How I am Finding Joy in the New Year

I am one of those people who absolutely LOVES the change from one year to the next. Maybe it’s the decluttering that makes this Virgo’s heart go pitter patter, or the fact that I can bust out a brand new day planner…I simply adore the fresh start. And since 2017 was basically like a scooter getting rammed into my ankle over and over again, I am truly hoping (wishing…and even praying) that 2018 is instead more of a joy ride. Is there any way I can guarantee this? Of course not. But in hopes of focusing on my word of the year, joy, I am committing to the following. I figure if I put it in writing for my 20,000 readers, at least one of you lovely people will hold me (somewhat) accountable:

START giving myself more grace. My home doesn’t have to look like it should be on HGTV, I don’t have to look the way I did before I had two consecutive pregnancies (can we say IMPOSSIBLE?!?!), and it’s okay if I fail at making a new recipe. The world will continue to spin, my family and friends will still love me…and there will ALWAYS be chocolate.


STOP comparing. Seriously. The grass is greener where you water it, Amanda.


KEEP going to the gym 3 times a week. It makes me feel so amazing (even those days when I only ride a bike and then sit in the hot tub with a book) and I also feel like I’m getting my money’s worth of my very expensive membership.


PRACTICE patience. I know it’s a virtue…but it’s a virtue that I simply don’t have. Maybe I’ll try silently counting to five before I lose my mind?


IGNORE my phone. Especially when I am out and about with my kids. I will take a photo or two and then put it away, no matter how hard it might be.


FOCUS ON being present. I can stop to splash in the puddles, listen to my kindergartener drone on and on about the class pet, and remember when my husband has a big presentation at work. My three boys (the big and two littles) are my world and I always want them to feel that way.


CELEBRATE everything. Time is fleeting. No one lives forever. So celebrate absolutely everything, whether with a trip to the bakery, a dance party, or even a last minute trip.


GO somewhere new. Restaurant, café, play space, museum….or even…gasp…on a Disney Cruise!


Will I accomplish all of these things over the next 365 days? Maybe, maybe not. But I will be mindful of them and focused on finding the joy in life. Be sure to follow along on our joyful adventures over on Instagram…it’s my favorite social media medium and where I have found some of the loveliest people I know in real life.


Happy New Year!
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  1. Tomi C says

    Love your list. The one thing that really stuck out to me was “Go Somewhere New”. This world is full of places for us to explore but we have to get out there and see it. Make plans and make it happen. Here’s wishing you a prosperous 2018.

  2. candy says

    Stop comparing is a big one I believe for everyone. Right up there with jealousy. Someone is always going to have a better blog, house, job but I have a wonderful blog, house and job. Why would or why should I compare myself to anyone else.

  3. Anosa says

    I think we are all guilty of comparing but sometimes it’s best to work on our own grass right? Loving your attitude for 2018, wishing the best

  4. Heather says

    I love your word for 2018, and hey did you redesign your blog!? I’m really liking how clean and put together it looks. I agree I too need to give myself more grace. Happy New Year!

    • Amanda says

      Hi Heather–thanks for the compliments. And no, I haven’t redesigned the blog in a few years, even though I’m itching to do so!

    • Amanda says

      I wish everyone in the world had more patience and kindness…it would really make the world a better place!

  5. Ricci says

    I need to get better about taking social media breaks! I get so caught up with being ON all the time that I definitely to schedule some down time soon!

  6. Christie says

    All such great advice! I compare myself too much to others. It’s horrible. I love the ignore your phone and be present. They sort of go hand in hand lately. I have patience for some but not others. I should have patience for all…but some just really try my patience! LOL

    • Amanda says

      All of those sound great. I have a trip planned soon, and I will be going dark on social media and I can’t wait!

  7. Amanda says

    I like to think of it as things to start, stop and continue. Makes my resolutions much more flexible and gives me more Grace.

  8. Amanda says

    I have been keeping my phone in the kitchen while with my kids so far this year and it has definitely made a positive difference.

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