You know the drill by now, it’s non-goal time. In a month where we’re encouraged to pick apart bits of ourselves – more of this, less of that – sometimes it’s just refreshing to take a step back and see the landscape for what it is. To swim in the grace we’ve been given; leap in the forgiveness we’re granted. To just keep walking, one foot then another, without searching for a new route that might offer a quicker arrival to a destination we were never intended to seek.
And so, I do this every year on Jan 1st: a brief list of non-goals. Non-resolutions, non-changes, non-improvements. It’s a short list of things I’m learning to embrace about myself; things that make me uniquely… well, me. I find it to be a really refreshing practice, so if you’re in the mood, shall we pour a cup of coffee together and spill it? Here’s my list:
- You’re learning to celebrate your introverted nature and understand your need for rest. You’ve been curling up with books during Bee’s nap and letting the dishes, the laundry, the emails wait just a few hours longer. Sometimes you’ll fall asleep with the afternoon sun on your face and a memoir in your hand, and on these days, your patience can move mountains.
- You’re finally prioritizing and letting those values just be, without consulting third, fourth and fifth opinions that might perhaps encourage you to shift them elsewhere. Your marriage, your family, your sleep, your writing, your health. These are high on your list, and although they come with a price, the rewards have been plenty.
- You’ve been subtracting much from your life: less stuff, less self-imposed pressures, less noise. You’re a better person with less. You’re gentler.
- You were born with a thin skin, and for a bit, you tried to thicken it to become like the others. The strong ones, you’d think. The bold ones, you’d say. But your thin skin offers – on most days – an empathy you couldn’t feel beneath layers and layers of thickness. And for this, let it be thin.
Care to peruse a few old non-goal lists? I dug up 2011, 2012 and 2013 (which, unsurprisingly, I simplified quite a bit!). Happy 2015, friends – would love to hear a few non-goals you’ve acquired over your lifetime! Feel free to share in the comments, as always.