The Random Writings of Rachel: Welcome to 2017: Goals and My Year's Focus

Welcome to 2017: Goals and My Year's Focus

Happy New Year!

I'm by nature a reflective, list-making sort of person. As each year passes, I always hope to find that I've used the time given to me well and have continued on the path of growing and maturing.

So you might well assume that I'm a resolutions kind of person. And you'd be right. Good job! I like writing and recording what I'm focusing in different stages of life. If I don't write things down, I fear I will forget them (most likely because that's true).


Here are my resolutions/goals/areas of focus for the year:

1: To refrain from negative speech and complaining.

This is an area that's gotten a lot harder for me lately, although I used to be in good practice. I want to renew a habit of not speaking negatively when it's not necessary. There are appropriate times for dark words, but, really, those times are much less frequent than I have been using them.

2: To have a heart open to learning well along with teaching well. Particular areas I want to learn in are art techniques/hand lettering, ballroom dance, improving my Chinese calligraphy, and youth ministry.

I was recently sent a large package of art supplies--as a left-hander, I've avoided the pen/pencil/paint arts for years because I see left-handedness as a bit of a 'handicap' in those arts. But now I want to put some effort in and try to learn basic art techniques and skills. 
Angel's promised to take a ballroom dance class with me--it was actually all his idea! I haven't danced much since moving overseas, but I'd like to improve my skills enough to be able to at least casually teach basic dance steps at our own little social events. I've taught swing dance a few times but I don't know any ballroom dances well enough to teach them to beginners.
Lately I've had regular opportunities to speak Chinese, but not to write it...I'm hoping to multitask on skill building and incorporate continued practice on written Chinese with my new art practice.
I'll warn you in advance, I'll probably be showing off my amateurish attempts at learning paint and pen art on my instagram: @randomlyrachels

3: To recognize the crucial importance of nurturing. To nurture my  own body, mind, and spirit. To have a nurturing heart and be aware of the needs of my family and friends--particularly being aware of my two sisters going through major life changes this year: Lizzy (getting married) and Rebekah (moving to the USA and starting college).

I've come to realize lately that the culture I'm used to and my own personality perhaps fall a little too heavy on the 'tough love' side of the spectrum. I've realized that my comfort zone seems to be that when people--myself or others--fall and find themselves broken, to tap my foot impatiently waiting for them to put themselves back together again and move on with life. Or, when someone has accomplished something truly wonderful, to skip past any congratulations or celebration and ask, "And what are you going to do next?"

This is a valid way to do life and I think that there's value in prioritizing toughness and resilience and high standards...but having been recently broken...I'm seeing a lot of value in being nurturing, in both the lows and the highs of life. In allowing myself and others to not feel like they have to walk on cracked limbs, allowing time and resources for healing. In taking time to celebrate good things without insinuating that you better not stop here, you better keep on and do something even more awesome next time.

4: To, whenever possible, choose fun, adventure, and joy over depression, exhaustion, and worry. 

There will be sadness and tiredness and hard things ahead. But when I have the choice, I want to focus on the good, on the wonder and eye-widening splendor of the creation I live in.

...............................................................


I've been the self-appointed Recorder of Resolutions for my family this year, which I'm sure they've all appreciated (sideways winking smiley face). Angel refuses to make any resolution other than the one word: Baby. At this point, we have nothing really scheduled into the year ahead...and I think that's kind of the way I like it. I tend to assume that the big events and adventures of life will happen regardless of what's written on the calendar.

On the blog front, I revised my About the Writer page to reflect an updated and more accurate description of us, so check that out if you're newer to the blog and want our backstory. And as far as physical life changes go, looking at that picture I put on this post, I'm thinking a major haircut will be coming real soon...

Let me wish you a joyful and blessed 2017! What are your resolutions for the new year we've entered?

28 comments:

  1. Happy New Year Rachel!

    I think all your resolutions are on the right track. I need to pay attention to #4 and #1.

    This year I'm going to spend more time and energy fuelling the relationships that are the most important to me. I live far from all my friends and family so I am planning trips this year to reconnect and refocus on people rather than things.

    bisous
    Suzanne
    http://www.suzannecarillo.com

    ReplyDelete
  2. These are fantastic goals, Rachel! May 2017 be your best year yet.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I applaud you on the major changes you are looking to implement in 2017! It is no easy but you seem ambitious. Good luck with it all!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Fab goals! It is going to be an amazing year!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Absolutely perfect set of goals. Wishing you a very healthy and happy new year ahead

    ReplyDelete
  6. These are great resolutions! I love seeing people make resolutions that better their mental health and relationships as opposed to the standard "go to the gym," "eat less bread," etc. that will be forgotten in February. I think this are fantastic and achievable resolutions. I have a similar list - help others find joy (or spread sparkle as I say on the blog), enjoy life more, don't become a hermit now that I'm not in school, etc. Happy New Year!
    xoxo Lauren I Glitter & Grandeur

    ReplyDelete
  7. You always write so elegantly! I love your goals...I think the last one is huge. Not take life so seriously. Everything will work out! Find job, and worry will subside.

    ReplyDelete
  8. I love your resolutions. They are practical and I love the thought of choosing fun. If we actively choose fun it's easier to be happy and have a positive outlook on life.

    ReplyDelete
  9. These are excellent resolutions! I love that they're thematic, and not "go to x" or "accomplish y". I find those particularly hard to do, but I think themes are the way forwards. I could also work on my nurturing side towards others - I am just like you, sometimes a little too impatient and keen to look forward to the next thing whilst not fully appreciating what's going on right now. I'll add that to the list, along with settling in as quickly as possible and making wise choices about how to set up our new life.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Being negative and complaining is a weakness of mine too. It's also a goal of mine to be better at it this year!

    ReplyDelete
  11. I think it's so cool that Angel wants to take a dance class with you! I need to do something like this-I love swing dancing with my husband, but we rarely do it because of a baby, small apartment, etc. I really need to quit making excuses and just do it.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Chinese caligraphy sounds awesome, and difficult, I can only imagine. I love your list, and must say I should follow your example, about making not complaining a part of my New Years Resolution. Thanks and Happy New Year!

    ReplyDelete
  13. mmm 4 is a really good one, because over 2016 I have wasted way too much energy being negative & have thrown opportunities out of the window. I really wish to change that this year. Sure, life is never all-roses, but I want to make the best of what I've got... okay life ain't all about me either. But being negative or positive has effects on others too...
    dreamtraveleat.blogspot.com.au

    ReplyDelete
  14. Happy New Year! I like the goals on your list, they are really important and meaningful!
    I am also a list-making sort of person, so I also made a goal list at the end of the year! :)

    ReplyDelete
  15. I love points 1 and 4 and will definitely be taking them on board. No problem with starting new resolutions on the 3rd of Jan :) Thank you for this post!

    ReplyDelete
  16. Hrm...I really like the idea of being more nurturing, I fall into the 'get over it' or 'what's next' impulse reaction as well and rarely entertain the thought of nurturing anything related to myself. Wishing you and your family a year full of joy, peace and new adventures!

    ReplyDelete
  17. Happy new year to you!
    These are some good goals for the new year.
    I Always have trouble to maintain them haha!
    I wish you good luck!

    Xx

    Sugarcandycandy.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  18. i love all of your goals! refraining from negative speech/complaining is something i am working on as well - it really does have so much power on affecting your mood and attitude. and i love what you said about the importance of nurturing as well!
    happy 2017!

    ReplyDelete
  19. Happy New Year!

    I love resolutions too and I even went a big meeting where a bunch of us girls shared our dreams and goals for the year. I plan to blog about it this week and share more to hopefully encourage others.

    I think your list is great! I've been into hand lettering a lot and it's been so much fun! I've seen left handed people on IG so when I see them I'll try and tag you so you can see how they do it. I think it's easier with markers and pens rather than paint but I'm sure there is a way.

    Happy New Year!

    ReplyDelete
  20. NUMBER ONE. Yes. I'm trying to get back on track with this too. And #4 I love too.

    ReplyDelete
  21. I have a daughter who is a leftie. The struggle is real! Along with it goes sort of a dominant handedness identity crisis: for instance she doesn't know how to cut with lefty scissors because all they had at school was righty ones in kindergarten. Good luck with your resolutions!

    ReplyDelete
  22. These are some great resolutions. Recently I've shied away from making resolutions because I never meet them. But I think these kinds of resolutions, the kind that simply make you a better person, the kind that don't really have a real tangible measure that you can fall completely short of (lose 30 pounds, read 20 novels etc), might be really beneficial.

    ReplyDelete
  23. Right there with you on #4...when toasting with friends minutes before midnight on NYE, my toast was to more adventures, taking risks, and being present in the joy!

    ReplyDelete
  24. These are beautiful goals that I think will end up making you a happier person. One thing that I've been working on is avoiding being negative and complaining. My husband hates when people complain and it's made me more aware of how negative it is, how little it does to make you happier. Surrounding myself with people like him who are so positive all the time has helped my outlook so much. The other day I was talking to my friend. I was complaining about how I got myself all dressed up, did my hair, put in contacts, for a night out with my husband and he didn't seem to notice. She made me feel so much better by saying, "he probably just always thinks you look nice." It's comments like that that, from people who seem to always find the good, that really help me put life into perspective. I know that is a silly story but it's something I will never forget.

    ReplyDelete
  25. These are great resolutions! Number one is also something that I need to work on. I believe there's so much to be thankful for and that by complaining so much I'm only focusing on the negative and making myself grumpier.

    ReplyDelete
  26. I'm LOVING reading everyone's goals for the year! It totally inspires and helps motivate me too! I love that you're wanting to taking ballroom dance lessons! I studied ballet growing up, and ALWAYS wanted to take swing dance lessons, but never got the opportunity. So neat that you do social dancing events and swing dancing!

    Oh, and p.s....the dress you're wearing in the top picture is SUPER cute!

    ReplyDelete
  27. These are all awesome goals! I need to work on some variant of your #3 and #4 as well! Best of luck to you on em' and I look forward to following along on your adventures! :]

    ReplyDelete
  28. No resolutions for me, just an ongoing list of monthly goals. I like your resolutions, though! They're more about changing your own perspective and less about checking off a list, which is a good way to look at a change for an entire year.

    ReplyDelete