Why I’ve waited to write out goals this year and how more is sometimes better than less.
It’s New Years and everyone adding and subtracting.
Adding new goals.
Subtracting bad habits.
I’ve always been a “goals girl.” But the more I think of it, I may better be described as a “write it down girl.” There is a thing called intention that has always been an ingredient in my late December, early January writing. Intention and expectation. Do you work with those ingredients too?
In my writing down I add more.
When it comes to what I write down, at New years, I usually add more than I subtract. Even in this age of minimalism and less is more.
Don’t get me wrong, I do a lot of subtracting in that blessed “hide-out at home in pajamas” week. It’s just more of the physical kind. It’s like nesting for the New Year. I had no plan to clean out cabinets or drawers, but I was drawn to the cupboards like a bug to light. Pitching prescriptions here and getting rid of Pyrex there. Do you feel this magnetic pull too?
While I was arranging and discarding, this year I just couldn’t seem to get myself to sit down and write out goals. It felt out of place. I needed a week to let Christmas and December pass, and all of last year too. I felt overly inundated with posts and shares and squares on the “hustle” and the “hows” of goals. And, while I felt the urge to follow and to stick with my tradition of writing it all I out, I didn’t. I couldn’t. I was waiting on a new journal. And thus my goals would have to wait too. Maybe that kept me from keeping in line with my tradition and with the crowd? I’m not sure. But what I am sure of is that it was just how I needed it to be.
The journal came on Tuesday. It’s 258 blank pages still wrapped in plastic. It’s waiting for me to add to it.
Eventually, I’ll add goals. I’ll make a list of things I’d like to work on in my family, spiritual life, my health, and career. Things I’d like to add into every bucket, every aspect, every role of my life. For example, as basic as it sounds, I want to add more kindness. I want to add kindness and watch it multiply. I list things I’d like to subtract, such as; fear and indecisiveness. I’ve had those two on my lists for at least five years. I used to be harsh about things reappearing, about not being able to solve or subtract entirely. But since I’ve added more grace, I can now celebrate that though they are still there, the sum of them is far less.
I include equations that I don’t know how to solve. I add factors in that are more like wishes, because it’s good to list those too. I’ve seen a number of them come true.
Adding in this way is like positive over a negative. Adding more omega threes and greens is better than subtracting all french fries.
I’m beginning to believe that the way we approach goals should be rather fluid. It’s not measured the same for everyone. Everyone is not the same.
Whats more for me, may be less for you.
This morning, we brought a box of donuts to school because Rocco is “Monkey of the Week.” I really wanted to eat one of those sprinkly heavenly smelling circles. I told myself I deserved it because I had to say goodbye to my sister last night, which always feels like saying goodbye to part of myself.
I sent the box to school and didn’t sneak one. I didn’t eat the donut because I added gluten back into my diet in December and I’m subtracting it again. But, after drop off, I pulled a chocolate gluten free donut out of my freezer, ok two, and enjoyed every little bite without adding any guilt. Not an ounce. This time I measured.
This shows me that the sum is far less than last year. That as I add more good, the scales tip and the equal opposite subtracts without me having to solve any problems.
More grace = less guilt
More love = less fear
More trust = less worry
I think I’ll unwrap my journal this weekend. Now that the hustle and hurry of it online and everywhere seems to be dying down. I’ll list and add and see what could subtract. I’ll pray for God to multiply, try to remember not to measure what doesn’t need measuring and give thanks that with more comes less.