Letting Go of 2016 and Setting Intentions for 2017


For the past several years, I’ve started the New Year feeling motivated. I set big, lofty goals and set out to achieve them. I worked my butt off and when I achieved my goal I would set a new one. It lead to a lot of chasing, a lot of pushing and a lot of work. This year I’m feeling different.

At the beginning of 2016 I set the theme of  “focusing on what matters” in an attempt to simplify my life. But of course, because as soon as you try to plan and control your life, I was reminded that life never goes according to plan and 2016 became the year of CHANGE.

Looking back I think that setting these focuses for my life was God’s way of preparing me for what was to come. I needed a reminder of my foundation before my life was completely turned upside down.

On February 25th, 2016 my life was forever changed. My usual morning phone call to my Dad was unanswered and in my gut I knew something was wrong. I called and I called and text and emailed with no response. Within less than an hour with help of family and friends it was confirmed what I already knew in my heart, my Dad was gone. He had suffered a heart attack peacefully at home and went quickly and poetically after helping shovel his neighbor’s snow.

Losing him unexpectedly forced me to quickly accept what had happened. I had the unfortunate advantage of already losing my Mom so this time things hit me hard and quickly. There was no denial, just gut-wrenching pain and quick acceptance. I found peace in our last conversation about finally feeling comfortable as a working Mom, him telling me how proud he was of me and him getting to see a picture of Buel that day. “He’s getting so big” was the last thing my Dad said to me.

The months that followed by Dad’s passing were a blur. I kept myself busy with managing my parents’ estate and my organizational skills became crucial. In four months I closed out every single bill, selling the company that my Dad started when he was in his early twenties and sold my childhood home.

At the same time, amazing things happened for our family. I do not see this as a coincidence but more so a reminder that things in life happen for a reason. A month following my Dad’s passing we finally got approval for our short sale after eleven months of waiting, quickly put our condo on the market and sold it within 24 hours. And from there, our life went into overdrive.

The second half of 2016 was one where I stretched myself further than I ever thought I could. I became determined to make my life exactly what I wanted it with my priorities clearer than they had ever been before. The last six months of the year were all about pushing, striving and working.

As the year ended we finally were able to slow down and I spent the month reflecting on what had happened. I struggled with constant, all encompassing feeling of guilt from what we were able to accomplish in such a short amount of time. We had the life worked so hard was achieved but it came at a cost and nothing felt quite right.

It’s a weird feeling to struggle with happiness while grieving. To some extent it feels wrong but a part of me always remember that my parents would be proud of me. This constant back-and-forth is something I need to let go of before I’m able to move on.

So, as we start the new year I am letting go of 2016. I’ve accepted every part of the year, both good and bad and I’m ready to move on.

seek-kathleen-clipper-day-8-web-version-716x1024In 2017 my intention is contentment. My goal is to find peace in every situation and accept that the positive can still exist despite the negative. I want to find ease in our every day routines, let go of my need for perfection and embrace the messiness. I want to slow down and enjoy the little moments with my son. I want to nourish my body and continue to take care of myself, encourage my husband to do the same and foster my friendships. And most of all, I want to practice gratitude and shift my focus from the negative that will inevitably exist no matter how hard I push, plan or focus. I’m ready to let go and just be content.

What are you letting go of from 2016? What are your intentions in 2017?




  1. Although 2016 was hard for you, I loved hearing your recap of it from the other side. What a tough, tough year. I’m glad that you go that out so you can move on from it. And I of course just love your goals for 2017. I think not setting a ton of concrete work-hard goals are just what you need right now. I kind of did the same thing (with the exception of wanting to organize my whole house lol).

    I really need to work on contentment too. Maybe you feel the same way, but it’s been so hard for me to be content in our new home because I want everything done NOW and I want it to be perfectly clean ALL the time. It’s something I don’t how to let go of but I hope I make improvements in this area before another baby arrives!

    • Oh girl, I feel the same way and it was sooo much worse when I was pregnant! I’m doing a lot of work just letting things “be”

  2. I’m glad you can look back and see the good and bad from last year and also see what you want to learn from moving into 2017. I can’t imagine the loss of losing a parent, especially unexpectedly, but I am sure they would be very proud of where you are heading into this new year. All the best to you, Katie 🙂

  3. I am so sorry about your dad.

  4. I think contentment is where I am to, but you put it so much more eloquently! I’m happy with how things are in life, and want to appreciate the small things. I think both of your parents would be incredibly proud of you if they can see what you’re up to now Katie.

  5. lungingthroughlife says:

    Contentment and simplifying life I think are what I’m working on. The past few months I’ve been struggling with the comparison trap (Grass is always greener!) and I need to just work on being content. My life is pretty great and I don’t want things to just pass by without me even realizing. And simplifying.. because we have so much and don’t need it all!

  6. Hi Katie,

    I found your blog recently via our mutual friend Lauren, and really relate, especially since I’ve also got a sweet toddler to call my own. 🙂 Your focus on contentment resonates with me, and I admire your outlook on the year ahead. I still tend to fall back on those excessive, achievement-oriented goal lists, which I think in some ways is like a security blanket to me. I hope to move myself more in your direction at some point!

    • Monica, that’s so great you realize it might be a security blanket for you. I tend to agree! I’m ready to let go of the chasing in 2017, which is a goal in and of itself in 2017!

  7. I just can’t imagine losing a parent so suddenly like that. I’m sorry 🙁

    I’ve had some pretty bad years here and there, and the hardest thing is definitely letting go and moving forward. I think accepting everything that happened and acknowledging that you’d like to move on is a good first step!

  8. I love following your journey, and I truly admire your heart, and your drive. I can’t imagine what it’s like to have lost a parent, but your strength is really something I look up to. You are an amazing mama, and I hope 2017 is full of happiness and joy!

    • Thanks so much, Sarah! I’m glad we found each other! It’s so nice to have someone to relate to as a Mama so closely.

  9. You have had such an overwhelming year, I have been continually impressed by your attitude throughout.
    I love your 2017 goals/intention – To slow down and appreciate the little moments. To seek contentment and gratitude. My goals for 2017 are similar – I’m trying to focus deeply on mindfulness & being present in the moment.

  10. I’m so sorry about your father. I hope 2017 is a healing year for you.


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