Setting Goals for the New Year

2016 was pretty good to me.

New Year's Resolution

Nothing particularly spectacular happened. The railroad is slowing down so money is tighter. Watching the furloughs (basically lay offs) leaves a little anxiety as we wonder just how deep they will go and just how much seniority will be necessary to survive them. Demands on my time are greater. As my children get older, I stress more over their weak areas (and worry more about how much losing their brother will affect them academically rather than just . . . well . . . “just” the way losing loved ones affects everyone). I still battle feelings of failure and inadequacy. I still struggle with becoming suddenly and inexplicably overwhelmed by seemingly mundane tasks.

Except that it isn’t the task at hand. It’s the loss of a child.

So why would I say 2016 has been good to me?

Because this is the first year that I’ve been able to consistently do things like appreciate the small pleasures in life. Find the humor in everyday mishaps. In fact, while is seems to come out more on facebook, I’ve seen my sense of humor more and more over the last year. Little hiccups don’t regularly bring the day to a crashing halt. I have been able to plan things out, make goals and carry them through. I forget important things less. I can remember Mattias and smile. The feelings associated are bittersweet, but they no longer overwhelm me with grief. We’ve homeschooled every single day. And while we’re behind, it’s a normal behind, not an I-just-can’t-cope behind.

Life is moving forward.

And I’m looking forward more, too.

I like the idea of a New Year’s resolution. A time to reflect on the things we don’t like about ourselves and resolve to improve. A time to acknowledge our dreams and resolve to take steps toward achieving them. It’s a time to sweep away the failure and give ourselves a fresh start. Even if that start sputters and dies for all the reasons that brought us to this point to begin with.

But this year, I just have goals.

This year, I want to write.

I want to write more here. I want to get a few more articles published in magazines. I want to finish the e-books I started over the past two years. I want to start the novel that has been slowly developing in my thoughts over the last three years.

And I might be ready to pick up a project that was almost finished before Mattias died.

I purchased myself a nice big planner with room for plans and ideas and deadlines. I wrote my first query and have my first deadline.

My biggest challenge will simply be time. But my children are getting older and I am going to try to go to the library at least once a week to work. Alone. And during the day.

It takes discipline, which is where I’ve fallen short in the past.

So perhaps I have a resolution after all. Simply to be more disciplined.

What are your plans, goals, resolutions or words for the New Year? And maybe even a better question: Is there anything we can do to help you achieve them?

And a little more from around the homeschool web:

Heather from Wellermomma blog shares Ten Ways to Be a Happy {More} Relaxed Momma. (Pretty sure taking time to work on your own lifelong dreams counts, right?)

Becky from Homeschool ‘N Stuff is improving her relationship with God, reading more and getting to know her boys better. (And such a good thought. As homeschoolers, at home with our children ALL day, it seems like we know them. And of course we do. But learning to ask more questions and listen more deepens those relationships.)

Jody of Kitchen Table Classroom is sharing some super cute (and free!) New Year’s printables to help get your children started thinking about the new year and making their own resolutions.

Misty of Year Round Homeschooling is sharing how she prepares for a new year.

Crystal of Serving Joyfully shares the one resolution all of us (as Christians) should make.

And fellow homeschool mom Sarah Coller of Classical Homemaking even wrote a book: Purposeful Steps Toward a More Abundant Life. I have not read it, but we homeschoolers gotta stick together and help each other out, right?

Disclosure: “We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to and affiliated sites.”


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Lisa RiosTami QuallsRoscommon AcressusanhomeschoolingAlicia Recent comment authors
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maria @ close to home

I am so glad you were able to write your goals so clearly. Look forward to reading your ebooks


Thanks! I actually working on one of them now. 🙂 If all goes well, I may have it done in three weeks. But that’s a big if! Especially considering that graphics aren’t my thing and take me longer than the text!


Wow, you have got a lot of really good goals, two years putting together a cook book, I thought someday I might like to do that, but gosh it sure takes a long time. Lots of encouragement being sent your way and wishing you all the best. I am hoping to get this blog magazine up and running and have so many pages and post to get written, my goal is to stay focused this month and also keep in touch with family and friends. I have been working so much I forgot about them last year and miss my… Read more »


I think this is my first time here. I love the way that you write so honestly. I am terribly sorry to hear about losing Mattias. When I was a homeschool mom (of 4, not as many as you have) I felt like I was drowning all the time just with that. I can’t even imagine adding the grief of losing one of my precious babies to that. I pray that God blesses you and your family this year. I pray that He will bring a special joy and hope to fill your hearts and help you with this grief.


Thank you so much for dropping by! And thank you for the condolescenses. It’s kind of strange. I used to kind of joke about this little online community as my “imaginary friends” but it has been a tremendous encouragement to me over the past six years.

And it is crazy even without added trauma. But at the same time, it gave my children time to heal without worrying about grades and such.

Chelley @ A is For Adelaide

I am all about moving forward! Discipline was a big sticking point for me last year- I am just going to keep moving forward!

Roscommon Acres

Just keep swimming! 🙂

Hey Sharonoox

Looking forward to read more of your articles. Not so much of resolution for this year except moving forward with life.

Roscommon Acres

Yeah, I was never really into them. I’ve done different things over the years, but this year, I had already started working on this one and decided just making a public declaration and starting on it would be the best way to success!


These are great goals to make! I don’t make much for resolutions anymore.

Roscommon Acres

Thanks! And Happy New Year!


I’m glad you have goals and are moving towards them! Self-discipline is easier when you have deadlines.

Roscommon Acres

Yes. I work so much better under a deadline!

Tami Qualls

I feel like I actually made progress last year with one of my goals. I’m looking forwarding to making even more progress this year. Best wishes to you in yours!

Lisa Rios

Every year we all try to achieve some goals and it is god that you have goals that are moving towards in a positive note. Developing a positive outlook is something that we all need to achieve anytime and I am sure staying disciplined will get you there!