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.
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
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