Monday, December 31, 2012

2013 Resolutions

Many times when making New Years’ resolutions I have packed in five years’ worth of goals into a single year.  We all do this.  Am I really going to run a marathon, write a novel, learn to knit, scrapbook every last loose photo into an album, take a painting class, learn to snowboard, keep a daily gratitude journal, plan and create 1,095 healthy and delicious meals, take up pilates, keep a running total in my check register, grow all my own vegetables, develop my professional goals, and take more time to relax?  Just thinking about it sounds exhausting; no wonder most of us dump it all by week three each year! 

Instead of overwhelming myself with such a list, or making up a daily schedule with every moment planned out, I have begun taking into consideration what will feel good for the upcoming year and what I most want to accomplish.  As a result the upcoming year feels like more of a celebration.  I’m less stressed out about the resolutions I have to keep and I feel happy and energized.  

Goals that helped me edge toward a more peaceful New Year are what I call “Goals for Living”

  • Enjoy the moment by multitasking less.  For example, when talking on the phone to a friend or family member, turn off the television or computer, sit back on the couch and put your feet up.  Really listen and engage if you want to be in the conversation.  (this leads to goal #2) 
  • Say no.  If you don’t want to talk, or go to the mall, or take up a project, gently but firmly decline.  This is hard at first, but it gets easier.
  • Say YES to the things you really and truly want.  Say yes to your dreams, to fun and to joy.  Find things you love and be happy.
  • Breathe deeply.  Feeling stressed?  Breathe.  Tired?  Breathe.  Angry?  Breathe. 

I’ve found that when I am engaged in my life, spending my free time doing what energizes me and nourishing my blood with fresh oxygen, I feel more as if my happiness is my choice – which it is.  I still have resolutions and goals, and I still keep that gratitude journal.  But now my goals mesh with my life and make sense for who I am.  And what do I choose?  I light more candles, listen to more music, cook creative meals, volunteer where I feel most useful, and enjoy time with family and friends. 

How about you?  Maybe you have a wedding to plan or a new career beginning.  Think about how great it would be to set a few basic Goals for Living, and then focus specifically on one or two resolutions that you really would like to accomplish for the year.  If you have just taken a large sigh of relief, give yourself permission to enjoy 2013. 

Cheers and Happy New Year!

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