Yesterday I posted about moving beyond basic resolutions or themes, and diving in to actual themes for the year. These themes get to the root of what you are trying to accomplish in the year. When you get to the end of 2014, who or what do you hope to be? What words will encompass the year? For me, I chose three themes: Be present, Be encouraging, and Be still. So what does that mean, exactly?

Be Present

Mobile phones, tablets, televisions—there is so much distracting us from daily life. I am the worst at being present when I get home. My “focus” kicks in to overdrive and I tend to get honed in to one thing (usually my phone or computer), and completely ignore everything around me. It’s not uncommon for my husband to have to repeatedly yell my name in order to get my attention. This has to stop. I am losing time with my husband, time with my family, time with my friends, and time with my sweet four-legged children. We all know that time is limited, so I hope to be more present this coming year.

Be Encouraging

It’s so easy to get caught in our own lives, worries, and struggles. I am challenging myself to be more encouraging and thoughtful of those around me. This comes in many forms—opening my eyes, listening a bit more, being more thoughtful, being happier, and putting myself out there to help those in need. I believe the simple act of making myself available will open a flood of opportunities to be encouraging to those around me.

Be Still

Although very similar to being present, the being still aspect relates to slowing down and connecting more closely with my Savior. I want to understand His will more intimately. I want to trust Him more radically. And I want to experience more deeply the peace from letting Him take the reins.

January Goals

Each month I am going to set goals, with the majority directly relating to one of the themes. My hope is that this focus and emphasis will help me to move closer to becoming a gentler and more loving person. I pray that come December 31, 2014, I can look back and smile at the growth this year has provided.

For January, I am starting small and have defined the following goals to help lay the foundation for the rest of the year (and a few are just for fun!):

Personal
Date day/night at one new place per month (Be present)
– Install new shelves for closet make-over
– Build Postable list for personal communication (Be encouraging)

Spiritual
– Begin daily prayer journal (Be still, Be present)

Professional
– Write two articles per month for Grace in Love (Be encouraging)
– Begin photography class online

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