Tuesday, 30 December 2014

It's that time of year again - NEW YEARS RESOLUTIONS

Well it started with a list of 10 things, then I narrowed it down to 5 sets of things and now I've come up with 4 things that I want to accomplish in 2015! But I have a history of going too big, too fast, too hard and I'm probably not alone in that. 

When it comes to new years resolutions, I would say there are three camps of people. Those who think it's a stupid tradition, not worth their time, or that give it some lip service, but who secretly hope this will be the year they lose 10 lbs or finally get back to the gym. The second camp, who sets a goal, with kind of a plan, and works diligently until about March, April, or May, at which time they are too exhausted or too discouraged to continue. And then there are those who somehow bring about or maintain a serious change in their life for a whole year, and maybe even beyond. 

Each year, I've fallen into one of these camps. But most often the second. I start off strong, and then after months of hard work I collapse back into my previous way of being. I have lost weight in the past, and even ran a full marathon one year. But rarely have I accomplished the feat of some, who manage to make it January to January pursuing a goal. 

These days there are tones of apps, articles and resources to help us set better goals. Like this mash up of the best apps, or this Harvard Business Review article (and yes I found these with a 2 second google search on goal setting). Thank goodness the internet is always willing to help us be our best self. But some how that just isn't enough. 

Part of my problem is that I don't set goals that are flexible enough to be part of my real life. And/or I get stuck in the details of it and can't get moving forward. Oh, classic symptoms of my perfectionism! But over the last month or so, I've been thinking about my resolutions. MY LIST OF RESOLUTIONS. And have been battling the beast that is my brain about what makes sense and what's really obtainable. And in the end, I've come up with these four things:

1.   Completing what I've started or committed too - NO NEW PROJECTS
This one might seem counterintuitive, since part of this blog is showing you projects, but trust me, I've started or committed to enough projects that I'll have lots to share this year. This obviously doesn't apply to my job job, but it does apply to all that is in my life beyond work. Which includes three ongoing project lists; our house, the clinton house (which you are yet to see) and the congregation (First Unitarian of Toronto). And truth be told, I don't even have a serious, actually written down, list for each. I just keep all that crap in my brain (no wonder I feel exhausted). And as my husband has said, get it all down because on January 1st, those lists are sealed and NO NEW PROJECTS! 

2.    Learn to manage my energy, rather than my time. 
I've done the pomodoro method, set different alarms, used a diversity of apps and made a bazillion lists. But truth be told, one of my biggest issues with time management is that I often have time, I just don't have enough energy. Each night I get home, and probably have 3-4 hours of time I could be using productively, but I just don't have the gumption to get anything done because I'm exhausted. Yet I do find the energy to shame myself over my lack of productivity. So I've decided that it isn't about having enough time, it's about having enough energy. Plus, I'm not the first person to think of this, there are some great articles on it. And I plan to figure out how to make this part of my life (can you feel another blog coming!). For 2015, I want to stop worrying about not having enough time or doing enough with my time, and instead learn to manage how I spend my energy.

3.    Take better care of myself - SERIOUSLY
This last year has been filled with some serious ups and downs. And I stopped taking care of myself and started living on autopilot. But it's time to come to grips with the fact that this is the only body and brain I have, and it needs more care than I've given it. I want to find a fun way to exercise and I want to take enough time to fuel my body in a way that helps it, not hurts it. I want to have a meditative practice, find more pleasure and stretch my body out. I want to give to myself with the same passion and energy that I give to others. This isn't about losing 10lbs or running another marathon, this is about caring for the only vessel I have (Rev. Shawn preached a good sermon on this and starts really about page 6, here's the link)

4.    Tending the sacred bonds
Over the last couple of years, my family and friends have carried me through some of the most joyous and heart wrentching experiences. They have loved on me endlessly. And this year I really want to pour back into all those who have poured into me. This means more cards, calls, skype dates, dinner dates, ladies nights, etc. 

And that's it. That's what I want to work on in 2015. Sure I want to use less paper cups, and compost more. Sure I want to buy more local stuff and find social justice projects that I love. You know, all the things that make you a good unitarian. But really what I need in 2015 is less chaos, more perspective, and more time spent loving. 

Here's wishing you the 2015 that you need and want.   

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