Less is Much, Much More–Ten Goals for a Better Me
Christmastime always strikes a nerve in me–this guilty feeling that I enjoy more abundance than most, even though I wouldn’t be considered wealthy in the least. And while I continually count my blessings–the roof over my head, plenty of clothes and food, a car that runs well, a beautiful family who loves God–sometimes it feels like I have too much to count.
As I approach the new year and start reflecting on resolutions, I have come to the conclusion that my focus needs to be on the concept of Less.
John 3:30 tells us his testimony concerning Christ:
He must increase, but I must decrease.
I’ve never been a fan of carrying about a big wad of money in my pocket. I always lose some. And I love coins. Sometimes I wish I could carry some of those pretty, shiny $50 gold coins in my pocket. Of course, most of the time I carry around the copper variety instead. Regardless, I like it better when I have fewer, higher quality bills than a pocket full of random change.
As far as money goes, less means giving benevolently. And I struggle with this at times. It feels backwards–like we need to HAVE more so we can GIVE more, right? But unfortunatetly for most of us, the more we get the more we keep and spend on things on ourselves. So definitely, we can all work on avoiding the trap of needing to have more and more.
But Less is about so much more than money. And with that thought in mind, I’ve brainstormed a list of Less goals for next year. Call it an early resolution, and you’re welcome to join me.
- Let’s worry less. Nevermind the fact that worry destroys our health, and we are commanded to not worry in Scripture (Matthew 6:25-34). We need to worry less because it’s a huge waste of our time. How many of us spend so much time worrying that we leave little time for the actual tasks we need to do. Goal for next year: Worry less; accomplish more.
- Let’s reward ourselves less. Everybody needs a pat on the back, right? We all deserve a trophy. I was good all week on my diet, so I deserve this dessert. I did a great job at my job, so I deserve this expensive pair of shoes. And we even pass this mantra on to our kids. If you’ve been good all year, Santa will bring you lots of presents. But I’m afraid we’ve come to a point where we’ve rewarded ourselves so much that nothing’s a reward anymore. And then, we have to deal with the clutter of it all. Goal for next year: Reward myself less; be grateful more.
- Let’s lessen our acquaintance-style friendships. To have any kind of social media presence, you have to work the system. Make friends with people, network, share, blog, tweet–but what ends up happening is that we overextend our kindness and make friends with people who aren’t truly our friends. This opens up a whole new can of worms–political arguments being spewed publicly all over Facebook that cause us extreme distress. And yes, I have some incredible friends I’ve met via social media, but for the most part, many sit on my friends list and I never interact with them or think about them. Goal for next year: “Friend” fewer people; be true friends to more people.
- Let’s brag on ourselves less. Social media has turned those private conversations we used to have with our families into public bragging sessions. Look what I made for dinner! Look what I won! Look what I built. And while there’s some definite benefits to be gained in sharing things we’ve learned and such, we’ve also become quite self-centered. I love how Kid President put it–fewer selfies and more other peoplies. Goal for next year: Less bragging on me; more complimenting others.
- Let’s complain less. Self explanatory, right? I’ve grown so tired of negativity. My goal for next year is to spread as much positivity to the world as I can. Goal for next year: Less complaining; more inspiration.
- Let’s eat less. It’s that time of year again. We gorge ourselves until we can’t eat another bite, then bemoan our weight gain and health problems. We spend outrageous amounts of money on the next quick fix, when really the solution is to stop engaging in gluttonous overindulgence. Eat less sugar, drink less soda, eat less bread, eat more healthy veggies… we know the drill. Time to just commit. Goal for next year: Eat less, enjoy the quality of food more.
- Let’s consume less. Waste is a huge problem in America. Everything is disposable. And it’s because we’re lazy. I’ve come to the conclusion that we only need paper plates because I’m too lazy to wash our Corningware ones. We only need plastic water bottles because we forget the metal ones in the car. And it ends up being a huge task for us each week to gather up all the trash. Consuming less is about being very deliberate about what we use, and only purchasing exactly what we need. Goal for next year: Consume less, declutter more.
- Let’s medicate less. As my children get closer and closer to an age where I’ll have to start worrying about the temptation of drugs and alcohol, I’ve become very aware every time I take medicine in front of them. Am I teaching them to quick-fix their problems with medicine rather than seeking other solutions first? It sometimes scares me how much we rely on pills to keep us going. Benadryl to sleep at night. Blood pressure meds because we haven’t lost the weight. Antibiotics at the first sign of a sniffle. Goal for next year: Medicate less; work more on maintaining overall health.
- Let’s trust less. I love the meme circling around that tributes the quote, “You can’t believe everything you read on the Internet” to Abraham Lincoln. If I could make any worldwide change next year, it would be to erase the Share button from Facebook and make it so we had to take the effort to go to a page, copy and paste the entire link. That quick-share causes a lot of people to forward information when they haven’t checked the accuracy, and a lot of it is false. Goal for next year: Trust less; research more.
- Let’s pray for less. Hear me out. We should definitely, DEFINITELY pray more. But we need to pray FOR less. God has already given us the world, His son, life… and we need to offer up prayers of continual praise. God is not Santa Claus. God is not the fairy godmother. God is our Father. He’s given the gift of salvation, and we need to pray that we continually please him. So many of our prayers are selfish with good intentions–keep this person alive so I don’t have to live without them, fix this challenge so I don’t have to face it. But the Bible is clear when it says those “all these things” will be added that we should be seeking first the kingdom of God. (Matthew 6:33). Goal for next year: Pray for less; praise more.
So there you have it. Will you join me on my quest for less? Please, feel free to add your own goals in the comments!