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Do More of What You Love

11 days into a new year. For some, resolutions are going strong. For others, old habits have prevailed. No matter where you are, let’s take some time today to reflect.

Back on New Year’s Day, we shared a “Good Read” and suggested that maybe in lieu of resolutions, a bit more reflection and grace would be in order in 2017. Personally, I’ve been working on this for the past 11 days. I didn’t make any concrete resolutions this year, but my reflections have pointed me to make a few commitments.

A little background: 

I am a full-time working mom of two young daughters. While my home-base for LSA is in my house, I am on the road at least three days a week, generally, and often (like this week) it’s all 5 days. Most days feel like a sprint, in order to juggle all that needs doing, professionally and personally.

Around New Year’s Day, I read a blog post that suggested instead of setting a resolution to either add a new practice/routine or take something away, we consider what we really love, and commit to doing more of that. (Note: I wish I could find that post, but I have been digging and can’t locate it - apologies for the lack of proper attribution!). What a refreshing view on how we typically set goals and intentions at this time of year.

I isolated three things I’d like to do more of:

Spend quality time with the ones I love. 2016 was a crazy year, and I look back at it and think that while we made some great memories as a family, I was likely not as present in the little moments as I could have been. To that end, I’m committing to turning off my phone and spending those precious moments I get with my family each day, actually focusing on them. This means thinking critically about how I spend my time, and my new Planner Pad (which I used before - why did I ever abandon it???) is helping me plan my weeks to incorporate not only my work to-do’s, but that important item of family togetherness.

Move. I love to move and I always feel better when I’m engaged in some form of movement each day. But, I know that when I’m faced with many other options, or it feels too cold, or too dark, or whatever excuse I come up with...I push that to another day. This January, I joined an accountability group that a friend set up on Facebook, and I’m coupling it with a 31 day exercise challenge. Day 11 is here, and I’m up to date. I feel great. I have more energy and I’m sleeping better. On the nights when I’m home for bedtime, my strategy is to get ready for the workout in between bedtimes, then head downstairs for my 45 minutes of time to move. Routine and accountability - it works for me, and so far, I’m doing more of what I love.

Learn. I have always loved to read and to explore new ideas. But, at the same time, I’m ashamed to admit that I really have not had a consistent practice of reading since my younger daughter was born. My mind flits around so much now, that sustaining reading is a challenge. So, I’ve turned to blogs and podcasts to quench my thirst for learning, and it’s been working. But...it’s time, now that she’s almost 2, to build practice around learning. This morning, I listened to episode 2 of Dr. Bernard Bull’s new podcast, The Moonshot Education show, (which we also shared as a "Good Read") in which Dr. Bull lays out the rationale for his top 11 books for educational/social entrepreneurs. While I’ve read portions of a number of the books, I’m looking forward to a year-long practice of reading, giving myself the do-able challenge of completing one of the books each month. I’m starting with Dr. Bull’s Missional Moonshots, and I’m planning to hatch a plan to read the remaining 11 books, likely in a different order than presented in the blog post, due to personal interest and some ideas I’m exploring on my own. Want to join me? Perhaps we can set up a virtual book club, of sorts. I’ll share more here as I lay out the plan, but you can contact me at jraba@lsany.org or on Twitter (@jessicaraba), if you’d like to join in! Let’s learn together.

Phew.
2017 holds some great promise, with these commitments. What do you think of this idea of simply doing more of what you love in the new year? What would you like to do more of?

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