2016 Dwell Here: The Year in Review

By December 29, 2016 faith One Comment
2016review

With just a few days remaining in 2016, I’ve been thinking about the past 12 months and the goals I had hoped to reach (or in some cases merely move toward). My review process is nothing too fancy—just a look at my 2016 goals and an assessment of what happened.

The theme I chose for 2016 was Dwell Here, based on Psalm 37:3: “Trust in the Lord, and do good; dwell in the land and befriend faithfulness.” My aim was to practice dwelling right where I was, in the moment. For example, my nerves had been intermittently raging over the release of my book, because I was dwelling in moments that would not even happen until 2017 (if at all); if I were to practice Dwelling Here, that would mean putting aside tomorrow’s worries for tomorrow, trusting that God would meet me there. Dwelling Here was also a call to tend my own pasture, so to speak; I have been entrusted a certain territory in writing and work and relationships, and I wanted to learn how to tend them well without averting my gaze to adjoining lands. These are just two examples of many I could share; suffice it to say, learning to Dwell Here was (and still is) quite needful.

Progress on this theme is a bit difficult to measure. If awareness counts, then I have accomplished much, for I am regularly prompted by the Spirit to dwell here—in reliance upon Christ, in this moment, in truth, in trust, in patience, in joy, and so on—and not dwell there—in reliance upon self, in the future or the past, in lies, in frustration, in worry, and so on.

In addition to growing in this notion of dwelling here, I also listed specific goals for the year. Some of these goals I completed, in some form; some, to some degree; and some I failed to do at all. I’m happy with my status on these things: a 9PM bedtime has been the norm, identity materials were created and ordered, a house care journal was created, and talks for Comfort Detox have been outlined. However, I’m not so happy about my lack of progress on these: a monthly blog post on Celebration of Discipline, a regular date night with Mike, consistency in running, and monthly health challenges.

The one goal I kept the entire year was trying a new coffee every month. You may wonder how that was a goal, as it really was a treat to order a bag of beans from specialty roasters each month. I added that to my list of 2016 goals because most of my goals were a stretch for me. I wanted one goal that wasn’t so achievement driven. Trying a new coffee was a way to tend to my heart and engage in something I enjoy. (Watch for a post of my 2016 coffee tour!)

Annual goal setting is something I truly enjoy, likely because I’m a dreamer and I love imagining what could be in the year ahead. The good—and bad—thing about my dreamer side is that I don’t feel too much guilt if I fail to achieve all the goals I listed. My goals are mainly there as a target to aim for rather than a binding do-or-die plan. Maybe this is why I wasn’t successful on all fronts, but I am much more excited about progress than perfection. And progress has been made in 2016, and some major accomplishments were achieved that I hadn’t even thought to list back in January. In a heart-to-heart with my dear friend Rosa, over a delicious cup of tea, I was challenged to list the things that have happened in 2016 that were meaningful or exciting to me. My list included spending time with family and friends, meeting new people, the completion of my book and its companion journal, hosting family gatherings, travel to four countries, and even transitioning back to freelance work. None of these were on my 2016 goal list, but these are major accomplishments for me that make my heart very happy. The year wasn’t everything I had hoped, but it also contained lots I hadn’t even expected. Plus, my God has gone with me the whole way, and in that, I count 2016 a grand success.


Did you make any goals for 2016? I’d love to hear about your progress and your accomplishments from the past 12 months.

Are you outlining goals for 2017? I’d love to hear what you are aiming for in the year ahead! I’m working on my goals and a 2017 theme, and I’ll post on that early next week.

  • Donna Osenga

    Erin, your post is encouraging me to consider goals for 2017. I used to do that every year, but somehow through the years gotten away from it. It is a good practice I would like to revisit. Thanks for the reminder!

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