Recently I noticed a pattern that’s occurred over the past few years- a desire that emerges in about November to make some sort of change or resolution in my life, and not wanting to wait until New Year’s Day. There’s an energy that surfaces within me just as we all board the freight train headed for the holidays and our calendars become booked with parties, shopping, and other holiday events. Maybe it’s a stubborn refusal within me to board the train at all in a quest for something more meaningful and lasting than presents and stores and spending.
This year I am striving to simplify life and eliminate extraneous commitments, choose carefully how to occupy time, and prioritize first the things I value most rather than the myriad of things waiting for my response. Reacting to life, I’ve found, can result in a booked calendar with little room for what means most to me- time with family, time in prayer or meditation, time for nourishing and energizing experiences, and time to pursue the process of making dreams a reality. And all the day-to-day detail, the business of life, has to fit somewhere, too.
I ran across a great strategy called the “Storyline Productivity Schedule” proposed by Donald Miller which I strongly recommend, should any of what I’ve said ring true for you. It’s a way to organize your day around what you most value, with built-in breaks and rewards: http://storylineblog.com/do-storyline-now/
After experimenting with it for a few days, I have already seen great benefits. I am less distracted. I’m able to do more in a short period of time than I thought I could. I feel a greater sense of meaning in how I spend my time and less discouragement at the end of the day even if some less important things are left undone. So if you have feelings of discontent or a desire to make positive changes now, consider a year-end resolution rather than a New Years Resolution. Don’t keep doing for three more weeks what you know isn’t working.