I love this time of year. A time to press the refresh button. A time to regroup and change direction if needed.
What I've learned about myself over the years is that I do best having a year-long theme. Some people have resolutions - a lot of them. Usually created out of expectation, because 'everyone' makes new year's resolutions right? Unfortunately, there is also a sad expectation that resolutions are meant to be broken. Watch for the memes, comics, and articles coming in the new year. I bet you'll find a bunch about broken resolutions.
I find the idea of a theme more successful. It allows adjustments for the unpredictability of life. Having a theme for the year makes decision making easier. If an opportunity comes up and it aligns with the theme, it can be considered, if not, it's an easy no.
Last year my theme was personal well-being.
I determined to increase my physical activity and participate in an activity that was for me - just because. I'm happy to say that I accomplished both of those things. My exercise bike saw significantly more activity than the previous year, and in September I signed up for piano lessons (it's been about 20 years since my last lesson). Now, when you think of a whole year and all the things that happen in the year, accomplishing two things may seem insignificant, however, just doing those two things made a positive impact not only on my life but my family as well.
I'm looking forward to building on those habits in the coming year.
This year, my theme is margin.
I know that building bigger margins into our family will mean saying no to most things, even good things. However, it also means that we'll be able to relax and enjoy the things we say yes to. It means that there will be white spaces on our calendar and that's okay. We'll get pushback from some people who can't understand how we can say no when we're technically 'available'. That's okay. As my daughters move through the last half of their education at home, I want time to nurture relationships and choose our experiences wisely. That's something that can't be scheduled for later. I'm excited to see what opportunities and experiences open up because of those white spaces in our family life.
If you'd like to read a great book about adding margin to your life, I highly recommend a book titled "Margin" by Richard A. Swenson, MD. If you're not religious, note that there are references to God, however, the principles in the book are worth considering.
As you reflect on the past year, I hope you see your wins.
Moving forward into the fresh start of 2019, what will you choose for your theme?