My 2017 Goals, And Why I Don’t Make Resolutions

It seems as though everyone in the blogosphere and social media is setting New Year’s resolutions.  Today alone, I have already seen nearly a dozen people declare their new word or phrase for 2017.

These resolutions are all fine and good, but I struggle with them a bit.  I have not set a New Year’s resolution for a very long time.  I never follow through.  I always vow to exercise more, worry less, become extroverted, and attain perfection.  And then I fail.  Every.  Single.  Time.

So I gave up on resolutions a long time ago.  On my birthday this year, I did commit to giving myself more grace.  It was not really a resolution, but more of a license to let myself say no to a lot of commitments and activities.  It feels really good that I streamlined things.  Added to that, going without gluten has cleared the ridiculous brain fog I was living with for a very long time.  I can think clearly again.

That being said, I do like to set goals.  I am very Type A.  So, this is the list of things I hope to do this year.  I will not get upset if some (or even most) of the goals go uncompleted.  Instead, this is my guide.

Relate with each of my girls in a meaningful way.

As my girls get older, finding time and occasions to relate to them as individuals is getting harder.  We have activity schedules to deal with, teenage battles of the will, and homeschooling.  It all adds up, and there are only 168 hours in a week.

This year, I am going to homeschool myself through high school biology, side-by-side, with our oldest daughter.  Science is not her cup of tea, nor is it mine.  In addition to having a study partner, she will have the incentive of wanting to get a better grade than me.  Considering I have not looked inside a biology textbook since 1995, she has a real shot at this.

Our middle daughter has a “small” obsession with Harry Potter.  We have watched several Harry Potter movies together, but I have not read a single page from any of the books.  We talk about Harry Potter a lot, but I am mostly clueless.  To aid in having more intelligent conversations, I hope to read the entire set by the end of 2017.

Our youngest daughter loves being outside.  Me?  Not so much.  I took the year off from gardening this year, which was good and bad.  I missed the veggies, but not the care-taking commitment.  This summer, I want to plant a very small garden and tend it with my little girl.  It will be good for both of us.

Push myself to be intentional about who I am and what I do.

For most of 2014 and all of 2015, I walked around with a nagging feeling that I needed change.  I could not define what the change should be, I just knew I needed it.  At the beginning of 2016, it finally dawned on me that the change I craved was to clear up my schedule a whole lot and relax a little more.

The release of so much “fluff” from my schedule this year allowed me to expand my Type A planning to ideas beyond the grocery list and our next vacation.  I actually started thinking about who I am as an individual.  And I want to do some stuff I find scary.

This year, I plan to attend a Christian women’s conference and hear one of my favorite authors speak.  I want to be brave and maybe try wearing my hair in something other than a ponytail.  In public, no less.  I plan to purchase at least two pairs of jeans that I like.  Probably still from the thrift store.  Because, well, that is just how I do things.

I am going to continue saying “no” to new commitments that do not bless my family and/or bring me joy, even if it annoys people sometimes.  I hope to push my alarm up a half hour earlier in the morning so I can have a little more time to prepare each day.

I want to figure out what I must do to earn my teaching degree, and then proceed accordingly.  I would like to do something with at least some of the homeschool, Sunday school, parenting, and housekeeping books and courses I have written.  Self publish an ebook?  Maybe.  Who knows?

Relax and hang out more with the people that are most important to me.

Our family spent a great deal of our summer with extended family.  It was so much fun.  This year, I want to do that again.  We also have a brand new camper sitting in our yard.  I hope we get to take it out on the road a whole bunch.

Finally, if I were to consider any of my goals even kind-of like a resolution, it would be this one: I want to go out on a monthly date with Todd.  We do not hang out together without the kids as often as we should.  And that is a shame.  Because he is a pretty cool guy, and I like spending time with him.  Now that I finally caved in and created a Google calendar, hopefully we can carve out some of that intentional time.

I have three goals.  Each of them has components I hope to accomplish.  And with a plan in place, I just might be able to accomplish them.

What are your goals for 2017?  Let me know in an email or comment below!