New Life Resolutions 2018

Happy 2018!!!

How is your year starting off?

 

Have you made any New Year’s Resolutions?

What are you planning to focus on as you begin the journey that is this year?

My year is starting pretty well.

The weather outside is frightful, which I find quite delightful¹.

It’s been gloriously quiet, which means, among other things, I’m relatively sane at the moment.

I have one job in progress, one proposal being considered, and one proposal to write, so that’s a hopeful way to start a new year!

And, I STILL got to take two long holiday weekends in a row!!!!

And in that lovely couple of near-retreats, I have definitely made resolutions!

1. Strength before steps.

I LOVE my Fitbit!!!  Probably to unhealthy levels.

And Fitbit has made a HUGE difference in my life. I went from walking no where near 3 miles a day to regularly walking more than 6.

But that takes time. A good deal of time. And since time doesn’t stretch, that requires cuts SOMEWHERE. Like strength training. And Yoga. Ballet. Pilates.

So, this year, I’m re-seeking balance.

Oh, I’ll keep racking up steps, just not QUITE so many. Instead, I want to rack up some muscle cells. And stronger bones and joints. And make sure all that new infrastructure is nice and flexible!

2. Set the tablet on my yoga mat each night.

My house lacks programmable thermostats. So, each morning I jump out of bed, turn on the heat, scurry back to bed, and start the morning, with tablet in hand, while the house approaches a liveable temperature.

Once my BibleGateway and Evernote facilitated devotions are done, I can easily check email. Then FB. Then the BBC news!

And I can easily find that an hour has disappeared from my life.

During a busy stretch of work, I started leaving the tablet out in the main room at night. It made my mornings much more intentional! That is a practice worth building upon.

3. Move from pleas to praise.

For the last couple years I’ve been learning about the value of praise in life circumstances.

Re-learning, I should say. It’s embarrassing to admit, but I had a good grasp on this once, then just completely lost the plot.

Since the LifeWreck, alas, a huge amount of my time and energy has gone into pleas: Help me! Rescue me! Heal me!! PLEASE…

Important stuff, yes. And fully Biblical.

But now I feel it’s time to … expand? solidify? a practice of PRAISE in my life. Doesn’t mean I’ll stop praying, doesn’t even mean I’ll stop pleading, I’m sure! But it’s time to expand my horizons.

4. Nix the negative weasel words!

I’m big on truth. And I’m VERY literal.

This isn’t always bad, but it isn’t always ideal either: if I don’t have a 100% guarantee that a future event is set-in-stone certain, I’m not comfortable accepting it. You’ll be noticing the potential problem here.

Right now I am living in a truly great situation, but absolutely none of it includes a clear, certain, path for the next year, let alone the next five, or ten.

So I feel obligated to temper EVERY positive statement. Every statement about the future.

Well, I don’t know how long I’ll be able to stay in my current house … Who knows if I’ll be able to keep working for myself … Or earn enough to survive…

These statements hold truth, but not all of it. And they aren’t particularly helpful. They don’t drag me QUITE back to expecting the worst, but they don’t exactly fuel me for the fight, either! I’m at no risk of forgetting that my current life is uncertain, so there is no need to inject that into my every conversation!

So, this year, negative weasel words are OUT!

5. Live even more according to my values

There are reasons I wanted to be able to work for myself. There are reasons I wanted to work in writing and editing. There are reasons that I wanted to live in the Pacific Northwest.

And I have every one of these amazing blessings today! 

But in many ways, I am not different than when I had a full-time 9-5, with a commute, and lived in an environment that was regularly stealing my health.

This makes no sense!

Until you remember my strong reluctance to embrace any possibility that isn’t set in stone. I think I feel that, if I’m not completely financially secure, and I don’t have work scheduled out for 18 months in advance, I can’t start living my ‘real’ life yet.

But that isn’t true.  I may never have as good an opportunity to enjoy the life I live, and to explore the life I want to live, as I do now.

I suspect it’s blatant sin to not appreciate it, and fully embrace it, regardless of how long I’m here in this season of blessing! 😀

So, that’s me! Keep me accountable!

And by all means, share what you’re focusing on this year!

 

Be well

 

¹Of course, it’s not as frightful as in the Northeast, and that makes all the difference! Nine degrees, or God forbid, -9, is far too frightful for me.

My 40s, clouds, and drizzle are PERFECT, thank you very much!!

A new year!

Happy New Year!!

Everything is new.

You made it this far!

Continue onward, or change direction, or fully reinvent – every path starts here.

 

Have a very blessed new year of your one wild and precious life.

 

Be well

 

Preparing for the next.

It is the very last Friday of 2017!

Did this year go the way you expected it to?

The way you planned?

Or was it a bit of an adventure – whether positive or negative?

Mine was a bit of both.

Interestingly though, nearly everything that ended up how I wanted it to, did NOT get there the way I expected it to.

Good or bad? I have no idea.

So, I’m just going to be grateful for the blessings, and do what I can to keep walking the right path in 2018.

That started before the holidays, with reviewing the last. That didn’t show me that I did a stellar job of meeting my every goal, but it showed me where I made progress, where I can learn from the process, and where the process needs some changes.

Next is some pondering, prayer, contemplation.

What DO I want this bright, shiny new year to look like?

What about my life right now is a good idea, and what needs to change?

What ARE my priorities, 12 months further on in this life of mine? Have they changed? Stayed the same? Have I changed?! (Spoiler alert: undoubtedly!)

AND THEN: New Life Resolutions!!!

These are also New YEAR’S Resolutions. I just realised a few years ago that each time I make an intentional change for the better, I am also creating a new life for myself.

Sometimes it looks very, very similar to the previous life – and that’s okay! Sometimes it’s a pretty radical change.

I’ve learned a few key things about this process:

  1. I can’t ‘do it all’, and certainly not all at once.
  2. I won’t get most of it done if I don’t have a written record to keep me focused.
  3. If I choose to focus on what really is important to me, I end up happier and healthier than if my time just sifts through my fingers.

Clearly, then, prioritising what matters, and creating resolutions that help me get there is a good investment! And, as everybody knows, my attitude toward new years resolutions is focused on success.

Which will almost certainly require some ‘Winter Cleaning’.

I have never really understood the concept of ‘Spring Cleaning’. I suspect this is because I grew up in a place where it is not unusual for it to be 75 degrees at Christmas, and where 90+ degrees in February is not unheard of.

As you can imagine, houses don’t necessary get closed up for the Long, Cold, Cruel Months of Winter.

(True story: Have been to a Christmas party where the hostess turned on the air conditioning so that we could all sit around a ‘cozy’ holiday fire without suffering heat prostration.)

Whatever the reason, I always thought that Winter Cleaning made so much more sense.

  • You’ve put one year to bed, and you’re just opening up that next year.
  • If it is wintery AT ALL where you live, you’ve got plenty of time indoors to look around the place and see what needs renewing.
  • Also assuming you’ve been locked inside at all, you have a little more time on your hands than during other seasons.

I may be crazy there, but that is just how it has always seemed to me. Mostly, I like clear ends, and clear beginnings, so putting things in order at the start of a new year has always just felt right to me.

Anyway, Winter Cleaning involves letting go of some elements of the past that don’t work in this new life, and making sure that whatever stays is in good working order.

Whether that means fearlessly tracking dust-bunnies to the depths of their lairs under the refrigerator, or changing up my morning routine doesn’t matter – what matters is that the process, and the outcomes, fit my healthy future and make my home a better home.

And, as every process should, THAT requires a Next Right Step.

As I mentioned earlier, I can’t successfully do everything at once.

But I still try!! For years (and years; so many I’m embarrassed to think about them), I have weeded out, and prioritised, and reiterated the truth that focus is key to success; then I have tried to make meaningful, lasting progress on 53 goals at once. Usually within a week.

I don’t know what to tell you. Intermittent Temporary Insanity? That beats Chronic Pernicious Stupidity, anyway. Whatever the cause, been there, done that, and back again.

Even now, I am not immune.

BUT, I have found that my best shot at beating the Monster of Too Many Directions is to outline my next right step, or steps. If nothing else, writing them down lets me at least see clearly when I’m trying to do the impossible.

For this week, the next right step is prioritising what I want to focus on in this coming year so that my resolutions are useful, realistic, and truly in line with my fullest life.

What are you up to this week?

 

Be well.