This is the BE ALL, END ALL of New Year’s Resolutions. The resolution that sums all the rest of the them! Intentional living.
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Here is the ULTIMATE New Year’s Resolution for Homeschool Parents: Live intentionally!
Hey there, homeschool parents! I see you striving for a peaceful, life-giving home filled with love and learning. I see you aiming to be healthy and well for you family. I see you trying to read good books, finish projects, balance home and work, pray more and be more patient. I see you striving to live a good and holy life, the life you feel called to.
How to apply Intentional Living in your Home this year
Intentional living is about cultivating the life you feel called to live.
What does it mean to cultivate?
Cultivation takes work. Turning the soil, fertilizing, sometimes even pruning.
If you truly want to build the life you desire, sometimes you need to put in the effort and sometimes you even need to take things away.
I have no idea what those things are for you and your family. But when I think about intentionality in family life, I can easily list out several places I see in our own family, that require intentionality and cultivation.
Here are the main ten ways to apply intentional living to your home and homeschool this year:
1. Take time alone with God. Pray, ask, and listen.
If you do not already have a habit of daily prayer as a homeschool parent, this is the single most impactful thing you can do for intentional living. If you already have a habit of daily prayer, awesome! If you don’t, I recommend starting your day with a Morning Offering and the Daily Mass Readings. This site is a great resource!
2. Spend intentional quality time with your spouse.
Do you have a weekly date night? It is the single best tip I have for married couples! My only regret for our weekly date nights is that we didn’t start them right away when we got married. Continuing to date your spouse is a wonderful way to remain intentional about your marriage. We keep our weekly date nights simple but we try to go out and do something fun once in a while.
If you want some inspiration, why not check out The Catholic Date Night by Found Together? They have fun ideas, online date nights, and even a “double date” database for Catholic couples.
3. Spend planning time.
Maybe you use a planner, maybe a calendar. Maybe you meal plan. Set aside regular times each day, week, and month this year to make sure you are planning and meeting your goals in order to stay intentional.
For me, I am not so good at looking at a planner every day, but a paper calendar along with jotting to-do lists on my phone works well. You can always use my monthly liturgical calendars to get you inspired!
Areas that require planning:
- daily habits, exercise and prayers
- chores, home improvement
- academics and extracurriculars
- friend time, family time
- errands and outings
- hobbies, reading
4. Have a business meeting.
Whether with your spouse, the whole family, or one-on-ones, having meetings to discuss intentions is a great way to all be on the same page about expectations and keep lines of communication open. My husband and I do a yearly planning meeting along with mini-meetings over coffee most Saturday mornings.
5. Make a budget.
It’s hard to be intentional without talking money! We recently set up YNAB and it was actually easy and pretty fun. I say this as simultaneously the spouse who likes the meetings and also the one who hates thinking about money. Bribe your less-budget-y spouse with treats and coffee, and have a budget meeting this month!
6. Be intentional with your time.
Now that you have planned and set expectations, follow through by making good choices about how you spend your time. If you want to exercise, read, learn to knit… how will you make that happen over the next 365 days? Only by following through with your plans. If Friday night is date night and Sunday afternoon is Family Time, make it happen.
It might not work out 52 weeks of the year, but every intentional minute counts.
7. Be intentional with possessions.
Simplify your life this year by being intentional with what possessions you keep in your space. Have less clutter, less stress, more time, and more sanity. I love decluttering with the help of Dawn, the Minimal Mom (a fellow homeschooler) and she has a course just for homeschool families on her website (it’s free!).
8. Be intentional with what MEDIA you allow into your home.
Stuff is one thing, internet and media is a whole other. If you don’t already have a good and reliable internet filter, make this year your year to be intentional about what your family can access online. Most kids are exposed to pornography between the ages of 7 and 11, and of course that is not the only scary, unhealthy and damaging thing out there.
How much of the media you consume is uplifting, encouraging, and edifying? What about what your kids are watching? Let’s continue to strive for intentional media consumption this year. Think of it as like “you are what you eat” but for reading and screens.
9. Intentional Nourishment and Movement.
FOOD. It doesn’t seem right that in order to live a healthy life you have to constantly read food labels and find time to get outside. However, this is the day and age we live in! Making intentional goals for the health and wellness of your family is very important and NOT a bad thing just because it is January and everyone does it then falls off the wagon.
Try to set small sustainable habits like making healthy grocery orders each week and aiming to get 1000 Hours Outside this year (we love this challenge!).
10. Love One Another in Intentional Ways
Do you know your family’s love languages? I just know that striving love love each of our family members intentionally in the way they most appreciate being loved would not be a waste of your time. Try the 5 Love Languages quiz to figure it out.
The Ultimate Resolution
The ultimate resolution is one that helps you to cultivate the virtues required for your life. So whether you use one or more of these applications I have listed here, I hope and pray that your family life will be fruitful this year!
Let’s See You Live It!
I would love to see how your family does this. It is so inspiring to others, too. Send me an email or tag me on social media @kindlingwild and I’ll be sure to share!
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