2017 Goals: new habits to make, old habits to break

I don’t like the term “resolution.” It’s too broad, too vague, and too intimidating. I mean, does anyone really keep up with a resolution past February? I do, however, like goals, especially if they are specific and trackable. After I spent some time reflecting on what worked for me in 2016 and what didn’t, I jotted down a list of some goals I have for 2017. Here they are, in no particular order.

1. Plan one afternoon activity each weekday

I’ve mentioned before that I am not very good at playing open ended, imaginary games with my girls. It’s just not my strong suit. But C absolutely loves it when I spend focused, one-on-one time with her, and I know how helpful it is to foster a close relationship. I tried planning structured learning activities, but it just wasn’t what either of us needed. So instead I’m trying to do one fun thing each day that requires very little prep. I’m talking super simple – a game of Go Fish, drawing together with sidewalk chalk, or pulling out the art supplies and making whatever strikes our fancy. The past couple days we picked a picture from my “adult coloring book” and colored together. So simple, but she just glows from the attention and I can tell it’s really filling up her love bank (mine too!). It seems ridiculous to schedule play time with my daughter, but sadly unless I plan for it I end up spending my time cleaning or doing dishes or scrolling through blog posts and before I know it the day is gone.

2. Blog once a week

Earlier this year I set the rather ambitious goal of blogging twice weekly in an effort to share all the thoughts that were bouncing around in my head. Sadly there was no way I could keep up with that schedule, not at this life stage when I am constantly interrupted by snack requests and T trying to push all the buttons on my keyboard. I realized that once a week is about all I can handle. So I’m going to shoot for writing a post every Thursday. T is going to be starting mom’s day out once a week on Thursdays (cue all the feelings about sending my baby off to school) so I will actually have some solid hours of uninterrupted time! Heaven! I’m going to work on a blog schedule too just in-case I’m struggling with a coming up with a topic to write about (hey, it could happen!).

3. Eliminate dessert for thirty-one days

Ok, I know this sounds extreme. If you had asked me a couple of months ago to cut out dessert I would have said what are you nuts?!! That’s my reward for getting through the day! But I realized I was obsessing over my treats, rushing through bedtime rituals so that I could load up my plate with sweet goodies. Sure they were sugar free and low carb, but the fact remained that I was looking to my end of the day treats to bring me joy. Yikes. It’s embarrassing to admit, but dessert had become an idol. I’m pretty much an all or nothing kind of person, so the best way to break this unhealthy (in multiple ways) habit is to give it up. Now I’m not saying no to skinny chocolate or my favorite muffin in a mug completely (I’m not that extreme) but I am going to try to stick to the rule of no dessert after the girls’ bedtime. This is going to be a hard one, but by God’s grace I’m hoping to conquer it.

4. Participate in the Modern Mrs. Darcy Reading Challenge

Reading has always been my favorite pastime, but while mothering littles it’s been easy for me to let my love for books slip to the back burner in favor of mindlessly scrolling on my phone. I’m really trying to break that habit, and I think the MMD reading challenge will be a fun way to push me to read more variety and keep me motivated. The premise is simple, pick one book a month out of one of twelve categories. This year’s challenge gives you two list to choose from: Reading for Fun or Reading to Learn. I’ve picked the Reading for Fun list, and I already have some ideas for what books to read in each category. Let me know if you’d like to join me! I’ll be posting more details about this later.

5. Try Project 333 for my winter wardrobe

I’ve already blogged about how much I love my capsule wardrobe, but I’ve felt like even after paring down as much as I have I still have clothes I don’t really wear. I stumbled on Project 333 after falling down a minimalism rabbit hole (fascinating, but a subject for another day). At first it seemed crazy. Only wear 33 items for three months, including shoes, outerwear, jewelry, and accessories?! Impossible. But just for fun I decided to see if I could do it. To my surprise I was able to cull my wardrobe down to 33 pieces, including shoes and outerwear, although in all honesty I didn’t include accessories or jewelry. Baby steps, but so far so good!

6. Plan a Saturday “family day” activity

Now that T is older and no longer taking a morning nap we have more opportunities for family activities and outings. My husband and I decided we want to try to do more things together as a family on Saturdays, since we go to church Saturday night so it’s already sort of set apart for family time. This is going to be challenging during the winter (although it was warm enough last weekend to check out a new local park) but we are going to try, even if it’s just running a silly obstacle course around the living room.

7. Spend more time resting and communing with God

Last semester I joined a morning women’s Bible study. I was a bit hesitant honestly at the thought of adding one more thing to our schedule, but it was such a blessing. The girls loved their classes, and I felt more connected than ever to the Lord and to the other ladies in our church. Spending time learning about God’s design for my life and sharing with other ladies was truly soul-refreshing, and I’m excited to participate again this semester. The spring study I chose is on making time to rest and have quiet time, which is just exactly what I’m longing for but struggling with. So although the real goal here is to make more time to rest and get away with God, I have no idea how to do that. Hopefully this study will help.

So there we have it, seven challenging but hopefully achievable goals to work toward in 2017. Your turn! Comment with a goal you are excited to tackle this year!

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