A Manifesto, in lieu of Goals
Monday, January 26, 2015
I've never been able to choose just one word for the year and really keep it top of mind and applicable. And sometimes goals feel daunting to me. But when I came across this Manifesto idea from Rachel Gadiel, it really resonated with me. Because honestly, these are themes that I can work toward for the rest of my life, not just this year. And this list flowed out of me so easily. So although I'm calling it my 2015 Manifesto, I really plan to apply it as an on-going list of life themes. Themes that tend to pop up year-after-year anyway.
I share this kind of stuff here on the blog because this is where I journal my life. And because I know in the future I will love looking back at this list and want to know if any progress was made. Not because I need perfection, but because I want to inch toward heaven in an intentional way.
1. His mercies are new each morning. I can't tell you how helpful this one is to me on a daily basis. I often go to bed at night toiling and consternating about whatever feels urgent at the time, only to wake up feeling so.much.lighter. Daybreak means the promise of a do-over.
2. I can do hard things. This has become a bit of a mantra in recent years as I've realized how unproductive my flight responder tendencies can be. My goal is to be brave and lean into the hard things knowing that ultimately, I want those dead or weak parts of my character to be pruned away anyway.
3. Less is usually better. This is self-explanatory. I do not need more clothes, or food, or stuff in my house. Simplify. Learn to be content with less. It's so freeing. Lately I've been posing this question to myself... "If I ever had to move, would I be willing to haul this item with me?"
4. It's okay to be small. I've mentioned before that in terms of my online presence, I don't want to scream in order to be heard. My influence, however big or small, is my unique circle of influence. I don't need to strive in my own strength to create an audience or pull all the good things toward me. And I don't need to constantly be pursuing something BIG and EXCITING. The big/fun things in life are actually made up of a bunch of small little moments woven together. I want to enjoy the small. I want to be content with an audience of one.
5. Be Sacrificial with my Time. This past year has been the first in a long long time in which I got several hours per week totally to myself. And I feel like I've treated it like a HOT commodity. And that's not necessarily a bad thing. But I've held it a little more tightly than I'd like. I've kept my little grabby hands around it and not been willing to sacrifice much of it, even if I was offered an alternative that would have been a much wiser use of those hours. I'd like to let that go a bit and be willing to sacrifice something that's important to me, especially if it means God is calling me to something else.
6. Live the Gospel. The gospel is being inclusive instead of exclusive. It's knowing that I'm not worthy of being adopted by a Holy God, but that he wants me anyway. The gospel means rejecting what the world says is worthy to chase, and chasing after what is eternal. It's not about religion, and legalism, and behavior modification, and earning God's approval by our humble sacrifices. It's about HIS sacrifice. It's about knowing that we have nothing to offer Him that would make him love us more than he already does. May I be in constant awe of his transcendent work on the cross.
7. Be Mindful of the Legacy I am Leaving. I can rack up the accolades, or treasures, or reputation, or bank accounts -- but what do I really want my children and grandchildren to remember me for? I want to make sure that I'm growing and learning and living with intention. From an ETERNAL PERSPECTIVE. I want to collect moments, not things. I want to pass on the word of God. I want to invest in relationships that will impact the generations after me. I want to love people well.
8. Eat well to Live well. I looooove food. I could probably eat at Wendy's everyday. I wish I was joking. But I'm learning that what I put in my body affects every other aspect of my life - my mood, my energy level, my attitude, and even my ability to relate well to those around me. I want to honor my body and make sure that what I'm eating is for life and sustenance. It's so easy to say but so much harder to put into long term practice.
9. Visit new places. Maybe it's because I'm in my mid-thirties now and the years are going faster. Maybe it's because the kids are older and easier to transport around. Or maybe it's just because the older I get, the more beautiful the world becomes to me. But I want to see new things. I want to visit places I've never been. I want to meet different kinds of people. And I feel a bit of an urgency to make this happen.
10. Read & Write & Create. I am a creative soul. I find so much pleasure in reading something that challenges me. In writing something meaningful. And in creating something beautiful. I plan to do all three of these things as my little offering to the world.
Background image above by Miyuki Mardon via Society6.