For most of my adult life I’ve made resolutions every January because that’s just what you’re supposed to do. I would always start out excited and remain faithful…for about a week. Then I would halfheartedly put forth an effort to continue until some time in February when I would abandon whatever resolutions I set altogether. Next year, I would vow to do better, but once again – fail.

So, about this time last year when I started thinking about resolutions I finally admitted that they just don’t work for me. Try though I might, my resolutions always fail. Maybe it’s because I have a tendency to go a little crazy with what I think I can actually do. Or, maybe I’m not choosing the right things to focus on. Either way, I needed to do something different.

For a few years now there has been a trend of picking a word for the year. It might be a character trait that you want to focus on, a project, or maybe just a feeling you want to foster. I asked myself what I wanted to do, what I wanted to change, what I’ve been running from. My answer led me to timidly adopt WRITE as my word for 2016.

And you know what? It worked! I didn’t set any crazy goal of writing every day or pecking out a novel during National Novel Writing Month. I just set an intention to write, whatever that happened to look like. The result was that I applied and got a regular writing position for The Homemaking Cottage, I started a Commonplace Journal, and I started this blog. Small steps to be sure, but after a whole year I’m still writing and looking forward to expanding my writing in 2017.

Which all leads me to my word for 2017. I pondered it for the last few weeks and thought about what I want to be different next year. One theme that I kept coming back to was that I constantly felt like a hamster running in a wheel and getting nowhere and it’s beginning to take a toll. I’ve suffered from major fatigue in the past and right now I’m hovering on the brink of falling victim to it again. In order to prevent a total regression in my energy level, my focus and intention for 2017 will be REST. Here is my plan of action:

  1. Focus more on prayer. In 2016 I did a Scripture writing challenge. For 2017 I will learn more about prayer and make it a daily part of my quiet time.
  2. Spend at least a few minutes each day meditating or focusing on deep breathing.
  3. Read more brain candy novels. As a homeschool teacher I read a lot of academic-type books and classic novels. I will continue to do both but add in more fun stuff.
  4. Go outside more often. I’m perfectly content to stay inside the house, but I know that getting fresh air and sunshine will be a great benefit to my health. I’ve already started up a nature club for our local homeschoolers and we plan to do some hiking and take a few nature field trips.
  5. Take a spring retreat. This is already on the calendar. My husband has to do some training, so I’m tagging along for some quiet time by myself while he attends his classes. In the evenings we will eat a nice dinner and maybe do some shopping. I’ve been doing this for the past several years and I highly recommend it!
  6. Crochet more often. Double bonus with this one. Crocheting relaxes me and I’m currently working on an afghan for my middle son. Once that is finished I will start on an afghan for my youngest son.
  7. Listen to music. Last year I discovered podcasts and have spent a lot of time listening and learning. While I will still be using podcasts, I have narrowed down the ones I listen to. This extra listening time will be filled with Christian music.
  8. Organize at least two Mom’s Night Out events. We did one last May and had a great time. Getting together with other moms refreshes me.

Well, there it is, my plan for 2017. What about you? What will you do in 2017?


Homeschool Review Crew Reflecting on 2016