These two articles talk about choosing a word or a theme for the year instead of making a list of resolutions that rarely make it through the end of February. I like the idea because it's easier to remember than a bunch of I shall's and I shall not's. The goal is to apply the word or theme whenever you can. Failure with that is far more forgiving than failing to lose X amount of weight or quitting smoking or getting out of debt.
This approach seems to work well for at least one of my friends, too. Last year Carrie decided she would be more vivacious (whether she felt like it or not) and it was a smashing success! This year she's cutting sugar out of her diet. Go encourage her!
Over the past few days I've been mulling over a few words and came up with two: simplicity and sincerity. I didn't mean for them both to start with 's' and now I want a third s-word to round it out but none have come to mind (other than silly ones.)
In general, I don't like complicated things. I prefer to look at simple colors, clean-cut designs and lots of clear, open space. I find that relationships with a lot of gossip or drama are tiring. I think dusting tiny trinkets that do nothing except sit there is a waste of time. I like simple, straightforward meals. I don't like rooms full of stuff I rarely use (unless it's a piano.) I like neat, labeled and organized. Use only what you need. Don't need more than you can use. Function is beautiful. Simple.
I'm a selfish person and I want to become less self-absorbed and more selfless. Too often I feel entitled to my time to do what I want and I place a higher importance on my own values/priorities than those of someone else (such as my husband's, for example.) When I am engaged in a conversation with another person, even someone I love very much, I'm usually thinking of me instead of them. Since we're all pretty good at seeing through phony smiles and forced conversation pretending to be sincere isn't enough. I can't just pretend I care more, I want to care more. I want to be truly sincere in all my words and actions to everyone I interact with, especially with those I love.
A third "S" would be nice but I think I've got plenty to consider with just these two.
As I typed this a possible theme for this year came to mind: in everything give thanks. This thought is taken from 1 Thessalonians 5:18 where it goes on to say that to give thanks in everything is God's will for you (me. him. her. whoever, as long as they're in Christ.) I suspect that the upcoming year will be very mentally, emotionally and physically taxing on me, starting in about 3 weeks! I also suspect that I will tend to drift towards ungratefulness, resentment, anger and bitterness if I don't fight to keep a thankful perspective.
I had to chuckle as I read the rest of that verse, "for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus." How many times have I prayed and complained and whined that I didn't know God's will for my life and if he would just TELL me already I could get on with it. Yet here it is right in front of me: give thanks. It's spelled out so clearly; there is no mistaking the message. "In everything give thanks for this is God's will for you."
What? Give thanks? But I have no idea what I'm supposed to do tomorrow or about this life issue or about this major decision!
So what? How is that keeping you from being thankful?
Uh. It's not. Except, um, I'm all stressed out! How am I supposed to be thankful for all this crap in my life?!?!
Crap? Really? Look beyond yourself. Expand that pessimistic perspective of yours. Use my eyes.
.......ooooh, OK. Got it. Heh.
Does anyone know an S word for thankfulness?