It's that time again...the time to make plans, make resolutions and otherwise try to tidy up one's life. Every year it comes around (with increasing speed!)...and this year, especially, I feel like I have whiplash, it has gone by so quickly.
Last year, I promised to do things differently than the year before (figured that was a resolution I could keep as I got a year older and the dates were different). I also promised myself to forget about resolving to do the things that are never going to happen (e.g. losing 75 pounds, taking flying lessons, becoming prom queen)...failure is not motivating!
But this year, I want to make more specific resolutions that are achievable. After all, with each passing year I come to realize that life is not infinite and there isn't as much time to procrastinate as their used to be. So, here they are:
- Live more simply - I've started cleaning out all the stuff that I thought one day my kids would want. The youngest are in their mid-twenties and they aren't the least bit interested in junk that wouldn't bring a buck in a garage sale. I am ready to lighten the load and get rid of the clutter.
- Let the people I care about know it more often - Having worked hard and long many years, I have often fallen short in letting my friends and family know that they are important to me. It isn't enough to assume they know it...it is important to acknowledge them randomly (not just at holidays and birthdays) and clearly.
- Give up on useless emotions - Among the worst culprits are guilt and anger. Doesn't do any good to feel guilty about anything...better to use the energy to strive to improve whatever it was that made you feel guilty in the first place. Anger is also a wasted emotion. It doesn't solve anything either. Rather spend my energy resolving a conflict calmly than letting it grow to the point where anger results.
- Avoid toxic individuals - Whether in business or in my personal life, there are people who should be avoided at all costs! These are the people who have nothing good to say, are always miserable and negative and suck the positive energy out of a room. Just fire them!
- Learn that "no" is a complete sentence! - When the answer is "no", no explanation is required, no backpedalling, no apologies. Very satisfying, too.
- Speak don't "tweet"! - In prior decades, my ear would hurt after a day on the phone...but I'm thinking that was better! Social media may be the way of the world, but I'm seemingly too verbose for the current methods of communication...I can't organize my thoughts into the format available! And I refuse to give up on good grammar, accurate spelling and the use of the full beautiful breadth of possibilities that the English language affords one. I've grown with the digital age and consider myself fairly adept technologically, but if I have something to say, I want it clearly stated and written as well as possible. Oh, and irony and sarcasm, those wonderful things, are lost, if not dangerous, when communicating by e-mail...let alone by text or tweet!
- Don't just make a plan, execute the plan - I have great plans on paper, then they just get coffee stained. My plans need to be simpler, more attainable and then I need to do them! Writing down goals is easy. Parsing those goals into manageable activities to get to the goals, is hard. For example, I can say I want to lose 10 pounds, but creating a day to day set of activities that will get done to achieve that goal is not as easy. See resolutions # 1 through #6 to help along the way!
- Recognize that time is finite and deal with it - I can't make more hours in the day, but I can use them more effectively. Maybe then I won't have the feeling of whiplash when another year whizzes by!
So here's to 2009 - you were challenging, character building and unprecedented - and here's to 2010 - may the promise you have hold true and may I look back at these resolutions and claim success!