Taylor’s Goals for 2014

Here are my goals for 2014. I place them in a hierarchy. You may be shocked that I place myself (mind and body) before my wife and my children. This is counter-intuitive, but I have learned (the hard way) that if I am sick/tired/depressed/frustrated/discouraged I cannot serve my wife and children. Most books about goal-making will encourage you to do the same.

I think it comes down to Mark 12:30-31:

And thou shalt love the Lord thy God, with thy whole heart, and with thy whole soul, and with thy whole mind, and with thy whole strength. This is the first commandment. And the second is like to it: Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is no other commandment greater than these.

Notice that God is first. Then notice that you must love your neighbor as yourself. This implies that care is taken for self so that you can care for others. If I eat poorly, sleep only 2 hours, gain 15 pounds of fat for the sake of helping people, I’m going to be a wreck – they probably won’t want my help!

So it’s important to care for yourself so that your care even more for your family, friends, and vocation in life. Think of it like this, if a fireman doesn’t workout and train, he can’t save lives.

Taylor’s Goals for 2014

  1. God
    1. Mental Prayer daily – 20 minutes and work back to 30 minutes
    2. 3 chapters of Bible Reading 365 days per year
    3. Daily Rosary (5 decades with family)
    4. 33 Day Consecration for Aug 15
    5. Pilgrimage to Our Lady of Guadalupe in February
  2. Mind
    1. Fortitude is the virtue that I will work on in 2014. Do one thing I don’t want to do, every day. (If you’re a Member of NSTI, please be sure to watch the two video classes on the 7 Virtues)
    2. Cultivate the habit of positivity by saying something positive to everyone I converse with
    3. Keep a tighter calendar, and schedule one hour daily for creative tasks
  3. Body
    1. Jog 5 days per week or 12 miles per week and log it in “MyFitnessPal”
    2. Keep caloric intake below 2,000 daily by charting on “MyFitnessPal”
    3. One daily bodily penance
  4. Joy
    1. Say I love you 3 times per day
    2. Write her a weekly love note every Sunday
    3. Date once per week (preferably on Thursday or Friday)
  5. Seven Children
    1. Do something special with each child every week (eg, read a book)
    2. Have lunch with them at school every Wednesday
    3. Travel less and limit my speaking to protect time with family
  6. Work and Charity
    1. Record and Produce 52 Podcasts – one per week, every Wednesday
    2. Publish 3 blog posts per week (M,W,F) – 156 blog posts
    3. Publish 2 books in paperback and Kindle – Thomas Aquinas in 50 Pages and God’s Birthday
    4. Grow readership of taylormarshall.com from 130,000 unique monthly visitors to 260,000 by Dec 31
    5. Expand NSTI from 20 nations to 40 nations
    6. Launch certificate program for NSTI
    7. Get to know the Captains of the Troops of Saint George
    8. Continue to produce 90% of my content/writing for FREE.

There it is. Some of you may be thinking: “Dang! Why pile it on? Why not just accept what God wills?”

My answer: I straight up believe that’s not the biblical way to live. It’s not what I discover in the Proverbs.

I think we must pray every day and then pursue the goals that God reveals to us. That’s what my list is. We must prepare and plan. That’s how we turn 5 talents into 10 talents:

And he that had received the five talents coming, brought other five talents, saying: Lord, thou didst deliver to me five talents, behold I have gained other five over and above. His lord said to him: Well done, good and faithful servant, because thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will place thee over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord. (Mt 25:20-21)

God is giving you talents for 2014.

Don’t bury them!

Make a plan! Now!

I get a lot of things done and I do it with goals. It’s what Thomas Aquinas calls “teleology.” I call it “teleological living” (hey, that’s a book idea!).

Having Closure with Failed Goals

From past experience, I usually attain only 75% of my goals. I’d like to move that number up to 85% in 2014. That means that there are things on the list above that may not happen. I accept that. Still, I plan accordingly. I think keeping a better calendar will help bump that percentage up.

Part of making future goals is getting closure with past successful goals and past failed goals. It’s like doing your taxes. You look at how the year went. What you made. What you lost. You can never move forward if you don’t accept the past and then kiss it goodbye. If goals don’t get you excited, you’re doing it wrong.

More Resources for Goal Making

I’ve recently produced 2 podcasts on Making Goals. If you want my philosophy on goals, please check them out.

You’ll find them in Episode 16 (which is also about Our Lady of Guadalupe) and in Episode 18 (also about how failed goals can make us bitter and how to find closure with them).

You can subscribe to my podcast at iTunes by clicking here. The podcast has 94 positive 5 star reviews. You won’t be disappointed. Like almost everything that I write and create, it is FREE. I just want you to be blessed and grow in Christ.

Podcast Archive
# Title Released
018 A Podcast Against Bitter Catholics! 12/30/2013
017 Mary’s Painless Delivery of Christ Explained 12/18/2013
016 Our Lady of Guadalupe and Saint Luke (Plus How to Set Goals) 12/11/2013
015 Total Consecration to Mary 12/04/2013
014 What’s Your Apostolate? 11/27/2013
013 6 Items for the Liturgy of Your Life 11/20/2013
012 Why You Should Be More Creative 11/13/2013
011 Why Did They Stop Teaching Virtue? 11/06/2013
010 How Do Saints Hear Our Prayers? 10/30/2013
009 My Opinion of Martin Luther 10/23/2013
008 My Top 5 Daily Prayers 10/16/2013
007 Your Guardian Angel 10/03/2013
006 How You Can Convert 7 Billion People 09/25/2013
005 3 Strategies for a Marriage that Sings! 09/18/2013
004 4 Step Plan When Family Leave the Faith 09/12/2013
003 5 Tools for Deep Daily Prayer Life 09/04/2013
002 Three Tips to Increase Your Passion for Life 08/28/2013
001 How to Find a Spiritual Director 08/18/2013

Question: Tell me about your goals. I want to know what you hope to accomplish and how you plan for it. You can leave a comment by clicking here.

Comments Policy: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic. If your comment contains a hyperlink to another site, your comment automatically goes into "Comments Purgatory" where it waits for release by way of moderation.

  • Wow, Dr. Marshall…I need to first stop procrastinating! I should have written my own list out like yours already! I think the first thing, after procrastinating, is to stop letting my illness be my excuse for not “getting things done”. I do have Psoriatic Arthritis, but when I look at all of the Saints who did so much through much worse illnesses and diseases, I feel ashamed. Praying for you, Joy and your children and extended family! You all have added so much to my own life this past year in so many ways! Thank you and may Our Lord Jesus bless each one of you!

    • Thank you Teri. You can do all things through Christ who strengthens you. Happy New Year!

  • Tom Perna

    Thank you for articulating my list for me with your own list. I have been thinking about my goals for 2014 and writing them down as you have done. Happy New Year and Blessed Solemnity of Mary, the Holy Mother of God.

  • Richard

    Dr. Marshall,
    Thank you for your blog. Question: Would you consider your New Year’s resolution of “mental prayer” to be classified under (informal) vocal prayer: “By words, mental or vocal, our prayer takes flesh” (CCC 2700) whereas your resolution of the rosary would fall under meditation ” as in lectio divina or the rosary” (CCC 2708)? Some people mean meditation when they say mental prayer but you (and the catechism) make a distinction. It can get confusing.

    • Contemplation – infused prayer; mystical; very rare
      Mental Prayer – talking to God as friend; remaining in His presence
      Vocal Prayer – using written or memorized prayers (Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory Be)

      I see the Rosary as vocal prayer that can ascend to mental prayer, even contemplation. But I don’t count it in my allotted time for mental prayer.

      (I’m not great at mental prayer – I can barely fulfill my time.)

      • Richard

        Dr. Marshall,
        I went back and listened to podcast #3 where you explained mental prayer and gave the 5 tips. Thank you for your reply. Very inspirational.

  • isabel kissinger

    I hardly could breath after reading the eight (8) goals of dr. marshall for 2014…because, you know, i am lazy to do many things. however, taking cue from dr. marshall, i shall do this act to glorify God, being a member of the Divine Endeavors Organization, Mary’s Warriors:

    1. I will continue to pray my covenant of 15 decades rosary, seriously now, with meditation
    2. I will ask for the grace to seriously practice the virtues of: faith, hope, charity, patience, perseverance, humility, obedience.
    3. attend to all what was laid out by our Lord Jesus and Mother Mary as our way of life by:
    a. attending cenacles
    b. attending out-of-town missions to propagate the rosary, scapular, true devotion to Mary and proclaim who She is.
    c. practice corporal works of mercy to our less fortunate brother and sister under the Fatherhood of God and His Providence.
    d. to always view dr. marshall blog to edify my soul.

  • Nuno CB

    Dear Dr. Taylor,

    I see you mention Daily Rosary with 5 decades with family.
    What do you mean by daily Rosary?

    I’m Portuguese so what we call “Rosário” is equivalente to the standard english word “Rosary” multplied by three, whic means 15 decades.
    In Portuguese, a Rosary with 5 decades is called “Terço” (a third), which was what Our Lady mentioned to the little shepherds.

    If you mention 5 decades with family, I imagine you might pray other 10 decades at other times during your day. Is it so?

    If I may explain, my question is more of a vocabulary one than of curiosity for your life.

    Thank you very much for your post!,

    • We just do 5 decades. I sometimes pray extra on my own but not often. I keep it at a Terco as you call it.

      I try to pray an extra 5 decades on Sunday.

      My reason goes back to Fatima and Our Lady’s request for 5 decades daily.

      • Nuno CB

        Thank you very much! I’ll pray for your apostolic fruits online.

  • Joe

    I really like MyFitnessPal! I’ve been using it and it’s helped me a lot. I would suggest, though, that you maybe alter your goal of keeping your caloric intake below 2,000 calories, especially if you’ll be jogging 12 miles a week. I’m 6’0″, 185 and my calorie intake for a day without any exercise is 2,080… Just an idea.

  • My list is interestingly enough very similar in many respects. However, I’m wondering how you find a babysitter for seven kids!?

    • Local Catholic high school Faustina Academy. Many of them have 5+ siblings and they know how to babysit multiples (and pray the Rosary at bedtime).

  • Victor

    Dr. Marshall, it warms my heart to hear that you are trying so hard and I must complement you and thank GOD (Good Old Dad) for having blessed you with wonderful children and a loving wife who is a true Joy at your side.

    I don’t see how anyone could disagree when you say that
    Contemplation – infused prayer; mystical; very rare
    Mental Prayer – talking to God as friend; remaining in His presence
    Vocal Prayer – using written or memorized prayers (Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory Be)

    I also agree that vocal prayer and contemplation can certainly ascend all of U>S (usual sinners) closer to holiness but long story short, thank Jesus, Mary and His Angels for “Honest Spiritual Reality Mental Prayer”.

    I will close by wishing you, your family, friends and readers a Happy New Year.
    Let’s keep praying that nun, “I” mean none of us ever forget that we can do all things through Christ who strengthens us all. 🙂
    God Bless

  • TootieMcBear

    In all seriousness, can you post your wife’s list so that I can compare the two?

  • Viviana

    Dr Marshall
    Would you mind giving some examples of “daily bodily penance”??? I tried to research internet but it sounds a lot like giving something up versus doing more physically… (ie giving up a favorite food daily, or doing an exercise daily…)I’m curious because I would also like to try as goal???

    • Dr Taylor Marshall

      Examples of daily bodily penances:

      small pebble in shoe
      turn shower to cold before getting out
      skip meal
      don’t use salt or pepper or creamer or butter when you want to
      don’t order your #1 choice on the menu but your #2 when at a restaurant

      Of course all of this should be secret and you should make movement in your mind to offer this to the glory of God in thanksgiving. Otherwise, it’s just Pharisaism.

      Also, every penance should be cleared with a spiritual director. If you don’t have a spiritual director, here’s my advice on how to find a really good one:

      Podcast: How to Find a Spiritual Director

  • jessica

    Thank you for your encouragement! I am writing my list – and I am excited that one thing is to listen to your podcasts in the late evening (when the kids are asleep) as I clean up the kitchen! I want to learn more this year, and I want to thank you for making knowledge easily available to tired, overwhelmed me!