New Years Eve…when we say goodbye to one year and hello to the next. When we make resolutions, set goals, and reminisce on the year we just had.
I have been reflecting on what I want to accomplish in 2016, to make it a meaningful year for myself and my family. Time in 2015 seemed to get away from me, which I believe automatically happens when you add a newborn to the mix. So how do I go about slowing down, to thoroughly enjoy every step, bump, and success? To delight myself in baby smiles? To enjoy the sunrises and sunsets? To make intentional choices?In 2016, I am going to focus on three things.
- Contentment. We live in a world of comparison. In the words of Theodore Roosevelt, “Comparison is the thief of joy.” I know I am guilty of it. Her children have better toys than mine, or her hair looks nicer than mine or how can they afford that, when we can’t? It has been easy to lose sight of all I do have. This year, I want to focus on fully realizing the extent of my blessings. To learn to be creative without “things.” I want to captivate myself in the every day moments of my life. More pictures. More mornings with coffee and a book in my favorite chair. More smiles and giggles while singing the ABC’s. More walks with the dog and stroller. To immerse myself in all that I do have, and recognize a need versus a want, and be intentional about the choices I make in my life. Contentment.
- Finances. Mark and I completed the Dave Ramsey Financial Peace course in 2015. Needless to say, we maybe shouldn’t have done it right before the holidays. We are getting back on track in 2016, starting with our allocated spending plan. Budgets will be a little tighter for us in 2016, and I can’t wait to let all of you know why! In the mean time, we do things like meal plan and keep a pantry inventory to help cut grocery costs. We got rid of Direct TV. Seriously, who watches that much TV that can justify spending that much a month? Not when you farm, that is for sure! We will continue to work hard at paying off our debts, and being better stewards of our money. Finances can be stressful for any family, especially when they aren’t talked about or dealt with. Being intentional about your money and telling your money where to go are very important parts of building your wealth and a budget.
- Listening. How many of us actually truly listen to understand, rather than respond or formulate our own opinion? I have made it a goal for myself to genuinely work on active listening. This goes across the board for farmers – what are our consumers saying, and why do they believe that – or at work – what needs to be done and who is doing what – or at home – tell me why you are feeling that way or what are your plans for the week ahead? Actually listening to the answers that are given, will help all of us understand and acknowledge those that are communicating with us. I have taken collegiate courses on listening, and I still feel as if I only use what I learned a tiny fraction of the time. It is something I will continue to work on in 2016, because I know it will allow me to keep an open mind, learn new things, gain insight and experiences I never had, and create new relationships.
2016 is going to be about intention. Living life with intention. Being observant and conscientious of our choices, our surroundings, and our daily lives. How many days do we go to sleep, wondering where the day went or what we did that day? Let’s vow not to do that in 2016. Let’s take the time to listen, to be appreciative, to find contentment, to be considerate.
How will you make 2016 about living with intention?