I like resolutions and new beginnings, and although January 1st is an entirely arbitrary start date, it's easier to think about setting goals while the rest of the world is either doing the same thing or debating the merits of such behavior -- the meme is in the air.
I had a new idea this past week about structure that I'm hereby officially announcing I'm going to implement this year. I've done lots of reading about goals (rather than work toward actually achieving mine?) and one of the consistent tips is to make public announcements and create accountability to others and enlist their support in your efforts. So, my new idea is this: I'm going to use the 26 letters of the alphabet to create a weekly theme based on each letter, cycling through the alphabet twice in a 52 week year. For example, "A" words might include:
- attitude of gratitude
- assume good intent
- allowing instead of controlling
- act now
Instead of thinking about tasks and errand-level items, I'll let my thematic words shape my thinking and get my focus up out of the minutia and onto the larger ideas and values behind my actions. I'll set up some words in advance, but be inspired by what arises in my life as the weeks pass.
If I were a character in The Matrix, I wouldn't be the Oracle or the Keymaster or Trinity, I would be the List Maker. Rather than resist this part of my nature, I thought I'd enlist (punny?!) my affinity for words and language and letters and lists to give a longer range form to the initial impulse toward goals that seems easy at the beginning of January and then fades under the ongoing onslaught of daily life.
And trying a new thing, and commiting to this provokes two of the Big Bad "A" words for me: Anxiety and Approval-Seeking. This is a good signal to me that I'm on the right track, and to keep moving forward.
I've been partly inspired by The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin, who I was fortunate enough to have coffee with in June in New York, along with Ben Casnocha, who is an inspiration and friend to me as he forges ahead on a path of his own making. The title is inspired by The Year of Living Biblically, which is completely beyond the pale as a concept, but a good title.
And of course I have other goals -- the ongoing usual suspects about writing and exercise and doing more of both. Another new thing I'm committing to I'm calling Zero Sum Possessions, which means that for any new additional object that comes into my world, an old one must go. I have more than enough of everything, and will continue to try to have things around me that are useful and beautiful and not clutter. A post to come under the Letter "C"?
Good luck with whatever resolutions you've made, or enjoy feeling free from any need for self-improvement! Happy New Year!