Setting Intentions For The Year

This is a post I created in 2017, I’m sharing it in this new space as a reference for current goal setting.

new year's goals

For the last several years, I posted a list of yearly goals on my blog. It wasn’t from some weird desire to be an exhibitionist about what I am planning, but more with the hope that the whole idea of setting goals, and even some of my specific goals, will spark ideas for you. I believe that God has good plans for us, and that, just as He did in the lives of so many people in the past, He wants to lead us into those good plans. 

new year's goals

I haven’t always started my new year’s goals setting with God in mind, but this year, I have as an overarching goal, a desire to start inviting God into even the most mundane of decisions. I so often get overburdened and overscheduled because I do things to be nice, or even to be a good Christian, and then end up frustrated, discouraged and grumbling, nothing good or Christian about that.

new year's goals

So after praying, I have a theme of “metamorphosis”. That’s my word for the year, and I guess it’s a fancy word for transformation and change. Many of my goals flow from that word, or have that idea at their core.

If you are confused about how I came about the categories, here is a post by a friend that explains this whole system. I love the idea of setting goals in several areas instead of just globbing together a bunch of goals. However, if these categories don’t work for your family, make your own.

new year's goals

Also, I realize that this post is late! Hopefully, most of you have already made your New Year’s goals. We made ours while sitting around a cozy fire with my aunt and uncle in Ireland, but after that, we spent 10 days doing ministry in Tanzania, Africa, (you can read more about the trip and it’s educational benefits in a 2017 Wild and Free bundle). Since arriving home, we have been trying to actually implement the plans that we made while we were away. It’s been busy, but good, and connection with my family has been the priority. I am fully aware that the days of having all my children home are numbered, and I am enjoying them fully. You might enjoy my blog post, Cultivating Joyful Homes.

New Year’s Goals

Self Care

Daily Yoga/Pilates

Do a monthly fast or cleanse

Spiritual Life

Memorize one verse each week

Make listening to God a priority


Teach chore consistency to children

Make math understandable


Special focus on relationship with middle children

Listen actively to children

Time Management

Family Bible by 8:15

Spend 1-3pm on writing projects

Nest Management

Work towards simplified garden/possible downsize

Teach better home care habits to children

Uniquely You

Finish memoir with Emelie

Go to a writers conference

Financial Stewardship

Publish Playful Pioneers

Learn Squarespace

You can read about past new year’s goals setting here. If you need resources for learning how to goal set, my course, Bountiful Homeschooling on a Budget, is full of ideas for creating a family vision and life plan.

What are your family’s New Year’s goals? I’d love to hear them!

new year's goals

Cultivating Joyful Homes


fall decorations

Homeschooling can be a joy killer. While spending our days with children should naturally bring tons of lightness and joy into our lives, it is easy for us to get preoccupied, worrying about doing enough, and then create an atmosphere of tension instead of fun.

It doesn’t have to be this way though.

When we begin to break down what our children really need to know, and when we begin to get a vision of the long view of homeschooling, we can start to realize that this pressure that steals the fun out of our days with our children is just a mirage.

Think about it? What do you remember from your school days? What lessons stick out to you?

playing in grass

Here is another question. What do you want your children to remember from their first few years of school?

When we put these questions and their answers into perspective, we can realize that there are only a few things that we really need to do in the first few years of school.

What are these things?

When you add in some devotional time, and a responsive parent, you have a recipe for academic success. All of the pushing that public schools are imposing on children is not producing brighter children, what it is producing is burnt out children.
Hop off that hamster wheel and start enjoying these precious early years.
Here is a POST with some great information about delayed academics.
Here is another POST about joy.

This POST talks about how some children teach themselves to read.

This COMPANY sends out monthly projects.

My preschool curriculum, THE PEACEFUL PRESCHOOL, is a great way to cultivate more learning fun in your home. It could easily be adapted to use with a kindergartner or first grader, simply adding a chapter book read aloud, a PHONICS PROGRAM and a MATH program.
Check out The Peaceful Press for resources for joyful learning in elementary as well.
Do you need help with figuring out how to pay for homeschool resources? THIS COURSE is full of practical advice for building a life you love and living within your means. 
Cultivating Joyful Homes