It is THAT time of year again… we all made it through Christmas without too big a hole (hopefully) in our budgets… without too much added bulk from the Christmas goodies. And THEN … along comes the tradition of NEW YEARS Resolution-ing.
In this tradition we create personal goals for the next year – a GOOD thing. Then a year from now most of us will get to beat ourselves up for not reaching them – a BAD thing. I seem to do this every year for the resolutions I made the previous year…
I live an endless annual cycle of New Year’s Resolutions hope and disillusionment.
It is a cold, rainy, and dark a 29th of December here on the west coast of Canada. So, I decided to make a list of things I wanted to accomplish in 2013… my lovely wife had suggested we do so over a bottle of wine on New Years eve… but I cheated. Besides I could not think of anything exciting to write about in my daily journal which I scribble in every morning once the coffee is hot.
As I looked over my list, feeling quite proud of my 2013 resolutions and the belief that they were all quite achievable in the next year, I was struck with how familiar they seemed … (common, I think to the mostly mundane resolutions on probably 99+% of the lists of all the other resolution makers of the world)….
- “Lose weight
- Get more exercise …kinda goes with losing weight thing – but got it’s own number on the list anyway to make the list more impressive,
- Eat right …same as with the losing weight/exercise things,
- Be more productive,
- Learn a new skill (or in my case re-learn) ”
But my 2013 resolutions were more than just familiar – common… they were familiar – familiar.
Having completed my NEW 2013 resolutions it was time to reflect upon my 2012 resolutions and…most likely chastise myself ,once again. I dug out my journal from last December. I could have saved a heck of a lot of time this year if I had just copied the 2012 resolutions. The were almost identical to my ‘new’ resolutions… apart from the RETIRE one. Digging further back into my journal tub I retrieved all my January journals from 2004. Every year the same: … shape up … lose the flab … stop eating junk food… learn something… work harder… I didn’t need to write these things out every December … I should have just used a photocopier. SHEESH! Almost an entire decade gone and here I am still making the same bloody resolutions.
I always managed (with great success) to convince myself that I didn’t fulfill my resolutions due to being “too busy” & having “not enough time”. But, for the last 6 months I have been “retired”! So, I got NO EXCUSE this year because I have had MORE than enough time!
As I write I realize, the real problem is not TIME rather it is distraction. Days, weeks, and months have come and gone without me even once thinking about what I REALLY wanted to do… that happened only once a year every December while writing… New Years resolutions. We all make time for those things we really want to do UNLESS we put our lives on ‘auto-pilot’. For decades I flipped my life every morning to ‘auto-pilot’ and just got busy with what ever came along: work… TV… emails… surfing the web… movies… the odd (not really that odd) bottle of wine/beer … phone calls… and to the easily distracted (me) even more things come along….
The key then, to doing what I want (fulfilling my resolutions) is short circuiting my auto-pilot long enough to remind myself what I really want. Last November my friend and French blogger, Semeunacte ( http://semeunacte.com -If you decide check it out make sure to have google translate active on your browser, unless you can read French.) wrote a blog detailing his method of “how to generate a healthy motivation when you jump out of bed” and delaying the auto-pilot start up.
Remembering his article; I have decided to try out his ideas.
First I have written out my NEW resolutions
- Spend more time with my family. (having been overseas for 10 months of every year for the last 8 years has left little time for my children and aging parents)
- Re-learn Tai Chi. ( l quit practicing in 2010. Time to re-learn)
- Lower BP by weight loss (lots of lb.s – not quite so intimidating if I convert to kg), regulation of diet and exercise daily. (HAH! Got them all on one item this year.)
- Master (as much as that is possible) Adobe Photoshop CS6.
- Master the capabilities of my Nikon Camera.
- Show up to my writing daily.
- Show up to my photography daily.
Then I titled this list: READ ME FIRST!
Second, and the key, according to Semeunacte, is to read this before starting my daily routine… just to remind myself what I really want for 2013. I could put the list on my night stand next to the bed so I would read it first thing in the morning (which he advises) but, I prefer to keep it in my morning journal to read before I start my writing.
No excuses now… but first I have to add two more resolutions: Read my resolutions every morning. & Don’t make any more New Years resolutions. … just in case.
Wish me luck … as I wish you luck with your resolutions.