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Thursday, December 29, 2011

Happy New Year: 2012 Resolutions

I have love-hate feelings about New Year's resolutions.  I love the idea of resolving to change and making a fresh start with all the possibilities that come with the beginning of a new year.  At this time of year I automatically and excitedly think about what changes I can make to make the next year even better.  BUT... I hate the fact that my resolutions usually last about 3 or 4 days, and then "normal" life returns and I forget about the resolutions.  So this year, I am making a couple of unconventional resolutions and trying a new take on some of the same old ones.  

Live in the Now 
One thing that frustrates me about myself is that I constantly tell myself any of the following:
Starting tomorrow, I will....
I'll go back to eating healthy next Monday... 
So starting with these "New Year's Resolutions", I am going to Start Now.

Take Care of Me
Several of my resolutions are aimed at the theme of taking better care of me.  I often feel spread very thin, and I hope I can refine some of my systems to feel like I manage life better so I can really LIVE. 
{Shared to me on Facebook}

Daily To-Do Lists ("Brain Dump")
I resolve to incorporate a few minutes of every morning to improve my focus on each day's tasks and goals.  Despite having a running To-Do list, I always seem to have too many things swirling in my head that haven't been committed to paper.  And my To-Do list is so long, that I often get overwhelmed and end up spending a little time on several tasks or projects, but failing to really get anything DONE.  Instead of sitting down for several hours a couple times a month or once a week, it would be much more effective to spend a few minutes a day dumping the thoughts from my head onto paper so my brain doesn't have to worry so much with remembering things (thus I call it a "brain dump").  

Will-Do Today List
I very recently started spending a few minutes each day creating a "Will-Do Today" list from my massive (ongoing) To-Do list.  This allows me to focus on a few tasks which I resolve to FINISH that day.  Putting this into practice has been a lesson in revising my expectations for what I can really accomplish in a day with all of the distractions and obligations that can not be avoided.  And, at least for me, having realistic expectations is half the battle!  

This ingenious idea came from the Master-Mind Alliance; I recently attended a meeting of a local group.  The Master-Mind Alliance is a business coaching group that brings together owners of many different local businesses to pow-wow, brainstorm, criticize (constructively) and support each other.  Each meeting is kicked off with a seminar talk on a particular topic, and this meeting's topic was "Getting Things Done".  Love!

Plan for Long-Term Projects
I would like to complete more long-term, big projects (and post about them too!!).  I will work toward finishing them by planning better for them.  Putting aside money as I can will help complete those projects that are waiting for a budget.  Putting aside some time in my schedule that is dedicated to working on projects will help me set goals and make progress.  And I will continue to break projects up into manageable tasks and motivating milestones. 

Be More Aware of Myself
As usual, I resolve to incorporate exercise into my hectic days.  I just have to do it.  I don't have a great new plan other than to just do it.  No measures of failure, just a new daily resolve to fit it in. 

In addition to this, I know that more subtle changes would make a big difference for me.  Namely being more aware of my posture 
A lot of my aches and pains stem from poor posture and too much sitting, and I do these things to myself!  Research says it takes about 30 days to form a new habit, so I will build reminders to myself into my routine (and literally into my calendar) so I can re-program myself to become more aware, straighten up, and move and stretch my way to feeling better all the time.  Won't that be a treat??

From Pinterest

Remind Myself that Things are NOT so Serious
I have a tendency to get all worked up when things get hectic, especially when the family is going to be late for an event or when I feel overwhelmed by a looming deadline.  In other words when I feel pressured by TIME.  With a lot of work, I have gotten much better about this in the last few years.  I will continue to improve.  Only negativity comes from getting snippy and stressed out about time.  And usually when I look back at these instances later, it wasn't the big deal I made it out to be in my head.  This is the most impactful reminder for me - to remember that the seriousness is imposed by ME and I need to ALLOW MYSELF to let some of the seriousness go in the moment.

Implementing Fantastic Ideas from the Blogging World

Clearing Out Closet Clutter
A great idea to identify those items that you just don't wear for whatever reason: Turn all the hangers in your closet around backwards.  Then when you wear something, hang it back up normally.  In six months (or at the change of season, or whenever it makes sense to you) you will have identified the clothes that you should donate or sell.  My source, the Life Your Way blog, calls this the Oprah Winfrey Closet Hanger Experiment, but points out that the idea didn't originate there either.  It's great to pass on wonderful ideas, and almost no one can do that like Oprah! 

A New Take on my Filing System 
My filing system isn't working.  I have created "To Address" and "To File" files into which I sort the mail upon opening daily, and again after paying bills - this works great to avoid a pile on my desk.  But then the items in the "To File" file end up sitting there for 3 months until the file is too large for the box it lives in because the task of filing from there is just too daunting.  To combat this, instead of organizing my filing by category (ie. utility bills, credit card statements, loan statements, etc.), I am going to implement this ingenious idea from the Peace of Mind Organizing Blog to create a file for each month of the year, plus one more for tax deductible items (mine is a hanging expandable file with several labeled sections).  Then all the monthly items can immediately go to their final destination, I will still know right where to find anything I'm looking for at a moment's notice (much faster than sifting through the unfiled items in "To File"!).

What do you resolve to do or change in 2012??

This post has been linked to: 
Serenity Now: Weekend Bloggy Reading
Potpourri Friday

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