I’m not big on New Year resolutions. I get discouraged and usually quit when I inevitably break them, but I do like to have goals. Goals feel more attainable to me — like I can mess up, get up, try again, and still be in pursuit of my goal.

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about who or what I want to become more like, especially as I get older. These are not the goals I had at 21 (fitting into leather pants a size too small no longer make the cut), but they are ones I hope to hone, however imperfectly, this year.

Goals for 2016:

1. Love better. This year I want to love well and empathize more. I want to hear others’ perspectives, and care about what makes us different and what makes us alike. I want to love beyond fear or doubt or insecurity.
2. Give more. Kyle and I have a goal to always give away as much or more than we did the year before.
3. Be more kind to myself. I like to attain goals; it’s ingrained in who I am. I’ve realized this year how, in pursuit of those goals, the unkind way in which I talk to myself at times. I tell myself things I would never say to someone else (“why can’t you just lose these last 10 pounds already?!?”). It’s time to stop being so mean to myself.
4. Be more kind to those around me. In the same thread as speaking more kindly to myself, I realize that I need to do a better job of speaking kindly to those around me, especially my husband and kids.
5. Spend more time thinking about things that actually matter. (See #3)
6. Play more.  It’s no secret that I love lists and schedules, but I also see the value of adding play into my day. This has become more apparent as my kids get older, as some of my favorite memories this year are from times when we were doing something together — biking, mountain climbing, cross country skiing. They’re activities that we still reminisce about months later.
7. Pray more. I’m getting better at this, I really am, but I can always improve at turning to God before trying to solve things for myself or worry about things I have no control over.
8. Rest without guilt. It’s time to stop thinking that I have to have everything crossed off my list (again with the lists!) to take a rest. Sometimes rest is just what someone needs to complete everything there is to do.

So there it is, my goals for the year. Are some of them lofty? Probably. Unattainable? Maybe. But if I am able to move a little bit further towards these eight things in this coming year, I will be content with that. Perfection isn’t the goal this year, improvement is my aim.

So now I want to hear from you, what are your goals for 2016?