Resolved: our family’s three goals for 2013

Written by Kara Fleck, Simple Kids editor and Rockin’ Granola mama.

In the spirit of New Year’s resolutions, though I really find myself disliking that term, my husband Christopher and I have been talking about a small list of goals we’d like work toward as a family.

I thought it might be fun to share our list with you and see what Simple Kids readers are hoping for their own families in the new year. (Are you interested in hearing about my personal goals?  You can take a peek over at Rockin’ Granola).

Here are our family’s 3 goals for 2013:

1. Get out there!

After that tender post-baby year, where my preference is to stay as close to home as possible, 2013 feels like a year to get out there and see the world around us.

I’d like to see us take better advantage of the local resources available to us. We’re on a tight budget this year, (okay, when aren’t we on a tight budget?) so that will limit our travels out of state, but there is no reason that we can’t become tourists in our local area.

We’re making a list of local things to do and places to visit. I hope to explore our local geography and history in the coming year and do more exploring of landmarks and research the history of our small town and learn more about our home state, too.

My four year old’s current favorite show, thanks to Netflix streaming, is How It’s Made.  She’d love to go on some factory tours, and so would her siblings, so we’re hoping we can discover some local tours within a day’s drive that our family could enjoy.

Midwest folks, do you have any factory tour suggestions for us?  I’d love to hear what is on your “must see” list!

2. Change some of our bad food habits

It started out innocently enough last year, with that box of “emergency” whole grain toaster waffles on reserve for the mornings when I was feeling overwhelmed. However it wasn’t long before those waffles found themselves featured in a regular spot on our grocery list.  Not exactly the way I want my family to start their day.

We enjoy cooking together as a family and we have a lot of fun in the kitchen with the kids. However, last year with a new baby in the house, some of my short cuts turned into bad habits.  No need to hold on to the guilt, though.  We did what we had to for a season of life and now 2013 is the perfect opportunity for a fresh start.

I’d like to see us branch out and explore new food tastes, ingredients, and recipes – especially those that are simple, healthy, and that get the whole family cooking in the kitchen together. We’re hoping to grow a few new foods in our garden, to help us expand our tastes and try new things, too.

3. Think Small and Simplify

Probably sounds surprising to find that on a simple living blog, eh?  But, yes,  we need to recommit ourselves to simplicity and an uncomplicated childhood.  Some things at our house have gotten a little too busy and a little too loud. There is clutter, there is a busy schedule, there are decisions that need to be re-evaluated.

There are some things we need to change and some things we need to eliminate so that we can make room for the life we want to create together.  Life is lived in the “small” moments and I want more room for those.

It is time to ask some questions and get back to basics.  I’ll be sharing much of that journey here in this space in the coming year.  So much has changed since I took over at editor here at  Our family size has changed, the children have gotten older, our circumstances and calendar are different than they were even just a few years ago.

Christopher and I both feel like some things need radical change, and that might require some radical choices.

Perhaps a few of you are feeling the same way?  Like life, despite your best intentions, snuck up and got a little complicated?  Let’s take this journey together, refreshing our simple living goals and re-kindling our desire for an uncomplicated childhood for our kids.

What about you? Do you have any goals for your family in the new year? Things you’re hoping to accomplish? New experiences?

What are your family’s goals for the new year?

About Kara

Kara Fleck is the editor of Simple Kids. She is a small town mama, writer, knitter, bookworm, and hooligan. Kara lives in Indiana with her husband Christopher and their four children Jillian, Max, Lucy, and Amelia. You can find more of her writing at

Online Knitting Class
Delightful kids' crafts delivered to your door!  See sample crates>>


  1. How fun to see my book on your shelf!!!
    Jessica´s latest post: Organizing Resources to Help You Get on Track

  2. I received an email just yesterday from a friend…feeling like life suddenly got crazy cluttered and busy.

    It happens.

    We are trying to be so intentional about this…where everything we do has a real purpose. With a new baby coming into our home in 2012, as well – and a move across the country – we are looking to get out and explore our area more, too :)

    Thanks for sharing. Blessings to you this year.
    Kate´s latest post: 2013

  3. I am with you here in New Jersey. My second turns 1 this month. I tried to “not skip a beat” in all of the fun things I was doing with my 2.5 year old as far as local trips, getting together with friends to play, etc. and the house and my mental state are definitely the worse off for it. I’m completely overwhelmed, cluttered and in need of a reset before the kids run away with my sanity.

  4. Isn’t it nice to have seasons of the year to focus on refocusing and evaluating priorities? I can definitely relate to your struggles. One of our biggest goals for 2013 to be more intentional about fun. As a task-oriented person, I continue to struggle in this area with my kids. It’s so easy to get caught up in the “tyranny of the urgent” and forget what is truly important.
    Gina´s latest post: plan for fun in 2013: a free printable

  5. Our family has made the same decision to simplify and down-size our lives. We’ve let too much busyness slip in attempts to pacify our families. Thank you for a great post that invigorates me to further simplify and re-evaluate our schedules.

  6. Simplify, simplify, simplify. I chose ‘peace’ as my word for the year and as I’m thinking of words that surround peace, simplicity is one of the big ones. With simplicity comes peace. My children are 9 and 6 so managing the schedule is my biggest goal. How to expose them to all the wonders that are available, all the friendships to be made while still staying simple. This will be our goal for the year.
    Stacey´s latest post: Cybils Finalists

  7. Beautifully written and noble intentions, Kara. I know 2013 will bring many blessing for you. xo
    Aimee @ Simple Bites´s latest post: Quick Skillet Roasted Vegetables on Cheese Toast

  8. I have a huge change in my life and simplifying is the only way through it. I currently write and blog while working full-time but fate has brought me to an intersection where I may lose my job in May. I’m open to new doors opening that will lead me back to writing and being a mom all the time without the need for child care and babysitters. In other words, to be a more authentic me. My word[s}/intention for 2013 is Think Big. We live pretty simply as it is but this year will certainly make that a priority, especially if income changes drastically.

  9. Oliver Winery offers a nice free tour. Mom and Dad can sample wine. Kids can taste some grape juice and then everyone can picnic out near the pond and vineyards. We really enjoyed the tour at Trader’s Point Creamery too. Endangered Species Chocolate offers tours in Indy, but I think they may have an age limit. Tuttles Orchard offers tours in the fall to see behind the scenes of cider production.
    Pamela´s latest post: A horrible, terrible, no good, very bad day

  10. I’m right there with you with an emergency shortcut foods becoming a bad habit. My problem is boxed macaroni and cheese and granola/cereal bars. I started using as a quick lunch or snack then when all 3 kids were home all last summer and now they’re far too much a staple in the kids’ diet. Here’s to a healthier new year!

  11. A Jelly Belly Tour would be fun. There’s a Jelly Belly warehouse 30 miles south of Milwaukee, WI and 90 miles north of Chicago.

    We’ve never done, but it sounds like fun. I should put it on our list. I don’t know where you live or if it’s too far away.

  12. I love how you always say that life is lived in the small moments. It is so true and yet always so hard to remember. I’d love to hear some of your radical ideas to make this happen!

  13. I love your 3 goals and can relate to all three!

    I used the one word approach last year (Fearless was mine) but also worked on many areas personally and for my family with my self-designed challenge to “simplify your life”.

    This year i also have a 3 prong focus like you. My words are connect, create and clean. My goals related to each one cover things for me personally, for my work pursuits, for our home, for my family. I love being guided daily by my overarching ideas so it does not have to always be micromanaged / detailed, but becomes how I live.
    Deb @ Home life simplified´s latest post: A story to tell – interview with Tina from The Duepners

  14. Our family made goals in seven areas of our life. Mostly we are trying to be more focused and deliberate in all areas of life this year. But some specifics include my goal of note using Post-it Notes! I’m kind of an addict so we will see how that goes.
    Megan´s latest post: Goals for 2013

  15. I love the simplicity of this list. Simple but meaningful.

    Our family is also focusing on these same things. We welcomed baby #2 in December 2011 and are just now feeling like we’re no longer in ‘new baby mode’. {Crazy that it has taken 12 months to get there but that’s life with a ‘high needs’ baby!} The ‘get out there’ for us this year will be just getting outside to play and garden. And, our food habits have slipped up a bit during the holiday season (mainly sweets) and those indulgences need to be reigned back in! :)

  16. I think we live near each other (I’m in Fishers). The DeBrand chocolate tour is neat, and it pairs nicely in the spring, summer or fall with a visit to the Fort Wayne Zoo. We love that zoo, and actually prefer it to the Indianapolis Zoo. We also love visiting Columbus. Very cool town to walk around (architecture is amazing) and the KidsCommons museum is a big hit with my kids (especially the toilet slide).
    Angie Six´s latest post: Help. Thanks. Wow.

  17. OH, I had a flashbulb pop (anyone still know what a flashbulb is?) when I read about you and the whole grain waffles “for emergency use.” I did that, too, and suddenly we are having them every school morning, SIGH.
    We are trying desperately to teach our girls that they have what they need, to appreciate what they have, and to share with others. SO HARD.
    Steph´s latest post: The new year is still in boxes

  18. I like to soak a pot of oatmeal at night and in the morning I drain, rinse, fill with milk/water and it cooks in less than 5 minutes. My son likes honey and chia seeds and my daughter likes banana and chia seeds. Pretty easy once I got into the habit of remembering to do it before bed.

    Honestly, most days all they want is wheat toast with butter/jelly/pb with honey or banana slices/cream cheese. Plus a little fruit. Fairly easy and healthy too. Occasionally they like Cheerios and milk.

    When I have time I will make a huge batch of pancakes or waffles from scratch and freeze it so when they do ask for it, all I have to do is pop it in the toaster. With 3 kids under 5 yrs, I do not have time for fresh flapjacks any morning. :)
    Liz´s latest post: Letter–1/1/13

  19. When you say think small and simplify it reminds me of something I was thinking after hurricane Sandy. As we had no power for 2 weeks (like thousands of others) I was staying with family in a different neighborhood. At one point I came home during the day to get more clothing and stuff and I started looking around my home and all the “stuff” in it, and I started thinking…wow! its so amazing how we are living all this time without all of this “stuff” and we are doing fine. Of course, I did nothing about getting rid of most of it once we got home, but it did make me realize how much stuff we have that we don’t really need.
    Faigie´s latest post: A sewn snowflake mobile


  1. […] Friday I shared a few of my thoughts on the new year and new starts.  After coming clean about our dependence on toaster waffles, yesterday I asked SK facebook […]

  2. […] frozen waffles for breakfast rut.  Among other things, in 2013 I gave myself a goal of making a healthier breakfast every day, leaving the boxed frozen waffles in the freezer and the cold cereal on the […]

  3. […] As the calendar turned to the new year, I realized that there were some things about simple living I needed to recommit myself to, including living for the “small” moments and being dedicated to giving my children as uncomplicated of a childhood as I can (there will always be complications in life, of course, and bad things happen but I will strive to focus on the joys of childhood). […]

Share Your Thoughts


We prefer humans! *

CommentLuv badge