I really love the practice of picking a “one word” for each year. Some prefer choosing a word to making new year’s resolutions. I like to do both because I usually lose steam with my resolutions (around March) and having a “one word” helps me re-focus on my goals.
In 2015 when Daniel left his job in Florida and we were selling our house there to live at the farm in Texas for his livestock internship, my word of the year was “adventure.” That year was all about letting go of security and jumping off into the unknown. I still can’t believe we did all that. I’m so glad we did.
2016 was all about recovering from our year of adventure. Such a busy season! We still had one foot in our adventure at the farm, but needed to also plan for life after Daniel’s internship. We had to make big decisions about our next steps. Then came job hunting and house buying. In late August we moved into our new home and more than two years after deciding to leave our life in Florida, we finally got settled into our permanent (at least for now) home in Waco. It felt so good!
Now that we’ve had a little minute to come up for air, I want my word for 2017 to be “order.” I’m not a type A person. If you’re familiar with the Myers-Briggs personality types, I’m a strong P. I struggle with creating and maintaining order. I probably always will. But as a work-at-home homeschooling mom, more order is necessary. We’re out of our season of survival mode now, so it’s time for the year of order.
(Psst! I’m going to be sharing one more word that I want to define my year in a secret post this week just for my email newsletter subscribers, so be sure to sign up here so you don’t miss it. It’s free, of course.)
Here’s some practical ways I’m bringing order into my life in 2017:
- Prioritizing personal prayer time. I’ve been getting up each weekday between 5 and 6am before the kids get up. After making a cup of turmeric tea and letting our dog Olaf jump for joy and snuggle me, I sit down on the couch and have a few minutes of silent prayer. I try to listen first and then speak to Jesus about whatever is on my heart. Then I pray for my family and begin a Rosary (I can’t finish one that early in the morning without falling asleep again!). Only then do I grab my phone and open up my email to the daily Mass readings from Blessed Is She.
- One of my goals this year is to bring more prayer into our family life and homeschool day. I set an alarm for noon on my phone so that the kids and I can pray the Angelus. I’ve found this to really help re-center us! Often by noon bad moods and rotten attitudes have taken over (and the kids can get crabby, too!). See what I did there? Yeah, the bad attitude is usually mine. The Angelus helps bring me back to what’s important.
- A goal I haven’t undertaken yet but have wanted to ever since reading The Little Oratory is to pray the hours as part of our homeschool day. If you’ve found a resource you love, please share!
(Spiritual reading is also part of this goal and I’ve shared my 2017 reading list in this post if you’re interested!)
- Since I have a painful autoimmune condition (IC), focusing on my health is always a must. Having more order in my life helps me make the time I need to heal and stay well. Enough sleep, good food, gentle movement, and stress relief are all a must for me. I’m committing to walking 4x a week and doing yoga 6x a week. Last week I almost met my yoga goal but was WAY behind with my walking–but it was COLD, y’all. Texans aren’t used to sub 20 degree weather!
- I’m definitely prioritizing meal planning so that I’m getting truly nourishing and healing foods and not grabbing something I know triggers a flare for me just because it was easy and I didn’t plan ahead.
- As the kids get older, I find that we need more structure to our schedule. This is hard for me because I like to wing it! But if I don’t plan ahead, things seem to fall apart quickly. And now that my two oldest do schoolwork almost every day, I have to really schedule life so that we have time to go to the grocery store, the library, ballet, Jiu-Jitsu, and still have time for the zoo or the museum now and again. (I shared about how I’m keeping my calendar organized in this post.)
- Every year I’m blessed with more opportunities as a writer and speaker. More speaking events, collaborations, podcasting, book projects, and I’m so grateful. But I’m feeling the pull to focus on time management and sticking to certain working hours so that work isn’t trickling into family time and homeschool time. I’m not sure exactly what this will look like but I’m pretty sure that having childcare at least one morning a week is going to be necessary so I don’t spend all weekend catching up on work when we should be having quality family time.
- From moving twice in the past two years (and getting rid of half our stuff before leaving Florida) we’ve done pretty well at keeping the clutter to a minimum. But it’s always crazy just how much JUNK five people accumulate. I’ll be joining in with Ann Marie over at White House Black Shutters with the 40 Bags in 40 Days challenge during Lent.
- But even more than getting rid of stuff what I want to focus on is organizing stuff. We’re starting to find our groove with this new house. I’m starting to figure out the best place to keep things and room by room we’re getting organized. But paperwork, the attic, art supplies….there’s so much more that needs some order.
- A cleaning routine that works. I’m also trying to develop a cleaning routine. I wrote it down on the same chalkboard I keep my weekly meal plan. For the first time I’m feeling like dishes and laundry are just about under control. But consistently cleaning floors and bathroom, decluttering surfaces, dusting, making beds? All of that is still a work in progress. But I’m committed to making it happen because I discovered when our house in Florida was on the market (and clean and tidy for once!) that an uncluttered space is key in keeping me feeling sane as a homeschooling mom. My stress level sky rockets when everything is at sixes and sevens. I really need tidy or else I get crabby and irritable.
What’re your goals for 2017?
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