I know it’s January 7 and I know that means we are a full week into the New Year, but it’s taken me this long to really think about who I want to be this year. . . and of course that’s a better me. How am I going to do this? Well, there is a whole lotta room for improvement, but I think I’ll start with a few things like this:
Strengthen and grow my faith
- Continue my daily morning and evening devotional readings: I find great peace and strength in these and have found two very, very viable candidates for the year. As always, Max Lucado rises to the surface and I think I will use his morning and evening Grace devotional. There is something about those few moments when I am able to focus, truly focus, on what my text is telling me and then to contemplate it as I begin my day or wrap up my evening.
- Begin to attend church again: Again, it’s about peace and devotion. I remember having a sense of both and a feeling of belonging, as if I’d found my place. I’m not sure about the regularity, but I will try. . . and I know I will be rewarded.
- Pray: I pray daily, I do, but I need to do so more with focus and with sincerity. I’m a rambling pray-er. I lose track of where I am often, sometimes daydream a bit, but I find that contemplative and focussed prayer is so very important.
Take care of those I love
- Be deliberate in all of my relationships: That means taking time to call, write, e-mail and visit. It’s easy to move along and look behind you to see it’s been months since you’ve spent time with those you love and love you back.
- Forgive: We all have baggage and we all carry a heavy load. I need to lighten mine a bit and perhaps it won’t be such a stumbling block for me appreciating and enjoying those I love.
- Tell him: I need to tell him how much I love him. I need to tell him how good he is, how awesome he is and how he gets better all the time.
- Encourage: A friend once described me as an “encourager” and I nearly choked. I feel so very, very self-centered at times. Her words, however, were encouraging to me. If this is a skill I possess, I need to hone it, perfect it and explore it.
- Accept: If I want to be accepted, I need to learn to accept. I want to love them for who they are, appreciate them for who they are and know that we are all working, working to be better.
Grow and Expand
- Read: I say this every year and every year I mean it. I need to read more. I find joy in words. I learn by reading. I’m not a fast reader, but that’s not the point. I need to read. Here’s hoping I end the year with a stack of “read” books instead of “unread” ones.
- Bake bread: This may sound simplistic, but I often doubt my cooking skills and that’s probably because I don’t do it enough. I love the smell of bread and it’s a minor milestone, but one I think might “expand” into other ones.
- Grow and expand: I have learned that trying something new never really hurt anyone. (I am sure by now, you’ve come up with several examples to challenge this, but for the most part, it’s true.) So many ideas to hear. So many people to meet. So many places to go. So many doors to open. Perhaps as I pray, I’ll pray to be open to all of those opportunities.
- Plant a garden: So many lessons learned from last year’s attempt. I’m looking forward to “growing” again and dining on my bounty.
Take care of me
- Take time: Cynical and I often joke, at the expense of a family member, that this year “It’s all about me.” That’s now where I am going with this. I am a multi-tasker and sometimes in the midst of that I forget to stop, breath and take a moment to meet some very basic needs I have: rest, food, exercise, beauty care. . . all of it.
- Feel my worth: I often feel ugly, blighted, sad and unpopular, despite the amazing network of supporters I have. I’m not perfect. I’m not the best, but I am the best at being me. And it’s time that I quit beating myself up and taking to heart negative vibes, comments and notions. I deserve a good life. I keep reminding myself, He created me, right?
- Drink more water: It’s a basic thing, it is. But, who doesn’t need to drink more water.
- Take the stairs: Again, basic, right? I need to take every instance I can to get my heart pumping and get myself moving.
- Exercise: On everyone’s list. . . but not a priority on most. I’m promising myself an amount of time each week to move my body, use my legs and feel better.
- Eat more vegetables: I love them afterall. They are good for me afterall. It’s a simple conclusion: I need more of them.
- Be deliberate: As I mentioned, I often multi-task. I have this need to get it done, get it all done. I am often not as deliberate about my focus and my tasks. Things get forgotten. Priorities get shifted. Slowing down, taking a breath and regrouping could do wonders for my attitude, my level of patience and my productivity (and not in the sense of widget production.)
- Make it not matter: I’m a fretter. I’m a sensitive girl. It’s true, these are inherent in me and as much as I’d like to change it, I’m not sure I can. However, I’d like to at least dampen the inner fretter. Just because someone says it, it isn’t true. Life is not a competition and I don’t need to engage. It doesn’t matter. I want to make it not matter.
- Make stuff: I wasn’t sure what category this would fit into, and perhaps it is all of them. It is always a good feeling to “do it yourself” and I have so many projects in mind. I’d like to make more stuff, buy less stuff and repurpose the stuff we have.
- Simplify: I am sure this is right after “exercise” on most lists, but it does deserve so much attention. A simpler life for me is a better life. If my time is cluttered, my desk is cluttered and my list is cluttered, I am not focussed, determined or positive. I started off by doing just that today: I took a few minutes to move two recurring costs to an automatic charge. No more forgetting them. No more hoping they are recorded correctly. Done. One less thing to “fret” about. I think this will go beyond the obvious things such as purging or organizing. I think it will mean simplifying my needs, my relationships, my concerns.
The list could grow and maybe it will, but for now, these will be my focus for the upcoming year. They each dovetail the next. I hope to build a good person, a person I want to be.