I’ve never been one for New Year’s resolutions. I’m not sure when I gave those up, or if I ever made them. Maybe I had so many things I wanted to change, that I lost hope before I ever began.
This year, though, something different kicked in. I was meditating and this thought about “non-striving” intentions came in. I let it go for the remainder of my morning practice, but picked it up again afterwards.
Non-Striving is a mindfulness concept that as Jon Kabat-Zinn describes in his book Full Catastrophe Living, “has no other goal that for you to be yourself…[Simply] pay attention to whatever is happening…focusing carefully on seeing and accepting things as they are, moment by moment. With patience and regular practice, movement toward your goal will take place by itself.”
As I thought about last year, I certainly had lots of intentions. I’m a goal-setter and an over-achiever and lots of things excite me. But what I discovered this past week is that I didn’t achieve more because I had more intentions.
The online dictionary lists these synonyms for striving:
Drudge, hustle, plod, slave, slog, strain, labor, struggle, sweat, toil and travail. Don’t want that!
So this year, instead of wanting more things to focus on, or more ways to be more perfect, I want less.
This is what I came up with.
Jackie’s Less is More List:
First, I’m getting rid of my iPhone as my alarm clock. Sitting on my nightstand, it’s way too tempting to start reading and responding to work emails from bed. Before I know it, my morning meditation and exercise practice are getting short-changed, and then I’m rushing. I’m off this week, so no alarm clock needed. Yeah! After that, it’s back to out my old L.L. Bean travel alarm clock.
Second, I’m limiting the number of goals to 3 this year. That’s it. I won’t expand on that. If I do, I’m sure my list will get longer.
Third, my intention is to read less books online. This past week on vacation, I took a physical novel. That’s novel for me. Now without the iPhone next to bed, I have more time to read. For fun. Bliss!
Fourth, I’m going to set aside one weekend day a month to not do work. My real desire is to set aside a whole weekend, but I know that’s not realistic. Not yet. Maybe by June, I’ll have more experience in working less, and I’ll be better at it.
Fifth, I’m going to have less guilt about the small indulgences I enjoy. Oh, that’s a more thing. OK. I can say this. “I’m going to enjoy my small indulgences, more.” That was hard.
Sixth, I’m going to buy a new kitchen broom. I don’t need to describe the one I was using, let’s just say this is about having less crumbs on the floor.
Seventh, I’m giving myself permission to have typos. I’ll still double check my blog posts, but I’ll let go of the embarrassment that someone might know I’m not perfect. So now you know, if you see a typo, you can virtually high-five me and say, “Atta girl!”
Lastly, from a mindfulness perspective, I need an intention to not beat myself up if I suddenly have a fourth goal or I don’t take my weekend day off. I’m going to be kind and reflective and smile at my inner-over-achiever and say, “Hey there, girlfriend, what’s got you all revved up again? What can you let go of?”
Anything on this list got you thinking about what you could put on your “My Less is More List?”
Much Love and Lots of Happiness in the year to come!