Saturday, December 31, 2011

Reminders

I've been thinking a lot about resolutions.  I'm the person who forces my family to sit down and make "goals" for the upcoming year...aka resolutions.  We all list out a few things, we would like to accomplish in the upcoming year.    Looking at our lists from the year before to see all the things we didn't accomplish is somewhat of a let down.  I'm a total perfectionist and it always bothers me when I didn't tick off each "goal". 

Now, I'm not totally against this New Year's tradition.  In fact, I think it's an awesome thing to look forward with anticipation of great things in the upcoming months.  It generates this excitement, but sadly that lasts until......maybe the end of January, if you're lucky or really pumped up. 

Well, I've been thinking.

Life is like a hike.  It's a journey with a destination.  We live near the Great Smoky Mountains and really enjoy hiking there.  When you come to the trailhead, most have these brown signs that tell you the name of the trail and how long it is, as well as any connecting trails.  You basically stay on the path until you see another sign.  Then, you decide which direction you want to travel next.  It's still handy to have a map because even with signs you can sometimes get off track.  Most of the time though, the signs serve as a reminder you are still on the path.  A reassurance you are headed in the direction you want to go.

What if we gave ourselves reminders instead of making resolutions.  Reassurances to keep us heading in the right direction.

I decided to brainstorm some words that would serve as reminders to myself in this upcoming year.  Habits I want to encourage, instead of resolutions that discourage.

Pray
Sing
Bold
Connect
Slow Down
Engage
Invite
Touch
Laugh
Praise
Create
Play

Narrow the list down to the ones that are really important.

Type out a little sign with the word and key phrase or Scripture.  Signalling whatever that word means to you.  I did leave my descriptions somewhat vague, because I don't want to fall into the trap of marking things off my list again. 

Post those in places around the house, where you can't miss them.  For example, Connect will go on the bottom of my computer screen, because I'm the least connected with people when I'm surfing. 

Here are my signs:
Connect:

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Touch:  I really want to make it a point this year to be more hands-on with my family.  We are a pretty huggy family already, but sometimes I think the older ones don't really get their fair share of meaningful touch.
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Slow Down:  I put this sign going up the stairs.  Bedtime rituals get pretty overwelming for me, so I really need to be reminded during this time to slow down. 
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Pray:  Last year, I struggled finding my niche with my personal devotions. So I placed this sign on my alarm clock as a reminder to pray and read my Bible before my feet touch the floor.

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Sing:  I love to sing, but the craziness of life sometimes crowds out my desire to do this.  But it's also a release valve for me and I feel so much better when I do it.
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Laugh:  I'm quite a serious person at times...too serious sometimes.  I want to be reminded to stop and laugh at myself and all the corny little jokes my kids tell me. 

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Create: This can mean lots of things- crafting, baking, music making- whatever I feel like doing.  It may not happen on a daily basis, but I want to remember it's importance. 

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Deuteronomy 11:19-20 talks about the commandments of God and instructs the Jewish people to:
"Teach them to your children, talking about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.  Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates...." 

Instead of resolutions, I think I'll go with reminders-reminders of what's really important!

3 comments:

  1. Great post! I love these ideas and will probably steal a few! Happy New Year!

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  2. Oh what a wonderful idea! I just love the simplicity of using a single word that reminds you and the whole family of a wonderful attitude.
    A simple word helps with children too - I wrote about using a single word when training children in a post Just One Thing. I think I'd love to use your idea here in my homeschool room, to start.

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