Here it is – my hopes for 2017. I’ve started this post at different points since the New Year, but with the first week of the New Year not going so swimmingly, I’ve had to start over a few times.
In my New Year’s Day post, I wrote about my desire to live more intentionally this year. I’ve been writing bits and pieces down over the past month or so with what I wanted to focus on in the New Year, and after I concluded that a big theme would be living intentionally, I wanted to really shape these hopes in the right way.
I’ve tried to focus on several areas and then narrow each down so it’s specific enough to be realistic. I don’t call these resolutions because I find resolutions can be self-defeating. The minute it doesn’t happen, we can so quickly think “well better luck next year” and give up all together. These are hopes because I genuinely hope to put time and thought into these areas this year. I am sure different ones will have center-stage more than others at different points throughout the year, but this is what I am aiming for.
2017 – Be Intentional
Invest in Learning
This is probably the one at center-stage right now. My learning muscles have been a little weak in the past year (unless it’s kid related – let’s be honest!), and I am noticing the great importance for continuing to learn in many ways and areas. I plan to pursue this by reading more and watching less, as well as by listening to podcasts. I’ve already finished one book so far this year, and I am nearly finished with another.
Sometimes the daily grind can take over, and I forget to think through what’s happening. I sort of live in this place of “responding” to the day rather than “planning” for the day. Obviously with kids, you have to have a measure of flexibility, but I find Eleanor thrives with new activities and places, as well as some routine. I want to plan more creative things throughout the week for Eleanor, new activities or parks, the library, etc. I also want to plan more personal, intentional time to work on hobbies and activities that bring me life, as well as activities that bring life to my friendships and my marriage.
I have had such a love for blogs and writing for so long, and I feel it’s something I want to continue growing. I want to create more content, develop more quality photos to add and really invest time into all that this blog can be. I’ve been doing a lot of reading about some of the areas I would like to grow the blog, such as editorial calendars (check!), SEO, photography for blogging, and networking. I’m excited to see where it goes. The other area with blogging is that I want to be a bit braver about what I am posting. I for sure want to use wisdom and post with purpose and intention, but I think I’ve let too many posts sit in my drafts folder for fear of how the internet world may respond. I actually think it’s worth it, though, because those posts may reach someone who needs to read them. That is my hope, and therefore, I will be braver for that reason alone.
Begin with Intention
At the moment, our days begin when Eleanor wakes up. Depending on when we got to bed or how the morning goes, we can actually start our day pretty frazzled or behind, and I really feel that needs to change. I may start setting my alarm to wake up at the same time every morning, and maybe, just maybe, it will be before Eleanor if she ever decides to stop waking up at 5:40am! I want to be intentional about spending time reading or listening to worship music or “filling my cup”, as they say, even if that means giving Eleanor a bit of screen-time to do it. It’s totally worth it. I am also wanting our family to create a habit of beginning our day praying and inviting God into the day. Maybe not first thing but definitely before we head out the door. Such a small thing like that has gone a loooooong way in the past.
Continue Cultivating Healthy Habits
I am so proud that I can write “continue” instead of “create”. Something clicked last year, and I am so grateful that healthy habits really started happening and becoming a part of my life. I still have so much room to grow and learn in this area, though. I want to continue exercising and experiment more with meals and snacks, creating a bit of a routine with some of that to make life a little easier. I would also LOVE to kick this nail biting habit once and for all. If that’s something you have achieved, please give me all your tips!
^Cheeky monkey jumped in my photo shoot for this post, but who can resist posting a pic of Eleanor, hey?!
Be Intentional with Relationships
Living in community as we do, you can really take for granted how you spend time with people. You generally see most people throughout the week, but I wouldn’t say you’re spending quality time every week. I want to host more people in our house, particularly now that we have the space, and I also want to pursue my girl friends more – let’s go have coffee or go to a movie or the beach. *I am determined to have a no-kids beach day with my girl friends before the summer is over! Another way I want to be intentional with relationships is to be better about long-distance relationships. I think we do ok with some but definitely have a lot of room to grow in this area as well.
Grow Photography Skill
A couple of years ago, I wrote a bit of my journey with photography. Now, having had my camera and a decent lens for a couple years (oh, and a model to shoot whenever?! Thanks Eleanor!), I have fallen in love with it again. I really want to invest time into take more photos and growing my skills even more. I’d love to start taking photos of families and engaged couples again because I feel the perspective I have now compared to 8-10 years ago is drastically different. I’m not sure if I am game for anything wedding related yet unless I was a helper or assistant, but nonetheless, I am wanting to take more photos and learn more and more. I got the program Lightroom for Christmas, and I am really loving it and feel that it has already helped in many ways!