Do you do the One Word thing for the new year? I know it’s a thing – a thing I’ve participated in before – but I’m not sure who started it.
I do think it is helpful to find a focus for a short-term period, whether that’s a planning interval or a school term or a year. Not long ago I would have called a year-long focus a long-term focus, but the years are speeding up and it now seems to be about the right amount of time to actually have the time to contemplate a focus and make small but significant changes toward it.
I love the connections that having a focus word or phrase allows – suddenly I see applications or related thoughts everywhere.
So, yes, I have a focus for growth in 2017. It’s not one word, it’s two alliterated phrases.
2017: Reliable Rhythm, Contagious Character
Reliable Rhythm will be my catch-phrase to remind myself to actually do the plan that I know will work. I have a school schedule that works if I keep it together in the transition moments instead of getting distracted by email or housework. I have a housecleaning plan that works, keeping things reasonably clean without taking all day – if I actually do it. When I do a weekly review and make a daily index card (or post it note now), I feel less distracted and frayed at the edges.
So, I need to actually do the things I’ve found that work, reliably, as a real rhythm of my days and weeks instead of letting it slide in favor of flying by the seat of my pants. That can work for awhile, but it gets exhausting and I am not as reliable for others when I operate that way.
The point of a reliable rhythm is not for the sake of my systems or myself. It’s so that I can be reliable, counted on, by others, to fulfill my responsibilities of service well. Reliable reminds me not only of how to apply my plans, but what my goal is.
So expect to hear more, particularly over at Simplified Organization, about rejoicing in repetition and reliably completing our responsibilities while ditching distraction.
**Read more: Join Mystie’s January Consistency Crew
Contagious Character reminds me of another reason that my own reliability matters: it’s indicative of my character and my character – not my rules I enforce on others – sets the tone of the house.
I was looking for a word to remind me that “a soft answer turns away wrath,” that it is my first response that creates not only a tone, but a trajectory. When kids bicker, when the milk spills, when a boy argues, when I find school books splayed under the couch, it is my reaction that determines how it’s resolved and teaches my children how to react when things don’t go their way.
We all need more grace with one another, and it starts with me. What I want to see in my children I need to first ensure I am working on in myself. It’s so much easier to spot other people’s sins – especially children’s – but I need to use that as an opportunity to examine my own life and repent of my own sins. It’s my responsibility to repent of my own sins, not make sure others do (to a certain extent – I am their mom).
So expect to hear more this year about how homeschooling builds character, not only for our children but for ourselves – we don’t need a cute character program, we need to do the right thing, repenting, rejoicing, reliably fulfilling our responsibilities – that’s Christian character.
Read more: Character is being consistent.
In 2017’s Weekly Review emails, delivered every Saturday, I will share a short application, story, or insight about my year’s theme – Reliable Rhythm, Contagious Character. So as I live it out, I’ll be writing it out as well.
I promise it will be applicable and practical. Make sure you’re on board and getting The Weekly Review!