I haven’t made a New Year’s Resolutions list for almost a decade.
My old NYR lists always contained pretty much the same items, since
- Each item addressed what I saw as a fault or failure, not things I looked forward to working on.
- They all dealt with symptoms of underlying problems, not the causes of those problems.
- My lists got longer and longer every year, one depressing thing after another, too overwhelming to look at once I had written everything down.
This year, I’ve decided to use a different model. Instead of listing random things I don’t like about myself or my life, and making resolutions to change them, I’m going to take the top-level goals I use in my project/task management software as guidelines. Each of those top-level categories is a sentence that expresses a result I want to accomplish in order to live an interesting, balanced life:
- I maintain mutually rewarding relationships with family & friends.
- My work is fulfilling and financially rewarding.
- Our home is clean, organized, attractive, and welcoming.
- I support causes that are important to me and to my community with my time, money and skills.
- I am healthy, happy, and enjoy my life.
Within each of these categories, I’m going to pick one small thing—just one little change, one new habit—that will reduce stress in my life, and work on that. Each goal is something I really want to work toward, and even a small step in that direction will lead to a better, more balanced life. Not “better” in the sense of should/ought to, but more in line with the kind of life I want to live. Why a little change? Because small changes, even ones that require activities that are boring or unpleasant, will be tolerable because they are small, and I’ll be more likely to carry through with them.
Wish me luck!