As we prepare for a new year, many of us are making our list of goals and things we want to accomplish in 2017. In the past I would make a whole list of resolutions and things I wanted to do each year. And of course I started out strong but as the year progressed, it was harder to stay on track with my resolutions. For a few years, my resolutions became goals, which seemed a little more fluid and less stringent. They too, were hard at times to complete. For 2017, I decided I’m going to do things a little differently. Instead of making goals and resolutions that I feel pressured to accomplish, I want to focus on making some improvements that will help to make 2017 more meaningful. Here are the improvements that I would like to make for 2017:

1. Document gratitude daily

I’ll admit this is something that I have tried to do, and with my grateful box, I’ve had a good start but I haven’t been doing this everyday. This year I want to be more consistent with recording at least one thing I am grateful for every day.  By the end of this year I want to have at least 365 new things added to my grateful box. I want to be more intentional in my gratitude and incorporating this into my daily routine will help me do just that.

2. Write “just because” notes

I’ve made an effort to write thank you notes when I’ve received a gift or when someone has done something that touched or blessed my heart. But this year I want to start writing “just because” notes. I want people to know how special they are to me… just because. I also want to write these notes to just be a blessing to someone and put a smile on their face. 🙂

3. Keep in touch with people more

Before having Rissy I thought I was BUSY!! But now that she’s here, busy has taken on a whole new meaning! It’s so easy to get caught up in the “busyness” of life that keeping in touch with others kind of takes a back seat. This year, when someone comes to my mind, I want to reach out to them right away. The Lord could be bringing them to my mind for a reason, and I want to make sure that I follow His leading and prompting.

4. Be in the moment

This is one thing I recently realized that I need to work on. When I’m home with Rissy, I find myself trying to get things done that sometimes I miss being in the moment with her. While being productive is a good thing, it is not worth missing out on creating special memories with her now. This past week I was home with her over Christmas vacation when it hit me hard that I need to work on being in the moment more.  She is really into playing with her tea set and telling mommy to “sit down” so we can play. Instead of running around trying to get things done around the house, I actually stopped what I was doing, sat down and spent hours playing with her. It was the most fun I had all week. 🙂 As she is getting older, I need to make sure that I’m spending as much time with her as possible now so that we can build memories that will last. Before I know it, she will be running off to play with her own friends and I’ll be wishing that I had taken advantage of the time that we had together when she was younger.

5. Spend more time doing things that matter

As I get older, I’m realizing that time is very precious.  It’s important to spend my time doing things that matter and not just being able to cross something off of my “to do” list for the sake of crossing it off. While it’s important to stay on top of the cleaning, dishes, laundry, etc. those things will ALWAYS need to be done. While this may look differently for different people,  for me this means doing things that will help to build meaningful relationships and making memories that last. It could also mean hopping in the car with Henry and Rissy to just grab ice cream, or go hang out as a family. Or it could mean that I volunteer my time helping out wherever and whenever needed. It could mean taking out some time to visit someone who needs the company, or even just being a listening ear to someone who may need one. I want to spend more time this year being a blessing to others in what ever ways that I can.

6. Spend more time with others

This one is self-explanatory, but one thing I want to do is spend more time with others. When Rissy was born, I was just trying to get adjusted to my new life as a mommy that I didn’t have a lot of time to hang out much. Now that Rissy is getting older, I feel more comfortable taking a Saturday morning to go grab coffee with a friend, or spending a few hours catching up over a bite of lunch. As a woman and as a mommy, spending time with my friends and having fellowship is important for my own well-being and sanity. It’s always nice to have grown up conversation when I can get it. 🙂

7. Have more date nights

Another improvement that I want to make for 2017 is to have more date nights with Henry.  I can count on one hand the number of dates that Henry and I have had since Rissy was born. (Yikes!) So this year I want to make sure that we make more time for each other and spend more time together. I want to make sure that as we are raising a family that we are also investing in our own relationship. When the kids are grown and living their own lives, it will just be me and Henry again. It is important that we continue to build and grow our relationship.

8. Regroup and refresh regularly

This is one area that I really need to work on this year. The following quote is so true:

“Rest and self-care are so important. When you take time to replenish your spirit, it allows you to serve others from the overflow. You cannot serve from an empty vessel.” – Eleanor Brownn 

As a wife, mom, professional, etc, I wear a lot of hats. Many times I am so busy taking care of everyone and everything else that I neglect to take care of myself. This year I want to take time to intentionally regroup and refresh regularly. I can do this by doing little things like getting a mani/pedi, catching  up on a good book, or even taking myself out to lunch, etc.  If I do these things for myself, then when it is time to give to others, I will not be giving from an empty cup.

One of the ways I want to replenish my spirit is to make the time I spend with the Lord more intentional. I want to make it a priority and really see my relationship with Him grow more.  

I’m looking forward to 2017 and all that it has in store. I’m also looking forward to making this year one of the most meaningful and best years yet!

Happy New Year dear friends!  What are some ways that you are going to make 2017 more meaningful? I would love to hear your thoughts!

Gr8fully Yours,