2016 Word of the Year: Value

Through my high school and college years (and maybe even older elementary years because I’ve always love to plan), I always made New Year’s Resolutions. The practice continued into my adult life after I married and had kids. I would sit down and write these resolutions for the year.

I learned to make these goals reasonable, something I could really accomplish instead of something like: “This year I’ll ride a blue unicorn and fly through the sky.” or -in my adulthood: “This year I’ll exercise every day.” (Because both of those probably had the same remote chance of happening.) Instead I learned to write reasonable goals and actually break the longer ones up into smaller steps so that I could feel a sense of accomplishment.

After I began blogging, I started sharing my goals for the new year each year on my blog. For a while I even tried regular monthly posts to share how I was doing on those goals. (In hind sight this seems a little, I don’t know, self-centered, hmmm?) Although my original goal in sharing those goals was to be transparent and to be an encouragement, one of two things often seemed to happen. First, if I had a good month and wasn’t careful, I could easily come across as boastful. “See me. I have my life together and am meeting all my goals. Aren’t I good?” Or, if I had a bad month and didn’t meet any goals, I could conveniently “forget” to post an update that month. And then I wouldn’t really be transparent.

New year's goals-Word of the year: value

A few years ago, I came across this idea of a word for the year. Instead of a list of goals, a word for the year gives a focus to the year. It’s a concept to turn to all year so that I can attempt to be deliberate in the decisions that I make and the actions I take. And this idea, to me, is more practical than a list of goals sometimes.

See, I can have a list of great goals, noble goals designed to help me be a better follower of Christ, a better wife, a better mom. But those goals are my list, my plans. And, I’ve learned that God’s plans aren’t always the same as my plans. The best and most noble plans can go awry if they weren’t God’s plans. And sometimes, when I’ve taken so much time to construct these great goals, and I have all these big plans, I get frustrated and angry when things don’t go that way. That’s why the concept of a word for the year just works better for me.

With my word for the year, I have a focus. I have a concept that I want to be intentional about developing over the year. And then, when I plan my days and weeks- because I still do plan- my focus turns to that word, and that concept helps me to make those day to day decisions. And when my  days don’t go according to plan, I can still turn to that word, that concept, refocus, pray, and go on.

This year my word is VALUE. The dictionary defines VALUE as a verb in this way “to consider with respect to worth, excellence, usefulness, or importance” There are five things I want to be conscious to value this year.

  1. Spiritual Growth I do a good job making sure I do devotions and Bible with the kids, but I’m not always deliberate about my own growth through spiritual disciplines. I want to value my spiritual growth and seek to grow more in various ways.
  2. My Marriage- It’s easy as a homeschool mom to push my marriage to the back burner. I’m busy all day every day with all things kids and homeschooling. But I value my relationship with Jason, and I want to nourish that by making decisions that value my marriage.
  3. My Kids- Another thing I find it easy to do as a homeschool mom is to slip into this “automatic mode.” We hit the ground running in the morning and follow the routine through the day. In the midst of this, I can get too focused on the routine and forget to value my kids as individuals.
  4. Blogging- Yes, I want to value what I do on the blog. I began blogging because I personally found so much encouragement for homeschooling and parenting as a young mom when I began looking online and connecting with others there. I want to be able to pass that on through the community I want to build here, and I want to make this a valuable place for readers to come.
  5. Others- I’m not too bad at the whole put others first thing when it comes to my kids. But when it comes to people outside our little family circle, I have to admit that I don’t often pay enough attention. I’m too caught up in what we’re doing and what’s going on here. I want to value others so that I’m aware of their needs and so that I’m willing to meet them in the way in which God leads.
I’ve made a poster of my word for the year, and I’m hanging it beside my workspace in our kitchen. I want to keep the word VALUE at the forefront of my mind so that I can constantly focus on it throughout the year.
Do you have a word of the year or do you prefer to set goals or resolutions?

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