Thursday, January 1, 2009


New Year's resolutions have never been something I've been all about. I don't know why, but it just seems random to me to all of the sudden upend your life and try to be all you can be once a year. That, and my personality is very much all or nothing. Read: once I "cheat" on my resolution a little bit, I might as well quit.

The rough waters of the end of 2008, however, have placed on my heart some changes I'd like to make within my life and that of my family.  I'm blogging about them, because talking about them (even over the internet) keeps me accountable, and because just maybe it will inspire people reading to think about their resolutions in a slightly different light.

resolution- from the Latin resolutio- to reduce something into a simpler form

I love that sentiment and it almost directly corresponds to how I'm feeling at the turn of the year. To reduce. Simplify. That's where I want to be this year.

Looking towards my new found respect for resolutions this year, it was really tempting to create a long list (and if you know me, you know my love for list making) of everything I don't like about myself at the moment/ I wish I was better at/ I want to do a better job on, and then make my resolutions the opposite of that list. Hmm... that's not simple, and it's not a reduction. It sounds like a lot of work and not a reduction at all! So I decided instead to start by thinking about what's truly important to me at this point in my life, and going from there. Here's what I came up with:

1. God

2. Family (and friends!)

3. Work

Ok, yay! Now that is a simple list! Not my style at all. So I went through each thing, and thought specifically about what about each it is that I desire for me and my family. Obviously this isn't a dialogue on what should be important nor is it applicable to where someone else's priorities should be placed. This is simply where I am, this year, and where I want to go. From all this reflection I came up with these resolutions which, in no particular order, I am committing to work towards, pray about, and strive to this year.

  • Learn to live frugally. Obviously the economy is on everyone's mind these days, and I'm no different. It's scary to think that it could possibly get even worse before it gets better. Money is great, but what I'm concerned with is how we use the money we are blessed with. Specifically, I'm thinking of several goals that living frugally can help me achieve:
    • Develop a budget and stick to it
    • Give as generously as I spend on my family
    • Spend for the future (i.e. retirement, college fund, savings, etc.)
    • Be content with what I have, realizing that much of what I "want" brings only momentary happiness
  • Worship more faithfully, and concentrate on Jack's spiritual development as much as I do on his reaching "earthly" milestones.
  • Grow at work. I am blessed to work for a wonderful man and a fantastic company not only do I passionately believe in, but that allows me to be both God and Family centered before being an "employee." I love my job. I want to be better at it. To learn more, and make a bigger difference in the lives of kids. This past year I spent a great deal of my time figuring out how to be an effective Stay at Home Working Mommy. Now that I feel like the balance is good, I want to really expand what I'm capable of at work.

So it's not all simple, and I don't know that really they're all resolutions, but more of a set of goals and principles to live by this next year. What are your resolutions?


amosclarkson said...

Okay, I'm a big dummy, do you work outside the home? I for some reason thought you didn't anymore? You may have been trying to say your job is Stay At Home Mommy but I wanted to check :) Those are great resolutions & I agree about your philosophy on them. I, too, am the kind of person that if I come up with all these crazy resolutions that are just too much & I fail once, I give up. Your resolutions are very simple & worthwhile. Let me know how you do with the budget & frugal lifestyle-I need some help with that, too!

amosclarkson said...

Oh, and I was gonna say that we just opened a Missouri 529 plan for Eli with money from my dad & us. I've heard it's a good way to save for college & add each month or whenever you want.