challenge for 2020: a blog post to make it official

The start of a new decade is upon us! *insert gasping emoji*

First of all, I have been putting a lot of pressure on myself to start a bunch of new things – goals or resolutions, as it were – at the start of the new year. I sat at Zeke’s for almost five hours overthinking and overplanning and stressing out about all the stuff I want to change or accomplish in 2020. But for the last hour, I tried to gently shift my mindset to one of grace. I do not want to set goals for myself just for the sake of setting goals, or even for the sake of becoming a better person.

For that reason, there will probably be new things and new pursuits that begin later in the year – like January 9th. Or March 16th. Or September 24th. Or December 1st.

However, there is one thing that I definitely want to start at the beginning of 2020:

I want to read 20 books in 2020.

And I want to blog about each one.

Several people have been so kind and asked me for book recommendations. And every time, I’m reminded that I am so far behind on all the books I want to read. This year, I’m changing that.

Last year was a good year, full of changes. One of those changes was that I read more that I had read in a long time (which was not really a lot but hey – that is already under grace and covered in this blog post). But then that changed when I started a new job at the end of August. I adore my new job and don’t wish it was different. But I wish I had been different with how I set priorities.

One of my words for 2020 is PRIORITY.

I say all the time, “You make time for what’s important.” Regardless of what I SAY is important, what actually takes up my time is what is important to me, whether consciously or subconsciously chosen. This year, I want to truly prioritize my time. I want to spend more time with the Lord and really dive into a couple Bible studies. I want to spend more time in prayer because I have seen God answer my prayers and comfort me when I talk to Him. And I want to spend more time reading.

Since becoming a music teacher, I talk frequently talk about priorities. “What do you spend your free time doing?” I ask my students. Not to bug them or even hold them accountable, but to make them think. Where does our time go? If something is important to them, to me, or to you, why don’t we make it our priority to do that thing?

Greg McKeown, in his book Essentialism, discusses the concept of priorities. He says:

The word “priority” came into the English language in the 1400s and it was singular. It meant the very first thing. It stayed singular, very sensibly, for the next 500 years! Only in the 1900s did we pluralize the term and start speaking of “priorities.” So while we can find ourselves feeling that everything is a priority, literally by definition, it can’t be.*

I’m not going to guess at what your priorities are. I’m not even going to tell you all the things I’ve prioritized over the main thing(s). But I am going to tell you that I need to work on this.

I hope that as I intentionally make time for what is important, there will also be more time for reading. And I hope that writing this blog post helps to keep me accountable. While chatting with my sweet second mom earlier, I confessed that truly no one may see this as an accountability tool. It’s probably all in my head but hey — if this helps me stick with the goal, then I’ll call it what I want.

The first book I finish will most likely be Ordinary by Michael Horton. I’m a few chapters in already so if you get the chance to grab it and start reading it, do that now! I would love to discuss the books I read with anyone and everyone.

Happy New Year, y’all. May 2020 be the year when we make time for what is truly important.

*https://gregmckeown.com/entrepreneur-article-how-to-prioritize-when-everything-is-a-priority/

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