We’re one week into the new year. How are your resolutions holding up? I’m already behind. You see, I’m still pondering my goals and dreams for 2008. I haven’t even put them to paper yet.
Even though my goals are still in process, I feel oddly at ease about it. I’m looking forward to not only deciding on them, but also pursuing them. And because I did not start off with a sprint out of the blocks when the clock turned to 2008, I feel like I am choosing to do this instead of it being mere cliché. This year I have some life categories that need adjustments. Those will capture my focus when I finally sit down to map out a vision for 2008.
Like most who develop resolutions, I am thinking of my physical health (sounds cliché, I know). Recently, I read a great book by Chantel Hobbs, Never Say Diet. In it she describes her life-long love for food and how that unrestrained love caused her to balloon to 350 pounds. After one dramatic meltdown, her resolve grew strong enough to challenge her overindulgence; and over many months and years, she has subdued her will to the Lordship of Jesus, loosing the weight and becoming healthy.
I’ve often posted (read this post) about our culture that values indulgent living and how I have succumbed to this in various ways. One principle of Chantel’s that has stuck with me is her reasoned approach to no diet living: she has denounced both dieting and overindulging. She is promoting even, rational living. She now eats and lives healthy 80 percent of the time and 20 percent of the time she allows herself some leniency. This makes sense to me.
Chantel’s 80/20 rule is about diet and exercise, but the principles carry over into all areas of life. I’ve started thinking about this 80/20 rule in regard to work and social engagements and activities. It makes sense to me that 80 percent of the time, I need to be doing the responsible thing: I need to write, work, take care of house and home, run errands, complete paperwork, and so on. But 20 percent of the time I can visit with friends, read a book, watch a movie, do a creative project, go get coffee, and the like.
As I continue to seek a stronger will in regard to leashing my self-indulgence, this 80/20 rule has already helped! I can more easily say no to something today that is fun or tasty or extra when I see a planned treat on the horizon. My problem is that I have a hard time saying no to myself; I want to do it all and enjoy it all . . . but that eventually results in a loss of enjoyment when real life caves in on me! Balance and vision are necessary to truly enjoy life—I’m trying to get a better grasp of that. And my fear is that treats have become so common that the bar will have to be regularly raised to enjoy it fully.
This 80/20 rule seems to be working for me! Maybe implementing and applying the 80/20 rule to my life could be my singular resolution for 2008 . . .