I’ve never quite been one for resolutions, but I do have a few goals in mind for 2018, all with an underlying theme: simplifying.
I began a devotional at the end of December on my YouVersion bible app called “Simplify” that takes a Christian approach to making every aspect of life easier. When it comes to making life more difficult than it has to be, few surpass my ability to over-complicate, and I’ve had my fill of it. I’m always busy, always tired, usually stressed, and, while I love my life, there is certainly room for improvement. What there isn’t room for, is more. My focus this year? Less.
- Less of me, more of Him.
It’s been proven to me numerous times in the past that shifting my focus off me and onto God stimulates change in the best way. I’m a better version of myself and everything else just seems to fall into place; the things that matter are brought to the forefront and everything else falls to the wayside.
- Less social media, more relationships.
My social media addiction has gotten entirely out of hand. I didn’t realize just how much time I spend scrolling mindlessly through a widely negative news feed full of pictures of people I rarely see or speak to in real life until I downloaded an app to control the problem. I don’t suspect I’ll one day reminisce and wish I’d spent more of my precious, fleeting time online. Instead, I’d like to spend more, electronic-free time with my husband before we’re old, with my daughter before she’s grown and too cool for books with mama, more time with my grandparents while they’re still here. I want to cultivate and grow real relationships that don’t depend on likes or shares, you know?
- Less busy.
Currently, I have a planner, I utilize my google calendar as well as my Outlook calendar, and a dry erase calendar both at home and in my office. I regularly compare them all to make certain that I’m not missing anything. As you may guess, I struggle with saying no. That ends this year, beginning immediately with work. Just last week, I was over 20 minutes late picking up my daughter from the friend who agreed to keep her for the afternoon simply because it never occurred to me to tell my coworker, “I’m leaving in 7 minutes,” instead of, “No, ma’am” when she asked if I was busy. My issue is that I’m the only ‘me’ at work, no one else holds my position or does what I do, so I’ve had the tendency to stretch myself too thin and work unpaid overtime just to help other people. My time is more valuable than that, and I work to live, not the other way around. I will not be accepting every single shower, birthday, and wedding invitation I receive just because I think it would be rude not to attend. I will not make unnecessary trips to the store. What I will do is be less ‘busy’ and spend more time doing things that matter. This is a big one!
- Less clutter.
This one speaks for itself, but let me explain a bit so you get the full picture. I live in the home where I grew up; my parents raised two children in our three bedroom house, but Phillip and I have managed to run out of room in the house and the garage with only one child after being here for almost four years. That’s ridiculous. No one needs this much stuff! Hoarding is staying in 2017. Hello, closet space!
- Less debt.
I’m going to do a completely separate post on this one, but we’ve made up our minds that we will not live in a constant state of stress and anxiety because we’re living beyond our means. In comparison to others, our amount of debt is really not that bad and most of it has been necessary (medical bills, home repairs, washing machine, the list goes on and on), but if we buckled down, we could be living much more comfortably within our means. Eventually, I would love to be a stay at home mom, but with the amount of money going out each month, it’s just not in the cards. This will be a year of spending freezes and minimal living, and I’m freakishly excited about it.
- Less junk food.
I’ve been working towards this slowly, but I’m ready to commit to it more now that I anticipate having more time on my hands to meal plan & prep with real ingredients that I can actually pronounce. There will be more posts to come about this one as well, especially since I’ll be attempting to eat healthier on a much smaller budget!
- More books.
I love Netflix, YouTube, and all things streaming, but I’ve gotten away from my beloved books and all that they inspire. I was once a Rory Gilmore level reader, but having a baby puts a dent in activities that require your undivided attention. That also changes in 2018, beginning with Wild.
It’s going to be a full year, and it’s going to be simple.