I’ve decided on my ONE word mantra for this new year. Although, one day I hope to be Practically Perfect in Every Way, for 2016, I will be grateful for PROGRESS!
If you read about my goal setting strategy for the New Year, you know that I am pretty committed to letting the hustle and bustle of the holidays subside before setting my goals into full swing. I spend the first full week of the kids and hubby back in their routines putting my house and home back in order a little. I tend to fall behind on house stuff (like balancing checkbooks) and my own personal tasks (like breathing) when my family is home for the holidays, so I have a lot of catch up work to do. While I feel so behind, I am really hesitant to make too many demands and expectations on myself, especially planning for a productive filled year.
Last week was my rest and restore week, and I am feeling so much more clear on the direction I want to take my 2016. I think so much better when I’ve cleared a little clutter- physically, emotionally, and mentally! As I am contemplating all of the possible ways that I might spend my time in this new year, I am trying to keep the specifics to a minimum.
On one hand, being specific in setting goals allows us to be clear on where we are going AND allows us to recognize when we’ve gotten there. Goals such as ‘be happy’ or ‘lose weight’ are too loosely defined and may be easy to abandoned before we actually begin! Like a great holiday vacation, we often need to know where are going so we know how to prepare to get there.
On the other hand, specifics can blind us to successes and opportunities that we have not yet planned for or could not have expected when setting out on a new journey. If we are too specific in our expectations, we have a tendency to fail to see the little victories along the way.
My youngest son and I took a walk together several weeks ago, and my mind continues to ponder on our conversation as I try to highlight my intentions for the year. His sweet mind wanted to know how I would spend my time to create the perfect day if I had no limits, no restrictions, and no obligations.
Being mindful that somewhere in this question there was most likely an opportunity for a great life lesson, I wanted to steer clear of answers like ‘I’d teleport to a new country every morning for breakfast and ski on Mars every afternoon’!
As I started to describe to him my perfect day, I was careful to avoid descriptive or location words such as “beach”, “Costa Rica”, “size 2 jeans”. Though I’m sure any day spent on a beach in Costa Rica in size 2 cut off jeans would be close to perfect, I do not believe those things MAKE the perfect day- I could equally have a rotten day on the beach in Costa Rica in size 2 cutoff jeans if all I could think about is the white sands in the Turks and the size 0 jeans my neighbor is in!
As I began my description of my perfect day, without the descriptive words to tie me down, we realized that I was in MY perfect day! Not only was I in my perfect day that day, but I am fortunate enough to live in my perfect day almost every day-
I began by explaining that my perfect day would start with yummy food and people I love. It would be a day where I have time to meet up with friends; a day where the sun would kiss my cheek and I would enjoy a refreshing walk, taking time to listen to the sounds of nature. It would be a day where I would learn something new and treasure something old- a day would end with gratitude for my abundance and humility for my struggles, where I would help who I could and pray for who I couldn’t.
In all honesty, when he first asked me the question, I immediately envisioned a skinny, minny version of me sitting in a cabana on a beach with fresh fruit, close friends, and ocean waves crashing against the beautiful shore, the shore that I would soon walk slowly along, listening to more waves crash and seagulls flying through the sky; a day where I learned to sail, rode my bike, and paused for candlelit ambience before ending my night blissfully grateful for the one million thread count sheets I was about to lay my head upon!
That MIGHT happen,
But without the descriptive words, SKINNY, CABANA, BEACH, OCEAN, and SAIL, I removed the pressure of my perfect day being SOMEDAY, freeing up my perfect day for to be THIS DAY!
As you plan and prepare for a great new year, try to eliminate some of the words, thoughts, and ideals that might just buy you out of the success and experiences you seek in this very new, and potential-filled, year!