A Resolution I'm Keeping

**Another one from the long neglected drafts file on this little old blog.

I made a bunch of resolutions this year. Goals and tasks and habits that needed meeting and completing and developing. I'm not typically one to make resolutions. I love the restart of January, the fresh blank slate and all the promise and possibility of a clear mind and new beginning. But I haven't typically made resolutions because in my case they don't often get kept, and I'm trying to let myself off the hook a little easier in this season of my life. 

However, this year I was feeling all kinds of inspired to try things a little bit differently. I got out my roll of white butcher paper in the last days of December and I sprawled out six categories around a big old 2016 in the center of the page. Under each category I wrote down several goals or items I wanted to work on. And then I quantified them, set dates on things, made calendar reminders and scheduled "check-in" times with Niall to discuss progress. I took that butcher paper and created a photoshop file to match it, saved it on my hard drive, and emailed it to myself. And then said a silent prayer that I'd have the strength and motivation to keep up with all the goals I'd set for myself.

For 17 days in January, I worked those goals. I made good on all my scheduled targets, I had resolve to stay strong when passing the warm chocolate chip cookies at the grocery store, I ran my first 4 post-partum miles. I killed a new book in less than 10 days. My grocery budget was under control and I was saying daily prayers. I was feeling good. And then Niall got very sick. Sick enough to be hospitalized overnight. Sick enough to have my mother fly in and bail me out for a few days. Sick enough that I had to make a frantic game plan about how I was going to manage the next several weeks and months as the primary parent to three little children around the clock. 

That game plan, first and foremost, involved a giant chocolate chip cookie. The first nail in the coffin that would soon house many of my 2016 goals. 

5 weeks later, Niall's health has improved dramatically. He's mostly resumed his place and duties as the leader of our little tribe, and we're so so so very thankful to have him upright again. Within the last few weeks though, life has thrown us another curveball. One that has me stressed and sometimes sad, and very anxious. A little nervous and a little excited, and an easy excuse to give myself some more grace on those resolutions. 

Bits and pieces of each category have stuck. I've not gone completely off the deep end. I making better choices in many areas of my life. Though I'm nowhere near on target with the vast majority of those bullet points, I am proud to say there is one category I'm totally rocking.  I'm reading like it's going out of style.

I set a goal to read 16 books this year. This may not seem like a lot to some, but as an avid reader in pre-kid life, I'm a little ashamed to admit that I'm not sure I've even read 16 books in the 5 years since I had my first baby. I'm in a book club, so I figured this would be a simple task since I'd be automatically given 12 titles to start the year and would only need to choose 4 additional to round out my list.  The girls do a book draft in January, and we decided to do a mix of books and articles this year, which I'm super excited about, but which reduced the book count to 6. After the draft, I realized we'd chosen 4 titles I've already read. So now we're down to 2 new titles for 2016. Phew. 

Seven
The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend
Love, Nina
Interrupted
Carry On Warrior
Present over Perfect
Just Mercy
Big Magic
The Sparrow
Abounding in Kindness
Traveling Mercies
 

**The above was written in, you guessed it, February 2016. Since then, we've up and moved from Wheaton, IL and my beloved book club back to North Carolina. I'm sad to say that the last resolution I'd been keeping as of then, my reading, has now gone down the tube as well. However! I've knocked 4 of those titles above off the list over the last 5 months which isn't that mortifying, considering. I'm picking this back up. Along with a few revisited resolutions. I'll try to add 5 more books to the above list and please, please, send your recommendations!