New Year's resolutions are not something you will find in our household this year. The idea of setting a goal is steeped in tradition and should come from a positive place. However, somewhere along the line, many venture to say they become disillusioned with or too disappointed in the inability to follow through with their lofty goals, and it is easier to not make them, than make them and fail. I don't mind failure as long as I know I have given something my very best. As long as a resolution is a positive affirmation, then I say make as many of them as you can.
Every year I look back over the prior year and then envision where I want the next year to be... I positively focus on where I want to be a year from now, rather than kick myself for not having arrived yet.
For example, last year instead of focusing on my sadness of living in an environment which felt toxic for me, and my family, I envisioned what living in a healthy community environment would look and feel like. Researching and writing down all the positive directions I wished to go. Instead of whining and complaining that my cowboy "would never move from the farm," I began stating to him what changes I would like to see. I "armed" myself with positive and quit looking at that which was wrong. I researched options, and began sharing my findings in a positive manner. It took less time than I had imagined for him to begin looking at other options.
I must confess almost every item of change on "my list" has been met in this last year. My life has had many struggles in the last 6 months, but many more blessings.
This year, I am focusing on TWO things. The first is for my family to make a list of positive directions we wish to take individually and as a family. As we sit around our table tonight, we will make a list and then keep it in a place to remind us of the direction in which we are moving.
The second area of focus is on life's blessings. It is easy to overlook the small day to day blessings which occur. We can be so focused on the nest item on our list that we miss those little moments of serendipity where gifts we were not even imagining we wanted, fall into our lives. This year I decided to follow some ideas I saw on Pinterest. I want to make sure I keep track of all the small blessings while I am focused on positive change!
Each person in our family (and any guests who wish to join in) will have a place to write down their blessings of the year and place them in the pitcher. Next New Years Day we will look over ALL our blessings!
Now I don't know about you but I have some naysayers in my life... and bless their hearts I can't just shut the proverbial door in their face. We can pretend life is all goodness and light and there is no negative forces or influences but that just isn't the case! As I was thinking over what positive way we could face these challenges, I remembered a favorite poem of mine by Shel Silverstein. I read it as a child, and it has stayed with me all these years. I decided to write it out as our New Year's Day Inspiration.
In order to remind my family to stay positive and keep their faith, I will be regularly writing positive affirmations, encouragement and ideas on the chalk board I made out of an old door. It is hanging in our dining room, where it will be seen daily. Though I love ALL the beautiful chalk board art out there, I wanted this board to be simple and something I would not mind erasing regularly. This is real life in this house... and as beautiful as I want things to be on the outside, it is important to make sure we are working on the things which matter.
There will also be a little box of fabric scraps in the sewing table drawer. If anyone has a worry, they can write it on the scrap and leave it hanging at the door (on the hooks). No need to worry or carry a heavy load. As the hooks fill up we will toss them in the fire and let them be handled by a power greater than ourselves.
As you take the first steps into this new year, may your family be blessed. May you find encouragement, friendship, and love. Thank you for celebrating this last year with my family!