2016: No Regrets

Is anyone else so excited for a brand new year?

I know, right?!? New years are the very best. Very best.

Like all 3 of you, I’m churning my resolution ideas around in my head. Normally I like to go with a word (I’ll write about 2015’s word another day) that kind of anchors my year, but I thought this was as good a time as any to share one of my favorite tools in the Life Decision Making Tool Box.

The Regrets of the Dying

This lady that worked with people on their deathbeds identified the 5 biggest regrets she heard through the years. Y’all know I took that sheet seriously, right? Ever since I read it I have repeatedly used it as a compass of sorts for my own decision making. So as we spend the next month gearing up for lifestyle changes that promise to make us healthier, better, smarter, more beautiful, what about holding those changes up to the light of “Will this matter when I’m dying?”

5. “I wish I had let myself be happier.”

Does your potential New Year’s resolution bring happiness? Are you injecting more joy in your day by getting rid of all sugar or going to the gym every day? We spend a lot of time torturing ourselves in the name of health and wealth, and I’m not convinced it’s worth it.

Make a list of things that make you happy. Do those things.

4. “I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends.”

It is so easy to think ‘staying in touch’ means hanging out. I am probably spoiled in this area, but for me staying in touch means sitting down with your closest people and talking about your heart stuff. Between regular lunch dates, coffee dates, tea parties, and Bible studies, I know what’s going on with my friends and their families and, most importantly, their hearts.

Make a list of people you care about. Carve out time for them.

3. “I wish I’d had the courage to express my feelings.”

There’s so much to this, but it makes me think of my mom. She has told me hard things many times, and she always ends it with, “I can’t die without telling you this. It’s how I feel. It has to come out.” Now I haven’t always enjoyed those conversations, and I wouldn’t even say that most of the time I even did anything differently (i.e. I did not take her advice), but I’m so glad she shared her heart with me even if it, even in a small way, put our relationship at risk. That’s brave, y’all. We spend a lot of time walking on eggshells around each other and robbing each other of real community. Let’s stop.

And this isn’t even about just negative feelings. We don’t share our positive feelings enough, either! Does your spouse really know how thankful you are? Does your Sunday School teacher know she dropped some life changing wisdom on you years ago? Does your kid know how much she amazes you? Mom, I’m talking to you. Heh.

How do you feel? Tell somebody.

2. “I wish I didn’t work so hard.”

Can we please stop with the busyness? Please? No one gets a trophy at the end of their life for Most Exhausted. And if your resolution adds more stuff to your already-too-full schedule then check yourself before you wreck yourself.

Look at your calendar. Begin editing.

1.”I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.”

Does that resolution you’re about to make help you be more you-ier? Or is it something that makes you more ‘what the world wants’ (richer, skinnier, less filled with gluten)? We only get one chance at this life, People, and I am just not sure it’s worth living it for someone else’s ideas about what should make me happy.

Look at the person that’s quietly living inside of you. Let that person out as often as you possibly can.

No regrets, Team. Let’s do this.

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