A Fresh Take on New Year's Resolutions

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I make resolutions every year and they are usually as cliché as they come. (1) 'lose weight | exercise more | get fit' usually tops the list. Followed closely by (2) 'organize | declutter | become a minimalist'. Rounding out the trifecta is (3) 'give up sugar | white foods | wine'. This year I am doing something very different for two reasons,  The first is that my prior resolutions all imply that I am physically flawed and in need of improvement. While that likely is the case, but I would rather focus my resolutions inward. The second is that I never make it past a few weeks with 1,2 or 3 so if those things are actually going to happen, it won't be because of end of year resolutions.

  1. It's not all about me. I vow to help the people around me.  Take more fun trips with my family (I put my business before my family way too much in 2017). Employ more people and give them a great work environment to learn & contribute. Find a charitable organization where I can truly make a difference.
  2. Live in the moment. I am a planner and there are two problems with being a planner. First, I am often lost in thought thinking about things to come and not really appreciating what is going on around me at that moment. Second, I idealize the future plans to the degree that the reality does not live up to my imagination, and end up disappointed. This sucks because experiences that really are wonderful don't always feel that way at the time. Enough of that.
  3. Make time for myself.  Sometimes it needs to be about me, and I definitely suffer from stress & worry.  This year I vow to find ways to destress.  Time outdoors works wonders for me, as does yoga.  And fun with friends.  And a lunch date with my family.  There are loads of ways that I can destress but they only work if I make time for them.

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While this new strategy may seem like a missed opportunity to get the new year started on the right track, it is not.  I really and strongly believe in setting goals.  They are different than resolutions though.  Goals are aspirational in nature and if met, indicate significant accomplishment.  2017 was the first year where I was truly serious about goal setting, and it really helped.  I actually used a planner for the first time, and looking back a year later at what I wanted to do is very satisfying (I did so many of those things!).  And it is amazing how different my mindset was.  I set some ambitious goals for my business but I had real doubts about whether I could accomplish them.  Not everything got done, but some of the really big things did.  The planner I used last year was the Inkwell Press LiveWell planner.  I started out using this for everything - goals, to-do lists, meal planning, exercise reminders, notes about new products ideas.  About mid-year, however, I got out of the habit of carrying it with me everywhere (it is a little bulky).  I also got so busy during the summer with client orders that I did not have or make the time for planning and goal setting.  It is a great planner though but with any system of organization & goal planning, you have to use it for it to have value.

My planner for 2018 is the Dragontree Rituals for Living Dreambook Planner.  It is smaller so I will be more likely to have it with me everyday.  It also has a different outlook on setting goals that appealed to me.  In addition to having very ambitious goals for my business, I want a better work / life balance and to make more time for fun & adventure.  One of the risks of owning a small business is that it can take over your life and become a consuming passion.  While that helped my biz reach its goals,  I regret not making more time for my family this past year and vow to improve that in 2018.

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So, as the new year approaches I am finalizing my 2018 goals (there are about 10 of them and hope to make all of them a reality) but when it comes to resolutions, I am going to be more supportive of myself.  I resolve to be more present each day and to seek out ways to enjoy life.

What are your resolutions for 2018?  Share in the comments below.