Dec 28, 2012

New Year, New You?

As soon as Christmas had passed, stores started rolling out their sales on weight-loss related items: diet plans, exercise gear, workout attire, etc. I'm all for a new start, resolutions, and setting yourself up for success. But I'm approaching 2013 a little differently than I have in the past.

For one thing, I set resolutions every January, but 2012 might have been my biggest failure yet - and I only set two resolutions!

The problem with my 2012 resolutions was that they weren't specific enough - one was to master a new habit each month, and one was to do 52 weekly projects. I didn't have 12 habits laid out at the beginning of the year, nor did I have 52 projects. I think it was just too vague and too much. Plus, my overall goal of exercising more petered out when my plantar fasciitis kicked in again.

Another thing that's different: usually by the end of December, I've put a lot of thought into the coming year and what I want from it. But I haven't done that yet this year. Instead, I've been reading some books that ask some thought-provoking questions. One is Eat That Frog!: 21 Great Ways to Stop Procrastinating and Get More Done in Less Time by Brian Tracy. I've been reading it on and off for months now, and find that it's a great at making consider my own productivity. Chapter 8 asks the reader to identify the three most important goals in each area of your life and recommends focusing on those for maximum results.

One epiphany I had in my first attempt at this exercise was that I say my health is extremely important to me, but it didn't make it into my top three most important life goals. I sometimes feel full of frustration and even disdain for myself at my lack of success in losing weight and improving my health, but now I know that I don't make my health a priority because it isn't a true priority for me. That can't continue, because if I'm in poor health, I won't be able to take care of my true priorities - which, in a nutshell come down to the well-being of my family.

Another book I just started reading is Simple Living - 30 days to less stuff and more life by Lorilee Lippincott (the Kindle version is FREE right now!). Her book starts by asking a series of questions, like What you want your house/schedule/health to look like? and How would you define success? These are questions I used to consider each December, but this year in particular, I haven't had much quiet time to myself and haven't sat down to think about my priorities. These are questions I really would like to answer, though, so I'm pondering them - I would very much like to have a clear picture in my head of what I want my life to look like.

Despite the lack of time for introspection, I feel I've done really well this holiday season managing stress and everything that goes with the holidays. The house was decorated and felt festive, and it wasn't a huge production getting everything up. The house was "clean enough" for guests, and I feel I'm making progress in establishing a regular routine to keep it clean (and get it deep clean too). And in other areas of my life, I feel pretty good.

In my early twenties, I read almost every single one of Madeleine L'Engle's books - she's best known as the author of the Newberry Award winner A Wrinkle in Time, but she wrote a lot of nonfiction about faith, love and living. One of the things I learned from her is that one cannot remain stagnant - if you're not moving forward, then you're moving backward. So although I don't want a new me in 2013, I am striving to be a better me. Now I just have to figure out exactly what that means.

Do you set New Year's resolutions? If so, how can I help you achieve them here at CFO?


Theresa said...

I really like New Year's Resolutions and usually set about 5-12 by mid-Jan (I do most of my thinking after Christmas). Part of what's fun for me is to add in "fun" resolutions like "wear eye make-up for social occasions." I also put them on a "sticky note" on my computer desktop so that I look at them every day when I'm on my computer and can't "forget."
One thing I plan to try in 2013 is the weekly goals like Crystal Paine does - what I like about her system is that she divides it into family/marriage, work, personal. I have a tendency to set too many personal goals (reading, hobby-related like sewing) because those are easy to check off a list, rather than more ongoing - but more important - goals that involve family or work. I think that by dividing it into categories like that, I'll be able to make sure that my true priorities are actually getting that focus, even if it does seem silly to write "read 16,000 children's books aloud" on the list.
Sorry for the novel, but Happy New Year!

Chief Family Officer said...

I love your idea of fun resolutions - I'll have to make sure I include some of those :) Ditto for the "silly" ones!

Happy New Year to you too!