I love the start of a new year! I’ve written about my love of fresh starts many times on this blog. I look for lots of reasons for a personal “new year” (birthdays, new seasons, the start of school, etc.), but I especially love the traditional new year because I’m setting goals and dreaming about the future along with many other people. I enjoy blog posts and YouTube videos about resolutions and goal-setting. Last year, I posted a detailed list for myself, and I also did a mid-year update. Writing about my annual expectations here helped keep me accountable, and I’m eager to get started again.
This year, I decided to choose a theme. My theme for 2016 is SIMPLIFY. This is a continuation of last year’s goal to “get organized” and my later posts concerning simple living. I will apply this theme to a few specific area of life.
- In the practice of my faith, I wish to embrace the simplicity of the gospel and avoid the perfectionism that often keeps me from digging deeper. I want to begin each day with time in prayer and reading, but too often, I decide not to do it because I don’t have enough time to do it “right.” What a ridiculous excuse! No more of that. A couple of minutes in focused prayer is certainly better than none, and every minute has as much potential for blessing as an extended period would have. God shows up everyday, so I should, too!
- I’ve been simplifying my belongings since the summer, but we have a terribly long way to go! Instead of getting discouraged, I’m creating a monthly plan to address the different areas of my home. I’ll save that for a different post, but I will say that January is devoted to Clothing & Laundry! I am working on building capsule wardrobes for my kids (I’ve been using one myself since the fall), and I want to finally find a laundry routine that works for me.
- I’m simplifying my exercise expectations. I always make tons of plans that never pan out. I need to recognize that I am in a season of life where my time isn’t really my own. My children are small, and they won’t always be! So instead of bemoaning the gym membership that I do not have or the 5Ks I have not run, I am going to take joy in daily walks with my dog. When I do walk faithfully, I can quickly tell that it is good for my body and my spirit. It is also very good for my dog! Please remind of of this when it’s below freezing!
- Finally, I want to establish morning and evening routines that help us to transition into and out of our days. This isn’t a new concept. I was quite the devoted “FlyBaby” (www.flylady.net) at one time, but we’ve fallen out of our routines. I know that my whole family benefits from this loose but meaningful structure. When I’ve been disciplined in my routines, everything feels simple, and I desperately need that feeling.
Beyond my themed goals, I have one other resolution. In 2016, I will grow in my “culinary self.” I’ve been in a cooking rut lately, so this year, I resolve to experiment with food. I want to try more meatless meals and rely less heavily on grains to simply fill up. Due to some medical needs for one of our children, we’ve already made great strides to limit grains and sugars, but instead of seeing this as a limitation, I want to use the opportunity to explore alternative ingredients, new flavors and textures, and even cuisines from different cultures. It’s exciting!
Well, that’s it, gang! Wishing you and yours a wonderful 2016.