New Year’s Resolutions: Choosing Purposeful Words for Your Family in 2011

Written by Jamie Martin, editor of Simple Homeschool and founder of Steady Mom

The new year stands peeking its head around the corner and now that Christmas is over, it’s the next event in line for our attention. This means party planning, resolution making, staying up late, and getting back in the homeschool saddle after a holiday break.

It’s also a natural time to consider where we are, where we’re going, and how we’re going to get there. Instead of resolutions many thoughtful bloggers, like Ali Edwards and Gretchen Rubin, recommend choosing one meaningful word to focus on for your new year.

Last year I did this as well. I chose the word “anticipation,” and 2010 has certainly lived up to it.

This year I’m thinking about words, not just for myself, but for my entire family. What key ideas define us and our purpose? Brainstorming your own list of words is another way to craft a family mission statement.

Having a completed list clearly narrows down the bombardment of choices you have to deal with in your day-to-day lives. It makes refocusing easier when you stumble off track or lose your way temporarily. It also simplifies your homeschool planning as you seek to find which curriculum or educational philosophy fits with who you are as a family unit.

Need a little help getting started? Read on to see a sampling of my family’s purposeful words:

  • HOME
  • SLOW
  • FLOW

Living up to your family’s words is far easier than aiming for some random resolution that may be popular with millions elsewhere, but doesn’t fit your unique needs.

Find the words that relate to who you want to be–define them, focus on them, and achieve them in a peaceful 2011 with your loved ones.

This post is brought to you by Oak Meadow Curriculum and School, a curriculum that is making our family’s homeschool more purposeful. Check out their online curriculum samples covering grades PreK to 12th.

What purposeful words immediately come to mind when you think of your family?

About Jamie Martin

Jamie is a mama to three cute kids born on three different continents. She is the co-founder and editor of Simple Homeschool, where she writes about mindful parenting, intentional education, and the joy found in a pile of books. Jamie is also the author of a handful of titles, including her newest release, Give Your Child the World.


  1. I’ve been prayerfully selecting a word for the year since 2008. I’ve spent the last few weeks turning a few over in my mind, and I’m seeing confirmation of the one I am pretty sure I will choose for 2011 in your list.

    Thanks for this, Jamie. I am a HUGE fan of the word for the year concept!
    Megan at SortaCrunchy’s latest post: Links for 2010-12-23 delicious

  2. This past year was a year of simplicity and it kept me on track trying to keep our eye simple and getting rid of things in our home that were not useful or beautiful. For 2011 I’m leaning more toward “slow and intention”. I’m still working on it with the family.
    Rana’s latest post: Snowy Days!

  3. That is a great idea! I think for us: Being (versus doing), and Holiness. The Lord has really been speaking to me about the blessing of “Being” in His Presence, “Being” together, “Being in communion”, etc. And then, His call for us to hunger for personal holiness as a means to mature and purify us has captured my heart.
    I Live in an Antbed’s latest post: Reflecting on The Gift

  4. This will be our first year doing a Purposeful Word.

    Ours is Respect.
    Jessica’s latest post: Our Purposeful Word for 2011

  5. What a wonderful challenge – only 1 word for a whole family for a whole year … this will require lots of prayer and thinking, but I’d love to do this too!
    Nadene’s latest post: Christmas Blessings To You

  6. Thank you for putting into words what my heart has been desiring! I have some narrowing down to do as many of the words in your list resonated with me and what I want for our family over the next year. Right now I am focusing on: home, slow, simple, and margin.

  7. Interesting idea! I’ll ask the family at dinner tonight what they all think our word should be. 🙂
    Alicia’s latest post: Enter to win a Kindle from Amanda Bennetts Unit Studies Adventures

  8. I love this, Jamie. I’ll be pondering it over the next few days.

  9. Balance…last year we created our Family Mission Statement, this year, we will work to make it a reality.
    Mary @ A Simple Twist of Faith’s latest post: Wordless Wednesday- Fun with Frosty

  10. I love this idea! I’ve also felt the Lord speak to me about a purposeful word for our family this coming year and due to the ups and downs of 2010 we have chosen “Unity.”

  11. I have been pondering this and have heard other bloggers picking this up. Honor is what first comes to mind as it is something we often struggle with. (siblings especially) and something I am resolving in 2011. I think i may pick 2…. 🙂
    christina parker brown’s latest post: Honor and Johnny Lingo’s Eight-Cow Wife

  12. This is exactly what we want to do with the families of our Sunday School students this year. When each family chooses their word, we’ll have them cut out the letters and glue them onto a picture frame.

  13. I’m over here from UpLifting Words –

    Anticipation is a great word for 2012… An exciting word to be sure. Mine is Contentment… Something I battle but the Lord is teaching me.

    Thanks for sharing 🙂
    Ms. Kathleen’s latest post: From Anger to Contentment

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