A new year.
During the downtime this week I’ve been going through old papers, receipts, and projects in my office. I’m hoping to start the new year with everything filed and a fresh, clean space (wish me luck!)
While flipping through an old notebook, I found my goals from 2019. I am a goal setter. I like to have an idea of the direction I am headed. Every year I think about what I want to accomplish on a large scale, and every week I look ahead in a smaller way.
With a little smile, I started reading my list from January 2019. My smile faded, however, when I realized the goals I’d written for 2020 were nearly identical to my list from 2019.
Not only had I not accomplished my goals, I clearly hadn’t realized how badly I had failed. Even worse, when I reflected back I realized that several of these goals had been moved forward for YEARS! Live a healthier lifestyle, diversify my income, save for retirement, travel the world. Wow.
I thought I’d been doing everything right. I’d been visualizing the end result. Check. I’d been writing my goals down and sharing with others. Check. I’d even been breaking them down into measurable and attainable mini-steps. Check. But I haven’t been accomplishing them. Why? What went wrong?
Other people’s lists.
I realized that there were several items on my lists that if I was honest I truly didn’t care deeply about. There were items on my lists I felt I SHOULD do, but were driven by other people’s expectations and not by a true passion. So I deleted them.
Too much at once.
I also realized that once I wrote my list, I tried to do everything at once. These items were competing with one another for my time, my focus, and my attention. So each item was started, and some progress made – but none made it to the finish line. So I focused on priorities instead of tasks.
My vision board and lists didn’t account for real life. If I’d done absolutely nothing other than work on my goal list, sure, I might have gotten it done. But at what expense?
2019 was both tough and beautiful. My list didn’t take into account that I would go in for an annual mammogram and leave with an aggressive MRSA infection that I would fight for 8 months. My list didn’t anticipate flying across the country to help a friend in need, or caring for my mother at the end of her life. It also didn’t take into account that we would be gifted with another beautiful granddaughter. So, I switched up a task list for a life list.
Resolution is a passive word. This year, I am using the verb – RESOLVE. I resolve to live my best life, where I am right now, leaving lots of room for real life and pursuing things that I am passionate about.
I revisited my New Year Resolution practice with a new mindset. I like the process of visualizing the life you want to lead from this video by Marie Kondo. Her philosophy is simple. Choose joy.
My new practice isn’t specific to 2020 or even the new year. Living your best life isn’t contained within the parameters of the calendar. It is an ongoing, daily process.
I think that I kept putting some items on the list every year because they are important to me every year. So, my perspective has broadened. Some of these items (like family time) are ongoing and will always be my number one priority. Others (like financial goals) will take some time to fully achieve. That’s OK. What is important is that I am committing my time and attention to them on a regular basis.
After listening to the approach of Rachel Hollis, I also have written my resolve list ‘as if it has already happened.’ Writing in the present tense helps your brain put action to your list rather than future tense, which puts your goals into the ‘someday’ zone.
2020 – and beyond.
I enjoy time with my family. Jerry and I do fun things together. We enjoy relaxing evenings in our home, we travel, and we have great friends we spend time with. Our family is close and time together is frequent and filled with love and laughter.
I have a group of good friends that I can count on, I am comfortable with, and enjoy doing things together.
I am exploring the world. I travel the country and abroad with my husband, family, and friends. I travel comfortably and have new and interesting experiences in the places I visit.
I am financially free. I own my own home and vehicles and am ready for retirement.
I am doing work I love. I have interesting projects and lend my talents to needy organizations as well. I have several business lines and my income is diversified. My work is in balance with my life. My schedule is my own, and I have time for family, health, relaxation, work, and fun.
I am living a healthy life. I enjoy exercising and I have a healthy, but not boring, diet. I hike, camp, and enjoy outdoor activities. I feel good in my body. I am comfortable getting older knowing that I am doing what I can to live a healthy long life.
While I will probably revisit this list at the end of the year, more importantly, I will align myself with this vision on a daily basis and begin each day with the intention of continuing to live a purposeful life that I love.