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On January’s Goals, New Year’s Resolutions and One Word for the Year

Today feels like the start of the New Year for me. We’re easing back into routines and schedules, my husband is back to classes and we’re getting up when the alarm goes not when we hear little footsteps pattering down the hall.

trees, road

I am not one for setting big goals on the first of the year. I love the idea of setting a few hours aside to reflect on the past year and to set goals for the new year but it hardly ever happens on the 1st of January. It happens over time within the month of January, with thoughts jotted down in notebooks or on my phone and then mulled over while washing dishes and folding laundry.

Sometimes I choose a word or the word chooses me. This year, the word that keeps coming to mind when I anticipate the year ahead is BIG. It’s a year of change and adventure and unknowns. Lots of known unknowns (if that makes any sense) and for someone who likes to know and anticipate and schedule, this is scary. I don’t live my life based entirely on my feelings but last time I felt like we had a BIG year ahead of us, we ended up moving across the country to Nova Scotia  and my husband went back to music school. So I do pay attention and I do pray for God’s leading for our family.

The other word that I’ve chosen is FREEDOM because I often let my fears (of the unknown, of people’s opinions- to name a couple) hold me back from really sharing and really living.  I end up hiding behind safe places and not opening up to others to share my struggles and my victories. And honestly? This is a hard post to write but I have to write it. I’ll probably run and hide after I hit publish.

One of the best ideas from last year that worked for me was setting monthly goals. I loved Hayley’s prompt for this and how it worked for me. Because its easy to set big, inspiry goals for the whole year and then to realize in November that I didn’t really make them happen. Setting monthly goals forces me to break down those big goals into smaller and totally achievable goals. It’s rewarding. It gives momentum. And things.get.done.

I’m also able to tailor that month to what is going on in our family’s life- do we have a lot of travel going on? Maybe not the best month to do a Whole 30, if that was one of my year goals. Maybe it’s a better month to learn to knit and to use that car time to knit up a storm or an infinity scarf.

Christmas Decor Blog Post (11 of 11)

So this month, my goals for January:

1. Go to Bed earlier so that I can Wake Up earlier.

I know, nothing new or original here. My days go so much better when I am up before my children and early rising is a key principle in almost every successful person’s life.

2. Read More.

I started a number of books in December, didn’t finish them and realized (again!) how very refreshing reading is to me and how lost I feel when I don’t have a good book (or three) on the go.

3. Meal Plan

I love cooking and making new meals all the time but I don’t always have the ingredients I need or I forget to take the meat or a myriad of other things. I sat down and made a list of meals we like and meals I want to try along with a shopping list.

4. Have people over and share food and conversation together.

This was one of the things I learned in December that we love having people over and it is good for all of us. We made it one of our family’s goals to have a family/couple/people over in our home for dinner or dessert once a month.

This was a longer post then I usually try to write, so thanks for reading. Actually, thanks for always reading whether it’s a lot of words or not. Tell me, how do you set goals and purposes for the New Year? Do you have a word for 2014? I’d love to hear it!


linking up with The Tiny Twig for January Goals! 

{ 13 comments… add one }
  • elisenussbaum January 6, 2014, 10:02 pm

    I can definitely relate to how you set yearly goals, and the specific goals that you have. Honestly, I’m not as ambitious as some of the bloggers I follow and I don’t have tons of long-term dreams and projects that I feel like I want to accomplish. However, I do find that setting some small goals keeps me centered and helps me recognize the small things I can deliberately focus on daily and weekly, especially in this season of stay-at-home mom-hood that can feel monotonous at times. 🙂

    • Breanne :: This Vintage Moment January 7, 2014, 11:25 am

      Oh yes! I put off writing this post because a lot of the posts I was reading in the first few days of 2014 were full of big dreams! big ideas! big accomplishments! and I didn’t really relate.
      I have some long term dreams and big ideas but they’re life-long and not something I’m ready to share on the blog.
      Small things are exactly where my life is right now and good on you for recognizing that about yourself.
      Here’s to our small but so very important lives. =)

  • Bex Chasteen (@BexChasteen) January 6, 2014, 10:51 pm

    The early rising thing! Man, I KNOW my day goes better when I get going first and have time to do my thing but the bed (or couch) is just so comfy…

    I loved reading your goals! I can relate to a lot of them!

  • Megan January 7, 2014, 8:50 am

    Monthly goals- brilliant! I did set yearly goals, but they were quite definite, not ambiguous (ie. “build a fence in the yard”). I think I’m going to blog about my words for the year. The first one that has come to mind is ‘simple’ and the 2nd is ‘undivided.’ I want to have a simple year…simple serving, simple projects around the house, simply ministering to my family. And undivided. Casting aside distractions to more thoroughly love God and those around me.

  • rainydayinmay January 7, 2014, 1:35 pm

    I like the way you do your goals! It’s really smart. I used to do something similar… I should get back to that…
    My word for the year is New…

  • Ashley WInkel January 7, 2014, 3:43 pm

    Breanne, my word for this year is “balance”. I’ve come to realizations about myself that one of the things I desperately need as a person is time to just be introspective…so that is my goal, to carve out more time to spend inside my own head. 🙂

  • ramblingtart January 9, 2014, 7:02 am

    I realized a while ago that setting goals doesn’t work so well for me. A friend summed it up by saying I build systems, not goals. Systems that lead towards health, well-being, work, financial security, etc. I can’t make a goal of losing 20 pounds, but I can focus on doing some form of exercise every day. I can’t make a goal of being healthy and strong, but I can focus on eating good and healthy things every day, resting when I need to, taking medicine when it’s called for. Does that make any sense? 🙂 As I told you earlier, “try” is my word of the last couple of months. Try setting up a shop to sell my things, try updating my blog, try butchering a goat, try inventing my own dip recipes, try making homemade liqueurs. It’s been good and challenging and scary and fun. 🙂 If I focus on trying instead of succeeding, it’s so much more manageable for me. 🙂 XO

    • Breanne :: This Vintage Moment January 9, 2014, 3:46 pm

      Build systems….yes, I love that thought. It’s much more sustainable and freeing. And try is a good word, it’s empowering to try and give it your best shot and then let it be. P.S. your shop and blog update are gorgeous 🙂 XO

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