One year closes, another opens. Look forward.

There isn’t a year in recent memory of which  I am eagerly anticipating the exit more than 2016. However, the person whose absence made this one of the hardest years of my life also left me with some invaluable lessons; lessons I have not been applying for the past 10 months. It’s time to shake off the spirit of heaviness, grief , and emotional avoidance, seize the day, and live life as he modeled it for his family: to the fullest.

There was a list of goals to accomplish in 2016, and this is the week where I would normally do an evaluation of sorts, then map a path forward. As it turned out I accomplished only one, which was to run a 5K. I did that at the beginning of the year, then spent the rest of 2016 vacillating between grief, distractions, tens of new beginnings, and the keeping my homemaking head above the proverbial water. It’s time to get on with life, which is for the living, and the only true way to honor those we love who have gone on before.

So, in setting a course, I am encouraging our girls to do the same. Because the list for 2016 went largely ignored, most of the goals for 2017 are languishing from last year:

  • Prioritize people and friendships– This is something I have gotten steadily better about over the years, but it is very easy to slip into an insular way of living when we aren’t vigilant to visit, call, or even write a letter.
  • Consistently tune out the noise– Mental discipline is nigh impossible if we don’t prioritize it.
  • Prayer and study– Of necessity, these come after mental discipline. So much of my prayer and study is more of the checklist variety than anything deep due to my lack of mental discipline.
  • Health and Fitness– I half-heartedly went through the motions of daily exercise for most of the year  –even ran a second 5K this month– but my eating was worse than it had been in nearly 4 years, and the scale revealed it. Yeah, I was having a rough year but still. No more excuses.
  • More structure– I live life better with a plan and this year I often flew by the seat of my pants. Our home runs more smoothly when I have a relatively detailed set of schedules, menus, and lists for myself and the kids. I’m currently in the development phase of all three for the next semester.
  • Sew!– I didn’t sew very much this year, for a variety of reasons. One was lack of motivation, but another was that my machine was pretty awful. My wonderful children bought me a better one for Christmas, and I am setting a goal of making at least three nice pieces of clothing this year. It doesn’t sound like much, but it takes time to sew clothing worth wearing, and that’s not including things like pillow shams or aprons that I can whip out much easier.
  • Read a book a month– I dropped that ball in 2016 also, but I’m picking it back up.
  • Walk through life in a more deliberate way– There’s more to this than I care to explore in a blog post. It might mean many things to many people, but it’s something we all need to do within our particular spheres.

In our culture we prize fun, excitement, and newness, so the old adages often get tossed by the wayside as irrelevant. However, if there is one thing I have learned in 2016 it’s that this one is as relevant today as it ever was:

Failing to plan is tantamount to planning to fail. Chart a vision for your life, write it down,  and walk it out. If possible find someone to help hold you accountable to it.

Happy New Year!

Related: Hearth writes about the importance of alignment between what we do, who we are, and what we believe.


5 thoughts on “One year closes, another opens. Look forward.”

  1. One thing I forgot to mention was sleep. From spring on, I started developing horrible sleep habits, like 5 hours a night. Last night I got four. My body is feeling the wear and tear, so I’m adding sleep recovery and restoration to my list of health goals.


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