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?