Beware New Year’s resolutions. They will complicate your life, wear you down, and ultimately lead to a decline in your overall health when you find yourself having to cry “Uncle” and admit – yet again – your failure to meet them. And all of this by January 15th, if you are anything like me!
You see, I am a Type A, and I have a mind that can generate a million ideas for things I ought to and want to do. New Year’s resolutions for someone like me are a recipe for failure. Each new beginning can become an opportunity to list all the things I am not doing and develop a grandiose plan hoping that this time will be different.
The idea behind Healthy Rhythms Life Coaching is to develop an intentional plan to live according to your unique purpose, establishing rhythms around your priorities. This process often – really, always – involves a process I call exchanging good for better. I believe everyone that is reading this already has a life that is full, every minute accounted for, and answers the question “how are you?” truthfully with “busy!” Consequently, if you are going to add anything to your life, it is imperative that you first go through the intentional process of simplifying. What does this look like?
Just under two years into retirement, I was amazed to recently assess my schedule and recognize that my to-do list had 114 items on it, that most of those were not one-and-done items, and that my schedule allowed for getting to about 3 of them daily, on average. You can do the math, but I’ll just tell you that many, many of these ideas for something to do have never come close to the top of my list and several more have been nibbled at but never really completed. Earlier this week, in anticipation of a New Year, I took the time to reestablish the priorities that really matter in 2023. Then, with those priorities – and only those priorities – in mind, I went through my to-do list and moved anything that did not align onto a separate list titled Future Seasons. My Type A-ness doesn’t want to completely forget these ideas, but my purpose dictates that they be set aside at least for now. This gives me the opportunity to consider activities that are in line with what’s important for this coming season.
My recommendation for each of you as 2023 approaches:
- Document what is important to you in this upcoming season. What really matters to you?
- Start by simplifying your life. Look for those activities, to-do list items, etc. that are NOT contributing toward the documented priorities (a.k.a., your purpose).
- Make sure your expectations are reasonable. Establish a rhythm around what really matters, and do not allow that rhythm to grow into something more than is needed.
- Make new beginnings a part of your routine – don’t wait for next January 1st. Mondays, holidays, weekends, vacations, really every day, are a great time to tweak your rhythms for success.
One of my many simplifications for 2023 is that I will post to this blog two times per month rather than every week. This simplification, hopefully, is going to allow me time to explore some ideas I have about writing a book. You see, I have several book ideas in my Type A head, and I want to at least explore the prospect. But this potentially “better” first requires letting go of something “good”.