Happy New Year!

our hope new year

Our family is starting 2016 off with a bang! Tomorrow we head out on our first adventure of the new year, a trip to New York City. Big plans have been made for our short vacation including a night tour of the city’s lights, Radio City Music Hall, and a visit to the American Museum of Natural History.

We will be traveling in the car for several hours. In between the “are-we-there-yets” and entertaining my two-year old, I plan to (try to) reflect on 2015 and start goal setting for 2016. Yes, I realize that this first goal of the new year might not work out the way that I plan and a car ride might not be the best place for quiet reflection. But I am a mom and I take what I can get. Besides, I choose to remain positive and optimistic that I will be able to get at least a few reflections scribbled down on paper.

Years ago, I gave up making resolutions. It was always the same thing- exercise more, eat healthier, save money. I always started out committed but by the second or third week of January I was back to the same old thing. I think part of the problem was that I never really reflected on the previous year or made any specific, attainable goals. The resolutions were vague and I never included a time line. I should of known better coming from a career in teaching where goals are part of daily instruction and success.

Last year, I focused on one word- LIGHT. Having a focus word was the best strategy for me. It was easy to remember and I was able to link a lot of daily life and prayer to it.  In 2015, I  wanted to be lighthearted (aka fun), a bright light of love, joy, and for Jesus, and I wanted to lighten up in weight. I think I did fairly well with the first two things but the last one was too similar to years past. Any “lightening up” in weight has been put back on by my terrible weakness for holiday sweets and treats.

Two resources to use in my car-office tomorrow:

To reflect on last year, 20 Questions for a New Year’s Eve Reflection from The Art of Simple is a great resource. You can find downloadable questions for adults and children.  The questions  can be used as conversation starters or for personal journaling. I love what the author, Tsh, says about reflecting on the past year, “Honor the past year by celebrating your joys, mourning your losses, and shaking your head at the wonder of it all.”

There are many free goal setting worksheets available to download. This year, I came across this cute printable. I like that it is one sheet of paper and it covers different areas and topics. It will be a great starting point for more detailed goals.

So there you have it! Here’s to reflecting, goal setting,  a new year of exciting adventures, opportunities to learn and grow, and relationships filled with love and peace.

Happy New Year!


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