I’m a little late in my annual “More and Less” post this year, but I’m okay with it. The month of January was intense (to say the least) and I’m just getting my feet back under me. I felt good going into 2015. My list of what I wanted more and less of was complete but honestly, I might have bitten off more than I could chew. A few of these priorities have continued into my list for 2016.
I’ve hardly had time to just sit and reflect. My days have been full with family, friends, dinners, celebrations, visitors, events. My life feels full and better yet, my heart feels full. The fullest it’s felt in years. But, sitting down with myself and reflecting on last year and planning what’s to come this year has been gnawing at me. Reflection is something I’m passionate about and it requires time. Time to think. Time to empty my brain of all the daily tasks, to-dos, plans, dinners, prep, and think. Think about what I want more of, less of, enough of.
Finally, I’ve made the time. There are still some focus areas that are carrying over from 2015 as I just haven’t mastered them yet. And I may never, but they’re still very important to me and I want to keep trying and doing and making moves.
Just like last year, I’m kicking off the list with the desire to be more patient. In fact, I think it was on the 2014 list, too. I’m just not as patient as I’d like to be. Instant gratification is sometimes my worst enemy — I want all the things right now and I can’t wait even one second. This year, I’m working on thinking before I make decisions (purchases, travel, etc.) and planning a bit more. Letting ideas and desires marinate so I can determine whether I really need whatever it is I want. Beyond wanting all the things right now, I’m also working on patience in my relationships. Taking deep breaths. Looking at arguments and statements from different angles before reacting. Thinking before I speak and not jumping to conclusions without weighing options and feelings. Being kinder and not rushing. This life moves quickly enough as it is.
I know this is news, but I’m a perfectionist. I always want every event, document, presentation, party, thing to be absolutely perfect. To be planned and articulated and demonstrated without flaw. Truth is, that’s just plain unrealistic and what usually happens is I kill myself trying to get it to the level of perfection I deem presentable. Well, enough already. Not everything is going to be perfect nor does everything need to be perfect. I’m working on accepting that and “going with the flow” a bit more.
More “going with the flow”
Another newsflash: I’m a serial planner. One of my key phrases (and I say it multiple times every week) is, “If it’s not on my calendar it doesn’t exist.” Now, part of that is being organized and managing my time, but the other part is that I’m addicted to planning. Like, a-ddic-ted. I plan everything and when something doesn’t go according to plan or plans change… cue anxiety. Well, this year, I’d like to work on being flexible. Being okay with a lack of structure (sometimes) and just letting things happen.
De-clutter. This is the year of ridding myself of unnecessary things. Things I just don’t need. I’ve been reading a lot about the idea of a “capsule wardrobe” — keeping only the items I truly love in my closet and donating or gifting the rest. Keeping only the things that make me happy and bring me joy. Surrounding myself with happiness doesn’t sound half bad, now does it? I’ve already bought the trendy Marie Kondo book and I hope it transforms the way I think about “stuff” like it has almost everyone else I know who has read it.
More thoughtful about money
This is a big one for me as it’s something I’m learning more and more about each year. When I was young, my dad gave by brother three envelopes to contribute to when we got our allowance. One for ourselves (spending money), one for savings and one for tzedakah (charity). I’m thankful my dad got me thinking about budgeting, saving and donating my earnings, but it’s time I take it a step further. This year, I want to truly understand my investments, my savings options, and work on setting budget goals. (If anyone has any tips on this, I’m all ears).
Less distraction (or more focus — however you want to put it)
Lately, I’ve been finding myself to be an incredibly unfocused, multi-tasking, all-over-the-place person. I know, this goes against all of my Type A characteristics, but sometimes I’m simply trying to get too much done all at once. I’d like to focus more on one task at a time, whether it be on a conversation (no picking up my phone in the middle of a conversation!), on a task (close that browser and put my phone in airplane mode), on a goal (break it down to smaller, attainable chunks over a shorter period of time), or anything else in my life. I want to do it without constantly being distracted. I want to be focused.
Like every year, I’m ambitious. And I know I’ll be happy if I master even one of these “more and less” desires this year. Nevertheless, I’m an endless goal setter and I’m excited to see what I can accomplish in 2016.