excuse me: i have some diem to carpe

two weeks ago in relief society, one of my amazing friends taught the lesson.
{via here}
she challenged us to make 2012 the "year of no regrets".
she said, if you've always wanted to do something, now's the time to do it!
     have you ever wanted to learn to sew? do it!
     have you ever wanted to take that trip? do it!
     have you ever wanted to be more outgoing? do it!

my ears had perked up. permission to be awesome, is what i heard.
and then carpe diem! is what she said.

hearing her encouragement kind of freed me, in some ways. so i made a new year's resolutions list. well, sort of.

i know we're often told to just focus on a few goals at a time, so that we don't get overwhelmed, but i've always felt limited by that, so my perfectionistic tendencies would generally put off "resolutions" because my indecisiveness kicked in and i couldn't decide on what to resolve.  strange phenomenon, i know.

so, i didn't try to put limits on my list this time. i decided to go with that old phrase along the lines of, if you shoot for the moon and miss, at least you'll hit the stars. and the stars are a pretty great place to be, right? --as long as i don't let myself get overwhelmed by this or disappointed when i can't fulfill everything or complacent after i've hit only a few stars. granted, this list could be about a billion pages longer, which is why i didn't think too terribly hard; i just wrote down things i've been thinking about lately.


the week after the "carpe diem" lesson, i taught a lesson based off of elder george albert smith's personal creed. this wonderful man made a creed at age 35 to follow for his whole life.

i asked the relief society gals, "if we find it so difficult to follow through with our new years resolutions, which are generally only for a year, then how do you think he did these for his whole life, without getting overwhelmed?" there were lots of good answers. but i think the bottom line is, he just decided to make that list who he wanted to be, not just what he wanted to accomplish.

aaaand that's why i've been thinking a lot about this talk lately. as elder robbins puts it, "to be and to do are inseparable."

elder robbins also says,
Many of us create to do lists to remind us of things we want to accomplish. But people rarely have to be lists. Why? To do’s are activities or events that can be checked off the list when done. To be, however, is never done. You can’t earn checkmarks with to be’s. 
i really liked that. so on my list, i made a "to do" section, a "to be" section, a "to avoid" section and a "remember..." section. so:

-to do's are obvious, but take work.
-to be's are harder, but help the "to do's" get done and add to overall character.
-to avoid's are essential, but i don't want to focus on what i don't want to become; i want to focus on what i DO want to become. so i kept those at a minimum.
-and the to remember section is how i will get to where i want to be (and thus, fulfill what i want to do).
-then i left white space...for when i think of others or when things change. changing my goals is okay too, even necessary, i've decided. and i feel the whole list is a little too self-centered; i'm planning on using that white space for goals to be more others-centric. i just want to observe myself in various surroundings these next few days to figure out in what ways i serve most genuinely. i want to use that extra bit of space in the best possible way. :)

so i'll see what jives with me this year and try hard to do/become/avoid these in manageable bites. i'm going to be happy with my success and i'm also going to be okay when i fail. and i have the rest of my life to work on everything else.

clear as mud? then my list probably is, too. but there it is, and it makes perfect sense to me.

there. now i'm accountable.
step one: check.


--jeff * said...

first off, that's a most excellent opening picture for this. dig.

that's an interesting question about president smith's list: how was he able to keep these resolutions throughout his life and not just a few months into the year? i like that you noted how he made his list not simply what he wanted to do, but what he wanted to be.
also, i think that, once we've kept our resolutions for a while, they become habits, and our habits become our character.

i'm glad that you cited elder robbins' "to be and to do" talk, which really gives some good clarity on these sort of goals. ("we don't have 'to be' lists...")

i've always liked how cool your daily "to do" lists look, and this one's design is as great as its importance. : )
the idea of different sections is wonderful: to be, to do, to avoid, and to remember. awesome. even more, i like your note that you didn't want to focus on what you don't want to be.
that, i think, is something very good to keep in mind.

lastly, keeping some extra space for other goals (likely pertaining to others): cool.

this post makes me want to be a better person.

all kinds of {*

Jenny said...

Love it! Great way to capture many things we have discussed recently in a very life applicable way. I love your 4 categories and of course your artistic way of putting it all together. You are amazing! Thanks for sharing this inspiring post.

KK said...

LOVE this! Thanks for the inspiration. It gave me a few ideas of my own.

PS- You are fantastic! So glad we're friends!

Jenny said...

I love this! The way you organized it is perfect...and inspiring!
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