A new year means new beginnings, a new planner, and a new list of resolutions. I’ve been working on this list for about a week and I think it’s a good mix of realistic, ambitious, and challenging goals for 2017. I am constantly inspired by others who make similar lists, particularly fellow 30-somethings, mothers of young children, wives, and Christian mentors. I am blessed to have these folks in my corner, encouraging and keeping me accountable. Last year was good, but I think 2017 will be great.

prayerful-planner-2017( photo courtesy of Prayerful Planner )

ORGANIZATION

Use my Prayerful Planner every day
Decorate my office (paint, hang diploma, arrange bookshelves, etc.)
Hire a housekeeper for deep cleaning (1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12)
Tidy up the house for 15 minutes every day
Unsubscribe from excessive blogs, websites, newsletters, etc.
Clean email inbox every Thursday
Organize photos and graphics on my laptop

DISCIPLESHIP

Read the Bible in a year (using 5-day method and the Slacker’s Plan)
Write a prayer or reflection in a daily journal
Continue monthly tithe to church (1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12)
Begin an Inductive Bible Study
Attend a women’s conference

MEANINGFUL TO OTHERS

Deliver a meal to someone in need (1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12)
Mail a handwritten note (1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12)
Participate in “Lent Letter” project
Send an encouraging text 5x/week
Host a dinner with friends or family (1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12)
Get to know our neighbors
Fun activity with girlfriends (1 2 3 4 5 6)
Serve on a mission trip

MARRIAGE & FAMILY

Intentionally pray for Husband and Kamden
Attend opening day at The Depot
Attend four Cleburne Railroader baseball games (1 2 3 4)
Play date with Kamden and a friend (1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12)
Gun range with Husband (1 2 3 4 5 6)
Midweek lunch with Husband (1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12)
Do something special for our 10th wedding anniversary
Keep my great-grandmother’s aloe vera plants alive

PERSONAL

Prioritize my physical health (renew my gym membership, start jogging again, etc.)
Read 15 books (1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15)
Transfer this blog to a dot com with new layout
Post to blog 2x/week

CHURCH MINISTRIES & LEADER DEVELOPMENT

Host staff lunch in my home (1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12)
Launch MOPS
Create a communications plan with social media schedule
Attend Change the World conference, March (Ginghamsburg, Ohio)
Attend Orange conference, April (Atlanta, Georgia)
Launch a small group for team leaders
Find a mentor and be a mentor
Create a continuing education and life skills program for adults
Expand the backpack ministry to four elementary schools in Joshua ISD

TRAVEL

visit Lisa (Norfolk, Virginia)
RV road trip to visit Mark & Jenny (Ashley, North Dakota)
family getaway to Memphis, Tennessee
family staycation to Great Wolf Lodge
Kaleb & Caitlin wedding, August (Virginia Beach, Virginia)
Brian & Jessica wedding, November (Louisville, Kentucky)

I found this list of questions to consider at the start of the new year and I will address all of them at some point in my daily planner but some of them are pertinent enough for me to highlight in this post:

What’s one thing you will do in 2017 to enrich the spiritual legacy you will leave to your children?
In 2017, Kamden will attend Sunday School as usual, but instead of staying in the nursery with infants and toddlers, he will go with me into the Worship Center for what he calls “big church.” He will participate in the weekly service by singing praise and worship songs, going to children’s time, and listening to the sermon.

What’s the single most important thing you could do to improve the quality of your work life this year?
This might sound petty but I still think it’s important to mention because I hope by posting it here that it’ll keep me motivated to do something soon, rather than later. I really want (and need) to revitalize my office. Currently, it’s this white box begging for much-needed attention. It used to be an associate pastor’s office and then a big catch-all storage place, making it untidy and very cluttered. Once I paint, I want to hang my framed college diploma and a world map with push pins on the wall. I’d like to get a smaller desk that is white or light gray with storage drawers. I want a tall bookcase to store my collection of Bibles, study guides, books, and personal items. There are two small closets that need to be decluttered and organized. I’d also like to add a floor lamp and large rug to compliment the accent chair I already have. Once my office looks like the professional work space that it is, I think it will help my productivity and creativity, as well as be an inviting, safe place for others to sit a spell.

What’s one new way you could be a blessing to your pastor this year?
Professionally, I have to be more confident as a decision maker. I tend to bother Pastor Dale with too many questions about small, less critical tasks. I am a detail-oriented person while he is a big-picture visionary. He gets bored with my specific details while he often overwhelms me with big ideas! Thankfully, we balance each other out really well. Because I am also a planner, knowing his big ideas in advance gives me plenty of time to coordinate accordingly. I’m thankful Pastor Dale affirms my spiritual gifts and provides constructive feedback on my job performance. We’re on the same page when it comes to the mission and focus of FUMC Joshua, and he continues to equip and empower me to do the job he hired me to do. Personally, my pastor needs authentic, genuine support from me as a church member and friend. I know he’s human and does not belong on some holier-than-thou pedestal. I respect his calling as senior pastor and spiritual leader for FUMC Joshua and I am incredibly thankful for his friendship.

What one thing could you do to improve your prayer life this year?
I don’t think of myself as a talented prayer person and it’s not a spiritual discipline that I’m confident with, but I want this to change in 2017. I want to be more intentional with my daily conversations with God. Maybe I will write in a prayer journal. Perhaps I’ll sit in The Chapel. Whatever this looks like, intentionality is key. And as often as I express my prayers, petitions, requests, and thanksgivings to God, I must remember to listen twice as much as I speak.

So this is my plan for 2017, what do you resolve to do this year? Tell me in a comment below so we can keep each other accountable.