Now we’re nearing the end of January and Christmas seems a distant memory (the tree’s gone, the decorations are down, the cards have been recycled, even the weight has been lost), I thought I’d review progress on my new year’s resolutions. So with trepidation, here goes.
Resolution No 1: To reduce the amount of time spent working, which seems to ooze into my personal life, by blocking time in my diary, focusing during that time and stopping at the end of it. On the whole, this has been pretty successful. Sessions that have gone on a bit longer have been counterbalanced by ones that have finished before the allotted time. I’ve also been trying to get the work done at work rather than bringing it home and this has meant that I’ve been able to switch off easier once I am at home. I can recommend this tactic as it helps you to focus the mind on what needs to be completed.
Resolution No 2: To write in my journal twice and week and blog every two weeks. Well, I’m really proud of this one. I have actually written in my journal every day since 20th December. It’s now become a habit and something that I feel I really want to do, a necessity in fact. I can’t miss a day. It’s also interesting to read back and remember events, thoughts and feelings that get forgotten in the general busyness of life. As regards blogging, I’ve been making the effort to do it once a week. Thumbs up all round on this one. I think this demonstrates that it’s a matter of motivating yourself to do something. Once you get some satisfaction from it, it becomes a whole lot easier.
Resolution No 3: To attend one holistic class, one conditioning class and one hectic class at the gym each week. This has been achieved and I’ve actually managed to attend additional classes. I look at my diary for the week and book classes to fit in around my commitments. The important thing here is to make it a priority and schedule it in instead of thinking ‘I’m busy and I haven’t got time’.
Resolution No 4: To declutter the house. I set myself the task of decluttering the dining room by the end of January and got off to a cracking start. During the last couple of weeks I haven’t made any further progress as there’s a particularly nasty filing cabinet drawer full of things that I just don’t know what to do with. However, on the positive side, I have managed to keep the room tidy. I’ve also cleared a couple of dustbin sacks of rubbish out of the loft and put my summer clothes up there. I do need to keep my eye on this resolution though or it might slip. This is a chore but there’s a tremendous satisfaction in seeing the results which inspires you to continue. The key here is little and often.
Resolution No 5: To do at least one thing for fun every week. Each week I’ve gone out of my way to do something for pure pleasure. Examples to date include a theatre visit with one daughter, cinema and dinner with the other, lunch with my sister, taking Egyptian dance classes and trying out Zumba. Again, it’s all about making the effort. In our busy lives, it’s all too easy to put off doing things for fun until we’ve done all our chores and met all our obligations, but there are always chores and obligations so have fun now. It’s not a guilty pleasure; it’s one that is necessary for our well-being.
Resolution No 6: To read Anna Karenina. A strange resolution, I know. I love reading but struggle with the classics. Rather than making this my book of the moment to read, I’m still reading my main book but also this as an extra. I aim to read one chapter a day as each chapter is only two or three pages. That way, I should finish it by the end of the year. So far, some nights I haven’t read anything but other nights I’ve read two or three chapters so, on balance, I’m on target. Not only that, I’ve surprised myself by enjoying it. It’s an example of how to break down something into manageable chunks so that it’s less daunting.
I’ve found that reviewing my resolutions each week has helped me to keep them focused in my mind. So, how are you getting on with yours?