Keep Joy

At the beginning of a new year, it is tempting to want to toss old things, habits, feelings, weight, or memories.

The tradition of the New Year’s resolution, holds much pressure to choose a vice, and be rid of it. We then, work to carve them out, with a chainsaw, in a 21 day fix, fitness, prayer, get out of debt , sobriety, or tidying plan. Sadly, the focus here, is bound to cause dissatisfaction. These quick fix strategies are generally unsuccessful, as evident, simply by watching the amount of cars at the gym decrease by the end of February. Yet each time, we think this will be the year!

We know deep down, if it were that easy, we would have done it a long time ago.

Perhaps instead, “We should be choosing what we want to keep, not what we want to get rid of…” as Marie Kondo suggests in her book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and OrganizingAlthough her book is based on cleaning up spaces, I believe the concept could also definitely be applicable to the things that make up our lifestyle.

To this, I began asking myself:

What do I love about my life? What brings me joy?

In answering, I guarded myself against confusing joy for temporary bliss that is generally followed by guilt. Think pie.

For this mission, joy is all good. From the source, to the experience, to the outcome, joy is solid, nourishing, and produces results I can settle into, and feel joy there too.

I have definitely not mastered this concept. It’s probably not even original. But it was my idea for the new year, and I’m sharing it here hoping it might encourage someone else to try something new.

I propose we let joy and gratitude be our focus this year. Let’s allow them to be the biggest most time consuming part of our days!

Here is my plan, if you would like to peek!

  • Sip hot tea and pray each morning.
  • Practice yoga. It feels so good.
  • Listen to books that help me grow, while I drive to a job I love.
  • Prepare, eat, and share wholesome meals, that warm and keep my people well.
  • Take a walk with those people and discuss the day. Highlight the joys.
  • Read stories to my 8 year old boy.
  • Teach others about yoga, wellness, and college access.
  • Take a run with a playlist that makes me feel strong and sexy. Go somewhere beautiful to complete that run.
  • Take walks after work with, Willow, my black lab.
  • Paint my nails a color that makes me feel strong and sexy.
  • Eat one piece of good chocolate.
  • Watch one episode of mindless television with my husband.
  • Continue tidying my home for the final time, as Marie promised!
  • Write about what brings me joy.
  • Share joy with others.
  • Love God. Love others.

My list might change or grow. Who knows?
Maybe, and I won’t put much thought here, I might just squeeze out a vice or two for lack of time or focus on its needs?

If you’re willing to try this with me, I’d love to know what’s on your list!

Back to joy. Keep that. Stay there!