2017 Goals: Revisited

It may seem a bit premature to be revisiting my goals for 2017 and beyond, knowing we still have a month and a half left of this year. However, I like to think of this review as a last-ditch effort to accomplish as many of my goals as possible before 2017 ticks away and we welcome a new year.

TO REVIEW. I wrote about my goals in this post.

“We hear so much talk about #newyearnewme that is almost seems like a requirement that we all resolve to be skinnier or stronger or whatever. I have a hard time with that, because 1. The me that I am right now seems pretty okay, and 2. Shouldn’t we focus more on being a better human being and making meaningful changes in our lives than just the superficial?

Similarly, I don’t think the beginning of the year has cornered the market on when we’re allowed to set goals. Who says you can’t make resolutions at the end of January, or in May or in August? No one, that’s who.”

My mindset now is pretty much the same as my mindset back in January. I’m still working on being a better human in general – a process that I’m pretty sure should never end. It’s always a work in progress.

Some of the goals I set for myself are super easy to measure. Others are a little more subjective. But, let’s see where I’m at, so that I can see what I can work on through the holiday season.

Goal #1: Get More Sleep

I would love to say that this has been a rousing (or not?) success. Unfortunately, that hasn’t been the case. I haven’t been terrible at sleeping, but I haven’t been nearly as dedicated to achieving 7+ hours of sleep a night as I probably should be. I’m always working on this – this weekend for example, I was in bed at 8pm on Saturday night. Mind you, I didn’t go to sleep until around 10, but I was allowing my body to relax and that felt good. As it starts getting darker earlier, getting to bed earlier will be easier. I will do my best to use this to my advantage.

Goal #2: Read More Books

Going hand in hand with getting to bed earlier was making time to read more – I used to be a card-carrying bookworm as a kid, but since college, I haven’t made as much time for reading as I should. I had a goal of reading 30 books in 2017. I think I’ve read… *counts* eight or nine. Fail. Well, maybe not a total fail – I still technically have read more books in 2017 than I read in 2016, so that’s a win. Of those eight books, three were Game of Thrones books, and honestly those should count for at least three books… each. They are effing long. Great, but long. Oof. I’m in the middle of Celeste Ng’s Little Fires Everywhere right now and I’m really enjoying it. Happy to be back on the book train and totally riding it into 2018.

Goal #3: Balance My Workouts

I definitely worked on this one all year – mixing up my weightlifting with running and Kaza, and now making the jump to CrossFit. CrossFit has definitely given me balance without my having to think about it. Since each workout incorporates cardio work along with strength, I feel like the hour I spend in the gym nearly every day is well-spent and I feel a lot less guilty about missing a workout or taking a rest day (or two) because I know that my body needs the break.

Goal #4: Get More Involved in My Community

Ugh, you guys, this one is a hard fail. I hate admitting that. After the election last year, and after the Women’s March, I was so jacked to fight back through activism and involvement. But, aside from keyboard activism, and voting in my local elections, I have yet to really get involved locally. I can make excuses, but that’s all they’d be. I’ve been educating myself a lot in the last year. Time to turn that outward.

Goal #5: Adjust My Five Year Plan

This goal just makes me laugh out loud. Literally. I think I’ve changed or adjusted my five year plan about four times, significantly, in the last 10 months. Some of that has been because my priorities have changed, but mostly it has to do with external factors dictating some of that five year picture for me. Military life, you guys, it’s a bucket of surprises. Planning anything becomes an exercise in extreme patience and flexibility – something I’m not always good at, but am constantly trying to improve. Perhaps a new goal would be to work on being more tolerant of things that are not within my control. Yes. I think that’s it.

As I said in my post from January, these goals aren’t necessarily time-stamped, and they certainly don’t have an expiration date. I’ve just been trying to mindfully working on them little by little all the time. I will continue to do so through the next month and a half and as 2018 begins, I will have more goals to add, I’m sure.

Did you set goals for 2017? How successful have you been at keeping them? What challenges have you faced?

Tuesdays With Meri

Originally this post was going to be about the #communitybuild I participated in on Saturday, June 11th. It was a heart swelling in the chest moment when I saw everyone coming together for the greater good of our community and our children.


And then Sunday morning happened. 

There is a lot of absolutely horrifying, crazy acts of violence and scariness in the world. While I cannot and do not turn a blind eye to it, I also wonder how I’m supposed to approach it. As a mother. As a person putting words on a screen. As a human being living on this planet.

I wonder how to present things to my children in a way that they will both understand and also not fear living and going about their day-to-day activities. Because, quite honestly, I’m scared of the next. And the next. And the next.

When my 11 year old asks me “But we’re safe, right?” how can I respond truthfully without scaring the ever-loving daylights out of him? It’s a very helpless feeling when you don’t know the answers to the questions that your children are asking and when you’re asking yourself the very same questions.

I’m sad. I’m tired. I don’t know how many different ways I can say the same thoughts for similar situations without it sounding formulaic. It’s no less heartfelt but how can the repetitiveness sound anything but that?

With that in mind, I choose to focus on love. And I realize that might sound a bit hippie-ish but it’s what I can do right in this moment to feel like I’m doing something.

Originally this post was going to be about the #communitybuild I participated in. It still is.

It's about the whoopsies that turned into my favorite heart, a watermelon.

It’s about the whoopsies that turned into my favorite heart, a watermelon. Because we are #fiberartists.

It's about spending the majority of a Saturday with a few people who mean the world to me and new people who also mean the world to me.

It’s about spending the majority of a Saturday with a few people who mean the world to me and new people who now also mean the world to me, because we shared this together.

It's about the kids in my community having a brand new playground that has age appropriate equipment.

It’s about the kids in my community having a brand new playground that has age appropriate equipment.

It's about the kids in my community having a playground that isn't vandalized.

It’s about the kids in my community having a playground that isn’t vandalized and the amazing volunteers that made it happen.

This post is about making a community feel safe and having children know that they are loved, cherished, and appreciated for the amazing little people they are.

It’s also about my kiddos. Because when they feel that way both outside and inside the home, it helps them make good choices, now and later on.

When they ask hard questions that I might not know the answer to, they still feel assured and confident that we are doing everything we possibly can to make their lives filled with love.


It’s about starting each day with a dance party, because despite the scariness and uncertainty in the world, there’s still a lot to dance about.


Hug your family and friends and know that I’m hugging you, too.

Here’s What I Know About Leadership

This post might feel a little preach-y. It’s not supposed to. Or maybe it is. I don’t know. What I do know is that the idea of Leadership is one that’s been on my mind lately. Or for the last year. Or really, if I’m going to be perfectly honest, for forever. Recently, a few things have made me think about what makes a good leader and how we can all exhibit those qualities in our day to day actions. 

vball circle

“The day the soldiers stop bringing you their problems is the day you stopped leading them. They have either lost confidence that you can help them or concluded that you do not care. Either case is a failure of leadership.” ― Colin Powell

When I was in high school, I thought a lot what it meant to be a “good” leader. Typically, I was thinking about sports and I was usually concerned with what a team captain was expected to do. I was given the responsibility of being captain of two teams – I was named Varsity Captain as a junior of both the volleyball and basketball teams, and maintained that role as a senior. Every team I played on had a different dynamic and vastly different personalities, which meant having to learn how to communicate differently. Learning what each of my teammates would best respond to and understanding that not everyone is motivated by the same thing.


I’m not sure that I was ever wholly successful as a team captain, but I did learn a lot, and since then, I’ve also come to realize that the teams I played on served as microcosms of real life.

The skills I learned on the court have found their way into my life on more than one occasion, but as of late, it is those leadership skills I’ve come to value most. So, I came up with a list that I think illustrates my point:


Lead by example: If you work hard, leave it all on the court and keep the bullshit out of the gym, the team can, too.

Respect: For your teammates and your coach – a team can’t function cohesively if there isn’t mutual respect for everyone’s abilities and differences. You don’t always have to agree, but you should always treat each other with respect.

Take the high road: Sometimes, you end up with a team that just can’t get along. Sometimes, people are real poop-nuggets. They can make everything the worst. A good leader doesn’t let their teammates’ negativity dictate their own actions. They choose optimism.

vball team

Listen: To the coach and to the team. If things aren’t going well, take the water temperature – not only does it give you the chance to find the root issues, it also shows your teammates that you care about their concerns. As I heard recently: “God gave me two ears and one mouth, and I should use them proportionally.”

Be proactive, not reactive: During a game, things don’t always go the way you plan – someone could get injured or foul out and suddenly your team looks different. The best way to move forward and win? Regroup, assess, and keep doing your jobs. A reactionary response is almost always shortsighted and rarely serves the good of the team. Keep playing to win, don’t play not to lose.

b.a. mirror pic

Recognize your team’s talent, and let them use it: The team captain isn’t always the best player. An effective captain not only knows this, but also isn’t bothered by letting their teammates shine. They are assets – allow them to utilize their skill sets and foster their confidence. Empower them to push the envelope and develop as players. Everyone benefits when we’re all allowed the room to do our best.

Talk to your teammates, not at them: This goes back to the “listen” thing – you have to learn how to engage in a productive dialogue with your team. Know your audience and tailor your message to them. Some people don’t respond to certain things. Honor that, and them, and do a little extra work to find what does work for the both of you.

bball in sandiego

Be honest, kind, courageous and fair: You might be the captain, but that doesn’t put you above your teammates on a human level. Remember that. Be decent, always.

We find ourselves on “teams” all the time – we live in community with one another, pretending that we exist outside of that is to deny our place in the world. To lead is to take on responsibility and to lead well is to care, immensely, for the well-being and success of the team and to recognize the responsibility to ensure that success.

“It’s time to care; it’s time to take responsibility; it’s time to lead; it’s time for a change; it’s time to be true to our greatest self; it’s time to stop blaming others.” – Steve Maraboli