This Girl’s Got Goals

Tomorrow is the start of a new year. Some people think of it as a clean slate. That’s a nice notion, but the practical side of me sees it as simply an easy day on the calendar for tracking goal progress. When something is overwhelming to me, I tend to process it quite clinically; a coping mechanism of mine that may not be obvious to others but that my therapist noticed during our first session.

The sole purpose of this blog/journal/journey is to set myself up for success; to reach goals that I set for myself, without any external prompting, and to acquire new habits. These marks are set for personal emotional growth, professional growth of my business, marriage/relationship enrichment, and improvements in my health and wellness. They exist in two categories: short-term (less than 60 days) and long-term (more than 60 days).

I will probably add to or subtract items from this list over the course of the next 365 days as life happens and other priorities arise, but for now these columns are my compass. Some are relative small goals in length of time, but that does not indicate the difficulty of the goal itself. For example, going to bed by 10pm and waking up at 6am is a very arduous goal for me, but I’m hoping that by setting an achievable, short length of time to maintain this it will help build my confidence to continue until it becomes habit.



  • Go to bed by 10pm and wake up at 6am for 7 straight days. If successful, continue this.
  • Drink 1 gallon of water daily for 7 days. Make sure this coincides with easy access to a bathroom.
  • Set 1 thing aside to donate every day for 1 month. Ask Neil and Grant to do the same.
  • Compliment someone daily for 7 days.
  • Do something to pay-it-forward for 7 days.
  • Read for 1 hour each day for 14 days. This should be done before going to bed.
  • Do 1 project a day with Grant for 7 days. 
  • Stay offline one day per week for 4 straight weeks. Day of week to be chosen later.
  • Schedule 1 date night each week for 4 straight weeks. Secure babysitter for all 4 nights ahead of time.
  • Rid closet of all clothes that don’t currently fit.
  • Write one hand-written letter to a family member or friend each day for 7 days.
  • Spend 7 days recognizing simple pleasures. List these in each daily blog post.
  • Take an online education course to learn a new task each week for 4 consecutive weeks. Record best takeaways from each lesson.
  • List 5 things to sell online each day for 7 days.
  • Use gift cards and book 2 massages. Complete this within the first 60 days of 2019.
  • Go hiking once a week in a new park for 8 consecutive weeks.
  • Meet a friend for coffee/lunch/shopping/etc once a week for 4 consecutive weeks.
  • Sketch daily, for 30 consecutive days. Share sketches online each day.
  • Post to the blog daily for 365 days.
  • Go Gluten Free for 90 days. Starting January 1, 2019.
  • Grow out hair for one year. This may seem silly but this goal literally requires doing nothing and I still have not been able to accomplish it.
  • Lose 40lbs in one year. Starts January 1, 2019.
  • Attend at least 4 Fit4Mom BodyBack classes each week for 1 year. I started to write 3 then realized I was saying in my head “three would be easier” and changed it to 4 because this journey isn’t about “easy.”
  • Complete all daily homework assignments during BodyBack transformation sessions. Session starts January 12.
  • Wean myself off my anxiety medication. By June 30.
  • Practice gratitude daily for 365 days. End each blog post with one thing I’m thankful for.
  • Book at least two photoshoots each month.
  • Define business objectives and create client management system. Complete this by March 30th.
  • Participate in monthly photography club prompt. Submit at least 5 images each.
  • Enter at least 3 photography contests within the year.
  • Create newsletter for photography clients. Distribute this bi-monthly.

Follow me and help keep me accountable please. If it suits you, feel free to do the challenges along with me. It’s going to be a fun, productive and life-changing year!

Goodbye, and Hello.

You know that question “are you ok?” Have you ever responded to it with “I’m fine” even though you clearly weren’t “fine” at the time? Getting into the nuances of the honest response would take up way too much of the questioner’s time and that’s what I pay the professional for, amiright? It kinda feels like a long, slow drowning. But today … today I decided to swim.

Ok, I know I was going to get this whole journey started on the 1st, but something came over me today and I attacked my neglected bedroom. Since once of my goals (which I haven’t announced yet) is to rid my entire closet of all ill-fitting clothes and unwanted items, and another of my goals was to make my bedroom a space both my husband and I actually want to be in, I figured I better not get in my own way.

This morning I was sitting on the couch watching tv with my four-year old when I realized his engagement with the movie was at zombie level, so I had a good two hours before that trance would break. Something snapped in me and taking full advantage of my newly realized semi-freedom, I raced upstairs with trash bags and empty cardboard boxes in hand. Time alone is precious in this house, folks.

I franticly ransacked my closet and dresser drawers like never before. Anything that didn’t fit me TODAY at THIS VERY MINUTE was stuffed in a bag to be donated or to be mailed to for trade-in credit. It was all feeling so real. I was actually doing it!

But I can’t just write this without mentioning how ridiculously difficult it is for me to depart with my clothes. I see clothing I used to fit in, from a very different time in my life, and feel like if I get rid of those items I am somehow throwing away a previous version of me, along with all my hopes of ever rebooting her. I have struggled with mourning her and the self-assurance she possessed … her poise, her driven work ethic, her body shape and young face. She was once a force and her disappearance was like suffering the death of a best friend. I am slowly beginning to accept and welcome the new version of me, and to appreciate her accomplishments. This body did give my husband and me our baby boy after all! No easy feat and one with lifelong physical and emotional changes. So, once “new Jaime” masters the self-love she deserves she’s going to buy herself a whole new closet of clothes, because she deserves that, too.

The clothes that made the cut now hang nicely in my closet with plenty of breathing room. My feet have also gained a size since having my son, so deleting more than half my shoe supply has freed up some shelf space for new kicks! Too bad I hate shoe shopping. Give me all the flip flops!

By the end, I had amassed six bags of clothing, shoes and trash . My dog was right beside me through the entire process, offering me support like only a sleeping canine can.

In addition to purging the clothes of my closet and dresser, I also went through our random drawers and bags and boxes that have collected in our room over the past several months. My husband and I rearranged the furniture and now it feels like a whole new space. I have a duvet cover set being delivered from a Pottery Barn clearance sale and when that arrives I know the room will feel just a step closer to our end goal: serenity.
Next up for this room: finally getting rid of the god awful pink/tan paint. I. Can’t. Wait.

The happiness that just these few hours of effort have given me is immeasurable. I’m proud of myself for casting aside the overwhelming negative thoughts that tried to get me to quit or “save it for another day.” Recognizing my accomplishments, large and small, is a big part of my accountability journey. If I can track even the smallest of successes and cultivate the confidence it breaks, soon I’ll be able to conquer anything! Yes, there are other things I could have done in place of this, but I’m not convinced those other obligations would have made me this happy. Sometimes you just have allow yourself to do what makes you happy.

The Accountability Journey

Hello world!

You may be wondering what an accountability journey is. To be honest, it’s just a quick word combo my husband and I came up with while tossing ideas around in the car for a new blog I told him I wanted to start. Turns out, with the hustle that is our life, forcibly sitting next to one another while driving in the car is not only one of the few times we have to be “still” together, but it’s also when we have some of our most productive conversations. 

That’s great and all, but what does it mean? 

I’ve recognized over the past year (and through lots of therapy) that I am completely terrified of setting goals. When confessing my inadequacies to my husband he told me “but you finished college. That’s an accomplishment.” Sure, 12 years ago … and that never really felt like a goal to me. It was no different in my mind than graduating from high school; it was just something required of me. Following college, my only goal was to get a job. It was as generic as that. Since then that goal has changed to “keeping a job.” It was never to move up the ladder or improve my circumstances, always just to maintain the status quo.

After the past four years of stay-at-home mom life and self-employment, I’m so out of practice with the real world now that when I do set goals, if I mess up even a little I call the whole thing off and quit. Frustration and fury drive my actions and I’m easily overwhelmed. My therapist says I have a theme for life and it’s “all or nothing.” While it sounds romantic to give your all or expect it from others, it’s really unimpressive when you consider the “nothing” that comes with it.

So how does one change that? How do you go from “nothing” to “all” or live somewhere comfortably in between?

Why, through an Accountability Journey, of course! It’s a journal, but it’s also a journey! Get it?! This is my way to challenge myself and take the world along with me. Let’s face it, I need witnesses. My plan is to start small, with simple goals over short lengths of time that make hitting these marks highly achievable. A confidence booster phase, if you will. Once I get the hang of things and taste those tiny sips of accomplishment, I’ll want more, and more, and MORE and the goals will increase in longevity.

I’ll be setting a series of short and long-term goals over the course of the next year and documenting my experiences right here on this blog. Don’t worry, though. It won’t be as boring as it definitely sounds. 

And yes, I’m going to start this on January 1, because what’s more cliché than setting a new goal on New Years Day? If we’re going to do this, we’re going to do this ALL. THE. WAY. 

So, there you have it. Join me on this journey. Hold me accountable and remind me to keep going even if I mess up a little. Clearly, I need the support. Challenge yourself, too, if you’d like! It’s time for me to hop off the struggle bus I’ve been riding and find a new way to do this life. 

Who’s with me?!