This post contains affiliate links.  We went to Japan!!!!  We got back about two days ago, and besides the heat, we had a wonderful time.  It was the first time my husband’s family was all together under one roof–we had his parents, sister, brother-in-law, two nephews and the five of us all together.  I can’t wait to tell you all about the trip, which I’ll do starting next week.

Shinkyo Bridge over a river

Here is my goals update for weeks 34 & 35, but don’t be surprised that I didn’t make much progress on my weekly goals because, well, JAPAN!!

Personal Development

My kids are older now, so I have a bit more time to devote to personal development.  So, these are the items I’d like to accomplish this year:

NEW GOAL: Study Japanese for 30 Minutes a Day

This week: 100% accomplished.  Over the last week and a half, we learned Japanese by immersion!

Write in my journal for 150 days

7.3% accomplished.  I did not write in my journal this week!  I have now written in it 11 times this year.  (Wow, that is so lame!!  I need to make this goal a priority.)

Try 52 new recipes

55.7% accomplished.  No new recipes. (I’ve tried 29 new recipes this year.)

These are all the new recipes I tried this year:

Homemade Chili

Cajun Jumbalaya

Slow Cooker Cabbage Beef Soup

Chicken Crust Pizza,

Taco Salad Casserole

Pasta with Roasted Vegetables, (big hit!)

Kale and White Bean Beef Stew

Skillet Pork & Mushrooms with Zucchini

Slow Cooker Chuck Roast with Potatoes & Carrots, (big hit!)

Frittata Florentine

Beef Enchilada Casserole, (the kids LOVED this!)

Egg & Sausage Casserole,

Tofu, Cabbage & Pepper Stir Fry,

Herb Rubbed Pork Sirloin Roast, (loved this!)

Chicken Enchilada Skillet,

Southwestern Beef Chili,

Baked Blueberry Oatmeal, (a hit with the whole family)

Gnocchi Vegetable Soup

Beefy Black Bean Chili,

Bean & Ham Soup,

Smoky Pork Tenderloin, Sweet Potatoes, and Broccoli,

Lemon Crumb Muffins,

Slow Cooker Lasagna Soup,

Ham, Broccoli & Cheddar Frittata,

Slow Cooker Broccoli, Cheddar, and Potato Soup (left out the canned soup & used almond milk and Daiya cheese)

Chicken Sausage, Pepper & Cauliflower Rice Skillet, (the family LOVED this one)

Baked Pork Tenderloin,

Mulligatawny Soup,

Slow Cooker Lentil Veggie Soup,

Read 30 books

56% accomplished.  I didn’t finish any books this week.  You can read what I have in store for my reading challenge in 2023 in this blog post.

I have read 17 books in 2023:

Cover of The Death & Life of Dominick Davidner with a young boy on the front.

My Real Name Is Hanna (review coming soon!)

The Hail Mary Project (review coming soon!)

The Final Life of Nathaniel Moon (review coming soon!)

About Grace 

Jefferson’s Daughters 

Out of the Easy

The Death and Life of Dominick Davidner  

The Redemption of Michael Hollister 

William Carey: Obliged to Go 

I’m Glad My Mom Died

Sophia’s War 

Gwendy’s Button Box 

Mildred Cable 

Mission to Cathay,

Fairy Tale 

Copper Sun 

Cure the Fear of Homeschooling High School 


Since a few months into the pandemic, I’ve focused on getting healthier.  This year, I plan to complete the weight-loss component of that journey.

Follow Weight Watchers or Healthi to help me lose the last 40 to 45 pounds I need to lose

Going to Japan while having SIBO and following a specific diet was challenging!  I ended up eating some foods that aren’t best for my condition like bananas, but hey, you have to do what you have to do.

Exercise an average of 18000 minutes (300 hours) this year

I really couldn’t ask for a more lovely setting to walk in than Japan!

A brick walk way in Japan

30.6% accomplished.  I exercised 437 minutes over the last two weeks.  I have exercised a grand total of 5520 minutes this year so far.

Refined Goal:  When I’ve exercised this year, it’s been walking.  However, I need to amp this up so I’m not completely out of shape for all the stairs and hills in Japan.  Here are my refined goals:

  • Get 70,000 steps a week, (This week: 84% accomplished. I got 117,535 steps over the last two weeks, so 58,767 a week.)
  • Do at least 20 minutes of yoga a week, (did not do)
  • Lift weights at least 30 minutes a week. (did not do)

Adventure/Family Time

Bookworm is in college in Michigan and the girls are getting older, so my husband and I want to prioritize family time before we’re empty nesters.

Visit 26 attractions

Actors on an outdoor stage


80% accomplished. No local attractions this week, but plenty of international attractions.  I’ll start sharing those next week.  Here are the 21 trips we’ve taken so far:

Blueberry Treehouse

Fort Erie

Niagara Falls

Shakespeare in the Park: Measure for Measure

The Buffalo Museum of Science’s Virtual Reality Exhibition

The Buffalo Zoo,

Ganondagan State Historic site

Buffalo Naval and Military Park

Buffalo History Museum

The Aquarium of Niagra

Honolulu House

Frank Lloyd Wright’s Martin House

Gabel’s Maple Farm

Buffalo Museum of Science

Whitworth Ferguson Planetarium

Rochester Museum & Science Center

Trip to Rochester.

Spend 60,000 minutes (1000 hours) outdoors with the kids

20.2% accomplished.  I spent 1,920 minutes outdoors over the last two weeks.  (Honestly, it is likely more, but I did a bad job of keeping track of it).  So, I’ve spent 12,103 minutes outdoors this year. I should point out that the girls are spending much more time outdoors than I am, so they’re doing better on this goal than me.

I really don’t know if we’ll accomplish 1000 hours, but this goal is one that even if we fail, we win.  Because we have this goal, we’re consciously spending more time outdoors.

Organization/Home Management

I have felt unorganized since June when we started prepping for our move.  I really dislike feeling so scattered, so I’m planning to change that this year.

Stay ahead in my writing.

For my blog, have at least 5 posts written in advance at any point in time.  For my paid writing, I’d like to be 5 posts ahead.

I got ahead to cover my time I was in Japan, but now I’m pretty low on posts that are already written.  I’ll need to work during September to get ahead again.  Currently, I am 0 posts ahead on my paid writing, and I have 1 post written in advance for my blog.

Have at least 12 freezer meals available in the freezer at any point in time.

Right now, I have the following 11 meals in the freezer:

Slow Cooker Cabbage Beef Soup (1 meal)

Paleo Chili (1 meal)

Beefy Tomato & Kale Soup (1 meal)

Sloppy Joes (1 meals)

Slow Cooker Cilantro Lime Chicken  (1 meals)

Slow Cooker Fajitas (2 meals)

Slow Cooker Lentil Veggie Soup (1 meal)

Beefy Kale Tomato Soup. (1 meals)

Ground Chicken & Hashbrown Patties (1 meal)

Slow Cooker Lentil Veggie Soup (1 meal)

Spend an average of three hours a week on administrative homeschool tasks (156 hours for the year)

46.8% accompished. I spent 2 hours on administrative homeschool tasks in the last two weeks.  So far, I’ve spent 73 hours this year on administrative homeschool tasks.

Get rid of 40 bags of clutter

20% complete.  I have a pile of things to donate, but I’ll count them after I donate them.  So far, I have gotten rid of a table, three bags, two boxes, and two small cases, so I’ll count that as eight bags of clutter.

Trunk filled with bags and boxes to donate.


Volunteer 100 or more hours

26% accomplished. This is another goal I had to take off the list.  Since I’m so busy with my work, we’ve stopped volunteering for now.  We’ve volunteered 26 hours this year.

Crochet an afghan for our bed

With my new job and my other job, plus our trip to Japan, there is no way this goal is getting done this year.

Spend an average of two hours a week on researching my genealogy through June (52 hours total)

11% accomplished.  I did not do this this week; I am at 5.75 hours for the year.  Unfortunately, my subscription is about to expire, so I won’t meet this goal.  (I had no idea when I set this goal that I would get a new job for an additional 10 to 12 hours a week, which cut into my time for completing this goal.)

That’s it.  These are my ambitious goals for 2023. I’ll update them weekly as I have for the last several years.

What goals have you set for the new year?

Read More

My Goals for 2022

My Goals for 2021

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