Review: Take some time to consider the "big ticket" areas of your life-social, emotional, spiritual, intellectual, creative, physical. Consider first what is working.
Some questions to get you started:
- Are you pleased with your relationships?
- Are you feeling mostly happy/satisfied/calm? Is your worship life meaningful to you?
- Do you feel challenged intellectually and/or creatively? Are you taking good care of your physical self?
- Are you an attentive friend?
- Have you been stressed out and taking poor care of yourself and your relationships?
- Is your spiritual connection dry or mechanical?
- Are you zoning out on mindless techno games instead of plugging into real life or reading something that moves you?
- Emotional eating anyone?
Record: Write notes to yourself from the review and identify one or two areas that you want to change. Record the wish as a positive resolution- "In 2014 I will connect more with friends." Instead of a negative stinking thinking resolution- "This year I will stop being a flaky friend." Now break it down into action items. "I will make lunch dates or Starbucks coffee breaks with friends." Make the frequency reasonable like twice a month if you have been sporadic in the past. Write down the friends that you want to invite to lunch or coffee. Look at your calendar and identify days that are best for you. Call, email, or text each friend to schedule connection time. Now that it is on the calendar we get the bonus of anticipation which increases our odds of following through. When the dates approach remind yourself of why you did this so your time is intentional and rewarding.
Repeat: Continue to schedule (and follow through with) your changed behavior on a regular basis. It takes 90 days to establish a habit. In pursuing this resolution we are trying to change not only behavior, but more importantly our mindset about making time for these relationships. At the end of 3 mos (90 days), go back to the notes you made during the review phase. Evaluate-- is this small step getting you closer to what you were envisioning? Would a different small change be better? For example, it might be more meaningful to find an evening time to meet with one of the friends whose available time is different, create a monthly get together with friends like a book or dinner club, maybe arrange a group adventure with some friends who share a common interest. It is not cheating or breaking your resolution to tweak the action items along the way. The important thing is you are moving closer to your true longings- improving the life journey this year!
Bad habits can be difficult to tackle as a resolution because there are so many layers to the problem of a long standing self defeating pattern. This year I recommend that you begin practicing the 3Rs by starting a new healthy habit- healthy for your social, emotional, spiritual, intellectual, creative, physical lifestyle. Let your success in this area bring some momentum to addressing areas where you sabotage your precious self.
If your review leads you to thoughts of enhancing your marital relationship-Shel Harrington (one of my friends) has created a post on resolutions for couples- great ideas for action items!
Anyone want to share their resolutions for 2014? I welcome your comments.