More or Less

more-or-less1“Do not conform yourselves to this age but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and pleasing and perfect.” — Romans 12:2

I’m not a fan of New Year’s resolutions, but I do like to take some time at the end of the year to set goals. Resolutions are great but we rarely follow through on them and that can make us feel like failures.

Why not try something different this year? Decide what you want to do less, then, find something opposite and positive that you want to do more. Then, take some baby steps in the new direction. Here are a few examples of what I am going to try to do less this year and what I want to do more.

In 2107, I want to complain less and express appreciation more. There is something addicting about complaining. There is always something to complain about and for many people complaining is what they do all day. What we need to do it to focus our attention on appreciation. You might find that there are just as many things to be grateful for as there are things to complain about.

I want to gossip less and praise more. You can always find a group of people in any setting who will spend their time gossiping about anyone who isn’t there. They suck you in to their conversations, kill your positive attitude and cause you to join in. Learn to counter their gossip with praise. Praise someone who did something nice for you.  Someone who helped you with a project at work or offered a helping hand when you were in need.

I want to procrastinate less and take action more. It’s amazing how fast time passes.  That project you were going to do last January never happened. And, now it’s a year later and you still haven’t begun. Learn to have a fewer objectives and get to work on them now. You’ll find that you’ll get more done by attempting less.

I want to say less and listen more. Often, we have a lot to say and we want to share our knowledge to add to the conversation. But, we also need to know when to be quiet and listen. People want to share their story, tell you what’s going on in their lives. Give them some time to share. You’ll find that they will be more interested in what you have to say if you have listened first.

I want to eat less and exercise more. This coming year I want to plan exercise in my calendar and do it. I never miss a meal (hardly ever), so why should I miss an opportunity to get some physical activity. I want to tip the scales to less eating and more activity. The scale should have a smaller number this time next year.

I want to get angry less, and show kindness more. Anger is a banquet and you are the entrée. Anger eats away at you, destroys your health and well-being, and causes stress. Kindness is relaxing; it improves your health and well-being, and calms stress.

I want to judge less and accept more. We love to judge people. We are annoyed by their flaws and misgivings. We need to learn to accept them, flaws and all, just as God accepts us, just as we are, with all our flaws.

“Only if you thoroughly reform your ways and your deeds; if each of you deals justly with his neighbor; if you no longer oppress the resident alien, the orphan, and the widow; if you no longer shed innocent blood in this place, or follow strange gods to your own harm, will I remain with you in this place, in the land which I gave your fathers long ago and forever.” –Jeremiah 7:5-7

There are so many other things that I could add.

Watch television less and read more.

Frown less and smile more.

Fear less and love more.

I am sure that you can think of many others to add.

This holiday season let’s make sure to take some time alone. Let’s use that time to think about what you want to change in your life next year. Meditate on what you want to do less and what you want to do more. Write them down and then get to work on making it happen. It will be a gradual change as less of a negative thing is replace with more of a positive one.

Come on, you can do it! We’ll do it together.

***This is an rewrite of a story that originally appeared on December  14, 2014***

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