Many people still participate in the yearly ritual of making New Year’s resolutions only to have them quickly fall off come spring. Others refuse to even participate in what some call pointless. I’ve always had an aversion to setting goals. I recall one painful evening as a teenager when my mother made me sit down at the table and attempt to write down my short-term and long-term goals. I say attempt because I refused.
This winter I attended a women’s ministry event that changed my perspective.At this event we did an exercise that involved giving ourselves a gift that we would take into the new year. We each were given a little craft project that we would take home and use as a reminder of that gift. My gift to me this year is BALANCE.
I wear many hats daily and at times I get frazzled. I’m sure that I’m not alone in feeling overwhelmed and off kilter at times. With grad school among everything else, I’ve got added deadlines. I’m juggling my responsibilities; tracking my daughter’s responsibilities and helping others meet theirs. I’ve had to identify what I must do and what I can let go. I need to focus on what’s on my very full plate and do better at leaving other folks’ stuff on theirs.
I’m more relaxed than I’ve been in a long time. I realize that if I’m working under emotional stress and doing things out of obligation instead of joy, I’m not giving my best effort. I’ve had to identify what the actual goal of each task is… Why do I do what I do?
I’m going to school to learn. I actually want to retain what I’m learning despite the rush that may come with the school assignment schedule. The syllabus is posted a week before my classes start. So I made it a goal to start my reading assignments a week early. Meeting this goal has allowed me to relax and enjoy my time in school.
I want to be the best parent I can be to my daughter. That includes taking the time to listen to her and provide parental guidance. I can’t do that if we’re constantly rushing from activity to activity. So I’ve set a goal of having “us” time where we just sit and talk or do fun things together.
I want to be supportive of my friends and family. I also want to be of service. I try my best to be reliable and available. However, I have to make and take the time to replenish and refresh myself in order to be all that I can be for my loved ones. That is why I now put ME on the schedule. I no longer view it as a guilty pleasure to spend some quality time on me. It is a necessity.
I’m sure there are other ways I’ve sought balance that I could add to this list, but I’ll stop right here and just take in the fact that I feel so much more relaxed, joyous and peaceful. I focus on what I’m supposed to do, outside of that – do what I can, let go of what I can’t, and pray about all of it along the way. I’m grateful for the gift of balance and will continue to re-gift it to myself daily.
What gift have you or will you give yourself this year? ❤