I am a list lover.
I love seeing it written out, right in front of me, the things that need to be accomplished for the day.
I started writing lists in college, with a double major, job, and college life, I knew I needed to keep track of it somehow. Every night before bed I would start the list out with the five things that I needed to accomplish more than anything else the following day, and for some reason it helped me sleep better at night, not racing through a potential list of tasks to accomplish
As an adult, I have also done well also scheduling certain things on certain days when it comes to chores, school, teaching, etc.
However, there is also a flip side to all of this.
I gave myself permission years ago that the day the list I wrote started to overwhelm me, I would immediately crumple it up and walk away.
And that is what I want to talk to you about today.
Our lives are meant to be lived in a rhythm. We are meant to have days of business and days of rest, days of accomplishment and days of recharging. The Lord defined it many many years ago as “Honoring the sabbath day and keeping it holy!” (one of the Ten Commandments passed down to Moses in the Old Testament of the Bible).
Why? Because that is how our bodies are geared.
We are designed to rest when needed, and act when needed.
I have stopped having year long goals for a single reason.Â
They destroy me.
Emotionally. Mentally. And sometimes Physically.
I always start out strong and beautiful because I am nothing if not dedicated when I put my mind to something.
But you see, I don’t know when to quit. I used to get around July or September and just be despairing because I felt so far behind where I wanted to be in whatever purpose I had set for myself.
It was not healthy. Instead of focusing on the ground I had covered, the things I had changed, the tweaks I had made or the wonderful new paths I had started, all I could see would be my failures.
Are you like that too? If you have ever buried your New Year’s Resolution List in the bottom of a stack of papers come February, then the answer to that is yes.
If you have ever actually ripped it to shreds come June and wiped away a tear, then the answer to that question is yes.
If you have lost focus of the good ground on ANYTHING that you have gained in a single year and can only focus on the things you did NOT accomplish, then the rest of this post is for you.
A while ago I wrote an article titled: The Principle of One Thing At a Time, and it still gets a ton of traffic. Â Why? because I think we are naturally, a lot of us, overachievers. We start out with a new year like kids at Christmas with a bag full of candy. Before we know it, the candy is gone, there are a lot of days and weeks ahead of us without any candy, and we have a stomachache to boot.
For many people, it is exactly the same with those Resolutions.
What if we actually decided to make resolutions about things that are important? What about ” I will work on Kindness.” or “I will count to ten when I am angry before I rip someone’s head off if I don’t agree with them?” Instead all we tend to focus on is places we want to go, pounds we want to lose, and things we want to acquire.
Keep it simple. Take off the pressure. Lose the poison. Plan to live, and laugh, and love more than you ever have before. Pick ONE thing you want to learn about simply because you want to. Write down the accomplishments you make throughout the year, and when you start to get down on yourself, read them. I keep a thankfulness journal for that very reason. Start small, stay small when it comes to resolutions.Â
It is the only way to truly live, in a cycle of life we were meant to live. Dream, of course, and if you can, plan, but rest in the life you were given as well. Get off the busyness train, and learn to live in the here and now.
It is only here a little while, and then it is gone.
Blessings to you and yours,
But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore, do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. ” (Matthew 6:33-34)