The Monday Barrage: Setting Family Goals for 2019 | A List of All The Books I Read in 2018

“Dreams Without Goals Remain Just Dreams” – Denzel Washington


1.  Setting SMART Family Goals in 2019

January 1st is upon us, and with that comes all of our annual New Year’s intentions.  I’ll bet that you’ve got a few personal goals bouncing around in your mind right now – I know I do!

But for all the individual goals and resolutions we strive to accomplish each year, how often have we given thought to setting family goals for the year?

If there is something I wish to achieve and I fail to do so, I can typically attribute this “defeat” to not being willing to clearly define where I wanted to be and how I planned to get there.  So being intentional about the vision for our families is essential!

Thinking about the goals we wish to set for our family forces us to evaluate what we feel is most important to us.

We live in a fast-paced society that places value on being highly productive, and multi-tasking is the norm.  In our personal lives we are inundated by social media, emails, television images and coded messages that attempt to persuade us to adopt ideas of how to live that may feel foreign to our true nature.

But setting goals as a family helps us to feel a greater sense of agency over our lives, a greater sense of control in an often-chaotic world.

When you plan to set family goals, you’ve got to be S.M.A.R.T about it.

SMART stands for:

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Attainable
  • Relevant
  • Time Bound

These SMART guidelines will help you to remain realistic about your goals and focused on the “how” as much as the intended outcome.

Protecting your focus will definitely improve your results.

Looking back not long ago on the unfocused (10 Habits of Highly Unfocused People) periods of my life, I shake my head thinking about how much time I spent worrying about what other people thought, instead of what I wanted for myself.  By focusing on other people’s opinions of your goals, you are allowing their thoughts about your mission to become pivotal to your success or the lack thereof.  When you begin to craft your family’s life to match the expectations of others – you’re in trouble!

When we become intentional about what we’d like to accomplish as a family – regardless of what others think, we are consciously creating a more meaningful, unique, and authentic life for our families – this should be the ultimate goal.


“Without goals, and plans to reach them, you are like a ship that has set sail with no destination.” — Fitzhugh Dodson




“Aim higher in case you fall short.”
Suzanne Collins, Catching Fire

2.  2018 – Year of the Book

One of my New Year’s intentions for last year was to read 50 books in 2018.  I didn’t quite hit that mark but since I set my aim so high, I was able to read 20 books this year – 4 more than last year’s total.  Here are the 20 books I read in order:


The Great Gatsby

F. Scott Fitzgerald

“I was within and without, simultaneously enchanted and repelled by the inexhaustible variety of life.”
Fitzgerald F. Scott, The Great Gatsby


To Kill a Mockingbird

Harper Lee

“Real courage is when you know you’re licked before you begin, but you begin anyway and see it through no matter what.”
Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird


The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde

Robert Louis Stevenson

“The secret to a happiness is a small ego.”
Robert Louis Stevenson, The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde


On the Road

Jack Kerouac

“The best teacher is experience and not through someone’s distorted point of view”
Jack Kerouac, On the Road


We Were Eight Years in Power

Ta-Nehisi Coates

“Every Trump voter is certainly not a white supremacist, just as every white person in the Jim Crow South was not a white supremacist. But every Trump voter felt it was acceptable to hand the fate of the country over to one.”
Ta-Nehisi Coates, We Were Eight Years in Power: An American Tragedy

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

Stieg Larsson

“Impulsive actions led to trouble, and trouble could have unpleasant consequences.”
Stieg Larsson, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo


The Road

Cormac McCarthy

“People were always getting ready for tomorrow. I didn’t believe in that. Tomorrow wasn’t getting ready for them. It didn’t even know they were there.”
Cormac McCarthy, The Road



J.M. Coetzee

“(I)f we are going to be kind, let it be out of simple generosity, not because we fear guilt or retribution.”
J.M. Coetzee, Disgrace


Native Son

Richard Wright

“Men can starve from a lack of self-realization as much as they can from a lack of bread.”
Richard Wright, Native Son


Tao Te Ching

Lao Tzu, the Stephen Mitchell Translation

“Knowing others is intelligence;
knowing yourself is true wisdom.
Mastering others is strength;
mastering yourself is true power.”
Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching

The Prophet

Khalil Gibran

“Your children are not your children. They are the sons and daughters of Life’s longing for itself”
Khalil Gibran, The Prophet


Invisible Man

Ralph Ellison

“When I discover who I am, I’ll be free.”
Ralph Ellison, Invisible Man


Their Eyes Where Watching God

Zora Neale Hurston

“Two things everybody’s got tuh do fuh theyselves. They got tuh go tuh God, and they got tuh find out about livin’ fuh theyselves.”
Zora Neale Hurston, Their Eyes Were Watching God


The Hours

Michael Cunningham

“You cannot find peace by avoiding life.”
Michael Cunningham, The Hours


You Can Create an Exceptional Life

Louise Hay & Cheryl Richardson

“We are powerful, creative beings who determine our future with every thought we think and every word we speak.”
Louise L. Hay, You Can Create an Exceptional Life


Man’s Search for Meaning

Viktor E. Frankl

“When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves.”
Viktor E. Frankl, Man’s Search for Meaning


Osho on Zen


“There is no other space, no other time. This moment is all. In this moment the whole existence converges, in this moment all is available.”
Osho, Zen: The Path of Paradox


Steal Like an Artist

Austin Kleon

“The best advice is not to write what you know, it’s to write what you like.”
Austin Kleon, Steal Like an Artist: 10 Things Nobody Told You About Being Creative


Your First 1000 Copies

Tim Grahl

“I learned pretty quickly that most criticism is useless and is much more about the person doing the criticizing than it is about the work or me.”
Tim Grahl, Running Down a Dream: Your Road Map to Winning Creative Battles


Choose Yourself

James Altucher

“no matter who you are or what you do: 30 percent will love it, 30 percent will hate it, and 30 percent won’t care. Stick with the people who love you and don’t spend a single second on the rest. Life will be better that way.”
James Altucher, Choose Yourself

Honorable Mention – I’ve read about half so far, but this one takes time!

A Course in Miracles

Scribed by Helen Schucman

“In quietness are all things answered,”
Foundation for Inner Peace, A Course in Miracles


Marley read 33 Books:  Ashes to Asheville, by Sarah Dooley; Body of Water, by Sarah Dooley; Free Verse, by Sarah Dooley; The Girl from Everywhere, by Heidi Heilig; Beyond the Bright Sea, by Lauren Wolk; Peter and the Star Catchersby Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson; Because of Mr. Terupt, by Rob Buyea; Paint the Wind by Pam Munoz Ryan; Unbound, by Ann E. Burg; The Song from Somewhere Else , by AF Harrold; The Thief Lord, by Cornelia Funke; Whichwood, by Tahereh Mafi; Booked, by Kwame Alexander; The Secret Hum of a Daisy, by Tracey Holczer; Warriors: River of Fire, by Erin Hunter; Like Vanessa, by Tami Charles; The Incredible Magic of Being, by Kathy Erskine ; The Last Best Days of Summer, by Valerie Hobbs; Fish In a Tree, by Lynda Hunt ; Shades of Gray; Do the Math: Secrets, Lies, and Algebra, by Wendy Lichtman ; Do the Math: The Writing on the Wall, by Wendy Lichtman; Between the Lines; Spirit’s Key, by Edith Cohn; The Higher Power of Lucky, by Susan Patron; Warriors: Crowfeather’s Trial, by Erin Hunter; Brown Girl Dreaming, by Jacqueline Woodson; Warriors: Yellowfang’s Secret, by Erin Hunter ; Mockingbird ; Warriors: Starlight, by Erin Hunter ; Inside Out and Back Again, by Thanhha Lai ; A Wrinkle in Time, by Madeleine L’Engle

Delaney read 23+ Books:  Bow-Wow; Woof; Squirrel Girl; The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl; Baby Mouse – Tales from the Locker; Squirrel Girl – Squirrel Power; Enemy Pie; The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl – Like, I’m the Only Squirrel in the World; Squirrel Girl – Squirrel, You Really Got Me Know; Stickdog – Chases a Pizza; The Greifers Revenge; Nuts to You; The Hardcore War; Mama Love Me from Away; Ron’s Big Mission; Moth Flight’s Vision: The Manga; Winter Dance; Warriors: The Darkest Hour; Warrior: Rising Storm; Warriors: Midnight; Warriors: Moonrise; Mouse Heart; Foxcraft

Journey read 21+ books:  Horse Meets Girl; Snow Day; Pony Crazy; Nate the Great – Tortoise; The Branch; The Dog Who Cried Wolf; On My Way; Bramble & Maggie; Nate the Great – SF Detective; Over and Under the Pond; The Dot; Ish; Carls Sleepy Afternoon; Poodles & Hound; A Flea in the Ear; Clarence & the Cat; Big Red Barn; The Wolf is Coming; The Storm Whale in Winter; Puppy Place – Bella; Lucky and Squash; Frog & Toad

Rachael read 4 books:  The Conscious Parent, by Dr. Shefali Tsabary; Their Eyes Where Watching God, by Zora Neale Hurston; The Woman in Cabin 10, by Ruth Ware; It’s Always the Husband, by Michele Campbell


“Goals are dreams with deadlines.” ― Diana Scharf



“If you want to live a happy life, tie it to a goal, not to people or things.”
Albert Einstein

3.  Dandapani – Write Your Way to Your Subconscious

As it is stated on his website, “Dandapani is a Hindu priest, speaker on self-development and an entrepreneur. Of Sri Lankan ancestry, he grew up in Australia and after graduating university with a degree in Electrical Engineering he left it all behind to become a Hindu monk under the guidance of one of Hinduism’s foremost spiritual leaders of our time, Sivaya Subramuniyaswami. For 10 years he lived a life of serious personal discipline and training at his guru’s cloistered monastery in Hawaii.”

In the following video, Dandapani discusses the importance of writing down our troubles as a way to elevate them.  Additionally, an article I found on Positive Word Research dot com, cosigns this notion.  Writing down your problems can:

  • Be a Stress Release
  • Improve Your Focus
  • Help You Connect the Dots – Helps you to understand the events in your life and why they happen.
  • Be Calming
  • Help You Discover Your Next Set of Goals
  • Improve Your Writing Skills
  • Help You Capture Your Great Ideas

The act of writing down your worries, thoughts, goals, and ideas can be transformative and when we see positive change in our lives, we want to keep them coming.  Whatever your chosen writing medium, may it be journaling, blogging, poetry, essays, books, FB posts, tweets, or emails – just keep writing!


“Focus on your goals, not your fear.
Focus like a laser beam on your goals.”
Roy T. Bennett, The Light in the Heart


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Comments (1)

See, I’d have to get rid of cable in order to get back to reading. I’ve cut back on FB quite nicely so there’s that space for a book chapter. I’m impressed with the discipline you obviously have to have read so many books in the age of social media. Bravo to all of you for getting focused.

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