New Year, New Goals

Welcome to the new Small Things!

I’ve been terrible about maintaining resolutions over the years. I don’t even try to come up with any anymore. The past few years, though, I’ve picked a word for the year and tried to shape parts of my life around it to improve myself/life in general. In 2015, my word was “flexible”, and last year my word was “focus”. Apparently I’ve started an “f” theme, and now I feel pressure to stick with Β it.

I’m tossing around words in my head like decisiveness…intentional…balance…thoughtfulness.

The seasons, or just weeks, in my life that I regret the most are the ones when I’m consumed with work, daily motherhood/homemaker tasks, and basically pass Justin in the night. I’m short-tempered with my kids, and tend to spiral into these thought patterns of, “I just need to get through this week and get this deadline met and just clean out every single closet in my house and then my life will feel lighter and better and I’ll be nicer and happier”. And then my load with lighten, I’ll think, “this is how it should be, I’ll be better next stressful time. . .” but I’ll pick up the same habits again.

And to be honest, I’ve never really given much effort to setting up better intentional times for each part of my life, so I can avoid these crazy times. I procrastinate, and then they hit me and knock me over like a huge wave, washing away all the diligence I’ve poured into practicing patience and selflessness with my family.

So, this year, I really want to be thoughtful.Β I’ve ruined the “f” theme, but that’s okay.

I want to make efforts to create more margin in my weeks so I don’t feel stifled by the list of to do’s!

I want to intentionally set aside time to prepare myself for success. I want to avoid the crazy weeks. I want to be focused on what I’m doing, do it well, complete it in a timely manner, and move on to the next task. I want to prepare more for the following day/week. In the wise words of my friend, I want to “help tomorrow me out” by doing a run through of the first floor, gathering up all the junk and bringing it upstairs.

I want to give meal planning a real and true effort. I’d like to clean out my van more often. I want to be more thoughtful of my purchases, specifically home-related things that end up just making the house feel a bit cluttered. I want to cut back on my sugar intake. I want to read more! I want to get ahold of my e-mail inbox. I want to spend time with each boy individually. And I want to have more date nights with Justin.

I do hope you’ve had a nice start to the year and are feeling refreshed and encouraged by the new beginning. As a monday-lover, I love a fresh start!


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Audra says · 01.02.17

Perfect πŸ‘ŒπŸ». P.s love the new page ❀️

Rosie von Waldherr says · 01.02.17

I think it is a great idea to focus on one word for the year! I don’t think I could ever do it myself, but I admire you for being able to =D I think the reason goals aren’t met is because of the whole pressure we set on ourselves to make them work out.

xoRosie // Rosie’s Life

Shanna says · 01.02.17

The post really spoke to me. I’m turning 40 this year and when you hit a big milestone you’re more likely to try to reassess your whole life. Lots of “this year I will”s.

I too am literally in the process of decluttering some odd drawers/ crawl spaces. Have you read ” the life changing magic of tidying up” ? I read it last year and I emptied an entire room that was a catch all space. And my closets are truly minimalized. I’ve kept it up for 1.5 years.

Happy new year!

Kimberly says · 01.02.17

I love the “help tomorrow me” out concept. For the first time in years, I actually bought a planner/agenda! Hopefully it will help me stay a little more on top of things in 2017.

Staci says · 01.02.17

Love the new site and love love love this post! You must have been reading my mind and life when you wrote it. I’m trying to do these same things myself. Tomorrow is the first day back to work for me for the new year and I’m trying my hardest I have it all together to make a great stab at staying sain and enjoying everyday, not rushing thru it. Thanks for this post!

Amy Struble says · 01.02.17

Seems like that’s how I feel all the time as well a lot of the time to and it causes me slight anxiety thinking about stuff to get done or do! I read a book in October called Present over Perfect and it helped me a lot about enjoying life in the moment ! I wish you a wonderful year filled with many blessings ! πŸŽ‰ Enjoy you little ones it goes so fast! Miss those days so much but life moves along…. now my daughter gets married in August ! πŸ’•

Sarah B says · 01.02.17

Kate, I love this! Would you be willing to blog about your progress on this goals? I definitely want to try for these things too.

I have had a lot of success with a free app called Food Planner for meal planning. You can download recipes from the internet or type on your own. Then you pick recipes from your list and can schedule them on a calendar. From the calendar it lets you click on the days and make a grocery list. I’m a big fan! It can also sync between devices so my hubby always had the grocery list on his phone too if he’s at the store instead of me!

Ali vizzo says · 01.02.17

Thanks for the app recommendation! We are strong meal planners but are always on the hunt for an app to simplify it. We’ve tried several that will do, but never totally fit.

Sherry says · 01.02.17

You have summed up pretty much everything I have listed on my “2017 Goals” list I have on my fridge. Get organized is at the top followed by spending more one on one time with my 3 boys, cook at home more, more date nights with the hubby, get in shape and eat healthier, budget better and hose purchases wisely. I get a bit overwhelmed when I see it but…baby steps! Yesterday was my first day soda free and…Holy headache Batman! It was unreal but I did it! Cheers to 2017 and us keeping our resolutions!

Mara says · 01.02.17

Blog looks GORGEOUS and I love your little list for 2017. You touched on a lot of the same things i want to work on this year, too. Margin definitely came to mind as a mother πŸ™‚ Happy New Year, Kate!! You rock, and we’re all happy to see your blog into another year!!

Erica @ Whimsical September says · 01.02.17

I haven’t popped over here in a while, so I missed your new picture! You’re going to think I’m crazy, but I just screenshotted it so that I can show it to my hairdresser next week! It’s the most beautiful color, length, and style! Basically I want to be just like you. πŸ˜‰ Ha! Such a good post that’s relatable and encouraging. Thanks for sharing these thoughts! xoxox

April @ Girl Gone Gourmet says · 01.02.17

I recently read “Present Over Perfect” and loved. It addresses just what you are talking about – how to live less frantically and more in the moment. Sometimes it means letting go of what we think we “should” do and embracing what we want instead.

Christina says · 01.02.17

I loved this post! thank you for your transparency. I think my word for 2017 is “intention”.

michelle says · 01.02.17

Happy New Year!! Love the new look to your site!!

Katrina Kurth says · 01.02.17

I love your idea of using a word to work on all year long! I stole it last year! Thoughtful is a great word!

I also love how easy it is to find things, and the “shop” tab on your new blog.

Happy New Year!

Haley says · 01.02.17

Thank you Kate for your words! Patience is a huge fruit that I need to work on. I am in the thick of it along with you. I have 4 kids 8,6,3,and 1.5 and often feel my patience running thin. Lately my thoughts have been dwelling on how little time I actually have with my children before they are “released” to the big world. Parenting is so hard but so wonderful!!!
I LOVE YOUR NEW BLOG!! Great job!!

Kaylee Daniel says · 01.02.17

You should read the book “The One Thing” it’s really great! It’s all about eliminating the overwhelming to do lists that seem impossible to accomplish and focusing on the one thing. And instead of measuring ourselves by what we don’t get done, we can focus on what we do! It seems to really resonate with what you’re saying! Happy new year!

Whitney Thompson says · 01.02.17

I love the new design! I have been enjoying your blog for several years now, starting with a hair tutorial I found on youtube, and now it has practically become part of my morning routine to see if there is a new post everyday! Your blog is so fresh and encouraging and I really appreciate how you focus on flattering and modest styles as well as beautiful hair and makeup that enhances natural beauty. Happy Monday!!

Danielle says · 01.02.17

Lovely. ❀️ You might try meditation, maybe with a mala, to help you stay centered and intentional. Great word for the year!

Laura says · 01.02.17

I love this!! Happy New Year!

Amanda says · 01.02.17

This year I decided to let pick a word instead of a New Years resolution – and I picked focus for 2017! You should check out the podcast “Happier” – there are so many practical “happiness hacks” and helpful solutions – it’s really helped me with applying practical but small little things in my everyday life that really do help! πŸ™‚

Bobbie Allgood says · 01.02.17

It sounds to me like you want to enjoy your life more…in all aspects of it. Enjoy your husband, children, successes, small chores etc. My sons are grown and I had a lengthy teaching career. During those years I was always so focused on the jobs at hand that I may not have enjoyed the experiences as much as I should have. As a retiree I am working hard to enjoy every day. I hope you can too.

Judy Johnson says · 01.02.17

Happy New Year! I am intrigued by your word this year and pondering finding a word for myself. I enjoy reading your blog and watching your videos. You inspire me! So from a girl who grew up in Chicago and now lives in Michigan…may God bless you as you reflect Him this coming year by being thoughtful.

Alyssa says · 01.02.17

OMG Kate, you NEED to read present over perfect!! I feel like we are friends, and it’s totally acceptable for me to recommend books to you. But I am right there with you. There are so many things I was to be more purposeful about, and that means taking things out that get in the way. Plus, it checks off read more. DO IT!

Kate says · 01.02.17

I’ve heard good things!

Crystal B says · 01.02.17

We are the same person! Thoughtful is also my word this year. I struggle with saying “no”, keeping my emotions in check, making time for myself, meal prep, and living a healthy lifestyle. Here we come 2017!

Courtney says · 01.02.17

Late! I don’t know if we’re soul sisters or aligned in some other way but your goals are almost identical to mine. The meal planning is literally the only thing I didn’t write down on my own list (except I have two daughters so I wrote “girls” instead of “boys πŸ˜‰ ).
I might have to check in come April/may and then again later in the year and see how you’re doing! Here’s to a fabulous 2017 <3

Kate says · 01.02.17

Soul sisters for sure!

Courtney says · 01.02.17

Laughing my butt off here. Your name autocorrected!! Sorry about that lol.

Katy Posey says · 01.02.17

I am also a mother of two boys, 5 and 7 months. I felt like I was the one writing this post! You can do it!

Laura says · 01.02.17

As I have looked for a word to use for 2017, I had a great deal of them but your word thoughtful has hit the nail on the head! Thank you!!!

Ali Allen says · 01.02.17

I love the new site design! It’s so fresh and gorgeous!! Your honesty in this post is so admirable.

Myra says · 01.02.17

Great thoughts! Although, I think you sound just about any other mom at times. I can never seem to have food bought and prepared and a clean car at the same time lol. Last year I decided to give myself a break and just accept things for what they are and know it’s only while the kids are little. As they get older things start to fall into place better. Happy New Year!!!!!!

Stephanie says · 01.02.17

I actually picked a word of the year for mysel for the first time. I’m so bad at resolutions but I’m hoping this might be something I can stick with. It’s nice to see a lot of people do that now.

2017: Simplify – An Education in Domestication

Amy Massing says · 01.02.17

I have a smile on my face as I always do when reading your blog. Your areas of concentration are very similar to mine. I promise to be present and thoughtful is all aspects of my life. Meal planning is on my list of things that must get done to ensure calm weeks. Taking times for myself each day is also one thing I am striving for. It makes me a better mother and wife. I hope your New Year is full of happiness.

Katie @ Live Half Full says · 01.02.17

Love your goals, they are realistic and true to you which is so key!

Beth S. says · 01.02.17

Yes to all of this! We finally started doing E-Meals and that has helped tremendously for our family, both time and budget-wise. I will forever be cleaning out drawers and organizing closets! I also have to say that when my van is clean, it makes me feel so with it and more organized. Lol! Love the website!

Claire talks beauty says · 01.02.17

It is nice to pick a word for the year! For me , it would be focus! I will try not to ruin the ‘f’ !

Allie says · 01.02.17

What a great honest post! Thanks for candor, its so refreshing.

I know those emotions well and I can only imagine what 2 young kids throws into the mix.

I have 3 things that really helped this year, if they could help you as much as you’ve helped me tame things that are really stressful for me like hair & makeup, then perfect!

1. Terra’s Kitchen meal delivery worked well for me after 3 other failed attempts with other companies.
2. I used a PDF planner from Etsy all year. I used a file folder and washi tape to put the planning/to-do on left side and on the right is the M-S daily sections. The next Sunday, I would spend 10 minutes reviewing the good, bad of the passed week. Set daily goals for following week. I then used washi tape and attached the next week over the previous week. At the end of the month, I used the file folder to store and file monthly paperwork etc. Additionally, I put greeting cards that needed to sent inside and dropped at mailbox.
3. Budget…I downloaded and used budget app, Mint like my life depended on it. As of May, I paid off debt, secured my emergency fund, invested maximum in my retirement accounts and have started squirreling away cash to pay cash for car when its needed. I feel like I took control and finally maximized my income.

Happy 2017 and go get that margin in your weeks.

Brittney says · 01.02.17

I love your new website Kate! I have loved following your site over the past year and have gained so much from my time spent learning from you πŸ™‚ So thanks! A book I’ve been chugging through that goes with your word of the year ‘thoughfulness’ is The Best Yes, by Lysa TerKeurst and it’s a brilliant read on wisdom in making decisions based on the Lord’s yeses for your life and how he’s made you and where he’s placed you. It’s awesome and is super encouraging and sweet and true to scripture. I think you’d really like it! Thanks for all your hard work helping your fellow sisters out with our hair, makeup, style, etc. You’re adorable and a breath of fresh air!

Ray J. says · 01.02.17

As I read your post, I wondered if you’ve tried meditating. Over time it can help one focus and relax. There are a lot of instructions online and even apps like Calm or Headspace. I completely understand the many competing goals!

Sandy says · 01.03.17

Unfortunately it’s been a rough two days. We came home from Christmas vacation Sunday to find my first pet, my 14 yr old Maine Coon Persian practically lifeless on our floor. He had to be put to sleep today. My hubby & I have been an emotional wreck all day. We still have a week left to pray & ask God for direction & goals in 2017 but have had to deal with this New Years tragedy. It’s just awful and our hearts are broken.

Julie says · 01.03.17

Your blog is beautiful, congrats on the new design! Thoughtful is a great way to focus on the year – I’m going to focus on “rest.” Cheers to an amazing 2017!

Nicole says · 01.03.17

A million yesses and high fives to this post! All of the things you mentioned tend to make me feel so inadequate if I let them. Just when I feel like I have gained back control of the clutter….or cutting out sugar…I fall behind again!

Just know that you are rocking this thing called life and so many of us look up to you! Even though you feel behind or like you are barely making it somedays…you were planted right where God wants you. You are a perfect fit for those boys and the life you have!

I feel like I could just copy & paste your paragraph below to my own 2017 goals list…… πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚
“I want to give meal planning a real and true effort. I’d like to clean out my van more often. I want to be more thoughtful of my purchases, specifically home-related things that end up just making the house feel a bit cluttered. I want to cut back on my sugar intake. I want to read more! I want to get ahold of my e-mail inbox. I want to spend time with each boy individually. And I want to have more date nights with Justin.”

Much love to you today!! Thanks for always keeping it real!

Betsey M says · 01.03.17

I love this! These are also some of my goals for the year, but I’m making my word of the year yours from last year.. focus. πŸ˜€

Sue says · 01.03.17

Love your new website! But I hope you know that your email updates now come with font that is way too small to read on an iPad or phone , I end up just skipping over because it’s unreadable unless you switch over to your website

Laura says · 01.03.17

I love this post! My wants for this year are actually very similar. We can do it!

Michaela says · 01.03.17

It’s so hard to have a good balance of getting things done and being present especially when your littles are so little.
Have you tried Plan To Eat? I’ve used it for three years and it’s been life changing for meal planning and grocery shopping. I love it.

Barb says · 01.03.17

I’ve been doing a word for the year for years and share that word at our christmas caroling party every year. I finally started making magnets with the word on it. This year is LOVE “love one another as I have loved you”. I pray about the word and this past year with all the unrest and nastiness going on Love kept coming at me. I asked everyone to just show more love to each other family, friends acquaintances etc.
Congratulations on your word I love it keep up the great words

Jennille Burnett says · 01.03.17

I decided last month to do a “word of the year” as well because I basically suck at resolutions. Throughout December I thought and thought about what the word should be and kept getting stuck. Pregnancy brain, maybe? Then on New Year’s Day morning while at church the perfect word came to me as my baby girl began to kick and head butt me on both sides: Grow. I want to grow deeper in my relationship with Jesus. I want to grow in grace for the major tasks ahead and mercy for the inevitable failures. I want to grow as a contented stay at home wife and soon to be mommy. And, of course, I’m growing a baby. She’s due in very early April. I keep chanting to myself and my husband: January, February, March! After that baby arrives. Happy New Year’s and God bless, Kate.

Jennifer says · 01.03.17

First of all, I really love your redesign! The site seems so much warmer and welcoming.

Good luck with thoughtfulness.

I like to pick a word for the year too but the word I keep coming back to is “utilize.” I want to make better use of my resources in 2017–time, money, groceries, friends, yoga mat–all of it. But, I don’t like the word utilize. It seems so cold and sterile. I need to look at the Roget’s and come up with something more fun!

Evelyn says · 01.03.17

It sounds like you want to be more mindful, more in the moment. In any case, I started last year to meditate using the Headspace app. It’s great. It’s not just meditation, but also reflection and self-awareness.

Happy New year!

Dj Hilliard says · 01.03.17

Love this post! I just started reading this book, recommended to me by a co-worker. It sounds like exactly what you’re striving for! Wishing us both luck πŸ™‚

Olena says · 01.03.17

You encouraged me to have a word of the year too. In 2016, the word was ‘believe’ and in 2017 the word is ‘balance’ 😊

Mel says · 01.03.17

Happy New Year!!! This year am I dedicated to being more “present.”

Mel |

Heather says · 01.03.17

I absolutely love this post! I can completely relate. I couldn’t have said it any better!

Erin Blakeley says · 01.04.17

I’m not one to usually comment on blog posts….but I just had to on this one. Literally, every part of this post is what I’ve been feeling this past week. I’ve also been trying to find a word for 2017 and keep coming back to intentional. It makes me feel so much better about life in general to see another successful and busy mom of two young children feeling the exact same way I do. Thanks for this!

Candice Spinney says · 01.04.17

I look forward to this post each year and your choice of word this year fits perfectly for my life as well. I have always felt like I’m thoughtful towards others.. but I don’t always think I’ve been thoughtful towards myself – my body, my habits, my decisions…

Thanks for sharing and wishing you a happy new year!

Robyn says · 01.04.17

Wow! I can’t believe how you just managed to perfectly sum up those crazy weeks I experience regularly. With a 2 year old and a 1 year old and heading back to work full-time I just can’t seem to figure things out. The huge wave knocking you over and then saying you’ll be better next time really hits home. Not to mention you and your husband being two ships passing. I had never really thought about why these times were so crazy and that there was something more I could do than just being patient. I love the idea of intentional time for preparing. I can’t wait to see the things you come up with and I think I might need to just sit down and think through my daily processes as well. Thanks for the insight!