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the strategy

  • January 25, 2016
  • By Happy
the strategy

Choosing “fight” as my OneWord for 2016 was surprisingly easy – but the day-to-day practicality of living it out sure isn’t turning out to be.  What am I going to do on the days when I don’t feel like fighting, or when I’m not sure what I’m fighting for?

At the end of last year, the Female Entrepreneur Association hosted a video series called the #2016SuccessChallenge, followed by a webinar called Creating Your Success Game Plan for 2016.  My biggest takeaway from the series and the webinar – for both my business and my life this year – was this: “Keep it simple.”

One of the most difficult aspects of last year was how incredibly complicated and overwhelming everything felt, all the time.  So whatever else anything is going to be this year, it needs to be simple.  Uncomplicated.  And possibly underwhelming.  At least for awhile anyway.

I started keeping a record in my planner at the beginning of the month, making it my goal to be able to list at least one thing that I’d done at the end of every single day to live into my word for the year – but even that became overwhelming.  I found myself wrestling with things I don’t need to wrestle with right now – wanting to fill up five lines for every day instead of being content to list just one thing, breaking things down into categories (health & wellness, community, etc.) and feeling guilty for not achieving more in one area or another.  Under ordinary circumstances, a daily journal like this might have been a great idea – but while the church calendar may have slipped back into Ordinary Time, I haven’t.  Nothing is ordinary yet.  I’m still recovering from last year, and if I know nothing else right now, it’s that being kind to myself and letting myself off the hook for all the “shoulds” is important in this season.  Legalism is rarely helpful in any season – and it’s certainly not useful now.

So clearly I’m going to need a better strategy.

photo courtesy of © / papandreos

photo courtesy of © / papandreos

I’m in the middle of reading a new book by Jonathan David Golden called Be You. Do Good.  It just came out last week, and is proving to be a rather fabulous read, at least in terms of how much I’m getting out of it personally.  One of the things Golden challenges us to do is to pay attention to our lives – to consider the things we do and the people we’re with and to look for patterns in the moments we feel most alive.  If cultivating greater self-awareness is the key to finding and living into our callings, then it’s also key to building what Golden refers to as a “liturgy for life” – habits and routines that create the spiritual version of muscle memory for our souls.

As I’ve been contemplating his words over the past few days, and working out how to apply Golden’s wisdom to my own personality type, it’s become evident to me that I need to go back to a few things that were ordinary at one point, and re-weave them into the pattern of my days.

  1. I need to write more.  Not legalistic lists focused on what I have/haven’t accomplished held up to an ever-shifting measuring stick of my own making, but essays and reflections on the real stuff of life for the mere sake of writing them; and whether or not anyone actually reads them needs to be – at least for right now – irrelevant.
  2. I need to start listening to music again.  And I need to pay attention to the melodies and lyrics that capture my imagination.  To that end, I’ve started a playlist, and I’m sure I’ll be adding more songs as the year progresses.  (Feel free to suggest a few in the comments!)
  3. I need to rest more often.  And not the watching-eight-episodes-of-The-Gilmore-Girls variety of rest, but real rest: Sabbath rest.  This is going to require time and intentionality: working harder during the week so I can completely unplug on the weekends, creating room for spontaneity, fun, and some much-needed downtime.

So that’s the strategy… and now to move forward, one day, one step at a time.


By Happy, January 25, 2016
  • 3
  • Shara
    January 26, 2016

    I just love you, Hap!!!! I’m so grateful for you. ❤️❤️❤️

  • Bill Kracke
    January 26, 2016

    I am right there with you on music! I’ve found that the amount of music I’m listening to is a fairly accurate barometer of how out of control I feel. When things get crazy (or I let them get that way), I just stop listening.

    This always seemed odd because music has been such a core part of who I am. It wasn’t until this past year that the things that are truly and really part of me – music, words, beauty – are the things that seem absent when I am furthest away from who I am meant to be. (In plain English, those days when I think ‘there has to be more to life than updating WordPress plugins all day’ are the days I didn’t listen to anything, write anything, etc,)

    An idea that has helped me recently is that my heading matters more than my speed. If my day ends and I am still “on target”, I need to call it a win. Because the waves are high, the storms come and go, and that horizon always looks the same. Sure, I could really build up some speed if I went that way, but I’d be off course. And over time, that can add thousands of extra miles to my journey and delay my arriving.

    Of course, do avoid the obstacles in your way, as sinking out here is no good for anyone!

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Meet Happy

Thanks for visiting!

Simple Felicity is, at its heart, a blog based on the unshakeable belief that happiness really isn't all that complicated. Sometimes finding it can be - but happiness itself is pretty simple, and it's often found in the simplest of things: good food, good books, and good company. So those are the things I write about, along with a few other things that really matter to me, including faith and feminism.

A bit about me: My name is Happy. I have an amazing talent for misplacing my keys, a deep appreciation for whomever looked at the coffee bean and thought, "Hey, I wonder what would happen if I roasted this?", and road trips to Michigan are pretty much my favorite.

Contact me anytime at simplefelicity7 (at) gmail (dot) com! I'd love to hear from you.

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