I’m going to write every evening. I’m going to work out six days a week. I’m going to grow a beard. I’m going to the moon.
Look, it’s not going to happen, but I enjoy the concept of New Year’s resolutions as much as anyone. I’m realistic (ahem, old) enough to know they rarely last the week, never mind the month or year.
In years past, I’ve started January by writing a paragraph a day (summarizing the day), which always halted early once something traumatic happened. I’m a bit superstitious about those promises, but I also know writing when I’m not inspired will mean I will never re-read it. I’ve said before that I write because I have to, not because I wish to read or record. When you don’t see me on the blog, it only means I’m not publishing. Consider yourself saved of a thoughtless and unedited brain-dump.
My theme for this year is to be present.
That may sound ridiculous to you, but I live a dangerous combination of ‘in my head’ and ‘in the past.’ I made radical changes in 2013 and I’d like to build on that in 2014. Knowing I have a checklist to face each evening should make me more aware during the day.
Yes, I created a checklist, the tool of the wannabe organized. Most seek yes or no answers, and I may elaborate if I wish to. I have accepted that I’ll surely tinker with it through the month, but more than anything else it identifies if I was aware: Did I have fun? Take notice of the sunrise? Find a good way out of a stressful situation (an hourly occurrence at work)? Talk to someone not over the phone?
The list will work for me but if you also have a goal to live 2014 presently, then please feel free to adapt:
Calmed (after being upset), Colors (noticed), Creative, Finished Something, (Was) Inspired, Laughed, Learned***, Heard* (Music or Birds), Progressed, Resisted** (Temptation), Sky (Color or Weather), Smell, Stopped Procrastinating, Sunrise/set, Talked (face-to-face), Tried***, Yummy
* Only music or birds count because typically I watch news or listen to comedy podcasts, forgetting that music makes me happy.
** Mostly related to shopping on amazon.com and eating gluten-full food.
*** Means specifically something new. For example, I learned (read) about Richard the Lion-heart and tried making ice cream.
Naps didn’t make the list because I already excel in that arena. For the most part its an achievable list. It’s narrowing my tendency to live in the past to the immediate (today) and a positive way to end the day. Today, for example: Old-school Looney Tunes made me laugh out loud, I hung a window shade that’s been leaning against the wall for almost a year, I inhaled a new jar of crushed Vanilla bean seeds (STRONG!), and miraculously stayed away from Amazon.com.
Also, hearing Frank Stalone’s ‘Far From Over’ pop up on my iPod made me laugh out loud. That was a twofer on the checklist! Seriously, do yourself a favor and listen. I forgot how serious and un-ironic that song tries to be. My iPod followed it up with ‘Let It Whip’ by Dazz Band, a great 80s song that dares you not to funk out.
Anyone else might think my playlist needs to be trimmed but instead I’m reminded to seek out more obscure once-loved music. Way to start the new year!