At this time of year, it’s pretty common to be asked what your new years resolutions are. On New Year’s day, I was asked at a dinner party and while I answered with “The usual…eating better, exercising more and making time for yoga”. There was more to it of course. Although I had already reflected on the past year and my resolutions for the new year, I wasn’t able to summarize it into a couple of sentences when I was asked.
As the night went on, I ended up conversing one on one with someone and my answer became clearer. I said that I wanted to focus on myself. I want to direct my energy inwards and make time for quieting my mind. I feel as though we often put ourselves last and are quick to put off activities we enjoy. Even if it’s something we know we want and need to do in order for us to feel happy and balanced. I don’t think I’ve ever come back from an exercise class or from a journaling session and thought to myself “ugh, what a waste of time”. Instead, I usually feel refreshed.
The more I put off activities that energize me, the more I will feel run down, get distracted, get irritated easily, have trouble listening and need to take a break from work. If I took care of my needs more regularly, I don’t think I would say things like “my holiday was too short” or “my weekend was too short”.
There’s nothing enjoyable about waking up cranky and fatigued and then marching through the day feeling increasingly tense and overwhelmed. I’ve been finding I am waking up more and more like this. It isn’t pretty.
I’d like to make my overall goal for 2012 to become more energetic. I’ll be doing this by keeping my daily to-do list short, meal planning and cooking, developing routines, and making time for activities that help me focus.
These are the things that I would like to do to accomplish this goal.
- Not making a long to-do list where not being able to check an item off causes me to feel anxious/guilty. I find making lists useful but I think that I need to just focus a few key things to get me through my day. Like Leo from Zen habit’s three MIT’s.
- Meal planning and experimenting in the kitchen. The thought of planning out every single meal is very daunting to me. It sounds like a lot of work. But I can see the value in it (health, time, money savings, and control). I think this will be a lot of fun but it’ll require some discipline. I’ll probably start with cooking two meals a week as I tend to make big portions that span three to four meals.
- Developing routines to combat the nightly “It is so late, I should’ve been sleeping one hour ago” and the morning “I woke up late, no time to eat – skip breakfast (or pick it up on the go), forget packing my lunch and run out the door”. Naturally, both of these bad habits have a domino effect on the rest of my day and possibly the rest of my week if it repeats. Now, this doesn’t happen every day, but when it does happen, it’s a pretty bad pattern and difficult to break. There are many great posts I’ve read on Zenhabits and Smallnotebook, I’ll be using as guidelines and inspiration.
- Allocating some part of my day towards activities that I feel will help to quiet my mind and focus. Yoga, reflecting and journaling, reading, and meditation. The main reason I want to do this is because I feel run down when I haven’t done any of the above activities and there are so many benefits to all of them. I also would like develop better focus as it’s really hard for me to sit still without thinking ahead to the next thing I need to do.
All of the above are good habits that I’m hoping to master before life gets any more complicated. It isn’t getting any easier that’s for sure! There’s more habits to work on, but this is a good start.
How about you, any New Year’s resolutions this year? What do you want to focus on in 2012?