So…as I’ve reflected on 2019, I can see that I fell short of my goals for the year. I had all these dreams of participating in a reading challenge, connecting with friends, cooking new things, etc. All the boxes didn’t get checked. The recipes didn’t get followed. The calendar was not booked with coffee dates. How about you? Do you feel like you fell short on your goals or resolutions for 2019? I wrote a blog post about this if you’d like to check it out.
Well, friend, there shall be no fretting! No frowns. No guilt. No getting down on yourself. For me, I am choosing to celebrate the wins! The things that DID take place. The people I DID have coffee with. The new recipes I DID try. I am choosing to not be a slave to a list with boxes to check off or the pressure to meet all the goals and do all the things.
Honey, you didn’t fail. It’s progress, not perfection. How do we celebrate progress? I’m looking back on the last couple years’ goals. For example, my reading goals. You’ve heard it said, “More Reading, Less Scrolling.” This has really resonated with me, and yes, I still struggle with this time-wasting folly. In 2018, I learned of the #ReadingWomen reading challenge and thought, “Whoa, this is huge, this is a big commitment,” and I told myself, “Yeah, you ain’t doin’ that.” So, when I saw the challenge for 2019, I dove it. I committed. I had plans to show you my coffee-stained list, but I can’t seem to find it. #heehee You probably wouldn’t be able to figure out my crazy organization, but I’ll have you know, I did not complete the goal. I missed reading 5 or 6 books. You know what? I still read some books! I am grateful for the progress! I am grateful for the books I DID read (even the ones that were way out of my comfort zone and not in the usual genre I read). I am grateful for the fact that I read 41 books in 2019, including the books for this challenge. Can you join me in shouting WooHoo! And these were the books that I actually kept track of with a cool little app called Goodreads. Check it out, because it is magic.
And the cooking goal? Or maybe we should just call this a cooking dream? Ha! I had the crazy idea of trying one new recipe every week (or was it every 2 weeks?). I DID try a few recipes and was totally telling myself, “Hey, I got this. This is fun!” I even took photos to hopefully share with you here on the blog. That idea got up and left and never came back. Am I bummed I didn’t stick with it? Yeah, a little. Did I enjoy the process and the delicious result of maybe the 3 recipes I tried? Heck ya!! I am celebrating the progress. The recipes that I DID try. So, maybe this year, I’ll try another 3 recipes.
There were other goals I made, and honestly, totally forgot about until I read my blog post. #whoopsie Life interrupts us sometimes, doesn’t it? Good things and some not-so-good things. That’s how life is. We are not created to live life according to a goal sheet with green boxes to check off. We are not created to be imprisoned by a resolution we wrote down or even wrote about in a blog that everyone can now see (because we think, “Man, it’s now in writing. This is real. I gotta do this.”) The goals I made for 2019 are not going to be my main focus as I reflect on the year, the memories, the things that did get accomplished, etc. I am looking back at the whole of life in 2019. The adventures. The love. The laughs. The tears. The hard. It all rounds out to a wonderful life lived. LIVED. A life lived without pencil and paper in hand, waiting to check off the next thing. A life lived in choosing the next best thing, the people, and whatever it was that God laid before me that particular day or moment.
So friends, I’d like to encourage you. It’s January. Everyone’s making their new year resolutions, or probably already had it done by the end of December. If you’re like me, you’re probably still thinking about your goals for 2020. I think this is great that you’re even thinking about it! Keep at it! I just want to remind you, as the months pass by, as the pages of your calendar get turned, don’t get freaked out about the boxes that didn’t get checked. The books that didn’t get read. The workouts that didn’t get completed or even tried (anyone?). The yummy recipes that didn’t get tried.
Let’s make this a goal. We don’t even have to write it down on our planner or calendar. There’s no pen and paper even needed for this one. Let’s choose to get joyfully freaked out about what we ARE accomplishing, what we ARE experiencing, or the people we ARE encountering. In the moment. Yes, there is great satisfaction in checking something off the list. Confession: I have found myself adding something I did to my list, just so I can check it off. Am I alone here? Let’s not let ourselves become so infatuated with that to-do or goal list, that we miss out on LIFE.
Friends, I pray you lift your eyes from that list and look around once in a while. The post-its, the notepad, the lists, or the goals? These are important and they help our lives immensely, but remember to celebrate the wins that aren’t on your to-do list or in your goal planner. Sometimes we get in the “Ok, I checked that off, no what?” mentality, we miss out on something special in the things marked “done.”
Live the precious life God gave you, my friend. Put that pencil and notepad down and enjoy! Be proud of the things that DID get done, the projects that DID get completed, the coffee dates that you DID to take part in, and the books that you DID read, no matter the number, even if it isn’t even close to the goal you set for yourself.
Get out there and enjoy life, do one or all of the things, beyond the pen and paper, beyond the little green checkbox emojis on your phone. Celebrate the small accomplishments. Celebrate the rare wins. Celebrate the growth you experience even in the hard things.
Honey, you did not fail. Keep being you. Keep celebrating.
Hugging you so tight,