The Year So Far: Goal Analysis

September 28, 2023

Approximately 26% of 2023 remains.

I feel like it’s time for a little bit of . . . reckoning with my annual goals as we head around the bend towards the end of the year .. . .

Selected 2023 Goals:

Luckily, I still have those in my trusty EC Monthly notebook. For 2024, I will do this again (and have already bought the a 2024 EC Monthly!) but will ALSO take a pic and paste it into Apple Notes, since that way I can look at it even when away from the notebook and have a more permanent record.


  • Run faster – get a “40s PR in the 5K, half marathon, etc”. (Hoping for an actual PR in the marathon not just 40s, so hopefully will exceed this goal). My mileage so far this year = 1707.8 mi. Possibly will be a lifetime mileage PR though I ran a LOT in 2005/2006 so it may be similar.
  • Keep fighting the urge to scroll. Generally okay. Still not perfect (yes, despite leading a Digital Detox course — I am still human and imperfect! I still think it’s a good course and I think the participants appreciated a leader who struggled right along with them!)
  • Mommy day with each kid. Accomplished.
  • Develop library routine. Pretty much! Not every week, but many Saturdays we have a rhythm of lal going. I still need to develop my hold list management for the kids.
  • Develop homework routines. Umm, I haven’t really had to? A/C have been pretty independent with this, honestly, and I’ve been impressed. Obviously the school year is young, but this has gone better than expected.
  • Take great family trips! YESSSS.
  • Attend PES in person. Check, and had a great time especially hanging out with my former co-fellow.
  • Launch + grow BLPA. OMG – I didn’t even realize I only led the first round in early 2023! It seems like it’s been around longer (but, nope 🙂 ). Definitely check.
  • Plan and execute live planning retreat. It’s happening! I mean it has not yet been executed but it’s happening (and soon!).
  • Guest on some great podcasts – yes, though I feel like I could (should) do more!
  • Expand speaking – I would say yes! Also would love to do a bit more, but I did my very first big event last fall and have had 3 since and one upcoming.
  • Habits: Headspace + 5 year journal. I do these most days.
  • Fun: trip with college friends (upcoming), 1-2 podcasting trip (check, x2), occasional lunch/spa dates with a friend (check)
  • 15% savings rate (based on gross income). Yes, I’m pretty confident we met this. (Much of this is what is automatically going to retirement investment accounts but that still counts. Not counting college savings.)
  • See 6 movies – yes! Glass Onion, A Man Called Otto, Creed III, Are You There God . . . , Barbie – one more and we are good. This doesn’t count kids movies or rewatches of older movies with kids (Clueless, Mean Girls, Bring it On, Stick It, Yes Day, Elemental, etc).


  • Organize the house. Um. I’m finally starting to admit to myself that maybe this is just not achievable right now in a big “whole home” sort of way. I need to figure out how to narrow down this goal to make it more achievable. My “15 min declutter” idea was great but I feel like I need more structure . . .
  • Read 60 books. Probably not going to happen – I am up to 39 and 20 in the next 3 months would really be a stretch. I’m at peace with this though I actually do think I could read more.
  • Improve skincare.
  • Plan out personal spending. HAHAHA. I am always broke when it comes to my allowance (thankfully not when it comes to our family finances; I guess this is why we do adult allowances). A huge portion of my expenditures this year have been running related. I am advocating for an allowance raise next year but we will see if it passes the senate (the senate is comprised of myself + Josh).
  • Duolingo. I still do it. But probably 40-50% of the time.
  • Weekly TV night. So it turns out, when you wake up at 4:30 to run most mornings, evening TV is just not that appealing most nights. And on the rare nights I am staying up a little, we are not usually watching TV. Sad because I would love to see more shows! I did somehow get in Bad Sisters.
  • Update affiliates on site (like, amazon link to favorite stationery supplies). I could still do this. But will I . . . I would join jetpens or hobonichi affiliate programs in a heartbeat but they don’t exist!
  • Concerts + plays. I really wanted to go to some this year and so far, 0. I have seen perhaps 2 plays and one of them was Bluey Live so it doesn’t count. I am planning on the Nutcracker . . .
  • Care for nails better. I have had a few mani/pedis, but I didn’t stay as consistent as I wanted to. My feet are not pretty right now . . .
  • Estate planning. Sigh. We are going for some kind of record with this one. I recognize that if we die before it’s done, that sort of defeats the purpose . . .

I feel really lucky reading this list. It has been a really good year for our family so far. I will think about what on the second list make sense to prioritize and what makes sense to let go as I do some pre-scheming for 2024.

Have you taken stock of your 2023 goals?


  • Reply Jami H September 28, 2023 at 2:33 pm

    I saw this ad the other day for community education instructors at a community college and thought of you. I don’t know if teaching a college course would align with your vision, but I think it would be a great way to reach more people! And I too am in the same boat with estate planning!

  • Reply Kay September 28, 2023 at 4:14 pm

    Skincare was one of my goals too – im 40ish – here is what i worked out following the advice of https://www.youtube.com/@Doctorly

    NOTE: i have has to make some changes to get things available in Australia, where I have multiple products listed, ill try it a new one each time I run out

    ME – LATE 30’S
    1. Cleanse – CeraVe Hydrating Cleanser
    2. Treat – Biossance Squalane + Copper Peptide Rapid Plumping Serum or Biossance Squalane + Vitamin C Dark Spot Serum – alternate days
    3. Protect – Coola unsented sunscreen

    1. Cleanse – CeraVe Hydrating Cleanser
    2. Treat – Tretinoin – leave 20 mins or
    Lactic Acid – one of the following:
    • The Ordinary Lactic Acid 10% + HA
    • Drunk Elephant – Protini™ Powerpeptide Serum
    • Biossance Squalance + 10% Lactic Acid
    3. Treat – one of the following
    • Matrixyl 3000
    • The Inkey List Collagen Peptide Serum
    • DRMTLGY Needle-less serum
    • The Ordinary Argireline Solution 10%
    • QURE all on one face serum
    • NO7 future renew damage reversal serum
    • Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair
    4. Protect – one of the following
    • La Roche-Posay Lipikar AP+M Triple Repair Moisturizing Cream – too shiny
    • La Roche-Posay Toleriane Double Repair Face Moisturiser
    • First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Firming Collagen Cream
    • Olay Regenerist Ultra Risk Hydrating Moisturiser
    • Eucerin Advanced Repair Cream
    BODY AND FEET Legs and Feet – CeraVe SA Smoothing Cream
    Body – CeraVe Moisturising Cream

    1. Cleanse – CeraVe Hydrating Cleanser
    2. Treat – La Roche Posay Effaclar Duo Plus spot treatment OR Differin Gel (adapalene) (this is prescription only)
    3. Protect – EltaMD UV Clear Sunscreen

    1. Cleanse – CeraVe Foaming Cleanser or Benzac AC Wash 5% (for heavy breakouts)
    2. Treat – The Ordinary Azelaic Acid
    3. Protect – La Roche Posay Matte Moisturizer
    BODY AND FEET Arms and Feet – CeraVe SA Smoothing Cream
    Body – CeraVe Moisturising Cream

    This is totally optional except the sunscreen – she is very fair and we live somewhere very sunny – she likes feeling involved – so when she wants to, I can direct her to what she can use/do
    1. Coola Sunscreen
    1. Cleanse – CeraVe Hydrating Cleanser
    2. Protect – one of the following
    • La Roche-Posay Lipikar AP+M Triple Repair Moisturizing Cream
    • La Roche-Posay Toleriane Double Repair Face Moisturiser
    • First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Firming Collagen Cream
    • Olay Regenerist Ultra Risk Hydrating Moisturiser
    • Eucerin Advanced Repair Cream
    BODY AND FEET Arms and Feet – CeraVe SA Smoothing Cream
    Body – CeraVe Moisturising Cream

    The format in the comment section isnt very good, email me if you want the word version!

    • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger September 28, 2023 at 4:41 pm

      I love this! Thank you for posting!

      • Reply Nadine September 28, 2023 at 8:04 pm

        Yes – thank you for posting from an Australian perspective! So annoying when recommended products are not available here.

    • Reply Grateful Kae September 29, 2023 at 1:31 pm

      This is amazing! But also…gulp, how much do you spend a month on skin products? 😬 I ended up getting a couple of Rx level products (tretinoin, azelaic acid) from my doctor which my insurance pays for, so I am currently really just buying Cerave lotion/ sunscreen and cleansers. For a while I was buying a ton of different products from a medispa place and it was $$$$$$$$ and I felt the jury was very out if it was “really” making a huge difference, anyway. In fact some things seemed rather unchanged if not worse. In my case my skin seemed to kind of freak out when I’d put a lot of different things on it, so simpler has been better overall I think. Not saying my skin is “amazing” now exactly either, but I feel like at least I have some Rx level products that are generally proven effective and dermatologist recommended and it is saving me a lot of money. Kay, you sound like a total pro though and must have learned a ton about all of this! Impressive!

      • Reply Kay September 30, 2023 at 10:53 pm

        Hey Kae,

        When I look at the list as pasted I gulp too 😊 it looks really overwhelming! But I think it is actually pretty close to the routine you described.

        I think it is kind of minimalist – I just listed all the options for myself as I am a total newbie and somewhat picky – like the first sunscreen I tried had such strong fragrance I couldn’t use it and the moisturiser I choose makes my face so shiny that my kids tease me because they can see the reflection from my phone on my forehead.

        3 steps in the morning
        1. Wash
        2. Treat
        3. Sunscreen

        4 in the evening
        4. Wash
        5. Exfoliate (tret or lactic acid)
        6. Treat
        7. Moisturise

        In USD I think it would cost about $300 for the 7 products – which should last around 6 months.

        Tis the original video I watched which provides way more context.



        • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger October 1, 2023 at 8:23 am

          And possibly less expensive if prescription derm products are used or brands like The Ordinary etc 🙂 I find the framework intriguing!

  • Reply Elisabeth September 28, 2023 at 6:45 pm

    “We will see if it passes the senate” – ha! That made me laugh. I often tell the kids when they want playdates that “Our people will call their people.”

    I love setting goals and this year has been a big one in terms of accomplishing some pretty big goals – along with fun ones, too. I blogged about this yesterday, actually: https://optimisticmusings.com/2023-goals-an-update-my-final-goal/

    • Reply Sophie September 29, 2023 at 3:11 pm

      Elisabeth- your blog is back! This makes me happy – I’ve missed it so much 🙂

      • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger September 29, 2023 at 3:39 pm

        YES – linking to it today!

  • Reply Lisa’s Yarns September 28, 2023 at 7:26 pm

    Great work on your goals! You have accomplished a lot of big things! I have done so so on my goals. I really knocked it out of the part in terms of my work goal. I wanted to travel 9 times, and will end up doing 14 this year. I didn’t set a goal for number of client meetings but I am at 300 right now. I did 90 in all of 2022!!! I am kind of feeling a bit worn out at work so am glad I hired someone so I can share the load as he gets trained. Because this level of activity at work is not sustainable! I have failed at planning dates with Phil but there is a girl on our block who wants to babysit so we will work on that the final quarter of the year. I signed up for a 10k and went on some awesome trips. I fell off the 23 in 23 wagon this spring when work got crazy. So kind of a mixed bag all and all! But I feel good about how much I have accomplished at work and it kind of offsets the failures in other areas of life.

  • Reply Coree September 29, 2023 at 2:27 am

    I listen to the Edit Your Life podcast and she’s doing a 30-40% reduction in stuff by categories, which I find really useful. I think it originated with Shira Gill, who argued that to actually organise, you need to reduce your belongings by 30%. I would be doing laundry even more than I currently do if I reduced my clothes by that much, but there are other categories that makes a lot of sense for..

    Also, are manicures/pedicures a requirement? Maybe you just don’t care about having painted nails?

  • Reply Sophie September 29, 2023 at 3:17 pm

    Thanks for sharing Sarah- great progress, and interesting reflections on the goals that haven’t been progressed. I laughed about the estate planning – We are the same in our house. It’s been on my list since 2017, and I think I’ve heard you discuss it as your goal on BOBW since then too haha. I think maybe the trick is to identify the first step- find and make an appointment with an estate planner- and then that will force the rest? Maybe that’s the goal I’ll put on my next list.

    I’m heading to Fiji for a week with the family (to a resort with a kids club!) today and can’t wait for lots of reflection and dreaming/goal setting time. Ahhh

  • Reply Jessica October 1, 2023 at 10:34 am

    I really like A Slob Comes Clean (podcast/book/etc) guidelines on organizing, her approach is different and more doable than most

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