I’ve been all over the place lately. This is something I would’ve previously seen bad quality. Before, I’ve felt guilty about it. Flaky. Being all over the place made me feel overwhelmed and super self-conscious. What do others think when I’m all over the place doing all these things and everyone else seems to have their ‘thing’? Why do I care? Lately, however, I see it in a new light.
Clarity comes from engagement, not thought.
Nowadays, I’m ALLOWING myself to be all over the place. The difference this time around is that I’m actually engaging in things. I’m proud to be all over the place. I’m embracing it. I’m loving it. And I truly feel like I am letting the Lord lead me. When I don’t know which direction to go, I go to Him. Somedays that is easier to remember than others.
But here’s the thing – I tend to dip in a ton of things and then FREAK OUT when I have too much going on, so now I am being more attentive to the fact that I get easily overwhelmed. I asked myself, “How can I be all over the place and still have focus?”. I answered myself, “Think about your goals in quarterly terms.” What do I want to accomplish this year and what are my focuses each quarter? No longer am I letting someone else’s business run me. I AM the business. A business with goals. My goals. My way. Let’s break it down.
Red-haired, Center-part Shannon
Life In Quarters
Change your habits, change your life.
Q1: Jesus. Workout. Read.
Three habits I felt would change my life if I just did them. Everyday. I even wrote them on my to-do list for a good while just so I could cross them off when complete. Yes – I’m one of those weird people that will write something down just so I can cross it off! Ahhh…it just feels so good!
“Spend time with Him. Everyday. It’s that simple.” This was a quote from one of the audiobooks I listened to this year. (Uninvited or Cultivate) On an ideal day, this meant reading my devotional, writing a little and praying. But as we all know, not all days are ideal. Other days it meant listening to His message – either from a podcast or audiobook – while I drove Samson to daycare.
Of course, there were days when Jesus didn’t happen…I’m far from perfect…but what I realized is that the longer I put Jesus off, the less likely I was to spend any time with him. And I needed this time with him! After all – I have no idea what I’m doing with my life! Only God does!! So I sure as hell should make it a point to ask Him! After a few days of merely passing by Jesus, avoiding eye contact, while I pretended to be busy on my phone, (yeah… you know what I’m talking about) something had to change.
That’s right people – I woke up earlier. The oldest trick in the book. Instead of doing my workout first, I had my coffee date with Jesus. Reading his word. Thanking Him for the continuous blessings and asking him to lead me!
But crap!! If I spent my mornings with Jesus, when am I going to find the time to workout!??! I love working out in the morning! I don’t want to give that up! And my inner mind said, “What’s more important, Shannon? Workout out? Or Jesus?”. We ALL KNOW the right answer here. But how often do we choose it?!
I’d find time over my lunch break or in the evening once Samson went to bed to fit it in. I thought it physically impossible to workout at night. I proved myself wrong.
And again – there were days that I missed. Days I didn’t get it in and didn’t feel guilty about it. Days that I did it, but hated it. And days that I felt like I could take on the world. Regardless, most days I got it in! And on those days, I felt better. Better than the day before. Better mentally. Better physically. I felt like I was making progress toward the best-version-of-myself.
Sometimes the most important thing you can do is just show up!
I feel like if you ask almost ANYONE, their goal is to read more. “I just want to read more.” or “I love to read! But I feel like I don’t have time.” None of us have time. But all of us have time. The same amount of time even. Priorities.
That was the old me. But the new me, the red-haired, center-part me, makes time for her priorities. The new me has Goodreads on her phone to track my reading progress!
But I had to be honest with myself. I knew if my goal was to read 15 minutes a day, I would likely not succeed. Even 10 minutes seemed like a stretch. But 5 minutes? I could do that. Even at the end of a tiring day. I could do 5 minutes. And 5 minutes a day was more than 0 minutes a day. On some days, it literally was 5 minutes. On other days, those 5 minutes turned into 20 or even 30 minutes.
I also decided to sign up for an Audible subscription. My first thought was “Fifteen bucks a month? Really? Do I really want to spend my money on an Audible subscription when I can just read books? Do I even spend enough time in the car to get that listening in? Do I even retain the information?” Not as well as a book that I read, but I still absolutely get something out of it. My goal now is to finish one audiobook a month and one book-book a month. So far, so good!
2018 Books Read:
Do you have any idea how accomplished I feel that there are 10 books on this list already and it’s only Q1? I should probably get some fiction in at some point. My John Grisham book whining to be opened!
Q2: Meditate. Go to bed. Enjoy the Summer.
It’s the end of March, which is also the end of Q1, and I am just now starting to think about Q2. Not a super bright life-business decision. But I guess it’s better than not thinking about it at all. Where is my focus? What are my goals? What are a few more life-changing habits that I can take on in addition to the three from Q1?
My mind is drifting toward meditation. In my all-over-the-place fashion, I’m in the middle of three books right now. Two of them have mentioned meditation as life-altering. I’ve also experienced the life-altering-ness of meditation first hand. So 10 minutes. I will find 10 minutes to sit and breathe.
Go to bed.
Go to bed, Shannon. You’re tired. I literally fall asleep on the couch at 8pm. Wake up to walk to bed and waste time either on my phone or watching netflix or something until 11pm. It sure would be a whole lot easier to wake up at 5am if I just went to bed and slept, rather than wasting time doing wasty-time things.
Literally what I’m thinking:
Enjoy the Summer:
Looking back on the past summers, we have NOT enjoyed them! One of them was downright the shittiest summer of my life thanks to Wyatt E.R.P. So this year – it is my priority – to LOVE summer! To embrace it! To go to the pool. To go to the zoo. To go to the lake. To explore. To ENJOY.
Let’s be honest. Who the hell knows where I’ll be by July.
It’s interesting to even think about October. My guess is Q4 will contain things that I haven’t checked off my list the rest of the year. I want to write a book. I’m not saying it’ll be a good one. I want to do a CrossFit competition. I want to be around people. I want to have meaningful conversations.
I want to continue to go where God leads me. Step. By. Step.