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Thursday, January 1, 2015

Resolutions, Old & New

Time to reflect on how well I did in meeting 2014's resolutions and think about what I want to accomplish for 2015.

2014 - In Retrospect
Here's what I planned to do in 2014:
  1. To Consciously Disconnect One Day a Week - Once all of the moving stuff is completely settled at the end of the month, I'm going to take one day out of the weekend and pretty much put the phones away.  Personal and work.  I may check it once, perhaps, and I am not sure which day, but I will have one day during the week when I will not be a walking connection to the Internet.  One day when the only way you will be able to deal with me will be through one of the old fashioned ways.  
  2. To Dramatically Reduce Multi-Tasking - I have a number of habits (such as almost constant note taking, using my phones, etc.) that I employ basically as an excuse to keep my mind on 4 different things at once.  It's a neat trick, but I need to stop that, and I need to make the conscious decision to be present.  "Present" as in actually attuned and focused on what I am doing at that moment.  I owe that not only to those I work with, but for my family and loved ones as well.  Mostly though, I owe it to myself.  I deserve to not have my mind working in constant swirls, as it's ultimately both unproductive and stressful. 
  3. To Practice Calm - I will make a conscious effort to be calm, to not allow myself to be dragged down by negative thoughts, and to listen to what my body and my mind is telling me at all times.  My goal is to try and appreciate that in life, every moment truly counts, so way allow myself to get mentally bogged down?  I know, easier said than done, but that's why this is a goal.  The next two relate to my body.
  4. To Eat Better - I have to treat my body better.  I need to be eating more fruits and vegetables and less red meat.  I need to stop treating what I eat as something that doesn't matter, because it does.  
  5. To Exercise More - There have  been far too many reasons why I have been able to put off going to the gym on a regular basis.  That needs to stop.  I need to find a new routine.  Now more than ever, as I turn 50 in a few months, it's essential that I become even more active.  
  6. To Read More and Better - I read a lot, every day, but like my eating, I tend to read a lot of things that represent the equivalent of empty calories.  I need to focus more on reading things that either make me really happy or which make me a better person.  Now the category of "make me really happy" is pretty darn broad, but that's okay. 
  7. To Really Pay Attention to My Career - I'm not all that interested in promotions and the like (I know, that's the equivalent of sacrilege in the business world, but so be it), but I am interested having a bigger impact at work.  I need to better focus my energies on those things that will have the biggest impact on the people I work with and serve (be they an executive or someone in the mail room).  This means doing more of the things that energize me and it means really, truly engaging in self development.  It's time to start practicing what I preach to others.  It's time to stop hoarding for some future date the encouragement, trust and support that others have given me.  
2015 - Looking Forward
One of my chief learnings, as I think about resolutions, is that I have a tendency to take on too much.  Wait, was that a resolution in and of itself?  Anyway, with learning in hand/mind, here's what's on my mind for the upcoming year.

1.  Simplify, Simplify, Simplify and Simplify
I am going to make a conscious effort to simply my life.  This means fewer, but more meaningful things.  And by that I mean "all" when it comes to "things".  This means carrying around less in the way of things with me, be they physically, mentally and otherwise.  This means not holding on to old stuff in perpetuity.  Between my professional and personal lives my existence is complicated enough, so it's time to make some cuts.

2.  Ask More Questions
Why do I react the way I do in certain circumstances?  I do have fairly well defined patterns of what I could call "stimulus - response" behaviors, but I really don't think about why these patterns exist.  Anyway, it's time to:

a) Start be more aware of non-constructive behaviors;
b) Think about what is the cause behind these behaviors and 
c) Figure out how I can change things for the better.

I have a major life event happening in 2015, so it's time to start that new life sans some of the baggage from the old (and some of that baggage is decades old).

Regardless of me and what's in my head, here's to hoping that everyone out there reading this has a happy, healthy and prosperous 2015.  Let's all never forget that every single day we wake up in the morning is an opportunity for us to get it right.

Peace & Love,
- Steve

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