2018 Magical Resolutions

The imperative to create and post my resolutions directly corresponds to my mood at year’s end. If fall felt harried and Advent and Christmas rushed, then chances are, I’m eager to commit to lofty goals for the following year. However, since I didn’t feel like I dropped every ball these last few weeks, I’ve been able to reflect a bit more on what resolutions to set this year, and what has helped me reach a point where over-hauling my life doesn’t seem like a necessity come January 1.

First, what goals did I set for 2017 and my report card:

1. Practice mindfulness. I am still an enthusiastic believer in mindfulness, just not an enthusiastic practicer, which means I don’t have a regular time scheduled so it usually doesn’t happen. But, in the heat of the moment, I do rely on mindfulness strategies. I know it would work better if I practiced daily, but the increase in self-awareness has benefited me. B-

2. Reduce / change our stressful schedule (which would then hopefully free up time to work on my book, organize our photos, study a second language, and miraculously buy a beach house). Yes! The secret was getting lots of outside help through school and nursing care….which isn’t much of a secret. I mean, if after putting the boys in school and getting nursing care I was still feeling the way I did last year, it probably meant I was just looking for ways to be a martyr. I did organize 85 percent of our old photos, but I made minimal progress on my book, and did not buy a beach house. I had been studying the language our orphans spoke in the hopes of being better prepared for a second hosting, but once I realized that was out of the cards I stopped. However, I am working on French again with the older kids so, I am working on a second language, just not the one I originally intended. But since I studied French for several years, there’s a better chance that I actually can pronounce/ understand/ translate what we’re doing vs doing an awful imitation of the DuoLingo voice. A- (It’s a minus because still no beach house!!!!…and the book. I suck at writing my book.)

3. Read ‘War and Peace’. No. I didn’t even try picking it up. It’s like I just put it in my resolutions to impress you guys. I’m a dirty rotten liar. F-

So what’s on the docket for 2018?

First my saint is St. Vladmir the I of Kiev. He’s the patron of big families because dude had eight wives. ALSO, the patron of converts (of which I’m one) and repentant murderers which..um,okay….let’s hope there’s no significance there.

I also chose a word of the year using Jen’s random word generator, much to Byron’s dismay.

“I’m going to have a word of the year too.” – me

“Oh! Your word should be Byron.” -Byron

“I already chose a word using a random word generator.” -me

“What, is it something like blessed or thankfulness?” – Byron, in his snarkest tone

“Well, it’s actually, acceptance.” -me, trying to sound like I’m totally on board and impressed with my bad ass selection

“Pffffffp, do you want me to accept you for who you are??” – Byron, same tone, leading me to believe that the gratuitous use of sarcasm might be genetic

I had to admit that ‘Acceptance’ sounded more like a word I’d find on a weathered wood sign hanging in a Hallmark store vs a word to motivate/inspire me for the year. In fact, it was just the type of word that made me decide years ago to NOT randomly select a word of the year. Therefore, my first decisions was to reject this choice and turn to Google for a more appropriate word, which led me to coolestwords.com. If you are looking for a truly impressive word of the year you may want to check out their tops picks: defenestration, petrichor, and juggernaut. (Most of which will not be recognized by your spell check program.) I’ve narrowed it down to gormless, dithyramb, or pleonasm.

In the mean time, I’m mesmerized by this gif of my beast of the year, which had to be (thanks to my favorite new sweatshirt) a unicorn! But not just any unicorn – laser unicorn!


Cool word, awesome beast, best sweatshirt, now lets set some actual goals! WOOT!

2018 Resolutions

Continue exercising. – I started exercising daily once the boys started summer program and have managed to keep it up. Even on the days I really don’t want to, I try to muster the energy to at least do 15 minutes of something just to keep the habit in place. With the new year, I’m trying to step it up a bit and spend more days actually exerting myself.

Eat French. – I really like the way the French approach eating. I can’t replicate it 100 percent in my house, but I want to move towards adopting French norms in our home as much as possible. That includes less snacking/ grazing, serving meals in courses and therefore spending more time around the table, and enjoying all types of food in moderation vs cutting out whole food groups. I’m working on defining clearer goals but, you get the general idea.

Fast on a regular basis a là Obesity Code.

Limit mindless Facebook time and use time online to improve and build relationships. – Advent helped me break the habit of checking Facebook incessantly, and also helped me realize that I only enjoy using Facebook when I have clear goals (respond to friends in a group, answer a question I’m tagged in, share a fun quote from one of the kids, or answer a private message). The mindless scrolling I do when I’m tired often leaves me grumpy. I’m still checking my account less frequently and now making sure that if there’s not something that needs my attention, I’m closing the window rather than aimlessly clicking around. And if I have time I want to spend online I’m going to try to get back in the habit of reading blogs, commenting on blogs and social media, or checking in with friends online and in real life via Messenger and text.

Read ‘War and Peace’. Seriously. THIS IS THE YEAR.

Say a rosary in the car every time I drive somewhere at least 15 min. away. I try to do this anyway when I’m alone running errands, but if I make it an actual resolution hopefully I won’t make excuses when I turn on the car and my favorite jam is on the radio.

Work on my book. – I should probably be more specific here. How about, select a weekly time to always work on my book? Better get on that.

I think that is a realistic set of goals, even the one for ‘War and Peace.’ Most are an extension of things I’ve started doing already, nothing too radical. …at least not until I read another self-help book and get some new crazy idea.

What are your resolutions, saint or even word of the year? I promise I won’t make fun of your word!

If you’re interested, find the rest of my resolutions below:

2013 / 2014 / 2015 / 2016 / 2017



  1. What is the link to Jen’s random word finder so I can get a word for the year, please?

  2. Do you think you are going to like “War and Peace”? Why are you even thinking of giving it a go?

    1. I like a lot of Russian literature. Anna Karenina is one of my favorite books of all time, so I think there’s a chance I’ll like War and Peace. I just burnt myself out on Russian literature in 2016 (namely slogging through the Brothers Kramazov which I ultimately didn’t like) so I’m hoping I can find a bit more motivation this year!

      1. War and Peace is at least 10X better than Anna Karenina. (Which I did also like, along with most Russian lit.) The “War” parts were admittedly less interesting to me, but the “Peace” parts just fly along. And the cast of characters is far more likable than anyone in Anna K (at least in my opinion.) Enjoy!!

        1. You’ve gotten my hopes sky high! Better than Anna Karenina??? I have to find out for myself!

          1. I had no intention of reading War and Peace this year until I read this comment exchange. I LOVE Anna Karenina – finally read it 2 years ago and was shocked and how much I enjoyed it. You’re seriously telling me War and Peace is ten times better?! For real? I was going to read Kristin Lavransdatter this year. HOW DO I CHOOSE NOW?

  3. I chose the word ‘slow’ for myself because I tend to create a way too busy and stressful life for myself and I really just need to slow down and enjoy the days.
    Then I went to Jen’s word generator and my word was ‘enough.’ Man did that word resonate with me. I’ve been struggling with the size of my family lately and the day before I did the word generator I prayed he Hail Mary over and over to give myself peace. When I saw that word I felt a weight lift. The way God works is amazing to me.
    Anyway…good luck on your book! And reading War and Peace ?
    Just found your blog over the summer and love it!

    1. Thanks Jenny! Honestly I feel like reading War and Peace will be easier than making progress writing my own book! I’m glad the random word generator worked for you. I know there’s been a couple years when I did need one word to focus on more than say, a list of resolutions, but sometimes, I just need a crazy unicorn GIF. 🙂

  4. So much wisdom in your first paragraph!
    This has been a crazy hectic, hanging on to the daily routine by my fingernails kind of year, so I’m a little jealous of Jenny’s words above.
    I picked joy when I was first writing goals and then saw Jen’s generator and got “growth.” I’m trying to suppress my inner Byron reaction to it.

    Blessings for your goals this year!

    1. ‘GROWTH’ – you could make a really nice rustic wood sign with that on it. Maybe decoupage some flowers around it or something. 😉

    1. Short stories may be just what I need to get back into the Russian Lit groove. Thanks for the suggestion!

    1. That’s what I’m trying to figure out- how often and for how long. I like the idea of going from dinner one day to the next twice a week with maybe some longer fasts during Lent. I just still want to be able to enjoy family meals. And with the holidays it’s been hard to be consistent. But without a set schedule, I know it won’t become a habit.

  5. I had no intention of reading War and Peace this year until I read this comment exchange. I LOVE Anna Karenina – finally read it 2 years ago and was shocked and how much I enjoyed it. You’re seriously telling me War and Peace is ten times better?! For real? I was going to read Kristin Lavransdatter this year. HOW DO I CHOOSE NOW?

  6. I did the random word generator near the end of December and my word was so uninspiring that I don’t even remember it anymore. However, the saint name generator kind of freaked me out. I did it twice and both times it picked someone who is the patron saint of people with the medical condition of the child that we are adopting (two different patron saints; I’m not naming the saints or the condition to protect the child’s privacy). I did a quick search, chose the saint that seemed more popular for the condition, and said a novena to him starting on New Year’s Day. I won’t forget who my saint for the year is this year.

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