Do you make New Year’s resolutions? I don’t.
It’s not that I don’t see value in setting goals. It’s not that I don’t see the value of reflecting and re-evaluating where I’ve been or where I’m going.
It’s because I see nothing special about January 1st in that way. To me, living every day intentionally is the very essence of a full and fulfilling life.
This morning I passed by the refrigerator magnet with the pictures of my two grandchildren, ages 2 and 1 month. They always bring me a smile, but today I put on my calendar a videoconference with them (and their Mom) so this week wouldn’t go by without the joy of hearing their voices.
Last week, I took a look at my work “to-do” list, which has always been hopelessly long. I asked myself which projects would be of greatest service to you, and of those, which would give me real joy to work on. Looked at with strong intention, that list shortened and sweetened itself fast.
Since nearly losing my father in an automobile accident when I was 15, I’ve been deeply aware of life’s fragility, and the value of time. I don’t want to be spending my days on things that aren’t meaningful to me. There are no throwaway moments.
That doesn’t mean we have to be laser-focused on goals every moment – in fact, it’s just the opposite. For me, it means I choose very deliberately what occupies my time, and therefore creates the color of my days. It lets me look forward to each day: both the planned portions rich with people and activities I value, and the unplanned portions with their little surprises. It lets me look back each evening with satisfaction, knowing that I spent my most valuable resource – my moments – in ways that aligned with my values and brought me joy.
It’s not a perfect system. Sometimes life interferes (like having to take time last week to get my car battery replaced!) Sometimes I miss opportunities, especially when I feel rushed and forget to set my intentions.
But the more I stick with it, the happier I am. Not just in January – all year long.
As a cancer survivor you know this. If you’re reading this, you got a new chance at life. You get one every day that you wake up.
Are you creating joyful, purposeful days? I hope so, because that’s the best way I know of to keep fear from running your life. If you’ve got this down, leave a comment below and tell me what’s working for you!
If your days aren’t consistently joyful and purposeful, I’d love to hear from you, too. What are you struggling with? What needs to change for you to thrive?
Moments add up to hours, which add up to days…and that’s what life is made of.
Seeing you inspired, intentional and joyful…not just in January, but all year long!