A REVIEW OF “21-DAYS” IN 2023
Can I be a better me in 2023? For your sake, I hope so. Seriously, I am not being narcissistic. I am far from being the end-all and be-all in any group. My statement is founded on the fact that we all need to be better humans for each other.
This world is not meant to be lived in silos; if we can help one another, we all benefit.
With this in mind, I sat down last night to schedule today’s activities—something I have not done in at least two weeks—on purpose. During my evening planning time, I listed two things. One, recite my 2023 affirmations, and two, begin reviewing my 21-Days to Your Best Life e-book because I plan to revise it in the future.
I followed the plan this morning, and I am glad I did. It took me about 30 minutes to read the book’s first three chapters and take notes. Here are my takeaways via chapter and verse.
The Plate Exercise. On Saturday, December 10, at 11:25 AM, I completed the prep work. I finished cleaning “my plate” (a visual representation of all the responsibilities and tasks of 2022 in the form of sticky notes) that I had plopped on my plate like a big glob of prison food (not that I know what prison food is like). The exercise was an accountability project that a friend and I decided to do in November. We both admitted to being overwhelmed with the many tasks we had allowed to accumulate in our lives, and we did not want to go into the new year with the same mess. For me, I had taken on so many projects to prove that I was better (healthy and well), but in the end, I felt worse (anxious, irritable, unorganized, and unfulfilled). I had forgotten that I was already approved and did not have to “pick up my life where I had left off” to be accepted. So, I had a heap of items to remove from my plate. Items that were not part of my purpose for being.
In the end, I had my two hands illustrated on an 8×11 sheet of paper with 18 sticky notes (representing my goals for 2023) inside them. My goals are more like roles this year. Much like Michelle Obama’s book title, “Becoming,” we are all writing our memoirs daily, and at the core of whom we desire to become begins with an assessment of who we are today. (I love writing my goals this way because I can see how my values are prioritized.)
I heard A.R. Bernard say, “Jesus, when he met people, he always dealt with them in the depths of their understanding of themselves and their sense of purpose.”
On the contrary, people in the dating realm use the term “representatives” to define the people they initially meet when casually dating. It is not the real person. A representative is only a version of whom they want you to see. In today’s online social climate, a representative is that snapshot on Facebook– the result of several selfies or that Reel that includes only your finest moments. We have become accustomed to giving only glimpses of our real life, which I think is totally appropriate when sharing with the world wide web. But to get to our best life, we cannot depend on a representative.
The prep work requires the real us in the presence of an Almighty God, who already knows our blemishes and biggest failures, anyway. So why not meet up with Him and let the inner prep work begin?
A pastor preached a message yesterday about the work being done whether we see it or not. Because we cannot see the growth on the outside does not mean that God is not working in the dark places and the deep soil to create a life that one day will reveal itself to the sun. (You will get that tomorrow). In order to achieve our best life, we must do prep work that is private, soul-ish, and intentional.
Then the work in the hidden place results in a master plan. In the e-book, I liken it to Habakkuk 2:2 ESV. The Lord instructs us to write it so we can read it and run with it.
CHAPTER ONE. DAY ONE.
As I mentioned, I already have the written goals/roles for the year, which made Day One a breeze. I still need to add measurements while staying open to “how” I will carry out my goals. I plan to be less rigid and more focused on prioritizing certain roles and activities instead of trying to quantify every detail of my life. That is so unrealistic.
CHAPTER TWO. DAY TWO.
I moved on to Chapter Two since this book was meant to be done daily for 21 days, and today is January 2nd. I am a tad obsessive about orderliness. Please do not follow me. Do you at your own pace.
What I did observe about the e-book is that I give way too many accolades for simple tasks. “Congratulate yourself for making it to today!” It’s a little much. I do not think readers need that much massaging, but in 2020, I did, so I shared what worked for me. In 2023, I am stronger and tougher, so the constant “hip, hip, hoorays” will find themselves on the chopping block when I revise this book.
Beyond the book critiques, I readied, set, and focused on the morning assignment to memorize one of my role-goals. That was easy. Now, I know one of my goals by heart because it is in my heart, and if God tarries, I will see it come to pass!
One notable item that I hope to keep is the P.M. actions. I had forgotten about these, much like I had forgotten to journal at night or to review my day. My plate was so full I did well to brush my teeth before crashing onto the bed’s covers and moaning my evening prayers.
But it is a new year, so I stopped and put that evening task of finding images that represent my role/goals into my schedule.
Overall, I like the things I wrote in 2021, the plentiful words of wisdom (quotes), and the pointed illustrations I created for the e-book to make it easier to understand. I hope you found something beneficial from what I went through this morning as I try to become a better person for you! LOL!
Seriously, there are numerous benefits to sustaining purpose and being productive humans, and it requires a little quiet work. We cannot busy ourselves to succeed. We must be intentional.
Let me leave you with these last words from Dr. Bernard, who reminds us not to get so involved in our activities that we are not achieving a purpose. He posits,
“If we are involved in a multiplicity of activities but not towards a specific outcome, then we are wasting our resources (time, money, energy, relationships).”
That was me before the plate exercise. I was involved in many activities, but they did not work toward a specific purpose. So, I felt drained.
Life in 2022 had become random, and when it is random, it begins to feel worthless. If that sounds like you, this is an indication that you need to do some decluttering to find out what is worthwhile and why. So you can write it, read it, and run with it for the glory of God!
In the words of my “21-day” e-book, “be blessed with less mess,”