Finding Joy

As we move into a new year, we may find ourselves reflecting on the past and contemplating the future. Often this comes in the form of making New Years Resolutions. Goal setting is good. It allows us to give a measured and time sensitive deadline to something we want. When we achieve that goal, it feels good. But is that joy? Years ago, I recognized that my goals and resolutions were framed around doing less of this and more of that, starting this and stopping that. Healthy shifts in behavior are great, but I realized I was constantly trying to be elsewhere and not in my current state. And that surely isn't joy. That year, my resolution was to stop that way of thinking and start shaping my goals around what I wanted to continue in my life. When I think of all the ways I spend my day, I realize there is plenty that I want to continue. I want to continue walking in the morning and observing the desert mountains. I want to continue enjoying my hot showers. I want to continue rolling around with my dog on the floor. I want to continue to making time for family dinners. I want to continue lighting candles and listening to music. When I think of what I to resume in my new year, I realize I have so much joy. If you can, I hope you will make a list of "continues" and let those complement and support your other goals. Be sure that the goals you are setting aren't designed to make you "happy". Instead, observe the moments in your day when you smile, when you feel calm, when you feel replenished, when you feel good. Acknowledge them, continue them, and you are with joy.