Maybe this sort of thing has been around for a while, but I’ve only been aware of it for the past few years. You choose a word or phrase and let that be your focus for the year. It’s sort of like a New Year’s resolution without all the stress. How you interpret your word, or by what standard you measure your success is up to you.

Last year my word was “Discipline.” I wanted to be a writer so I knew I had to get disciplined with my time. My default is to waste time whenever I have a few minutes of peace, so I needed some type of motivation to start writing regularly. It worked well at first and I loved it, but then our son joined us from foster care. He is tiny but he’s fierce. For months I spent every last bit of emotional and mental energy helping him adjust to our family. It was exhausting. I couldn’t formulate a complete sentence at the time, so writing was definitely out of the question.

Once he settled in a bit, we moved to a house needing extensive updating. We were elbow-deep in polyurethane and paint for a very long time. We are just now starting to feel at home in our new place five months later.

Somewhere in the middle of all that, we were matched with an expectant mom who was due around Thanksgiving. We prepared for the arrival of our new baby only to have her decide to parent at the last minute. 2014 was rough!

As you can imagine, after half a year of discipline and half a year of mind-numbing exhaustion and a failed adoption, we need a change around here.

That’s why this year’s word is….


My goal for this year is to have more fun. That’s it. More fun with my husband, more fun with my kids, more fun with my friends. More fun all around.

I don’t want to live every day just trying to make it to bedtime.

I want to enjoy all the activities around town.

I want to go to county fairs and petting zoos and movie releases and museum exhibits.

I want to take my kids out for ice cream. Often.

I want to say “Yes” as much as I can.

I want to be spontaneous.

I want to make memories.

So far we are off to a good start. My husband got on board with this plan and took the kids to an arcade. On a whim, my brother and I took all of our kids to see a movie. One night I built a fire in the backyard and we roasted marshmallows and made s’mores.

Not too bad for the first few weeks of the year!

Discipline has its place, no doubt. But there is always room for a little, or a lot, of fun!

What’s your word?