I am terrible at making New Year’s resolutions and even more terrible at keeping them. So here we are at the beginning of February, and I wanted to share my one resolution and what I’m doing to keep it. It is one that so many of us moms make and strive for daily. Heck! Scratch that! I don’t know what I’m talking about….you don’t need to be a mom to fit into this resolution. You just need to be human. Check! My one and only resolution is to be more mindful and present….for my God…for my family….for my friends….for my work…for myself.
Presence is the best present you can give to the world.
It costs nothing. It can be infinite. It can be fleeting. It is sublimely special. It can be amazingly productive and wonderfully still all in the same moment. God is ever present. How does HE do that?! Well, I guess that’s why he makes the big bucks….or prayers…hahaha!…however you pay the Big Guy! 🙂
To be present is a resolution I strive for daily….not just mentally each new year. It does not come easily for me…why is that? I find myself feeling like there is just always that one extra load of laundry to fold….that one extra errand to run….that one more bill to pay…..and don’t get me started on answering emails and texts. I can get lost in that world and never resurface because they just keep coming. And while some of it is necessary to maintain the order of family, house, and home….is it all necessary?
No. It’s not.
So, how do you break the cycle? It is easy….really. But also not all that easy at the same time. What do I mean by that? Well, let me explain with an experience.
A couple of weeks ago we were sitting in church, and I realized I had forgotten to write our tithing check. It was a time in the service where there was a lot of stand up/sit down/active involvement right before the sermon which was right before the offering time in the service. And we happened to be sitting a few rows back from the front! Yikes!! That offering plate would be passed down our row pronto pronto stat!! I needed to write that check so I didn’t hold up the entire church. Panic! A few minutes of missing the sermon wouldn’t hurt, right? Well….sort of! Why go to church if you don’t plan to listen and participate? Deep breath. Stop. Listen. I decided right then that I didn’t have to write the check at the moment. I could scribble it quickly during the announcements…..or write it later and drop it at the front of the church at the end of service. There are no set rules that it has to go in the offering plate to be an offering. I decided to be present and mindful. That was it. AND I recognized the change in action so it became purposeful. Y’all! It felt so good! It felt so ….present….haha! It was a small thing, but the sermon was so good!!! And I was so happy to have taken that time to give to God and learn more for myself!
And when you take that simple action and apply it to your family and friends…..wow! It is really impactful. It becomes kind of a huge! We are not guaranteed more days, minutes, or seconds in our life, but there will always be more errands, texts, laundry….that to-do list recreates itself daily! Damnit! Hahaha! (sorry for the curse word…it just seemed to fit here!) I know that is really, really hard for some people….myself included! I just want to keep ticking off my to do list, and I thrive on getting stuff done! I promise you that! It can become downright obsessive! But you never hear anyone down the road wishing that they had done more stuff….only that they wished for more time with their friends that have grown up and moved away, their family that has passed on, and their children that have moved out.
So….okay….all of this is great in theory, but how do I do it? Well, think about yourself and what might work best for you. Here are three simple[ish] things I try to practice to help.
- Put it on a list
- Stick to a schedule
- Give yourself grace
Put it on a list
If you thrive off of a list….put it on your list and check it off! It is amazing how this works! And add things like “family night” or “game time” to allow yourself to put the work and laundry down so you will be present for the fun things! Daily mindfulness is a big part of wellness for yourself and your faith, and it keeps you balanced and recharged! It is always on my list! There are several apps that offer “pings” or simple music that you listen to for a short period of time. It starts off in short segments and then builds you up to 5 minutes…20 minutes. It is so refreshing and recharging…..and you simply check out. That is the purpose. My favorite is The Mindfulness App! Click on the photo to read more!
I also love Jesus Calling. I keep it by my bed, and it is a quick spiritual touchstone that helps me overcome the obstacles of the day! Did you know you could also get it in the app form? Click here for the Apple version. Click here for the Android version.
My husband and I also love, love, love the Wunderlist app! It allows us to have joint grocery lists, project lists, birthday lists, gift lists. You can edit, add to it, check things off! It has streamlined that part of our lives!
keep to a schedule
I also try to schedule out my day….compartmentalize it. That way when it is time to work….I work. When it is time to be with my family….I am with my family. It has helped me not blur those moments and be more present. Again, apps are also great! My husband and I have learned to sync our Google calendars. Chan and I have a joint work calendar. All of these things allow for organization and time management. Sometimes just a good ole planner and a pen in your handbag does the trick!
give yourself grace
You will not do well with this every day. You will fail more in the beginning than succeed. It takes time and conscious practice. Give yourself grace to begin again. Just like when I was sitting in church. ….Deep breath. Stop. Listen….begin, again.
It just takes that crossroad of a moment where you could do one more thing….or choose to make one more memory!
In this year, I resolve to be more present with purpose….and to give that present to my God, my family, my friends….and myself. Simple….but a constant re-commitment.
How do you stay present? Find time? Give yourself grace? Leave a comment below and share your tips! We love a community that learns together!