Happy New Year! Did you make any resolutions for the new year? I haven’t made any in many, many years. Not that I don’t work on self-improvement or goals or changing habits. I just have never found making resolutions on an arbitrary date to be effective for me. I think most of us make resolutions out of some sense of obligation. Perhaps we start with good intentions, it’s just that we haven’t decided to make a change for the right reasons.
Over the years, I’ve made some big changes, but I didn’t wait for January 1st or any other date. I just did them. For example, when I sat down to dinner on January 25, 2001, I had no idea that, before that meal was over, I would decide to quit smoking. A call from my sister with news of her lung cancer triggered that change. And three days later, I smoked my last cigarette. I had tried to quit many times over the years, but without the right motivation. Another example is from just last year. In November of 2017, I decided that I would drink more water. Not just talk about it, but actually do it and track it. And I started the day I made the decision. By the way, I’ve kept that one up to this day, consuming between 10 and 15 8-ounce glasses every day.
My Planning Thoughts
I do a good bit of planning this time of year. I typically create goals instead of resolutions. This year I’m doing things a bit differently. I have seen suggestions from several sources on how to look at your planning and goals. Some have a different approach to reflecting on the past year. One suggested listing highlights, disappointments, game changers. Another suggested listing what worked and what didn’t as well as what you want to do more of and what you would like less of. That approach appeals to me. Along with another one that suggested you make a list of what you want to leave behind in 2018 and then a list of your intentions for 2019. I’m still working on my plans but I’m leaning towards some combination of the last two ideas.Happy New Year! Be Audacious!! Click To Tweet
The area I’ve worked on the most is my intentions for 2019. I chose my word for the year: AUDACIOUS. As in willing to take surprisingly bold risks. I’ve been playing too small lately. I’ve also been too closed off. I could blame it all on health issues and needing to heal. But it doesn’t matter. I’m tired of that world. I need to get out and be with people more.
Some of my Intentions for 2019:
- Be kind
- Finish what I start
- Be intentional in all that I do
- Be focused
- Work from the heart, not from the ego
I read a quote from Ronald Reagan this week: “Live simply. Love generously. Care deeply. Speak kindly. Leave the rest to God.” As I typed that just now, I realized just how those suggestions resonate with me right now. I may have to incorporate those sentences into my intentions.
We are all works in progress. We all see the world differently. And we all are motivated in different ways. For me, I know resolutions are not the answer. I also know that sitting down and pounding out goals isn’t the answer for me. Not without doing the soul searching and reflecting and deciding what I want. And I don’t mean what money or physical things I want. For me, it’s about the people and the process and the experiences and the feelings – mine and others.
Then maybe, just maybe, the goals I create for the new year will be ones that I can look back on next December and see that they have come to pass.
That’s my approach to the new year and resolutions. What’s your plan? Resolutions? Goals? Intentions? Winging it? Tell us in the comments, I would love to hear other approaches. Happy New Year!