“No one lives out an exciting calling without just plunging forward at some point, full of fear and uncertainty.” Shauna Niequist
I think New Year’s can be so anxiety laden. There’s so much pressure to make resolutions. To plan things out. To make the next year better than the last. To grow, to learn, to push yourself into something else. To lose weight, to finish a huge project, to finally meet that person you’re going to marry (as if you have any control over that)…
There’s just so much pressure we put on the new year. And in a few weeks the gyms will be empty again (Thank God) and people will have given up on their diets, and that project will be buried under the junk mail, and you will go on, much as you were going on in December.
Today I was going to be up by 7am and had grand plans of all the things that would be done by 9. My kitchen would be clean, I would have my coffee made, my room picked up, my devos done, 1/2 hour of yoga, and I would be writing by 8 am. But I didn’t sleep last night, so when my alarm went off at 7, I hit snooze, a lot of times. I didn’t get up until 8 and got out of bed already feeling SO behind.
I am reading Savor, by Shauna Niequest and today the title was Start Where You Are and it just hit me. You don’t have to have everything lined up. You don’t have to have a huge plan. You don’t have to dramatically change your life so that 2020 is SO different from 2019. You just have to start where you are. I am not a total failure because I slept in one hour and messed up my whole “plan”. I just started an hour later and I will still have time to get all those things done today. Just not by 9 am.
I have been writing down things I want to pursue and focus on for this next year. Trying to create a clear vision. So I can say yes to the things that are important and more easily say no to things that don’t fit into my goals. I never like saying no to people. I want to help everyone. I want to be there for everyone. Do all the things. But this year I want to try to be intentional. I want to cultivate deep and meaningful relationships. I want to pursue my dreams. I want to create a welcoming and cozy home where people feel comfortable dropping by. I want to excel in my job. I am taking classes at Oxford and I want to do well. These all seem like huge things. But I am just going to start where I am. I am going to say yes to things that push me closer to my goals. And I am going to start trying to say no to things that don’t take me in the right direction. Which I think mostly for me is watching too much tv when I could be using my time more productively.
It’s not about huge goals or resolutions. It’s about starting where you are. Its about baby steps in the right direction. Just doing the next right thing. You look at your goals and you take a step. It’s not I need to lose 50 lbs and when I haven’t accomplished that by the end of January I give up. It’s I need to be healthy so do I eat this cookie or that apple? And take the right step. It not I should have finished writing my whole book by this week, its did I spend time writing today. Did I spend time reading and filling myself up so that I had words to pour out of me onto the page? Start where you are. Do the next right thing. And if you mess up, start again, where you are.
Take a step in the right direction. Put some goals up on your bathroom mirror. I like to use a dry erase marker. That way every morning when you are getting ready you will see them and it will remind you of what you are striving for. Maybe put a sticky note on your tv. Did you read a book today? Before you spend 4 hours scrolling through Netflix? Put a note by your bed. Did you wash the dishes before bed? Or will they sit there until tomorrow? What are the things you want to get better at? And what do you want to be intentional about moving towards? I’d love to hear some of your goals for this new year.
Let’s all start where we are. And see what great things come in 2020.
“You don’t win a year at a time. You win a day and a week at a time. Win the day. Win the week. Repeat.”–Shane Bishop