Usually around the start of a new year, I don’t make hard and fast resolutions. I try to get re-organized and do some massive cleaning. In the back of my head, I have some goals for myself like run more/better, keep the laundry under control, stick to my diet, etc, but nothing too hard or major. And because I don’t have them focused, they fall by the side of the road like dead bugs.
This year is different. I’ve been thinking for awhile about this upcoming year. I made a huge effort this past holiday season to enjoy it and not get so caught up in the busy that I lost the joy. I made sure that at some point each day, I stopped and took notice of the little things that make me smile. And it was an amazing two months for me. In the words of Tim McGraw, I tried to live like I was dying. It didn’t happen every day. But I definitely think I was a better person in the past two months because of this mental perspective.
I didn’t want it to end. I mistakenly thought that most of those moments of contentment were based just on the season—the lights, the food, the peace love and hope for Christmas, family memories. But it doesn’t have to end at Christmas. I can’t think of anything better than sitting in my chair November 1st and looking back on the previous ten months and realizing how happy and/or peaceful I was. That I chose the happy and peace regardless of my circumstances.
So, for the past couple of days there have been some things I’ve wanted to improve upon. I already decided the sky is the limit and I shouldn’t limit myself or others. With that in mind, I have some ideas about my physical, mental, and spiritual health and that is what has been in the back of my mind while relentlessly cleaning bath tubs and baseboards. (I really think I could cure the world of malaria if I could clean long enough. I get my best ideas when cleaning)
This literally woke me up in the middle of the night last night. I don’t know if it’s been on my mind since I saw this, or if it was the storm, or the late night coffee. I am leaning towards it was just the house talking to me as houses will do if one is willing to listen. This is one of the original doors to the S farm house that has been completely restored. The current owner of the house wrote these words.
Give yourself a perfect day.
- All the pieces will fit with the right attitude.
Do what makes you happiest.
- Improve the blog, make it more useful to me and others
- Improve in running and crossfit
- Savor the time with Stephen and Frankie
Look upon what gives you joy.
- Improve photography, continue the projects
- Cook with abandon. Forget that voice in my head when I mess up. Be fearless.
Reach out and touch someone.
- Write real letters and make phone calls. Don’t be so busy all the time.
Speak to those who warm your heart.
- Give people a chance especially those who love me unconditionally.
Listen to that which lifts your spirit.
- There is a reason God gave me two ears and one mouth. I need to listen a lot more to Him.
Surround yourself with sights and sounds and people who give you pleasure.
- This sums the whole thing up. Choose peace.
- Time is more important than things.
These are my goals for 2011. I found it interesting that all my other areas to improve fit perfectly under one of these. But instead of a singular focus on “work out more”, I like “Do what makes you happiest”. Instead of my determination to write more real letters to people and call my grandmother more, why not “Speak to those who warm your heart”. Under that one is also my desire to open up to people more and especially those closest to me. Raise those expectations within myself.
Now that I have a clear focus on how I want to improve myself, my life, and my time with others, I’m putting this post on my About page so I can reference it as I go about my days. This is my focus board. It’s my hope that if on some random Tuesday night, my day has been terrible, I can read over this and find something to do that will end that day on a positive note. Stephen calls it my “rose smelling time”.
I hope everyone has a wonderful New Year!