Friday, February 3, 2017

Sacrifice and Simplicity || New Year's Resolutions Review



This year I did not make a lot of New Year’s resolutions. I resolved to keep pursuing my education and college degree and that was about it apart from one other less-significant resolution. I resolved to stop wearing make-up. For the past six years I have worn make-up on my face on a near-daily basis. It helps to give me more confidence and makes me look less like fourteen-year-old. But lately it started to bother me. It bothered me that I spent fifteen to twenty minutes every morning painting my face instead of eating breakfast and reading my Bible. It bothered me that I was spending precious energy deciding whether I should wear eyeshadow or eyeliner in the mornings, energy that I could be using at work. And then all that work putting my face on just to wash it off at night and do it all again the next day!

I decided to save myself some sleep, time, energy, and money this year and simply not bother with it.

One month into this year and I have to say this resolution is by far the best I have ever made.

Foregoing make-up prompted me to think about all of the other things in my life I invest time and money in—things that do not enhance my life whatsoever. I realized that all of the resolutions I had made in the past fell through because I was going about it all wrong. I was trying to do more—read more, exercise more, eat healthier, cook more, sleep more, memorize more—without realizing that in order to do more I had to first do less. I had to make space in my life.

Maybe you are looking at your list of resolutions with regret, having already failed to follow through even after one month’s time. Or I don’t know, maybe you are an overachiever who always succeeds at everything. Whatever. But if you are one of those people who, like me, struggles to actually make substantial change in your life, if you hesitate to make resolutions for fear of inevitably disappointing yourself, maybe it is because you are focusing too much on all of the things you should be doing instead of looking for the things in your life you could stop doing.

For example, say you resolved to read 100 books this year but you already spend most of your free time binge-watching Netflix. In order to reasonably accomplish your goal you will probably have to give up watching Netflix and maybe even deactivate your Netflix account for this year until you have reached your goal. Because the truth is you do not really want something unless you are willing to make sacrifices for it.

So, before you resolve to accomplish something new this year, think about what you need to sacrifice in order to make space in your life to make your resolutions happen. Before you claim to really want something, consider what you are willing to sacrifice for it. 
“I do believe in simplicity. It is astonishing as well as sad, how many trivial affairs even the wisest thinks he must attend to in a day; how singular an affair he thinks he must omit. When the mathematician would solve a difficult problem, he first frees the equation of all incumbrances, and reduces it to its simplest terms. So simplify the problem of life, distinguish the necessary and the real. Probe the earth to see where your main roots run. ” 
 Henry David Thoreau

12 comments :

  1. Hey! I definitely relate to the make-up realization that you spoke about in your first paragraph. I'm so glad that you now have time for things that you'd rather be doing than pasting yourself with the perfect shade of foundation, mascara and eyeliner.

    You make a really important (and probably little thought about comment) when you said " that in order to do more [you first] had to first do less.

    Lovely post!
    Steph

    ReplyDelete
  2. I too made fewer, more general goals than super specific strict rules for this year. I think that works much better, at least for me, and after reading another blog, I decided I wanted to start making monthly goals (of course I immediately wrote too many for Feb). I think that makes accomplishing things easier to simplify everything yet have a way to keep on track; I'll see if I can do that.

    I tend to binge on the internet. Sometimes I just have to turn my computer off. I need to get control of that tendency since its really just an avoidance of applying myself to something (most of the time).

    I think make-up can be fun, but dependence versus art or dressing up is a huge difference in motivation. I don't wear it when I am going out, and I would like to get to the point at which I don't feel like I "need" when I go out to run errands or visit. We'll see.

    The should and stop is a good point. Sometimes focusing on should makes you want to run away. But when you stop certain activities you can pause and gather motivation.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Livia,

      That is a great distinction between a dependence vs. special occasions! I still like to wear make-up for special events.

      Unfortunately it's so easy to binge on the internet! It's so easy to lose track of time. That's definitely something I have to work on too.

      Dani xoxo

      Delete
  3. Great post Dani! Everyone would do well to stop and take stock of what it is they spend time on and whether or not those things are in line with their goals. I do this whenever I've had something on my to do list that isn't getting done. I take a look at where my time is being spent and if and how I want to change and reprioritize. And it is always great to read encouraging words from writers like you. Have a great weekend.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much, Andrea! And that is a really good method for making a to-do list. :D

      Dani xoxo

      Delete
  4. Hello! I love your blog so much; you have a really beautiful design! I really liked what you said about giving up things rather than making yourselves do things for new years; I think that’s a really interesting point. I really love that concept actually because sometimes I feel that I'm just not doing enough that I want to do but perhaps that's because I'm doing too much of what I don't want to do. I have followed your blog because I think it’s so good!!! I would love it if you had a look at my blog; I’m a very passionate teenage blogger but I’m quite new and really need the support! Thank you so much // Jeani xxx www.jeanithoughts.blogspot.co.uk

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Jeani,

      Thanks for following my blog! Good luck with the writing/blogging endeavors!! :)

      Dani xoxo

      Delete
  5. This is a good thought-provoker! :) I'm glad that giving up one thing has worked for freeing your time for other things. I will chew on this myself!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks so much, Paige! It's definitely something I need to keep chewing on for a while now. :)

      Dani xoxo

      Delete

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...