by Alicia Hutchinson
Wrapping up an old year and starting a squeaky-clean new one is one of my favorite things. I don’t write out a lot of resolutions, but I do a lot of reflecting on the old year—thinking about the highlights, the successes, and the joys. Considering the low points is a good idea too. Sometimes it reminds us of how far we’ve come or that we’re in a better place now.
Since 2016 has come to a close, I’ve been thinking about the past twelve months: we moved into a new home, in a new city; I made lots of mistakes and blunders along the way and overreacted to many things that weren’t worth it. But I also accomplished some good things, made great memories with my kids, and have high hopes to improve upon things in 2017.
So with dried-up Christmas tree needles on the floor and stale cookies on the counter, I think everyone is ready for a fresh, new beginning.
Get a New Planner
Filling in a crisp, clean calendar or planner is such a great way to visualize a new year. Choose a planner that works for you—not one that your friend is using just because it’s pretty. Do you need a small one to carry in your purse? A large one by your desk? Fill in all the birthdays, the school breaks, anniversaries, and any other important dates you need to remember for the year.
Out with the Old and In with the New
Before everything goes back into storage, make sure you actually like the stuff you’re storing. If you have bins and bins of Christmas decor that you’re just keeping because it’s what you’ve always used to decorate for Christmas, you’re wasting precious storage space. Clear the bins and shelves of anything you don’t truly love; keep only what brings a smile to your face or that has deep sentimental value. You might not be left with much—at least this is what happened to me—but that’s ok! Next Christmas, you’re going to have such fun digging into your Christmas decor and seeing all the things you truly value, not a bunch of decor you’ve tolerated for years.
Pick One or Two Things to Improve Upon This Month
Even though January is a great month for setting goals and resolutions—and I love that—zoom your focus in closer and just focus on this month. Instead of trying to overhaul the whole year, try to make little changes this month that will have big impact. Here are some ideas:
- Get to bed by 10 p.m. every night
- Organize and clean one cabinet or drawer in the kitchen each day
- Go for a walk three times per week
- Finish that book on your nightstand
- Pick up birthday cards for the whole year and file them away for easy sending later
- Plan your menu for the whole week or month
Bundle Up Those Good Memories
This time of year, I like to organize my photos from the past year and back them all up on our external hard drive. I also like to burn them all onto a disc as well, just in case. If you print photos or create photo books, this is the time to do it. Don’t wait too far into the new year to create these things or pretty soon you’ll be a year behind … don’t ask me how I know this.
Prioritize Your Roles
This is a great time of year to look at all the hats we wear and decide if they are still a priority in our lives. Are there things that you’d like to move away from this year—like a role at your kids’ school or something at church/civic organization that you need a break from? What’s filling your time? If you’re feeling overly stressed and run down, you might need to reprioritize your roles and rethink how you’re spending your days.
Let’s make this our best year yet. Enjoy more, stress less, find the joy in every single day.
Alicia Hutchinson is a homeschooling mama to four blessings. She writes to encourage and inspire others at www.AliciaHutchinson.com. Find terrific ideas for home organization, crafting with kiddos, homeschooling, and more!