I’ve been setting some goals for the year over the last few days: arranging them in categories that work for me, like ‘spiritual’ and ‘physical’ and ‘books I’d like to read’. I’m a goal-driven kind of person: I love dreaming big dreams just as much as I enjoy planning the steps I need to take to see them come alive.
But I’ve noticed, as I’ve let my 2017 goals marinate a while, that I’ve internalised language that I hear echoed in my world countless times a day. It rolls off the tongue to say ‘read more’, or ‘eat less sugar’, doesn’t it? Pay attention to the messages you receive from TV ads or billboards or radio chatter, to what you see as you scroll down your Facebook feed or read your favourite blogs: I guarantee you their message will be a path of MORE or LESS in 2017.
And at face value, that’s ok. Being more active is good. Worrying less in 2017 sounds great. Being more assertive or kind or organised? Fab.
But the thing that I need to be careful about is what I allow to seep into my soul. When I talk about doing or having or being more or less something, I easily fall into discontent – with what I already have, or with who I already am. (And ‘more’, less’ or abstract superlatives don’t help me quantify my progress!)
Today, I need to remember two things: one, that what I have is a gift. All of life is grace. I have been tremendously blessed: and even on days that feel dark, there are things to be thankful for. And I need to remember that today, I am – exactly as I am – enough. Without any new goals set. With my light and my shadows. I am worthy of love. I am enough. No amount of self-improvement or goal-reaching will change that.
So as I set my goals for the year, I’m avoiding ‘more’ or ‘less’. I’m using language that helps me measure and progress, yes (so ‘walk 3x a week’ rather than ‘be more active’) but I know that the language I use can set the tone for how I live. I’m setting goals that reflect the truth that my life is plentiful, and that I am enough. You are, too!