Sunday, January 2, 2011

What does that LOOK like?

So yesterday I shared that my goal for this year is :

To live fully and in today. To be here in this moment- not the one yet to be.  To participate fully. To treasure each day as the gift that it is. To stop being so busy planning for tomorrow or next week or next month or next year and instead live NOW. To stop multi-tasking all the time and instead savor today. To relish and languish in the gifts of the people in my life. To soak up each day. To linger, to laugh, to slow down. To relish. To live abundantly.

I truly meant those words with all of my heart and pray that I am able to live more abundantly this year. 

However wanting to do so, merely saying the words, will not make it happen.
There have to be steps I commit to take to accomplish this goal. 
Because if I don't think of and come up with a plan
 I will certainly fail in accomplishing it.  
So I've been thinking about what living abundantly will look like for me.

In thinking about what steps I need to take to do so, I've realized that many of them are going to take me breaking some bad habits that I have. Don't you hate that? Realizing that you have picked up a few yucky habits? It hasn't been comfortable to both consider that these things are habits of mine and to think about having to change my actions.  

{True confession: I started this post and thought to myself....
{Man, I don't want to post this because if I do I'll have to be accountable 
to my friends who read it.  Maybe I should just keep it to myself?}
But I'm doing it anyway because I know I should. }

So after lots of thinking and praying about it, 
 here are just three of the steps 
I am going to take to work towards my goal:

1.  Step away from the computer and give my family my undivided attention.
This one will absolutely be the most difficult one for me to stick to. Hands down- it's going to be hardIf I am being totally honest, I am on the computer for the vast majority of my waking hours.  While being on the computer isn't a problem in itself, being on the computer instead of focusing on my family and those that I love is a problem.  Due to the nature of my job, I'm on the computer all day long at work.  Then I turn on my computer when I get home from work and it's on until I go to bed.  Although I do other things during that time- cook dinner, eat dinner, clean up, do laundry, household chores, work on projects, read, watch tv, talk to my husband and daughter- the computer is on and I am on it much of that time. 

So instead of talking to my daughter while on the computer and instead of watching tv with my husband while simultaneously being on the computer, I'm going to step away and give them my complete attention.  Because although the computer is a fabulous, fun, friend- connecting tool for me- my family deserves me to fully be with them- not my half heart attention. 

Because Dory and I do much of our talking via IM in the evenings, this will be a further challenge for me.  I definitely can NOT give that up (no way Jose!) because she's the one that keeps me sane(ish?), so I'm going to have to be on the computer some in the evenings so I can chat with her. But maybe she and I can also start actually talking on the phone instead of just texting and IMing all the time? 

2. Stop multi-tasking when someone comes in to my office and instead focus all of my intention on the person in front of me.
When someone comes in to my office - be it just to visit or to get my help- I am always working on something.  Typically I will continue working as I talk to that person.  I usually mention that I'm listening but just multi-tasking and of course they are kind and say "Of course- go right ahead!".  But honestly, what does that say to them? What message am I conveying? I'm pretty sure it gives them the message that they aren't very important to me- which is not true at all and certainly not the message I want to send to anyone. 

So from now on, when someone comes in to my office, I'll stop what I'm doing and focus on them- giving them my undivided attention.  My prayer is that they will feel important and valued and treasured~ because they are! 

3. Put down my phone when with a friend or family member and focus on them.
I love my iphone.  Seriously, I love it. I love how with the touch of a button I can check Facebook or my email or text message or read a blog or play a game or read a book.  It's an amazing piece of technology but it's also something I've realized has begun to keep me from being fully present, from focusing on and listening to the person sitting directly in front of me.  

I have noticed recently how much I (and many of my friends) seem to check my phone. I became super aware of this recently when having lunch with a friend.  She spent the entire time checking her phone and texting.  She seriously would be in the middle of saying something, her phone would ding and she would stop- mid sentence- to read and answer it.  This happened time after time after time and by the end of our time together I was so very sad and wondered why we even got together because she talked more to the person she was texting than to me.  After we parted ways, I actually texted Dory and said something along the lines of...."If I ever ignore you because I'm texting someone else when with you, please slap me silly!" 

I am truly blessed with some amazing friends and family and my time with them always seems too short.  Why in the world would I want to make them feel less than important and to make them think that I didn't treasure my time with them? 

So from now on, when with a friend or family member, I will put my phone on vibrate and not check FB or reply to text messages (other than those that are from my family and must be returned quickly). I will focus on being with my friends and make sure they know how much I love and treasure them. 

These are just three things but I know they will be a challenge for me 
and I'm going to need some help.
 So if you are someone I see in real life
please please please 
help me to be accountable. 

God tells us many times in the Bible to help each other be accountable. 

1 Thessalonians 5:11 says: 

Therefore encourage one another and build each other up,  
just as in fact you are doing.

If you see me on the computer on FB or IM all night long.....
ask me how my goal for the year is going. 

If you walk in my office and I don't stop what I'm doing....
ask me how my goal for the year is going. 

If I am with you and I pick up my phone to text or check FB....
ask me how my goal for the year is going. 

I'm so excited looking forward to 2011 and what I can accomplish, 
how I can grow, how God can use and change me, how I can bless the people in my life!

What about you?
What's one of your goals for 2011 
and what's one step you are taking to reach it?