Sunday, February 1, 2015

A new year's resolutions, +31 days

(Let me preface this by saying that I am a Type A person in many aspects. I love lists. I love writing things down and coming up with plans. I love being organized. If you don't, then this kind of intentional life improvement, for lack of a more sexy term, may not be for you.)

Image courtesy of Stephen Halpin

New Year's resolutions - the February 1 update

31 days ago was the big day for dreaming up and writing down resolutions. Today is February 1st, seems like a good day to check in. Did you write resolutions? Are you on track to sticking to them? Every year on January 1 when the new year rolls, we have the tendency to feel refreshed and inspired. Some people set forth minor goals like recycling more, while others tend toward the more grandiose like losing weight or quitting smoking. My goals are...unwritten (at least on pen and paper. I typed a little about this a couple weeks ago). We have a little red book where I like to write down our favorite memories from the previous year and resolutions and goals for the upcoming year. It's February 1st and we just haven't gotten to it. (I also haven't gotten around to sending out thank you cards for Christmas presents, but that's a whole 'nother story. I have a pipe dream of sending out Valentine's cards, but, at the rate I'm going, those may not arrive in people's mailboxes till April.) But let's pretend that my goals are written down. And let's pretend yours are too. It's so easy to let that new year excitement dwindle away till you forget the commitments you made for the new year. So, in the spirit of resolutions, let's resolve to check in on the first of every month. Pull out that red book or the sticky note where you scribbled down your goal. Are you on track?

Smaller time frame, smaller resolutions

So maybe, like me, you haven't specifically written down your resolutions. Or maybe you feel so daunted by the prospect of sticking to one big goal all year that you simply skipped it this year. Here's another idea: monthly resolutions. Even weekly resolutions. Bite off a little at a time. Narrow your focus. It can be simple: I'll read the newspaper once a week. Or, I'll go for a run once a week. On March 1 I'll check in again. Did I work on that goal? How did it go? And then I'll make a new one.

Taking stock of the important stuff

This very tangible way of "taking stock" of what is working in our lives helps push us toward the intentional life. It's easy to swing on the pendulum. To go from day to day and then suddenly the year is, over-analyzing, basically being too introspective. So my idea is to focus on one goal per month, put it in the back of my mind and then reassess after 30 days. I'll be tuned into a specific goal but, at the same time, I'll be living my day-to-day life.

Here's to February Resolutions. I'll be back in touch on March 1.

Oh February Resolution: be more patient with my eldest kid at bedtime.

No comments:

Post a Comment