What is it about January 1 that inspires us to “wipe the slate clean” and start over, always, always with the best of intentions? I love the feeling of renewal, but as I thought about resolutions and goals for 2018, I wondered why so many of us feel so passionately inspired but one day a year?
This question led me to decide to try something a little different in 2018. (For our 2017 Year in Review, click HERE.)
What if I made a resolution/goal for every month–to try to do something or not do something for 30 days? On the last day of the month, I’ll prepare to celebrate Happy New Month–wipe the slate clean and start over with the best of intentions.
Maybe it’s just another gimmick, but I’m going to give it a try. That being said, my monthly goals will push me toward a couple of annual goals, which are:
- Make the best use of my time. See that quote above? It’s from Brain Pickings, one of my favorite online magazines. (If you’re not familiar with it, I highly recommend it!) If I truly am the river, the tiger and the fire, it’s up to me to make the best use of my time.
- Gather experiences. “Stuff” doesn’t really matter to me anymore. I want to try new things, or at least learn to see “old” things in a fresh, new way.
- Take better care of myself. Yeah, yeah, yeah. This is an oldie, but goodie. But, I’m giving it another try, and a couple of my Happy New Month Resolutions below contribute to this “Old Reliable Resolution” that isn’t usually so reliable.
So, here’s my (tentative) plan for the first six months–12 months felt way too ambitious. Each month, I’ll either give something up, or try something new that will help me move toward one or more of the three annual goals I listed.
Some things, I’ll admit, will not be easy, but I look forward to seeing what changes, if any, occur as a result.
Here we go!
January – I turn 60 in January. Though there is much I’m grateful for, now seems a good time to reflect on gratitude. Each day, I’ll write at least 100 words about something I’m grateful for. Difficulty Level: 2
February – No alcohol. I don’t drink that much, typically a glass of wine 5-6 nights a week. But I’ve often wondered if I could give it up, at least as part of my routine — I love a glass of wine when I cook. I’ve allowed myself 3 “oops” days. There is Valentine’s Day, after all. Difficulty Level: 8
March – Be present. I read an article in a Fall 2017 Special Edition issue of Mindful titled, “Come to Your Senses.”
To be alive is miraculous. To truly appreciate life, we need to perceive, to feel–to sense our world. ~ Carolyn Gimian, Mindful
Sometimes I think we take the experiences our senses give us for granted. Each day in March, I’ll focus on the sensory world around me and will sometimes write about the experiences. Difficulty Level: 2
April – Do some form of exercise 6 days a week. No, this doesn’t absolve me from my resolution to exercise more the rest of the year, but in April, I’ll focus on maintaining a disciplined and challenging schedule of rowing, walking, running and yoga. Difficulty Level: 5
May – Limit watching the news on television to 30 minutes in the evening. I’ve admitted many times before that I’m a news junkie, so this will perhaps be a difficult task. But, even though I like to watch the news, I’m aware of its sensationalism and the impact it has on my opinions. Difficulty Level: 9
June – Limit Facebook access to one day a week. For some time, I’ve grown ambivalent about Facebook. I could list all the pluses and minuses about it, but the bottom line for me is, it’s very distracting. How will “losing” this distraction impacts the quality of my spare time. Difficulty Level: 7
What goals or resolutions do you have in 2018? Any new insights about how you’ll accomplish them?