My Word For 2018: Pursue

For the past few years I’ve done the thing that most bloggers do at the beginning of the year – I’ve chosen one word to be “my word” for that entire following year. I honestly can’t remember where I first heard of the idea, but it’s something that I really enjoy doing. Over the years I’ve chosen Joy, Intentional, Invest, and probably others I can’t remember, but I feel like choosing my word does set the tone for where I want to focus my energy that year.

I chose my word for this year – Pursue –  a few weeks ago, and it had a slightly different meaning when I first decided on it. But now that the new year has arrived, I’ve decided this word is exactly what I want this year to be about. Rather than what I was thinking when I first settled on it – pursuing several big goals that I have made for myself – I want to choose one or two goals to pursue, and then focus on pursuing several other things.

I want to pursue a more meaningful relationship with several good friends of mine. I want to pursue a stronger relationship with God. I want to pursue more one-on-one time with my husband. I want to pursue more quality alone time – less watching mindless TV after the boys are asleep and more reading, writing, accomplishing. I want to pursue a few specific goals I have in regards to blogging and Haven Gray Kids. I want to pursue a healthier lifestyle – more time spent being active, more water, a bigger focus on healthy eating. I want to pursue a stronger family bond – more time playing games and having discussions and really focusing on each other, just the four of us.

I love the new year – even though in reality it’s just another day, it feels like such a good starting point. A good place to start over, a blank slate. 2017 was a great year for our family – sure, we had trials and struggles and arguments, and my father-in-law passed away unexpectedly, which was incredibly difficult to walk through. It wasn’t all sunshine and rainbows and happiness. But overall, we had a really good year. I’m so thankful for this little family of mine, for this life I get to live. I’m excited about 2018, I’m anxious to see where it takes us. I feel like every time I have an idea of how things are going to go, life seems to surprise me. I’m sure this year will be no different. Let’s do this, 2018!

Letting Go of Good Things

For most of my life I have been someone who loves being involved in things. It doesn’t really matter what the thing is, if something fun or interesting or exciting is going on, I kind of want to be there. I’ve gone through phases where this is less true, but for the most part, it’s basically who I am.

So it may come as no surprise that I tend to keep a pretty full calendar. This can be a challenge to manage, and also a challenge for everyone who has to help me manage it, namely my husband and my mom. There is always a dinner, a Mom’s Night Out, a coffee date, a wedding shower, etc – it can be kind of stressful to try and fit it all in.

The seasons of my life dictate where most of my time is spent – a couple of years ago I spent the majority of my free time at playdates with Grayson and his little friends. Now most of my time is split between my friends and family, MOPS and church, and working on Haven Gray Kids. Every day I wake up with a to-do list a mile long, and every night I fall into bed feeling like I accomplished not a whole lot and apprehensive about the fact that I most likely won’t get much more done the next day. Even though everything I’m doing is fun, exciting, meaningful, whatever that particular thing may be, I’ve realized recently that I am completely and totally overwhelmed.

Letting Go of Good Things | Haven Gray {The Blog}I started praying that I would know if I’m doing the right things in my life, the things that God has for me, because honestly, what’s the point if I’m not following the path He’s laid out for me? I know this feeling of being overwhelmed 24/7 cannot be good for me, so I know I’m going to have to let some things go. And the awful part is, there’s nothing bad to let go of – honestly, nothing really even mediocre. I love everything that I’m a part of, and I don’t want to give up any of it. But I feel like in order to be the best mommy, wife, daughter, friend, and entrepreneur that I can be, it’s necessary.

I’ve wrestled here for awhile now, feeling like I knew the answer and then convincing myself I can still do it all, that it’s fine and I just need to get more organized and then it will be ok. But after praying specifically about what I need to do in a few situations, I know the answer is to let it go. Let go of these good things – maybe so that there is room for better things to come along. As long as I’m living in this place of constant overwhelm, there’s not an inch of space for anything new to come in. And I’m almost positive there are some really great new things on their way.

So I’ll let go of these good, great, wonderful things, and step out in faith that this is what is best. I’ll trust that God has heard my prayers and that He will show me my path – my next right step, as a sweet friend of mine says she always prays.  So I’m moving forward, letting go of what feels right, as hard as it may be, and focusing on the hope of what’s to come.

My Personal Goals for 2017

I’m not really one for New Year’s resolutions. I used to loosely pick a few every year, but I literally don’t remember a single one, which makes me think I probably didn’t do so well with them. The last few years I have chosen a word for the year, and I have really enjoyed it. My word for this year is “Intentional”, and it feels so right with where I’m at right now. I want to be more intentional in every aspect of my life – as a wife, as a mom, as a business owner, as a leader. No matter what I’m doing, I want to do it well, with intentionality.

So although I won’t be making resolutions for the year, I do have a few things that I want to work on to better myself, my life, the lives of my family, over the year of 2017. Since putting things out publicly is the best form of accountability I know, I thought I would share them. Here they are, in no particular order.

Personal Goals 2017 | Haven Gray The Blog

  • Lead a Healthier Lifestyle

I recently started a BeachBody challenge, and it’s really awakening a love for fitness that I haven’t felt in years. I was a little skeptical going in, but now that I’m in it and loving it, I plan to stay consistent with this throughout the year. Also, I drink less than a full bottle of water most days – I have GOT to change that this year. And on top of that, I am probably actually addicted to sugar. I’m better than I used to be, but I drink at least one coke a day and have at least one sweet snack a day. I would love to cut that waaaaay down.

  • Be More Patient

Patience may be my biggest struggle, especially when dealing with my kids. If the stars are aligned and I’ve had the right amount of sleep/caffeine, I can pull it off pretty well. But under my normal circumstances, this is a huge struggle. I’m working to be better about this every day.

  • Read My Bible Daily

There for awhile, after I first came back into living a life of faith, I was in my Bible nonstop. I was so hungry, and I was learning so much. It has definitely tapered off in the last couple of months, so I’m making it a goal to get back to my daily reading. It makes such a difference in my day to day life.

  • Read One Book a Month

Goodness, I love to read so much, and it’s been SO hard to get it done since I’ve been a mama. I want to somehow find a way to read just one book a month. In my former life that would have been laughable because I read several books a month for years, but this is where we’re at, so I plan to do my best!

  • Say No When It’s Necessary

It’s tough for me to tell people no. If I’m asked to help in some capacity I always want to do that. If we get invited to a play date, I always want to say yes, even if it’s inconvenient. The past few months I’ve been feeling SO overwhelmed, and I’m feeling pretty positive that it’s time to let some things go.

  • Be a Better Friend

Being a good friend in this season of life with all the little bitty kids running around is not easy. It is so challenging to just get through every single day that thinking of others sometimes doesn’t even cross my mind. I’m hopeful that I can be more intentional in this way and reach out more often, lend a helping hand more often, and just be there when my friends need me to be.

  • Schedule Regular Date Nights

We have really let the date night thing slip for the last several months, and I think it is so essential in a marriage to get out without the kids and remember why you got together in the first place. I’m shooting for at least one date night out of the house a month.

  • Play & Read More With My Boys

I am not great at getting down in the floor and just playing with my boys. I have been trying much harder to be more intentional about this lately, and I can tell they love it. Now I just need to make it a much more regular thing – and I also need to make sure the iphone is put away during this play! I also want to put a larger focus on reading. When Grayson was a baby/toddler, we read a TON of books. Every night he would bring like 10 books and put them in my lap and I would rock him and read them to him. Now that there are two of them, I find myself reading a lot less. I hope to figure out a nighttime routine where I can read to both of them on a regular basis.

  • Work on My Relationship With God

I feel like there is SO MUCH growth that needs to happen in this area for me. I haven’t figured out the best way to make a quiet time type situation happen for me since getting up early before the kids is difficult when they are IN your BED…but I know this has to be priority #1, so I plan to figure out a regular routine that works for me.

  • Overreact Less

I know that I am lightyears ahead of where I used to be, but I do still tend to lean to the dramatic side of things. Fights with my husband feel HUGE when they’re basically nothing, sick kids stress me OUT and occasionally cause me to panic, plans that get changed at the last minute send me spiraling – so this is definitely an area I hope to improve upon this year.

  • Use My Time Wisely

Time is such a precious thing when you are responsible for tiny humans all day every day. When I do happen to have any spare time, I need to use it wisely.  Would it be nice to sit on the couch at the end of the day after the boys are asleep and binge watch Gilmore Girls? Of course!!! But wouldn’t it be wiser to use that time to work on the shop or blog? I think so.

  • Movie Night With My Husband Every Weekend

For the last couple of weekends my husband and I have rented a movie on our TV, turned off our laptops, put our phones down, and watched a movie together. I cannot tell you how long it’s been since we have done that, but it has been so fun! I’m officially making it a goal to make this happen every weekend that we’re home.

  • Family Dinners Without Technology

I am so embarrassed to admit how our dinners go, but here’s some brutal honesty for you. Grayson sits at his kiddie table and eats while playing with dinosaurs or watching TV or playing on his ipad. Gavin sits in his high chair and snacks around on whatever he’s eating. The husband either browses through his phone or works while eating. And I put my headphones in and watch Netflix on my ipad. This is how it goes almost every night. I usually eat after everyone else is done because I’m getting everyone else set up, bringing more, finding drinks, etc. The husband eats super fast and is typically on to something else before I even sit down – but I really, really want to change this. My family never ate dinner together when I was growing up, and I definitely want it to be a part of our lives.

While I’m definitely not looking at these as “resolutions” that I have to keep, I think they all just fall in line with my goal to be more intentional this year. Of course I’ll mess up and I’m sure I won’t be able to check everything off the list every time, but I feel good about diving into a new year with all of this in mind.

So what about you – Do you make New Year’s resolutions? Choose a word for the year? Something else altogether? I would love for you to share!