2016 was a crazy year. I mean, it was so crazy that the Friend Dog Studio crew compiled some of the events into a frightening horror film trailer. And they didn't even include the clowns!
Funny as it might be, I see this as a sign of the times we are living in. Something is wrong. Everyone knows it. And it's getting worse.
But brooding over "doom and gloom" is not my thing. Instead, I prefer to focus on what I can do to make a difference. So here are some of my goals for the new year.
1. Rediscover stillness. This one is simple. Over the last few years I have become more task-oriented. I don't like it. At all. Instead, I want to rediscover what it means to be still and mindful. I find the task-oriented life exhausting and empty. It forces me to be in the center too much. To try and solve problems too quickly. To orbit my purpose, motivation, and direction around ultimately meaningless and temporal things. This coming year I want to let go. I want a grace-oriented life. One that accomplishes much, not with business, but with stillness. One that can sit back and celebrate being a part of what God is doing without wanting to take the wheel. A life that is reflective, contemplative, and intentionally paused. I want to stop being in control and rest in what God is doing.
2. Realign priorities. With the task-oriented life comes the prioritization of the wrong things. There is too much to do so you automatically stuff the more important things in the background so you can focus on all the urgent stuff in front of you- most of which has little to no eternal significance. A relationship with God, a vibrant family life, and personal development are among the things that get lost in the mix. This next year, I want to realign my priorities so that I am focusing on that which has eternal value the most.
3. Deepen my commitment to social justice. I talk about social justice quite a bit and am very passionate about seeing it take place. But the recent years have been so financially difficult for my family that we have not invested much in it. This next year, I want to hone in on one issue that we can make a difference in as a family and invest time and energy into it. We are not sure what that is yet, but we definitely want to talk less and do more. Some of the issues that we feel drawn to are the war in Syria and human trafficking. Candice also has a passion for helping mothers struggling with mental health and we both have a passion for health and nutrition altogether. So in the next week we will be sitting down and making a plan on how we are going to make life for someone else just a little bit better this new year.
4. Build deeper relationships. I'm an amnivert which basically means I am both introverted and extroverted at the same time. But the older I get the more introverted I feel I am becoming. I don't know if that's a symptom of being task-oriented or just my personality evolving but I want to be intentional with it. When I was younger I was super extroverted and had lots of friends, but I was very shallow with them. Now that I am becoming less extroverted I find a desire to have deeper and more intimate friendships but I have not totally acted on those desires. So in 2017 I would like to invest in deepening some of my friendships. This may mean things like less time on social media or personal hobbies and doing more community. I also want to invest more in developing my skills as a leader, father, and husband so that I have more tools to invest more effectively in the lives of the people around me.
So there you have it! Those are my goals for 2017. Through them, my hope is to make the world a slightly better place. I hope whatever you decide to do, that you too would aim to change the world with one small decision at a time.
See you guys next year!