I think the New Year really starts in March. They changed the calendar; did you get the memo?
I know, I know, January is a distant memory and February is almost over. And I am just writing about the New Year. What is the old saying about being late? Better late than never. I really am NEVER late. Just not hard-wired that way. I have been pondering about this whole societal idea of resolution. It usually only lasts a short time for me and for most of us, and then we slide back into old habits because, well, it just didn’t work, so why try? This year I have paused to ponder what I want to do. Actually, I took January and February to do this. Making goals seems more doable for me.
I have decided that diet and exercise will not be a goal. They are a way of life. Just like breathing. I must move and eat healthy. I must take care of myself. It is a part of who I am. So that is not on my list. Here is what I came up with. This is so different for me. It is all about me.
1.Stop procrastinating! I have so many To-Do lists. Some things keep moving from one list to another. I want to say I am not procrastinating, but maybe they migrate, because I need to just do it! I learned one time that I should take all of my tasks and organize and prioritize them into categories, like category 1 tasks are those that are no brainers and take very little time and effort to do. Category 2 tasks take a little more effort and time, and category 3 tasks are the most difficult. Category 3 tasks take concentrated time, effort, and energy. Next, I have to figure out when I am at my best. For me it is morning. Each day I should take the number 3 categories and use my best time to do these. I get so pulled away with doing category 1 tasks which are simple that I end up procrastinating getting the big things done. It is all about my time management skills.
2. Learn a new skill. I love to learn, that is a no brainer, but something new will be a challenge. My life and my brain are so full right now, where will it fit? As the Executive Director of the Ministry, I am constantly challenged with learning new skills, social media, new ways of doing things, and new ways of reaching women who are part of this ministry. There is not a shortage of opportunities to learn new skills. But this is not what I’m thinking about. It is learning a new skill that is just totally for me. So, I have to give this some time to process what that means. I love to cook. Maybe it is just learning a new gadget?
3. Bring more peace into my life. Peace has always been prayer to me, so to bring more peace into my life means really focusing more on my prayer life. I’ve always journaled, so maybe I will start each day by journaling and creating a prayer journal to God. I had started a prayer journal many years ago. I have many, many spiral notebooks full of prayers to God, but somehow I’ve gotten away from doing that. Now I need to get back to that. Maybe that is the best way I can create peace?
4. Strengthen my personal relationships. When I think about my personal relationships, the strong relationships are those I have with my extended family: my husband, my children, my grandchildren, and my friends. While I am a very good active supportive wife, mother, grandmother, and friend, I really think that I could be better. I think I could strengthen these. I think I want to create special times and places that I am only with a certain person so that I can completely focused on that person.
5. Volunteer. My life is volunteering. As the Founder of the Motherless Daughters Ministry, I have been volunteering for 19 years in this role. There is always something good about getting outside of yourself and giving. Volunteering is all about getting outside of yourself. As we volunteer we may think that that is the purpose of our volunteering, but we are constantly finding out more and more about ourselves. It is a reminder for me how to serve God and serve others.
6. Be kinder to me. I can be pretty critical of myself. No one can be as hard on me as me. I am going to look in the mirror and say good things to myself every morning. Maybe I should practice what I preach. I’ve told so many women to write one good thing about themselves every day and post them somewhere very visible to them. Now it is time for me to do the same.
7. Read more books. My daughter-in-law became very creative when she was raising my grandchildren. She is an avid reader and created “Reading Club” for my grandchildren as they were growing up. One hour each evening. I have decided to have a “Reading Club” just for me. Love it. Love it. Love it.
8. Spend more time in nature. I find that this may be a challenge more for me than what I realize. As I begin my task for the day, I am always highly motivated. The time flies and suddenly I’ve not made space or time to get up and go outside. To see the green trees and love what God has created. I think that I have to focus on multi-tasking. To find ways of doing multiple things together. I can create space, spend time outside in nature, use my iPods and listen to books on tape as I walk outside.
9. Gratitude. I am so grateful for all the gifts that God has given me. I pause each day and look back on the past 24 hours. I think about all the wonderful things that I am grateful for and make a list each day. It may be as simple as someone letting me turn left in front of them. I’m grateful that I listened to what God wanted me to do, or said the right words to someone and made a difference in their life. I focus on what I have received and how I have given to others.
10. Make a One Word for the Year – mine is Transitions. I think this is the year for changes in my life. I will wait and see.
I hope I have prompted you to think about your life and setting some goals for yourself. Not resolutions. E is for effort. Not End. Not Everything. Not Excellent. Just be Exceptional! What are your Top 10 Goals Just for You? Share at least one or two with me on this post.