January is more than half over but I'm still planning and gaining momentum for the year ahead. I'm grateful for the awe-inspiring blessings God provided for my family in 2015--a baby boy, an extended stay in France, and a plot of land (here in Oregon) on which we plan to build a home. That said, 2016 will be a work-heavy year for me as we get deeper into homeschooling, homebuilding, and parenting. Knowing this, my focus this year is self-discipline. That doesn't sound very appealing, does it? None of us like putting ourselves in painful situations or depriving ourselves of fun experiences, but that's not quite what I mean. Instead, I plan to focus on these two points in 2016:
1. Preparing for what's ahead well in advance.
My INFJ personality type means that organization comes fairly easily to me, but this year I'm ramping up my planning and time-management because as a homeschooling mama to three children, I can see that I really need to do this! I began the year listening to Marie Kondo's The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up. (I borrowed the audiobook through our library using the free Hoopla app--your library might have a similar option). Thanks to Marie's experience and advice, I've rounded up bags of clothing, donated some books, and cleaned out our closets. It's great to know that we'll have less to pack when we move in a year or so.
Secondly, I recently subscribed to Martha Stewart Living, and while I find her monthly calendars easy to mock ("Polish copper cookware," "Harvest citrus from greenhouse,"), I also plan to take some of her monthly tasks seriously, because there is satisfaction in truly being purposeful about planning ahead! Martha and I may rarely have similar to-do lists, but some maintenance tasks and seasonal planning actions are indeed useful for us all to complete.
2. Going to bed earlier and focusing my mornings.
As long as I can remember, I've been a night person--I seem to get energy and inspiration late at night. However, I think being a night owl is actually somewhat problematic, because it often involves borrowing time and mental clarity from the following morning (when my thoughts and actions are sluggish due to lack of sleep). This year I want to be more self-disciplined in writing down key tasks for the following day before I go to bed, going to bed at a reasonable hour, and allowing my better mental clarity to help me accomplish what I might have (slowly) done the night before. Going to bed earlier will help me stay consistent in reading my Bible and journaling for a few minutes each morning, and I've seen how this ripple of purpose can help me be more present and patient with my children the following day. All of these truths bring joy to my heart and to my family!
However, as a mama to three young children, nights are the only time I have to myself to write and blog. I have really missed being able to write regularly here, and I really hope that God will show me when and how to continue writing if I choose not to write late at night. Surely I can also be more intentional in using the short time that I have before I go to bed.
What are your hopes and plans for 2016? Do you have any tips that help you accomplish your goals? Here's a sweet printable from Ann Voskamp if you are still writing your goals for 2016!
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