I am mostly indifferent to New Year’s resolutions. I make new goals whenever I feel led and then try to change lifestyle habits when I realize they’re not working or I’m not happy. But I understand the love of a fresh start and a calendar change that spurs those New Year’s resolutions.
As we rounded out 2016, I started reflecting on where I’d been and where I wanted to go. Most of the things I wished I done or wanted to start doing were small changes I had attempted before but never wholeheartedly. I am really good at starting but less good at going the distance. I’m sure I’m the only one like this.
With that in mind, here’s what I’m doing for 2017: small, 30-day goals. Each month this year, I’ll be focusing on something I either want to incorporate into my daily life and need help making it a habit or something I want/need to get done and won’t ever do it unless I clear the time/energy for it. Each month will have a different focus and a different goal. Like January, I’m just focusing on getting back in the rhythm of reading my Bible every single day. I was getting lazy about it even though I know how much I need this in my daily life. So January is all about getting back into the habit. This isn’t just a one-month goal, but something I want to do long term.
February will be spent focusing on a thankfulness journal. I want to work on being more intentional about noticing how much goodness is in my life and be more vocal about my thanks. Of course, I will be buying a new journal for this. I’m also planning on including the girls in this month of thankfulness journaling also.
I know this seems to be a dying art, but I love handwritten notes and letters. So in March, I’m going to write a letter a day. To friends, to family members, to random people I want to encourage. I’ll buy a few books of stamps and begin to actually use all the cute stationary I buy but never seem to use. Obviously, I won’t keep this up long term, but I hope it sparks a desire for me to do this more often once the month is up.
April is going to be dedicated to finally putting my book proposal chapters together. I don’t know how many times I’ve said this and then not done it. But this is it. April is for writing chapters.
May is going to be thirty (…one…) days of new recipes. All those pins on Pinterest. All those cookbooks I hoard. All those recipes I’ve seen on TV. I’m going to make them. I’m going to try one new recipe a day. It might be a muffin recipe for breakfast, a side for dinner, or a Crockpot meal for a busy Saturday–whatever it is, I’d really like to try some new recipes and find some new family favorites to bring into the usual rotation.
In June I want to run every single day. I’ve strategically picked June for my month of running because I’ll be about a month out from my spring half marathons, and I know myself well enough to know that I’m probably going to take a “short break” to recover in May and then just keep “recovering” for longer than I need. I don’t have to run long distances–I’m saying at least one mile a day–but I want June to be about running.
In July I want to write every day. This is different than April’s writing for the book proposal; this will be writing just to write. Some of it might make it to the blog. Some of it won’t. Some of it will be for others and some of it will be for myself. For a few years now I’ve wanted to get into the daily habit of writing. Some writers write a certain number of words every day whether they’re good or not. Others write for a set time. I don’t know the specifics yet, but in July I’ll be done with school (and maybe traveling?) so I figured this would be the best month to attempt a daily writing habit. I hope it will, in some form or another, last longer than a month.
August. Oh, August. You are busy and chaotic and messy. Both the girls will be back in school and I’ll be starting to feel the overwhelming to-do list of a new school year as well. So with intention, I’m making August a month where I make sure to play with my kids every single day. I don’t play with my kids much. I mean, we’re together all the time, we read books often, we’re normally in the same rooms together, but sitting down and engaging my kids in play doesn’t happen very much. I know typically August is a crowded month and enjoying my kids can get lost in the mix so I want to be intentional about pausing and playing with them.
September will be more writing. I’ve been brainstorming e-book ideas and have some things I’m excited about, but again, I’ve just never sat down and done them. Mostly it’s about time. Sort of it’s about being lazy. By September, I want to have narrowed down my ideas to one and get an e-book put together for my readers.
The remaining months-October, November, and December-are still open. I’m not sure what my thirty-ish days of those months will be about yet, but I’m sure I’ll come up with something as the year progresses.
I’m really excited about my thirty day goals. They feel manageable and not overwhelming. I get to test some things out and see if I’d like to do them long term, and I also get to spend some focused, intentional time completing tasks I’ve been putting off. I like looking at the calendar and knowing what’s coming. I also like the reality that I only have to do something for thirty days and then I’m allowed to quit if I want to.
I really like an escape option.
What about you? Any goals or resolutions this year? Adamantly against them? Love them? Tell me what you’re thinking!