Steady On

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A new year, a new page on the calendar, a new number at the end of the date. 2016. Fresh, young, ripe with promise. A clean slate, or, as Anne-with-an-E might say, a year with no mistakes in it yet.

We make our goals, our lists, our resolutions. We reflect on the ways we’ve grown, the things we’ve learned in the past year. My Facebook feed and blog reader are full of commitment and exhortation. Exercise more! Eat less! Pray more! Waste less! Be present! Choose your one word for the next twelve months! Make 2016 the best year ever!

All of this is good. More than good. The ability to reflect, the desire to change, the impetus to improve – these are a large part of what make us human. We know we fall short of perfection. We know there are areas of our lives in desperate need of restoration, of redemption. We know we can and should do better, and January 1 is as good a time as any to institute change.

All of this is good, but this year, though I’ve thought about goals I might implement, dreamed of things I might do to change this life of mine, I’m realizing that perhaps, instead of change, I’m being called to more of the same.

There are goals I could set for myself in a number of areas. Writing, spiritual growth, physical fitness. I could focus my time and attention on organizing my home or my budget or my meal plan, on writing a novel, on getting published. I could commit to a certain amount of time in prayer or bible study. I could set a running mileage goal for the year.

All of these are worthwhile. Valuable. Laudable. I will likely find myself pursuing one or more of them throughout the course of the next twelve months, may even set concrete goals for different areas of life.

But in the past few weeks, as I’ve thought about this life of mine and the changes I might implement, the resolutions I might make, the more I’ve felt a gentle nudge to let go of all of that, to continue on with more of the same. To settle more deeply into my current roles of believer, of wife, of mother, of friend. To seek contentment and joy in these small moments, in the daily grind. To be here, now.

And so I’m not making resolutions this year. At least not at this moment. Instead, I will keep on doing what I’ve been doing. keep pursuing more of the same.

Steady on.

How about you? Are you making New Year’s Resolutions for 2016?

4 response to "Steady On"

  1. By: jywatkins Posted: January 5, 2016

    I’m not making New Year’s Resolutions per se, but kind of in the same vein as you, I’m going to continue working on the things that I’ve already been focusing on. For the past couple months I’ve been making smaller goals, focusing on just the most important things each week, and so my goal is to keep steady on that: figuring out the small goals for that week and take those incremental steps forward. So I guess it’s kind of a mixture between keeping steady with what I’ve been doing and also making goals for taking steps forward. Or maybe I’m just rambling!

    • By: Jenn Posted: January 5, 2016

      Oh, I like that idea, Jamie – breaking it down into smaller chunks. That seems more manageable, and also nicely adjustable for whatever I have going on in the next week. If you don’t mind sharing, I’d love to know what some of your weekly goals are!

      • By: jywatkins Posted: January 6, 2016

        Often they are pretty simple, like catch up on laundry or remember to go to the post office. This past weekend my goal was to get the yard ready for winter, since we’d been putting that off and putting that off (luckily winter has been holding off here too!) That just meant putting away our outdoor furniture, sweeping the patio, and raking. Often my goal is to write more: two blog posts or 1,000 words a day or something like that. Right now my weekly goals are to write each morning before work and get everything squared away to start grad school in a couple weeks!

        • By: Jenn Posted: January 7, 2016

          Those are great – thanks for sharing. And grad school! Wow. That’s a big undertaking. Way to go.

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