A Spicy Perspective

Hope for the New Year

Hope for the New Year

Ever year, after all the holiday festivities have come and gone, I sit down and force myself to set goals for the new year.

As an artsy-type, this is not something I like to do.

I would much rather trust that things will always turn out the way they should as I float through the months.

Hot Air Balloon

Yet life has taught me otherwise.

Sometimes the only way to get out of a bad situation, or get into a good situation, is to make deliberate changes in your life.

And how can you change if you don’t evaluate where you’ve been and where you want to go?

gone fishing

I know some people snub the idea of New Year’s resolutions.

Yet January is just as good a time as any to dream about what the next year could look like, if you were willing to alter your course.

I generally try to set a couple serious goals and a couple fun goals for the following categories:

  • Personal/Spiritual
  • Family
  • Relational
  • Health
  • Business

the falls

There’s something about writing down your dreams that makes them come alive.

It may not feel like anything is different at first but, subconsciously, you are aware of your goals and have created a source of accountability for yourself.

above the clouds

Last January, Lt. Dan had to practically force me to make goals for 2012. We had just gone through a tough year and I didn’t feel like I was in the right state-of-mind to be hopeful for the future.

(Honestly, I was having a pity party.)

Yet the exercise planted a vision in my heart, of things that needed to change.

Things that could change.

Some things that I could change immediately, and some things that would take a little faith.


I have opened my notebook several times this year to take a long hard look at the goals I set.

Some of them have happened naturally and some I’ve had to work at quite a bit.

However 95% of the goals I set have been accomplished, and I’ve made serious headway on the remaining 5%.

I probably wouldn’t have done ANY of these things if I hadn’t written them down.


Evaluating your life and setting goals can be a slightly painful personal exercise.

  • You’ve got to be brutally honest with yourself.
  • You’ve got to dare to think beyond your comfort zone.
  • You’ve got to address old habits that hold you back.

Painful as it is, doing this makes a huge difference in personal growth.

I am already working on my goals for 2013, are you?


I’d love to hear about a goal you set for 2012 that has come to pass.

Please tell me about it below!

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25 comments on “Hope for the New Year”

  1. Love the new look~ And I am really working on setting/pushing myself this year to accomplish a few things I have always dreamt of doing. Happy 2013!!

  2. There’s great power in writing down what we want to accomplish, it makes it clear in our minds and holds us accountable.

  3. I love this time of year–goal setting is such an important tool for changing your life. I, too, learned this later in life…but it’s been great to see changes happen and take me to places I never thought would come true. Good luck with your goals in 2013!

  4. Setting goals is something I used to do semi-annually and really need to get back to that. Thanks for inspiring me to revisit that practice, Sommer. And – PS – the new design looks fabulous!

  5. Okay, first off….love the look of the blog! Secondly, you are so right and I really *should* right down my goals. My husband and I had some rough times in 2012, but we worked hard and now I feel like things are more on track then ever. Maybe this is the right time to set goals so we STAY on track.

  6. Thanks for this lovely post. It has motivated me to set some goals for this year. Here is what I have so far:
    1. Read the Bible or a devotional every day.
    2. Do something nice and unexpected for someone else (known or not known) at least once a month.
    3. Make some new friends, but keep the old.
    4. Continue on the path to optimum health by eating healthy and exercising. Increase the exercising from 3 hours a week to 5 hours a week.
    5. Spend less time on the computer and more time reading or creating (food, crafts…)
    6. Increase the number of hours that I volunteer. Look for a cause that is dear to me and focus on that and find ways to volunteer.
    7. Entertain, from simple pot luck get togethers to coffee at my house

    That’s a good start! I’m printing it out and posting it on my bulletin board.

  7. Happy New Year! What a great reflection. I don’t make many resolutions on New Years Day, but instead find myself adding to a list that grows each month. 2012 has been a year of immense growth for me, and I’m so happy that it brought me to where I am now. Thank you for sharing!

  8. Goals are very important and the ones you mention here are ones that I too have. Though I do find that they change over the course of the year, I always hold onto these values… family, healthy, education.

    Wishing you a very happy new year. Hope to see you again in 2013, my friend!

  9. Great post! I usually set resolutions in my mind, but never write them down. Maybe that needs to be my resolution this year. It’ll be a year of change for me, so I’m looking forward to it and scared about it at the same time.

  10. I’m literally sitting here with my notebook writing out my goals – maybe procrastinating just a teeny bit :)

    I love resolutions – and I don’t beat myself over them either. I make resolutions or goals before every season – summer, school starting, new years! I don’t always write them down, but they are always in my thoughts.

    Happy New Year to you my friend, I am SO SO happy to have met you in person this year, you are a sweetheart and hope our paths cross again soon. xo

  11. I couldn’t agree more! Great post and here’s to a wonderful 2013!

  12. First I must acknowledge one of your goals realized here; your new site! Congrats Sommer! It looks great. What a wonderful way to embark on the new year with a fresh new look. Hoping you are over the moon about it! Thank you for your heartfelt and thoughtful post. Like you, I love to see what life has to unfold so resist certain types of goal setting, never wanting to exclude something I may not have considered I think. I do think however it’s important to have some sense of direction to work toward so your post timing is a great nudge for me. Wishing you and your family the best of all things in 2013 Sommer.

  13. Sommer, thank you for sharing such a positive message. My hubby and I can personally attest to the effectiveness of the practice in setting yearly goals—even the most simple. Two years ago, our resolution for the New Year was to “live in the moment”. (Sadly, sometimes couples forget this.) Then, last year, our resolution was “to be true to ourselves”. This is yet another simple but important aspect in life that we tend to forget. Both goals were fulfilled and have now become a way of life for us. This year’s resolution will be to continue to grow personally and professionally in specific ways. Thanks again for sharing and…HAPPY NEW YEAR! xoxo P.S. Love the new blog design!

  14. I love this post. Wishing you all the best this new year with all that you set out to achieve!! Great success and happiness in 2013!!

  15. Wow Sommer, this was a beautiful post! I always look at the new year in a positive way and I always make new resolutions, my thing is I need to stick with them and this year I plan on trying my hardest. For me, my big thing is health. If your not healthy, how can I enjoy the rest of my life? I’m really trying this not only for me, because to be honest, I’m pretty healthy, but if I made goals and do them, I’m hoping my Husband would do the same. He’s a typical Guys Guy, doesn’t care about health or well being, just goes through life as the moment comes. He’s not very healthy and he is considerably older then me, and it scares me to think he doesn’t take his health seriously. He doesn’t go to the doctors because he believes what he doesn’t know won’t hurt him. I can post this here, but I can’t on my blog because he will read it and just get mad at me. I love your post today and you really made me think. Happy New Years to you and your family!

  16. You’ve definitely got me thinking!! I love this post and your outlook. Here’s to an amazing 2013!

  17. Happy New Year! I love your post–its so true. You must be honest with yourself and I think putting ink to paper helps us get one step closer to making our goals come to life. Next year, I plan to run a 5k. It will be the first time I’ve done one in 5 years and I’m putting it to paper to make it a realistic goal in 2013!

  18. I couldn’t agree more! Hope to see you sometime in the new year, sweet friend!

  19. Love the new design Sommer. Happy New Year to you! xoxo

  20. I love this, Sommer! I like to set goals but for the new year, I call them “intentions” so that they continue to be a work in progress – not something that I achieve and then forget about. I love the categories that you use, too! I’m using those as a guide for this year! Happy new year, xoxo!

  21. Love this, Sommer! The New Year is the perfect time to reflect on all the blessings of the past year and look ahead to the next.

  22. You make for a great argument. I know this is always good to do, but I’m not so good at actually doing it. And to say that you’ve accomplished 95%+ of your 2012 goals, awesome!!!

  23. I’m really good about business goals but personal goals are another story! I know this is going to be a big year for our family and our business and I am pretty excited about it all. Happy New Year Sommer!

  24. I love this. I think it’s so important to forget doing resolutions and start just writing what we hope for.

  25. Haaaappy New Year, Sommer! I hope our faces are in the same room next year. xoxox.