Happy New Year! I hope 2017 is the best year of all, don’t you? New Year’s Day always feels so hopeful, like anything is possible. In years past, I’ve always set resolutions for the New Year, but I’ve never been great at making resolutions that transition into real life change.
People usually set goals for each year with the intention that they will come out on the other side better than they were before. True positive change, however, usually comes by gradual adjustment along the way. A sailor crossing a big sea knows that a little tweak to the trajectory of the vessel can make a big difference to the eventual destination!
For that reason, I will try to record smaller intentions for each month this year instead of big resolutions for the whole year. I want the same things most other people want: to be better organized, to be healthier, to save more money and to be productive and use time well. I’m hopeful to see where smaller, successive changes will bring me over the course of a year.
King Solomon wrote in Proverbs 16:9 that, “The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps.” My plan is only as good as the places where it lines up with my Heavenly Father’s plan! I’ve learned that His plan for me is always good. In the past, I’ve been guilty of making too many plans and not trusting the Lord to establish my steps along the way. I want to step away from the helm and let Him steer my ship through 2017. If I am successful, then I believe the port where He lands me will be like no other!
Here are some small resolutions in a few areas I’d like to improve over the next month:
Over the last year and a half, I read the Bible cover-to-cover. Now that I know I’ve read every verse, I want to take the time to truly savor the Word. This month, I will to join with the ladies at She Reads Truth and study the Word in community with other women.
Also, our church leads a period of fasting and prayer for 21 days each January. I will be fasting by abstaining from sugar and sweets and by limiting all purchases to essentials. I will keep my prayers on index cards and find a scripture to pray over each situation.
I will ditch our school to-do list and add more joy and freedom to our homeschool days. I’ve always hoped for our homeschool to be delight-directed rather than task-driven, and lately it has felt more like we are trudging through lists instead of enjoying the process. I’m going to stop documenting each little thing I plan for our days and keep track only of the number of days we spend in the classroom.
Also, I want our school days to be more creative. I’ve never been good at doing crafty things with the kids, but this month we will try to do at least one craft per week (and here are some simple winter-themed kids’ craft ideas to start us off). My oldest son especially could stand to have the creative side of his brain stretched, and the little one will just enjoy it. Hopefully it will be good for all of us!
Eric and I have talked about trying the Whole30 diet this year. Even if we don’t go all the way, we need to make adjustments to our eating habits! I know that eliminating a few of the foods we regularly consume is a great idea, but I am a little afraid that I won’t be able to prepare enough fresh food to keep up with all the appetites. We consume far more junk food than I like, but between my mountain of a man and the two little ones, I already feel like I’m constantly cooking something to feed the masses! This month, I will make a simple menu plan to prepare us for better eating habits in 2017.
I plan to read these books in January:
- The Curious Charms of Arthur Pepper (Phaedra Patrick)
- The Mysterious Benedict Society (Trenton Lee Stewart)
- The Magnolia Story (Chip and Joanna Gaines)
- The More of Less: Finding the Life You Want Under Everything You Own (Joshua Becker)
- For the Children’s Sake (Susan Schaeffer Macauley)
Besides crafting with the kids as part of our school routine, I want to learn a new crafting skill for my own enjoyment. I’m curious about both weaving and macrame, so I plan to try at least one of those this month. I’m not much of a DIY winner, but maybe I can turn that around this year!
In the fall and spring, I’m pretty good about spending a lot of time outside and walking the neighborhood with the kids. Now that the winter weather is moving in, I want to stay inside and my Fitbit is sadly unused! I don’t even bother to put in on when I know that I won’t be in motion as much as I’d like- who needs that digital guilt trip? Womp, womp. SO, I’m resolving to do one of these workouts at least three times a week in the afternoons when we are done with school.
I’ve been waking up early each morning to write, so I will continue that habit into January and even try to push the alarm back earlier. I’m writing every morning, but not everything I write should be published right away, so I’m setting a modest blogging goal of two posts per week.
Obviously, this also means earlier bedtimes for everyone, so I need to be tougher about our evening routines!
I will unsubscribe from a lot of the junk emails I receive.
I want to strengthen my Instagram following, so I will spend twenty intentional minutes each morning building relationships with the IG communities in which I already participate.
I’ve been putting off organizing the cabinets in our utility room for months. No, years. It’s getting ridiculous. So, completing that project is on the list for this month.
That seems like a lot to digest, but these are mostly just minor adjustments to things I already do! The only things that are truly being added are the crafts and the exercise. Some of the other things on this list are just modifications to process, and hopefully I can elaborate on some of the solutions I come up with as we go along.
Do you make resolutions? What are some of your goals for the upcoming month?