2017 Reading List

I am excited to share my 2017 reading list today for two reasons: posting a reading list is one of my 101 in 1001 goals, and I’ve already finished my first book of the year! I have never been a habitual reader before but want to instill the discipline of reading a little bit each weekday for the sake of personal growth and edification.

My reading goal for 2017 is to read 12 books and I plan to cover at least one book from each of the areas below, inspired by this post from my friend Nancy. There are at least 20 books on this list because I haven’t yet decided which 12 I will read, but they all look so good!

2017 Reading List - Kyla Mary


Practicing the Presence of God by Brother Lawrence
Renewing Your Mind by R.C. Sproul
Weird by Craig Groeschel
Crash the Chatterbox by Steven Furtick
The Best Yes by Lysa TerKeurst
Present Over Perfect by Shauna Niequist

The Total Money Makeover by Dave Ramsey
Rich Dad Poor Dad by Robert T. Kiyosaki

Linchpin by Seth Godin
How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie
Good to Great by Jim Collins
Start with Why by Simon Sinek

Marriage & Family
His Needs, Her Needs by Willard F. Harley Jr
The Power of a Praying Wife by Stormie Omartian
The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman
Saving Your Marriage Before It Starts by Les and Leslie Parrott

Personal & Intellectual Development
The Compound Effect by Darren Hardy
The One Thing by Gary Keller
Margin by Richard Swenson
The Finishing School by Valerie Woerner
Manage Your Day to Day by Jocelyn Glei

Hungry for Change by James Colquhoun
Wheat Belly by William Davis
Eat Move Sleep by Tom Rath

The Magnolia Story
Grace Not Perfection
Cultivate by Lara Casey

Have you read any of the books above? Share in the comments below!

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Wedding Planning Update

I’m excited to share an update in our wedding planning journey with y’all today! Since day 1 of our engagement, I have been mindful to not become consumed with the process of wedding planning. It is important to me that my friendships, blog content, conversations with family, and most importantly my relationship with Dillon are not permeated by constant ‘wedding talk’. After all, we are preparing for a marriage and life together that will last far beyond our wedding day, and I want to keep cultivating the good stuff that our relationship was built upon!

With that said, planning our wedding is a once in a lifetime opportunity, and I want to set aside space to share my experience here over the next several months! Since long before our relationship began, I have so enjoyed reading Southern Weddings magazine, wedding blogs (and sharing my favorites!), and about the experiences of others. I’ve gleaned a lot from the wedding planning posts shared by Emily, Callie, and Jessica, and was inspired to do monthly updates posts after reading these ones on Em for Marvelous.

wedding planning update kyla mary photo by jose villa

source: Jose Villa via Style Me Pretty

We’ve been engaged for two and a half months and have set a date of June 10th, 2017 for our wedding (YAY!). While a seven and a half month engagement might seem short to some, it’s perfect for us. I had always dreamed of a fall wedding, and we were considering September 23rd for quite a while, but we are eager to establish our home and begin our married life together and both had peace about June 10th. It’s the date when his grandparents were married 47 years ago, and his grandfather will be officiating our wedding which is so special to us. Our chosen photographer was available on June 10th, and – God willing – the lighting will be long lasting and beautiful with sunset falling just before 8:30pm.

Since choosing our date, we have had fun gathering wedding inspiration and discussing our ideas for the day. We have a lot left to do, but I’m gaining confidence and clarity in our preferences!

So far we’ve:
— shared the news of our engagement (the story of our proposal can be read here!)
— chosen our wedding date
— invited our bridal party to stand beside us
— confirmed our reception location
— talked with and reserved our officiant
— invited the littlest members of our bridal party to play a special part in our day
— booked our photographer
— discussed our engagement reading list
— gathered preliminary floral and design inspiration
— discussed ideas for our color palette
— drafted our preliminary guest list
— chosen and ordered our save the dates
— established a preliminary budget
— discussed menu ideas
— begun our wedding registries

Our next action steps are:
— mail our save the dates
— finish our wedding registries
— begin wedding dress shopping
— choose bridesmaids dresses
— book a florist or establish a plan to do the bouquets ourselves
— choose our ceremony venue
— create our wedding inspiration board

We have mapped out our planning process from now until June, so now we are taking on tasks one week at a time. I’m excited to share monthly updates through these posts from now until June! I will also be sharing my inspiration for various elements as we go, so stay tuned for that!

My 2017 Goals

Hooray for 2017 goals! I have been reading along with yearly goal posts on my favorite blogs over the past week and am excited to share mine with you today. In defining my goals, I took care to touch upon each of the areas covered in Zig Ziglar’s Wheel of Life. I learned this technique from my friend Nancy and have found it to be incredibly helpful in balancing my pursuits.

In the past year, I learned the importance of defining SMART (specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, time-sensitive) goals. You will see that each goal is really more of an objective that I then broke down into measurable goals beneath it. Goal #7 is also special in that it only relates to the first half of the year, while #4 will relate more to the second half.

It’s important to note that goal setting looks differently for everyone. There are so many worthwhile objectives to work toward and they vary depending on life seasons and circumstances. As you read my goals, remember that they were uniquely chosen by me. Yours may look very different, and that is okay!

my 2017 vision board

Goal 1. Grow in friendship with God, truly knowing Him.
— Read roughly half of the Bible this year
— Pray for 10 minutes each day
— Memorize a scripture each month

Goal 2. Serve Dillon as my first ministry, building a solid, godly foundation for our marriage with him.
— Pray for him daily (read The Power of a Praying Wife)
— Complete a pre-marital program with our chosen mentor couple
— Meet with five married couples we look up to talk about married life and learn from their experience
— Go on a date or adventure with him 2-3x each month

Goal 3. Become physically strong through exercise.
— Do daily planks, incrementally working up to 5 minutes
— Do the daily TIU workout or swap the workout for one of their other videos
— Learn about and find a daily stretching regimen and write it down
— Implement 3-5 cardio sessions per week, building up to moderate/high intensity

Goal 4. Establish our home into a joyful, welcoming, restful place.
— Put care into what we bring into our home by intentionally creating our wedding registries
— Create a prayer and vision wall
— Implement systems for cleaning our home and keeping it organized
— Set our home up in a way that works well for us
— Put scripture within sight

Goal 5. Become more financially responsible.
— Successfully and smoothly transition into my full-time work routine
— Complete Financial Peace University with Dillon
— Create and stick to a monthly budget, beginning in February
— Find ways to save money on regular, recurring household expenses
— Meet the personal savings goal I set for before our wedding
— Set a savings goal with Dillon for the second half of the year (after our wedding)

Goal 6. Read 12 Books for Personal Growth.
— Create a reading list
— Read 1 book per month

Goal 7. Together with Dillon, plan a God-centered, joyful, special, love-filled wedding.
— Define our priorities and vision for the day and stick to them in making each planning decision
— Look for ways to love people through our day

There you have it! There are a few other objectives I have for taking care of my body, loving others, and organizing my time, but they are more lifestyle choices than measurable goals. There are lots of things I want to accomplish this year and I’m grateful to have a vision and direction to work toward!

Do you set yearly or monthly goals? If so, share some of them or a link to your post below so I can cheer you on!