New Years Reprise – Resolutions

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.

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