It’s officially halfway through the first month of the new year, and before it escapes me, I need to put some resolutions to the proverbial paper. I’ve been giving this a lot of thought and prayer, and while I don’t think I’m done reflecting – heck, who says I can only make resolutions in January?? – I do think I need to formalize this in some way, or it will be 2013, and not much will have changed.
I’ve hesitated because I still have reflecting to do and my list and plan aren’t perfect, but that actually leads me to one of my first goals:
Resolution #1: Let go of perfectionism.
I’m a pretty driven person – not ambitious as much as I am disciplined. I can’t stand half-assed work or attempts at things. I believe that when you do something, you do it excellently. However, if something isn”t perfect, I won’t consider it complete. Obviously, excellence is not a bad standard, but perfection is, only because it is unattainable. So, this year I am going to strive to do things excellently and do my best – but that doesn’t mean I can’t be satisfied with less than perfection. My blog posts do not have to be perfect before I post them; my lesson plans every day do not have to be award-winning for their originality and innovation; all of my down time does not need to be spent cleaning, cooking, planning…in some attempt to make my home and life perfect. I used to get so mad at my students when I found out they actually did a story or assignment but it sat on their desk at home because it wasn’t perfect in their eyes. Or they would leave a series of assignments incomplete, stuffed under their beds, because they couldn’t get it perfect and wouldn’t turn in what they had. But, I can kinda relate. So, in a word, I am giving myself permission, this year, to be human.
Resolution #2: Get healthier.
OK, this typically is code for ‘lose weight.’ And I concur. Yes, I’ve gained 10 lbs. since being married and I’d like for that to come off. But I don’t want to try a new ‘diet.’ I know I have to make some lifestyle changes – like, cut the sweets and sugar, stop the frantic grazing between meals, and start exercising with some regularity. And, I know I need to be holistically healthier – mind, body, soul, and spirit. I still need to formalize a plan for this, but a good beginning for me on the physical side is to just get the unhealthy food out of the house and plan my meals ahead of time to eat better – to eat thoughtfully and intentionally, and not emotionally or hurriedly. And, this actually leads to my next goal:
Resolution #3: Slow down.
Another buzz word I hear alot is to simplify.’ I’ve struggled with this. I have given this lots of thought, and honestly, I don’t know what I could cut out of my life to make it simpler. I work two jobs, I have a husband and a home, I go to church, and honestly, there are not a lot more extras. We don’t run around and go out a lot (well, for QT for us, but not just to be busy), our calendars aren’t full with family and friends, and we aren’t formally in ministry. And actually, there is a lot more I would like to be doing, not less – like getting together with friends, visiting my sister, seeing my family, going to local event in my community. But I feel drained almost daily. My job is super-demanding and I’m spent by the end of the day.
However, I realize I need to still slow down a little more internally somehow. And for me, I think that is just the key – to remind myself, after I’m running full speed on the hamster wheel, to slloooowwwww dowwwwnnnn. Even if it means I walk slower around my building instead of racing around, or pause when I feel myself getting swept up in the frenzy and breeeaaaaathe. Or stopping to count my blessings and remember Jesus in my life. But somehow, I’ve got to live life within the speeds limits. Internally, I often feel like I’ve surpassed ‘reckless driving’ and I’m about to red-line. Not totally sure how to accomplish this, but I’m OK with figuring some of this out this year. And some of this might come via my next goal:
Resolution #4: Manage my time better.
Because of all of the above, some extra planning can go a long way. I have since made a schedule for myself and a list to start the week. It’s OK if I don’t keep it perfectly, but at least I have some kind of map and I’m not last-minute-cramming. Already, this has helped…clipping coupons and seeing what stores have sales, planning which days I’ll do my errands, exercising and cleaning based on my work schedule, penciling in some tentative outings. Even if I have to cut some of those things off my list for the week, I have a feeling I’ll actually accomplish some of the others. I’ve read about some women praying about their daily schedule in the mornings, and I think this would be a good idea for me too – to let God help me orient the order of my day.
I feel pretty good with this start to my resolutions; it is a work in progress, as am I. I have a few resources I’m working through to give my life a little more focus. And I have a few other goals to consider:
- How can I grow spiritually this year – in ministry and in my relationship with Jesus?
- How can I incorporate friends and some mentoring relationships?
- Where am I heading professionally – in education, for further education, in writing?
But in light of Resolution #1, in the convoluted words of Joyce Meyer – I’m on my way, and it’s OK.