A few years ago, a friend told me how she and her husband sit down in December and prepare a list of goals for the coming year. On the list, they include goals for spiritual growth, marriage, family, giving, finances, work, health, etc. Then they try to sit down once a quarter and review the progress they are making and discuss mid-year adjustments they need to make.

Earlier this month, Matthew and I went out for a long lunch at a Chinese buffet and wrote down our goals for 2017. One of the most important topics we discussed was Sabbath: what we will include—and exclude—on our weekly stop day. We talked about what books we want to read on our Sabbaths, our commitment to avoid technology, our Bible reading plans for the year, and the beauty (music, art, and nature) that we hope to include. Through the years, Matthew and I have learned that the quality of our Sabbaths impacts every area of our lives together.

Sabbath is a day when we celebrate the gift of Jesus, when we lay down our burdens and rest in him. It’s when we let go of the steering wheel for 24 hours and let God be God. Instead of human doings, we are human beings, loved not for what we produce or how we look but for who we are—beloved children of the King of Kings.

Here are some practical tips to help you and your loved ones discuss your 2017 Sabbath plans:

PREPARE: Sit down with your family or friends and discuss what you plan to do—and not do—on your weekly Sabbath. Are there any books you’d like to read together as a couple or a family? Will you put your phones in a Sabbath box for at least part of the day? Should you refrain from shopping in stores—and also on the Internet?

PRAY: Include time for connecting with God and his creation. Do you read the Bible together? How about a family devotional? Perhaps you can ask a simple question of everyone at your Sunday meal: What has God been teaching you this week?

PLAY: Include relaxing and renewing activities, guided by Philippians 4:8. We should be careful to put only excellent things into our minds every day—whatever is noble, right, pure, lovely, and praiseworthy. On the Lord’s Day, this is especially true!

PARTNER: Covenant with a friend for encouragement and accountability. It’s so easy to fall back into the unhealthy—and unholy—habit of being on the go, 24/7. A quick text on Sabbath eve, such as Hope you have a relaxing and renewing Sabbath!” or asking, “How was your Sabbath?on Monday morning can help us stay on track throughout the coming year.