"Hold to these principles: seek simplicity, grasp the essential, overcome selfishness and wasteful desires."
Usually I set resolutions or goals for myself at the beginning of a new year, but this year I wanted to do something a little different. Resolutions can get so repetitive - eat better, workout more, you know... the usuals. And setting goals for yourself can get a bit overwhelming. It's almost intimidating starting a year with a big list of goals and can make you feel like a failure when you look back at the end of year and see that there were some you didn't complete.
So for 2017 I decided to pick one word to focus on throughout the year. I thought long and hard about this word, evaluating many areas of my life that need improvement and what word could bring those areas to a common ground. I made a list of ways I wanted to change and what things in my life I wanted to change. After staring and praying over the list for a few weeks, the word finally came to me:
I realized that that there were so many distractions in my life keeping me from being the person I want to be and doing the things I want to do. I spent too much time cleaning, organizing, thinking about materialistic things, worrying about my infertility, working non stop on this blog, in front of a screen, saying yes when I wanted to say no, making excuses and just being plain exhausted. Life seemed to be all about going, keeping up, and checking things off a to-do list.
I decided that I wanted to simplify my life and remove all the clutter - the clutter that keeps me from spending time with God on a daily basis, making healthy meals, reading, exercising, taking care of myself, writing, and spending time with Chris.
"Maybe it is God calling a big cosmic time out on me; giving me a chance on a new way of living. This is what I know. I have always been a more is more person and something shifted in me this summer. Something inside me said, "No more!" No more pushing and rushing. No more cold pizza at midnight. No more flights. No more books. No more house-guests. No more of all of these things. Even things I love. Things I long for. Things that make me happy. No more. Only less. Less of everything." - Shauna Niequist, from her book Present Over Perfect
Simplicity brings balance, freedom, and joy. By living simply and experiencing these benefits, we begin to ask the next question, "Where else in my life can I remove distraction and simply focus on the essentials?" Here is a brief outline of how I plan to simplify my life more in 2017:
- less TV, more reading
- less clutter, more space
- less junk, more real food
- less shopping, more outdoors
- less rush, more slowness
- less noise, more solitude
- less worry, more smiles
- less work, more play
- less consuming, more creating
- less time online, more time with God
- less focus on the future, more on the present
Did you make any resolutions? If you were picking a word for 2017, what would yours be? I would love to hear! As always, thanks so much for reading.