Planners might be one of my favorite life staples. They are useful, the let me visually plan my days, and in some ways make me feel very official and adult. Yes, I could use that nice calendar app on my phone, but let’s be honest, I’m not going to. So early December, I sent a group email to those who I know love me with the subject: Dear Santas. And below was a list of about 4 things, one of which was a new planner. And just as it should be, Christmas morning I opened my very first Passion Planner (look them up if you love your planner, you’ll die). It’s leather and flexible and has all these places to map out goals and whatnot-I’m seriously in love.This week is the first week I’m using it and as I’m filling out all the to-do’s coming up I come to this box in the left margin that reads:
‘Not To-Do List’
What? Wrong. This book is for me to plan all that I’m going to do. But this is telling me not to do? I’ll be honest, as first I skipped over it, silly margin trying to de-motivate me for this great new year I have coming. But then I went back…and then I couldn’t stop writing. I filled it up and created a new one.
Now I’ve realized…I’ve never taken a moment in all of my planner days (or even my life) to consider what I shouldn’t do. Rarely have my days been spent reflecting on what I shouldn’t have done, how I tripped, or the things I don’t want to have to ask for forgiveness again.
I’ve become convinced that world consistently needs more of me. More of my thoughts, opinions, presence, me. And in some ways it might, but I also know the world and I could use a lot less of me too-or at least a lot less of a me who’s only concerned with doing more.
I had a really great talk with a good friend this month. It was hard, and we were both being forced to come to terms with how we had failed the other in the past six-months. The next portion of the conversation was the action plan, and as she listed off a lengthy line of check boxes that would definitely help us both out, but I stopped her and said wait. Let’s pick a few of those that will help the most. Because starting the year with a longer to-do list than normal and calling them ‘resolutions’ is only going to stir up guilt and a sense of failure come March when we realized we can’t possibly juggle all the balls we added to 2017.
So we did, we picked a few impactful, game-changing to-do’s. And here today, I’m choosing a few serious not to-do’s.
Because this year I want to get to know a few people better, but that means not be so selfish with my time or convinced that the only agenda at work in my life is my own.
This year I want to save more, but we all know that means I’ve got to prioritize my needs/wants and spend less.
This year I want to be more confident, but that means not calling myself names in my head.
This year I want to love the people closest to me better, but that means choosing my battles and not fighting when I know I want to.
These are a few of my not to-do’s, and there’s a humble confidence that comes with writing out the things you want to leave behind. It’s brave and honest, and I think it may be the key to some of my most hopeful resolutions. To add, you must first take away, and this year hopefully there won’t just be more of me, but there will be more in me and from me. Here’s to not-resolutions.