As I sit by the twinkling lights of the Christmas tree on this first morning of 2016, I think about the year that has passed and the year that has just arrived. Although the swiftness of time passing can freak me out something fierce (how is my boy already in 2nd grade?!!), the start of a new year generally energizes and excites me. What will 2016 have in store for my little family? Where will we go? Whom will we meet? What will we learn?
I know that, in addition to composing lists of goals and or resolutions (pick your poison on that one), many people also select a word or phrase that is meant to guide their engagement with the new year from a stance of intention and purpose. Although I have respected this practice, I have never gone this route for the start of a new year. This year, however, I think I’ll try my hand at selecting a phrase to guide my approach to 2016.
My chosen phrase for this year is “start small.” I love making lists of goals and resolutions as much as the next person, but I have a pretty significant issue with follow-through. This phrase is intended to help me counter my issues with grandiosity and its link to failure by starting with goals/resolutions/tasks/etc. that are attainable. My hope is that “starting small” will not only lead to more perseverance with those attainable items, but will also extend to more extensive goals/resolutions/tasks/etc. as I move through the year.
I have selected this phrase for a reason beyond my issues with follow-through, however. 2015 was a year that challenged my soul in so very many ways. So many tragedies, such loss, such suffering, such despair, such desperation. I watched the narratives of the tragedies that the media offer us unfold, and I wept and I gnashed my teeth and beat my breast. And then I felt a sense of overwhelm that was so significant that I did absolutely nothing. Instead of being convicted to action, I gave in to being debilitated by sorrow and hopelessness. The tragedies and the pain and the desperation of 2015 continue into 2016. This year, I am determined to face them with conviction as opposed to being overwhelmed by them. My prayer is that by “starting small,” I am able to counter the crushing sense of overwhelm that has haunted me in past years.
So this is where is stand today – Friday 1-1-16. I am hopeful and excited and overall ready to welcome what 2016 has in store.