“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!” 2 Corinthians 5:17
Over the years I’ve talked a lot about re-evaluating my life. I do it a lot. How else can I know if I’m on track with my life goals?
I love the new year. It just feels like a fresh start. I don’t always make “new year resolutions” because more often than not, my resolutions are forgotten when real life hits after the holidays are over.
This year I thought it would be good to make some concrete goals. But what’s a goal if you don’t actually take action to meet that goal? Why set myself up for failure?
2012 was in some respects one of the most amazing years of my life. I completed my first novel and was picked up by a literary agent. (Still waiting for publication, though!) At the same time, 2012 was exhausting and demanding (due to family and life issues) and the year ended with me spending the last month in bed sick. I’m glad that’s over!
I’m looking forward to another life changing year. Maybe by this time next year I’ll have my second novel in the hands of publishers! Maybe I’ll have an amazing book contract with an amazing publisher. Maybe I’ll finish writing my third novel.
More than that, though, I want to realize personal goals for my family and my home. With 2012 leaving me exhausted and sick, I’m wanting a fresh start at home, too.
I have some pretty great kids. By God’s amazing grace, my children love the Lord and are just the most thoughtful, wonderful kids a mom could ask for. I want to be an even better mom. I think I’ve done a lot of things right, but there are so many things I could do better! (Maybe you feel the same way.) So, I want to set realistic goals for being a better mom.
And there are other areas in my life where I’d like to see improvement. So, I made this New Year Resolution chart to help me and you get on track for the new year!
I love the Christmas season. I love the sights, smells, tastes, sounds… all of it.
But you know what I don’t love? That so many people feel rushed, hurried, and frazzled during Christmas.
The heart of Christmas is not about impressing people or running around at a crazy, frantic speed. And making either of those things your focus is certainly not going to help you celebrate and savor the season!
Creating a Christmas Bucket List
One thing that has helped us to slow down and just enjoy December is to create a Christmas Bucket List. We all sit down as a family and choose a few things that each of us really wants to do for Christmas.
Last year, the girls wanted to build a snowman, play in the snow as a family, decorate Christmas cookies, and go ice-skating. I wanted to do an Advent project and take the girls to the Nutcracker. My husband wanted to go look at Christmas lights as a family and watch one of our favorite Christmas movies together.
By the time we’re done discussing our Bucket List, we’ve come up with a great list of memorable activities to do together and since everyone gave their input, there’s something (or more than one thing) on the list that each person will really enjoy.
We spread these activities out during the whole month of December, doing a few items each week. Because our list is not long and overwhelming and because we have four weeks to do it, we’re able to really take time to enjoy each thing and create beautiful memories.
This tradition has been one of the best things we’ve ever implemented to help us stay focused, calm, and intentional during the Christmas season. And it also helps us to say “no” to most of the other ideas and opportunities that come up which aren’t already on our list.