It doesn’t have to be perfect

It’s that time of year when I (like so many others) am inspired by dizzy hope and seduced into making over-ambitious resolutions to quit the bad habits and create the perfect life.  But hold on.  Before I look forward, I’m going to look back.  Were last year’s resolutions a success or failure?

Resolution No 1: reduce work by blocking time in diary and prioritising – this one had mixed results with a cycle of good intentions, a slipping back into bad habits, followed by renewed good intentions but although I didn’t achieve the disciplined utopia of my dreams, I was aware when things were going off track and made an effort to put them right, so overall a success.

Resolution No 2: write regularly – this was pretty much maintained for the first six months of the year but a house move then shifted it to the back burner but I’ve picked this up again, so a success.

Resolution No 3: go to the gym – again, there were wobbles on this one but I’m still going and have some new goals in mind for 2012, so a success.

Resolution No 4: declutter – wow, I have had the mother of all declutters owing to the house move so, and I never thought I’d say this, a resounding success.

Resolution No 5: have fun – this seemed an indulgent resolution but fun is important for our well-being  so I had numerous theatre trips, get togethers with friends and family, a couple of holidays, took up dancing, and learnt how to find fun in the mundane, so a success.

Resolution No 6: read Anna Karenina – this started well but tailed off into nothing because I find the classics heavy-going, being more a contemporary fiction person, but knowing when to give up on something and having the courage to do so is a success (just about!).

Have you noticed my resolution for 2012?  To reframe things in a positive way.

I am (was?) an all-or-nothing person, everything has to be perfect otherwise it’s a failure, but that is the road to misery.  This year, I’m going to look for the positive in situations and celebrate the triumphs, both large and small.  So rather than dwelling on the things I didn’t achieve in 2011, what were my successes?

  • moved house
  • decluttered completely
  • had an article published
  • got all students through psychology exam
  • arranged a special treat for a friend
  • took up ballroom dancing
  • started zumba
  • had the best two weeks of my life on a cruise with my family
  • made regular visits to the theatre
  • wrote the first draft of a short story
  • gave up study
  • organised an ESOL reading group
  • edited a student magazine
  • went to the gym
  • nurtured friendships and relationships
  • attending a life coaching course
  • became a census collector
  • discovered I could sell
  • achieved a greater understanding of myself
  • developed a more realistic outlook on life
  • did my best

What were your successes in 2011?

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