Well well well. I did it. I successfully completed my 2016 one-goal-a-month project.
December, I must say, was my favorite goal of all. No matter how many times I learn my lesson, I am always amazed by how happy it makes me to “sacrifice” my time and resources for the sake of others. I say “sacrifice” because in all honesty, I don’t give up a lot. Is my time so important that I can’t give an hour or two when someone really needs a listening ear? Is it really such an economic burden to share a meal with someone who needs a pick-me-up? What’s so inconvenient about a slight detour when someone needs a ride? I’m not saying I’ve never missed an opportunity to serve. I’m not saying I’m a pure altruist who is unacquainted with selfishness. All I’m saying is that I am a lot happier when I step outside myself for a tiny moment now and then. It’s a good reminder that I’m not the only person who has problems and that what I perceive to be pressing issues now and then (*cough cough* *HOMEWORK*) may not be what’s most important.
I didn’t keep strict tabs on my efforts to “light the world” during December. I didn’t try to contrive any acts of service last-minute to check it off my list for that day. Instead, I tried to develop a habit of following thoughts and feelings when they said “do this nice thing for this person.” It’s incredibly easy to come up with an excuse not to. If you think about it for more than 2 seconds, you can rationalize your way out of any good deed. At least, that’s what I do constantly. I’m slowly, deliberately breaking the habit and it is a wonderful feeling.
What a way to end a year! After doing absolutely nothing between Christmas and New Year’s (I didn’t even feel like facing crowds enough to go skiing, if that gives you any idea how lazy my break was), I’m feeling excited and ready for . . . just continuing my life. Beginning a new year means little to me. Wanna know why? I found out this year that when I choose one thing (and only one, because we all know my brain can’t handle more than that) to focus on, I can accomplish it. It’s up to me to become the person I want to be, and it’s going to happen little by little.
EXAMPLE: I’VE BEEN DOING MY CLASS READING THIS WEEK. I REPEAT. AUBREY GLAZIER HAS BEEN DOING HER ASSIGNED READING. Never mind that it’s highly unlikely for this trend to continue; just remember that this already sets me miles ahead of literally any other semester of my college life. Like, who even am I anymore? A year of focusing on self-discipline does things to you.
How, exactly, did I develop said self-discipline? I laughed, I cried, I awkwardly ordered a milkshake without chocolate, I sent a cart in an elevator solo and ran up the stairs to meet it, and much more. I probably looked pretty stupid at times. But it’s OK because I accomplished something worthwhile. If you’d like to read my other posts about goals from the year, you can find them here.
So wish me luck on my goals this year. I won’t be posting about them consistently every month, but I’ll have goals just the same. Here’s to 2017!