Planning Your Best Year


This is one of my favorite seasons of the year. I love Christmas, with all the cozy cuddles, and happy surprises, but as soon as it is over, I am eagerly dreaming and planning for the new year. I use several questions to help me formulate goals, and I keep any goals that I do set, closely aligned with my personal essentials and our family essentials.

This book can help you understand what Essentialism means.

Download our free Family Vision Planner to help you develop your family essentials.

Our family essentials include things like travel, quiet time, debt free living, togetherness, and helping others. We developed these essentials by simply writing a list of things we loved to do. When we saw that a common thread on that list was spending time outside, traveling, and developing our spiritual life, it was easy to develop our family essentials. Having our family vision and essentials written down, helps us make reasonable goals for the year.

Before we start writing goals down, we also brainstorm what we want to try, read, learn, and see over the course of the coming year. Using a brainstorming worksheet as a family helps us to see where our interests lie before we start setting goals. This worksheet is a part of our updated 2019 planner.


Once we have filled out the dream building worksheet, then we move on to actual goal setting. Our planner includes a monthly goal setting worksheet in 6 areas; home, school, spiritual, work, giving, and relational.

Home-This might be goals for better home care habits, simplifying belongings, or even learning a new skill such as bread making or gardening.

School-This is for making goals for skills to learn, or projects to do over the course of the month. Memorizing poetry, learning math facts, or accomplishing a new project could all make this list.

Spiritual- I will often make a goal for devotional literature reading, fasting, or other spiritual practices for this category.

Work-This category might include work for income, or work for fun tasks. This category could also be thought of as “parental personal development” or mother culture.

Giving-You can use this category to write goals for giving to those outside the family or even to yourself or your children. This could involve non tangibles like phone calls to a friend, or meal delivery to a new mama, or it could be a goal to give to a favorite charity.

Relational-These are goals I make for building relationships. Things like eye contact, date nights, or gentle responses might make this category. This category can also include books to read to improve my self awareness and thus my ability to love others well.


After I have filled in the categories, I will also take time to check in with the yearly goals we made at the beginning of the school year, and I’ll look at our calendar and weekly planning sheets (included in The Peaceful Press Planner) to see if I’ve overscheduled us, and therefore crowded out the time needed for our essentials.

Making space for a little quiet planning time before we dive back into school is a valuable investment for creating a life that is sustainable and peaceful.

If the joy has gone out of homeschooling for you, check out our parent guides. They are designed to require a minimum of parent planning and to create an atmosphere of joyful connection.

Click here for ages 2-5

Click here for ages 5-10

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