2019 New Year’s Resolutions – Revisited

A friend recently asked me if I would be blogging about New Year’s resolutions on the ‘Willow.’  My first thought was, of course.  I get a cheap thrill from a fresh start, a clean slate, a new calendar, a newly minted To Do list… you get the picture.  But as I thought about it, I remembered one of my first blogs last year was about New Year’s resolutions.  I believe I made a few, and I put them in writing for people to see.  So before I go on with my bad self, talking about how great New Year’s resolutions are and espousing what I intend to do in 2020, I should probably go back and look at that list and see how I did. 

Yikes!  As much as I like a new beginning, I dislike the dreaded self-evaluation.  Comparing my performance to the expectation, measuring the result, and pointing out where I was not successful isn’t fun.  But if we don’t do that, if we don’t engage in self-retrospection, neither will we notice our successes.  Because believe me, I don’t need the self-reflection for failures.  I don’t need to look at last year’s list to figure out that I didn’t lose 15 pounds again this year.

Photo by Anny Patterson on Pexels.com

After a lot of overthinking about what my thoughts might have been last year regarding my 2019 New Year’s resolution, I finally decided to just take a peek.  New Year’s Resolutions (NYR) The first thing I noticed was that I said I don’t believe that NYR are a pass or fail endeavor.  I like it!  I also see that most of my resolutions were intangible or abstract.  That’s good too! 

Here are a couple thoughts on my 2019 NYR review.

When someone asks me how I’ve been or what I’ve been doing, replace my go to “I’m busy” with “I’m enjoying life.”  

Hmmm.  I remembered that I was NOT going to say ‘I’m busy’, but I sort of forgot the ‘I’m enjoying life’ part.  When answering this question, I usually flailed around a little bit looking for an alternate response and usually came up with something like, “Oh, you know.  The usual.”  Mark this one as ‘room for improvement’.

Compliment a stranger. 

I did pretty well with this one.  I tried to be more aware of others and smile more.  If I saw a cute haircut, pretty blouse, or nice car I commented.  I felt a bit like an ‘old’ person, but it made me – and the other person – feel good.

Tell my friends and family how much they mean to me.

I think I did okay on this one too.  Don’t leave words of love unsaid.  Say them, sincerely and often.

Help someone in need.

Not too sure about this one.  I did the things that lots of people do – take periodic donations to the food bank, assist an elderly person at the store with the door or their packages – but nothing to write home about.  I can do better.

Be part of an inclusive group, not an exclusive group.  (Thank you, Dad.)

I didn’t join any new groups, inclusive or exclusive.  I did try to be more cognizant of those that may feel excluded in work, neighborhood or family activities.  I have to give this one some more thought.

As I’m considering next year’s resolutions, and because I like to make lists, I’ve come up with a couple different ideas.  I’ve grouped them by theme, just for fun.

The 30 Day List (For those who like accomplishment, but are over resolutions by the end of January.)

  • Call a friend you haven’t seen in ‘too long’
  • Donate a bag or two of unused clothing
  • Go on a blind date, or if you have a significant other – plan a special date
  • Do something nice for someone you don’t like
  • Take a day off work to care for yourself
  • Make a donation to charity in memory of a loved one

The Optimist List (For those seeking a happier 2020.)

  • Wake up each morning and be grateful for the day
  • Adopt a habit from someone you admire
  • Sign up for a daily affirmation or positive quote email
  • Join a volunteer organization for a cause in which you believe
  • Read A Complaint Free World by Will Bowen
  • Laugh until your belly hurts, and then a little bit more
  • Listen more, talk less
  • Think hopefully and confidently about the future
  • Look for the good in people
  • Go to bed thankful for something that happened during the day
Photo by Binti Malu on Pexels.com

The Planning List (For the procrastinator who needs a plan.)

  • January:  Plan and start saving for a destination vacation.
  • February:  Broaden your horizons. Expand your range of interest, activity or knowledge by trying something new.
  • March:  Purge all your drawers, cupboards and closets.
  • April:  Review your financial plan and/or will.
  • May:  Start and finish one home improvement project.
  • June:  Self care weekend. At home or away, make a weekend of doing only things that You want to do for You.
  • July: Contact extended family and get together for an afternoon picnic .
  • August:  Sign up for a fall class – yoga, painting, salsa dancing, etc.
  • September:  Walk the mighty Mackinac Bridge on Labor Day
  • October:  Plant bulbs for spring flowers.
  • November:  Take that destination vacation you’ve been saving for all year.
  • December:  Celebrate your successes and make a plan for next year.

The Impossible List* (For those who like a challenge)

  • Dream the impossible dream
  • Fight the unbeatable foe
  • Bear with unbearable sorrow
  • Run where the brave dare not go
  • Right the unrightable  wrong
  • Love pure and chaste from afar
  • Try when your arms are too weary
  • Reach the unreachable star
  • Fight for the right
  • March into hell for a heavenly cause
  • Reach the unreachable star

So which ones will I be choosing for 2020?  I’m not sure yet, but I will make a list and I will try.

*from The Impossible Dream (The Quest) lyrics by Joe Darion

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