I refuse to think about the New Year before Christmas, and I always worry that I won’t have enough time to properly review the past year and think about my hopes and dreams for the new one. But as has happened every year, the week after Christmas makes me reflective, and I enjoyed taking some time last week to contemplate all that 2016 held and my vision for 2017.
Like many people, 2016 was a hard year for us. We didn’t face tragedy or heartbreak, and I don’t want to minimize the really wonderful, beautiful things that happened. But with a high needs, non-sleeping baby and a call to circle the wagons around our family, we spent most of the year in survival mode, just putting one foot in front of the other, getting the next thing done, and hoping we didn’t fall apart in the process.
My goal for 2016 was to capture my girls’ hearts. I’m far from a perfect mother, and being exhausted for most of the year left me cranky and snappy more often than I’d like to admit. But I do think I regained my footing—seeing each of them as individuals, connecting with them heart to heart even in the midst of adolescent battles, stopping to see who they really are.
At the same time, we watched more TV, ate more junk food (and less homemade meals), left clean laundry unfolded more often, and just generally focused on survival.
As I was reflecting on the year and the things that did or didn’t go the way I’d hoped last January, my word for 2017 found me, and it felt right the moment it popped into my head.
While we survived in 2016, my word for 2017 is THRIVE.
My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor, and some style. ~Maya Angelou
I took some time to think about what exactly thrive means in my life, but before I share the details with you, it’s important to note that I don’t follow the rules for goal setting here. I don’t want to be calculating and precise when it comes to my vision for my life; focusing on specific measurements and achievements is exhausting to me.
So instead of setting a goal to achieve XYZ by ABC, these goals are subjective and based on the feelings I hope to capture. They may not be measurable or time-based, but my plan is to review them each month, and I’ll know in my heart whether I’ve accomplished them or not. That’s good enough for me!
- a growing relationship with Christ
- consistent prayer, worship & study
- regular family devotions
- continue winning my girls’ hearts
- invest in my marriage
- be a better friend
- not measured in numbers or dollars
- post consistently & find my voice
- feel good about the rhythm & content
- pay off all debt (cars, land, etc.)
- continue streamlining our budget
- increase residual income
- develop a healthy movement routine
- complete a Whole30
- get consistent sleep
- read 100 books
- discover my personal style & wear clothes that look AND feel good
- create a healthy relationship with food
- pursue consistency in our routines
- read 12 complete chapter books as a family
- create a plan for middle school that we’re all happy with
Work (at Ultimate Bundles)
- stick to regular work hours
- avoid distractions and improve my focus during those hours
- stop checking my phone constantly
It’s true: none of these are groundbreaking goals or things haven’t always been important to me. But after a year of letting go of my plans and focusing just on meeting everyone’s needs, it feels good to put them in writing and commit to pursuing them once again. Choosing my word for the year has given me hope that this will be my year to thrive!