This time of year has a way of making us look at our lives and think about how we want to change things. It’s easy to make lists of resolutions – does anyone ever NOT write “exercise more” on theirs? (I think I’ve just made a resolution to exercise so much this year that next year I have to make a resolution to exercise less. Wait. No. Never mind.)
Often we start our years with grand lists of to-dos, all such big things that soon we’re running out of steam and falling off every wagon imaginable. I’m not so good at grand schemes, to be honest. Just look at my past resolutions of “losing 20 pounds” and “send a handwritten letter every week.” I was pumped and then…well…life happened.
I’m horrible at responding to text messages and emails. I know. I’m one of those people, and I’m so sorry. I often read them and make a mental note to respond “when I have more time”, but my brain is a sieve, and my mental notes are useless. Thankfully, people give me a lot of grace because I have two small children – how many more years can I use them as an excuse? 2? 5? 18?
So, what I’ve been finding useful is trying to do things the minute I think of them. It’s hit and miss, so if you’re waiting for me to email you back about something, you might want to send me a reminder email, and I’ll try out this new thing, where I take action in the moment.
I’m hesitant to make grand resolutions at this point in my life, but there are a few little things I can do RIGHT NOW. Today. And I thought maybe you’d like to join me.
1. Pick up your phone. (Do it now. I’ll wait.) Now, send an encouraging text to your husband, your dad, your best friend.
I just did mine (check your phone, Simon). Did you?
2. Say a prayer. Don’t worry about me, I’m not going anywhere.
Ask God to meet you in this moment. To give you strength for this day.
3. While you’re at it, ask Him to meet someone else, too. I’m going to pray for my friend Sarah, whose baby won’t sleep. Who are you praying for?
4. Buy someone a coffee. Or a flower. Got a spare $2? Don’t lie to me. I know you do. When you’re in the line at Starbucks (or the Italian shop, if you’re me), go ahead and pay for the person behind you. Or pick it up and drop it by a friend’s house on your way home.
5. Grab a pen and a piece of paper, and write a thank you note. It doesn’t have to be a novel. Just a simple note of gratitude for someone who’s done something that’s made a difference to you. Me? I’m going to write a note to Adlai’s pre-school teacher, because I’ve been thinking about how priceless it is to me that I can drop him off somewhere for five hours every week where I know he’s happy and safe and she’s engaged with him.
Need a bit of inspiration? Watch this:
Ahh. I just did all of those things (except for the coffee, but I’ll do it when I pick Adlai up from pre-school, right after I drop off my thank-you note), and it took me less than 10 minutes.
They’re not grand gestures, but I think they’re significant, anyway.
Let me know what you do today in the comments: who you’re praying for, who you bought a coffee for, who you’re writing your note to.
Let’s get busy!