New Year’s Resolutions 2019

After trying and failing multiple times to find time for our annual New Year’s resolution setting (we were too pooped, or had plans every night), Andy and I finally set aside a special breakfast date to get it done. It was, as always, really fun to look back and look forward.

As is our pattern, we killed it on some resolutions and really sucked on others, though we gave ourselves partial checks on goals that we at least attempted to some degree. And, to be fair, though it doesn’t look like our “Communication and Bearing Burdens” category fared well, we have been working really hard on improving our communication skills, so I feel pretty good about giving us a check there overall.

I’m really excited for the Come Follow Me program at church this year (not to mention, two hour church! Wahoo!); it’s only been a few weeks, but we have been diligent about preparing lessons every Sunday, and we have felt the blessings in our family. I think this program will help us improve in places we fell short last year.

As far as personal goals, the one I worked on the most was writing the draft of my first YA novel. I finished it early in the morning on December 31! I never EVER in a million years thought that I could, would, should write a novel. In fact, when I first started writing children’s books, I swore up and down that I would never write anything beyond picture books. Novels seemed too complex, too long, too impossible to even attempt writing. But, after I read The Hate You Give, by Angie Thomas in he summer of 2017, I was inspired and felt prompted to try. Even though it’s just a draft and needs a TON of work, I’m really proud of myself for finishing it.

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Here are our family goals for 2019:

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Here are our personal resolutions:

In addition to writing goals, I’m really excited about my sleeping one. I’m determined to get so much sleep that the bags under my eyes go away! HA…hopefully that’s even possible.

This goal isn’t purely aesthetic, I have finally learned that I cannot, in fact, function without sleep. Postpartum depression has forced me to really understand that my emotional health is directly tied to how much I sleep. So, I’m really going to try to sleep more even if means I can’t meet the other goals I set for myself. So far, I have been doing a little better, but I still have a ways go to!

This year, Carter told me some of his goals as well. He came up with all of them himself, in this order, and I love them:

  1. Give toys to kids who don’t have toys.
  2. Take guitar lessons.
  3. Share toys more.
  4. Read with mommy more.
  5. Give packages to people.
  6. Play with more people at home (invite more people over to our house).
  7. Listen to people when they’re talking.
  8. Swim (with people).

I feel like this will be a year of changes and miracles. I’m excited for 2019!

New Year’s Resolutions 2018

I have long contended that the person who sets goals and who strives to attain such is the master of his own fate. – Carlos E. Asay

I love new beginnings and New Year’s resolutions.  Every year, Andy and I reflect back on our personal and family goals and make new ones each year. We write family goals on a little chalkboard and personal goals on paper underneath. We display them all year so we can attempt to keep ourselves on track. Continue reading “New Year’s Resolutions 2018”

Our New Year’s Resolutions

For the first Family Home Evening (FHE) of each New Year, Andy and I review our resolutions of the previous year and then make new ones together and individually.

Our family resolutions from 2015 are pictured below. Going on dates was our biggest fail. I think we went on three. Maaaayyybe five. On one of those dates, Andy stopped to help a lady change her tire and then the people in front of us in the ticket line bought the last tickets to the movie we were trying to see. So we just came home.

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Andy’s resolutions from 2015. Good luck deciphering. He crossed off multiple goals because he is a dedicated and awesome human being.

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Here is my list from last year. I crossed off none. ZERO. Because clearly, I like dessert more than I like being a dedicated, awesome human being like Andy.

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This FHE is one of my favorite family traditions. Even though I sucked at them last year, I love making new year’s resolutions. It feels like a great way to start off a new year. Last Monday, we read and discussed passages from a BYU speech titled, “The Time for New Year’s Resolutions” by Elder Sterling W. Sill. Here is an excerpt that we read aloud:

What I would like to talk to you about is the important period that we call the New Year. This is a time when we make New Year’s resolutions. This is the time when we could make some determinations about the things that we have been thinking about during Christmas. Sometimes after some great event is over, we close our minds on it and forget about what we have done. That is, after Christmas, we repack our boxes of ornaments and tinsel. The Christmas themes are taken off the radio, and we go back to doing the things that we did before. Of course, when we do that, we miss one of the greatest values of Christmas. When we lay down the ideas that we have associated with during this high point of the year, we frequently have a corresponding recession in our lives. Someone has expressed the opposite of this idea in verse when he said:

When the song of the angels is heard no more
And the Bethlehem star is gone out of the sky
When the kings and the Wisemen have returned to their homes
And the shepherds are back in the fields with their flocks,
Then is the time when the real work of Christmas should be eagerly begun:
To spread the Christian message, to lift up the broken hearted;
To convert the unbelieving, to purify the national purpose,
To break the bonds of sin, and to exalt the purpose of all mankind.
The New Year is the time when we should establish in our heart
Those great ideals that were given us by the Son of God for the Christmas season.

The Christmas season loses much of its constructive purpose when we repack our tinsel and forget about it

I love the idea that creating New Year’s resolutions is a natural extension of the Christmas season. It is another another way to keep our lives focused on Christ. Elder Sill also writes about “pre-living,” or visioning the future we want, and setting goals that will help us get there. Andy and I took this idea and spent time privately pre-living two distinct periods of life: Carter’s middle school phase and Carter speaking at our funerals.

What do we hope our relationships, family and life to be like, look like, feel like? What do we hope he learns from us? What kind of parents do we hope to become? What do we hope he will say about our lives and our characters when we are gone?

We discussed and not surprisingly, shared many similar ideas. We hope that Carter will come to us for anything; we hope he will be able to and want to talk to us about his life, worries, joys, troubles and seek our comfort and advice. We hope we counsel together as a family. We hope our children look to our relationship as an exemplar of marriage. We hope that our children will love being home and want to bring their friends over. We hope our home is a bastion of love to our children, their friends and those seeking warmth and laughter. We hope our children know our testimonies of Christ through our actions.We hope we are examples of service and love. We hope we can help our children develop their own testimonies of Christ’s gospel. We hope we have dance parties in our sweats and undies even when the teenagers complain they are not cool. We hope we are always goofy and laughing together. We hope to go on many family adventures. We hope our children learn that they can create change in the world. We hope our children know that they are our priority, that we love and support them in all things.

There is more. But, here is what we ended up with for this year:

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They aren’t SMART goals, nor is it a comprehensive list. Writing with fat chalk on a small blackboard has a way of limiting a brainstorm and, we don’t need to get all technical on these resolutions to get the spirit behind them, right? In any case, it’s something to work towards for two doofus-brains like us!