Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Happy New Year/Resolution Redux

Last year, I decided to keep my resolutions simple and manageable by breaking them into bite sized goals. I think the system worked really well for me. I only had 6 resolutions and I'd say I largely achieved my goals. I did a meditation course and have made meditation a more regular part of my life. I got much better at quieting my mind. I saw my family quite often and even did a family vacay in the Outer Banks. Date Night stayed consistent (we had one or more almost every week without fail except when I was in the hospital or adjusting to new meds and even then, we managed to share a sandwich or soup in bed). I pursued other interests. Because of Ash's work schedule, we didn't get to shoot my film but we're in pre-production now that things are slowing down. I revised my direction with the cookbook and decided to do an e-book that I'm hoping to launch by month end. The desire to grow the Etsy shop turned into a family event and morphed into the desire to set out our own online shingle. We'd planned to launch at the end of October, but it turned out to be more work than we bargained for with very hectic work schedules. We postponed and are pushing ahead to get our shop up and running in the first quarter of the year. Finally, I resolved to accept whatever came my way and boy did some doozies enter the picture. I can say that I am at peace now and ready for a year of miraculous recovery and exceptional health.

What did I fail to do? Achieve optimal health. I didn't exercise much because I spent a large part of the year in need of an oxygen pump. When walking from the parking lot to the office feels like running a marathon, it's kind of hard to think about running (or walking for that matter) a mile. This year, I am on new medications and have largely adjusted to them. I'm looking forward to carrying over the optimal health goal in 2013.

What else? Well, again, I'm keeping it simple and manageable.

1. Do a 365 Project (or two). A 365 project is something you commit to doing every day. I've seen them on Instagram (photo a day) and on writing sites. I am committing to a photo a day for 2 reasons. First, I want to be better about documenting my life in a visual medium. Second, I am trying to dust off and improve the photography skills I picked up in the classes I took a while back. I am also committing to writing for 30 minutes a day in an effort to finish my first novel. 

2. Make Random Acts of Kindness (RAK) a normal part of my monthly routine. There isn't much to elaborate on here. It started with the gratitude projects from last year, grew with the 26 Acts campaign and morphed into a resolution for me.

3. Do what I can do. This could really sum up almost any goal on the list this year but for me, this is the revised optimal health resolution. I can take my medications consistently, minimize stress, exercise, get enough sleep and eat right. God has to handle the rest. I'm working towards and praying for good great optimal health in 2013.

4. Keep date night sacred. It worked for us last year and the year before. No reason to change it now. Seriously, though, this isn't the only thing that makes our marriage tick but it certainly doesn't hurt. We have so much fun together and have grown closer as friends. What can be bad about that?

5. Keep working on making meditation part of the daily routine. Every day begs for quiet time to let the day wash off and to unwind. I've been meditating in the morning only but I want to try to do it twice daily this year. Once when I wake up and once after work. I also want Ash and I to work on meditating/praying as a couple. I think it will help us be present, focused on gratitude and on what we can do to make a difference in the world--however small.

6. Blog, blog, blog. I want to continue building my blogs. I'm hoping to find the right person to work with this year to make them over and consolidate them into one page with tabs rather than 5 (1, 2, 3, 4, 5) different url's. I also want to promote the blog more (read: stop being scared of judgment).

7. See family just as often but under better circumstances. The good news is I saw my family a lot this year. The bad news is a few times it was when I was sick or just out of the hospital and they were coming to help Ash around the house and taking care of me. (Thanks sis for pedicures of my mangled feet and yummy dinners even when I didn't have an appetite.) This year, we plan to vacation together again at least twice. Ash and I are also renewing our vows, which will bring family together again. This year, the hope/prayer is for happy times (though I'll still take the pedicures and food!!).  Ash and I also plan to make a concentrated effort to spend more time with our nephew. Being there for the kids in our life is super important to me.

8. Be more assertive. I wrote about this goal earlier in the year. I am still working on it but have made progress. Whether it is feeling empowered to say no when I am overwhelmed or speaking up when I think I deserve better, it is all part of the plan in 2013. It will help in making connections, feeling at peace at work, growing our business and pursuing creative passions.

9. Stop procrastinating. It doesn't ever lead to anything positive unless you are putting off something you are not ready for. Otherwise, just do what you need to do when you need to do it. I've gotten into some stressful situations this year at my own hand. Not doing that in 2013. Ash and I decided to do a monthly check in on goals to hold each other accountable.

10. When overwhelmed, call for help. This applies to so many parts of my life. The superwoman in me thinks I can do it all, but the reality is often, I need help. For example, if the house is messy, I usually make a plan and then a million other things get in the way. I end up doing laundry when I run out of things to wear. I end up cleaning right before we have a visitor. Why not call a cleaning service before we're knee deep in laundry and mail to sort through. I said I was going to do that several times last year and I never did. I got a couple of quotes but never followed through. This year, I'm cutting back on something in the budget to accommodate this luxury. I'm also getting a larger shredder and scanning system so mail doesn't pile up. If you have recommendations, send them my way. 

11. Spend more time with friends. I think life has a way of taking over and before you know it, you haven't talked to or seen your best friends (outside of frequent e-mails) in 3 months. One friend finally called me on it last year and I agreed with her that "I'm busy" in response to every missed phone call and dinner invite was not acceptable. I am a busy girl BUT if you asked me, I'd never say that sending one more e-mail at work or going home to sleep was more important that my friends. I CAN plan around my obligations. Doing the dinners showed me that. So, specifically, I'm going to plan a spa day with at least 2 of my local friends who like stuff like that and host at least 2 brunches. I usually fret over combining groups of friends who've never met for fear that people won't gel but, we're all girls. I'm sure we'll find some common thread...and if we don't, I'm sure I'll plan future gatherings more carefully. LOL.

12. Vacation (for real). I got to the end of the year with about 9 unused vacation days. When I was on vacation, I worked a lot of the time (I still have sand in my blackberry because I have mental issues and was checking e-mail on the beach). I will say that I was out sick a LOT this year so there wasn't a lot of time to fit vacation in. Somehow, "Hi folks. I'm back from the hospital. Going to head to the shore next week. I won't be reachable" totally doesn't work for the job I have or general corporate courtesy (yes, there is such a thing). BUT, this year, I am going to actually plan time off and schedule it all by the end of the month. I know there may be times where I have to cancel or modify plans but the goal is to take the time I'm given. It's there for a reason. A burnt out employee is nobody's friend or go-to resource.

And there we are. The amount of resolutions have doubled but I'm ok with that. Here's to making 2013 a great and memorable year. Cheers!

Do you make resolutions or consider them a waste of time (been there)? If you do, what are your resolutions this year?

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