision for this year. I’m really looking forward to seeing what happens this year!

What goals did you hit last year? I want to hear from you in the comments below!



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