2017 New Year’s Goals

I haven’t blogged for over a year, so I’m sure this may be a surprise to my friends and subscribers. Since the title of this blog post is New Year’s Goals, perhaps you already have a clue as to one of my goals for 2017! And, since I’m posting it a bit late (already January 3), perhaps it’s also obvious that I struggle to find time to do that goal–blogging. I do hope to update you soon with an overview of 2016; but for right now, I’m just going to share my goals for this year, as well as more specifically for January. Probably most people won’t be too interested, I’m sure; but blogging about my goals helps me take the time to organize my life, and my husband was happy with the results in 2014. 🙂

I typed up a document with all of my goals, which ended up being a humongous glorified to-do list. In the end, it was almost seven pages long, single-spaced! Unbelievable. How did it get so long? Well, I categorized my life into personal, ministry, family, and homeschooling goals, and then I broke each of those categories down even further into sub-categories. Since I included lists of books I want to read, chores for my kids, home renovations, ministry ideas, and tons of children and subjects on the homeschooling list, my list got longer and longer. I won’t share all of that with you, just the general ideas.

My Word for the Year

The idea of picking a word for the year to define your New Year’s goals was a new fad to me a couple of years ago, but I’ve loosely kept with the idea. I don’t find it very specific or measurable, however. How do you know whether or not you attained any success with your word? So I use it now as my spiritual goal for the year, basically a character trait I want to work on. This year, my word for the year is HOPE. I want to focus on living with a more positive, hopeful attitude. I will be teaching through 1 Peter in a ladies’ Bible study this year, as well as memorizing 1 Peter; so I will try to read through Be Hopeful, a commentary on 1 Peter by Warren Wiersbe, in my devotions this year.

Personal Goals

I have too many personal goals. 🙂 I already know I won’t be able to do them all this year. Some are crafts or new skills I want to learn to do. A homeschooling mother of a large family doesn’t really have the luxury of time to learn lots of new skills. So I will hold loosely many of those goals and just try to chip away at them whenever I have time. At least if I list them, perhaps I’ll eventually get to them: photography, drawing, calligraphy, journaling (nature, Bible), sewing, learning another language, learning new hairstyles, and some random projects around the house.

But there are other personal goals that can’t be given up. They must be worked on constantly, whether I’m busy or tired or not.


I want to read my Bible daily. I hope to read through the Bible twice this year, using a 5-day reading schedule chronologically through the entire Bible, and a major narrative schedule.   I hope to listen to the latter schedule on audio, and it’s not the entire Bible, so perhaps it’s misleading to say that I’ll read through the Bible twice this year. But audio definitely helps a busy mom. I think it counts! I use the YouVersion app for an audio version, or Faith Comes by Hearing, which also has a podcast for the New Testament called “You’ve Got the Time,” in both ESV and KJV. They even have a kids’ podcast of major stories of the Bible, using the ESV dramatized. I will use the second schedule for my younger non-reading children for their personal devotions.

I still need to make a daily prayer list to help me pray more consistently. I want to memorize 1 Peter, and brush up on Philippians, which I have memorized, but have some trouble spots. I would like to start Scripture journaling, but I don’t have time this month to start, nor the materials.


I have a list a page long in my document of reading goals. I have no idea where the time is going to come from, but I need to read! I love reading, so it’s no chore to me. Perhaps I’ll do a separate blog post for these goals, if I have time! haha.


I really desire to do more blogging again, but it’s taken me a year to catch up from 2015, a completely crazy year, and I don’t feel caught up yet. But my original goals for this blog haven’t changed, and I do want to keep up with the different categories more frequently. Again, I’m not sure where the time is going to come from for blogging, but I am really going to try. Other goals are more important to me, however, so as I mentioned earlier, when you feel like life is a state of triage, blogging tends to go by the wayside.

Fitness, health, and beauty:

In order to accomplish a lot of my goals, I need to get in bed by 10 PM and wake up at 6 AM (which will hopefully allow me to…)

  • exercise a few mornings (or evenings) per week
  • track how much I’m eating on My Fitness Pal every day
  • do a 21-day paleo diet (I’ve already started this; I’m 4 days in)
  • practice new hairstyles–only one ponytail allowed per week

I also have several items that I need to organize or renovate in my home. When your many children are home all day, and you move twice in one year, your lists get very long, very quickly, in both categories!  Yes, some of the renovation can only happen when you have funds, but organization can and should be done whenever possible. Some of these items are more involved, so I have a separate list entitled “projects” that will take some time.


We are working with two churches, and sort of a third. I know I need to explain this all clearly, but not in a goals’ post. Here are some of the items on my to-do list:

  • a large Sunday school curriculum printing project
  • teach two ladies’ Bible studies, one on 1 Peter, one on Philippians
  • organize a schedule to call or SMS, and pray for, ladies
  • hostess some ladies or different families, at my house, or take them out to dinner
  • make and sell more lip balm
  • compose catechism songs for our Tsonga catechisms
  • plan outreach activities, such as VBS
  • plan a music ministry for two churches

This all needs to get done this year. Some items are more immediately necessary than others.


I wrote down goals for my marriage and for each of my children, generally, spiritually or emotionally, practically (life skills), and educationally (for that child’s homeschooling year). A lot of these are more personal, so I probably won’t take the time here to share them, except for in an general overview to remind myself to do them.


We homeschool according to the calendar year, so I start this month. Wow, I have so many things to do! I will be homeschooling Callie and Carson as well this year. I homeschooled them together last year in a mom-made K4 program, but this year we will need more time to do an official kindergarten program. Colin and Caleb will be in third and fifth grades, respectively, and I will have a toddler around to worry about as well. I expect this year and next to be my hardest years of homeschooling. Please pray for me!

My homeschooling to-do list takes up almost three of the pages of my huge New Years’ goals document, so maybe I shouldn’t include that as part of my New Years’ goals. But it’s going to take me most of January, or even beyond, to finish that to-do list; so for January, I plan to focus mainly on the homeschooling list, and leave a lot of these other goals until February. I am still trying to do some of the others, such as the spiritual, many of the health/fitness/beauty goals, and some of the reading, blogging, and ministry goals.

It would encourage me to hear about your resolutions or goals if you made any! My sister has a link-up here for anyone else blogging about their goals this year. You can join any time.

About Amy

I'm Amy, a missionary wife and homeschooling mother of five children, blogging about our lives and perspectives on culture in South Africa.
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