I’ve always been intimidated by New Year’s resolutions. As an indecisive person, it was April before I’d decided on an aspect of my life to improve. And by that point, well, it was already April. But five years ago, I was gifted a mini journal before the New Year that led me to start a new tradition: Keeping a yearly mini journal.
Journals are fantastic ways to document memories and ideas. But a full, blank, white page can be daunting. What happens when I only have four words of dialogue that I want to write down — that memory when I introduced myself to my coworker Jeremy, as Jeremy?
“Hi Jeremy, I’m Jeremy.”
I don’t need to expand on this embarrassing moment, but I would like to look back and laugh at my former self.
In this case, I need a mini journal. Read more
The new year is here, and it’s natural to think of how we can make a fresh start. Enter New Year’s resolutions. Unfortunately, researchers* have found resolutions often don’t stick.
The problem with most resolutions are that they’re too general. The top five for 2014 were:
- Lose weight
- Get organized
- Spend less, save more
- Enjoy life to the fullest
- Stay fit and healthy.
You can probably see that without specific tactics, it’s hard to achieve these resolutions.
The numbers people at Statistic Brain reported that 2014 research from University of Scranton, Journal of Clinical Psychology, indicated that only 8% of people who make resolutions achieve them, 49% have infrequent success, and 24% fail each year.
Is there something you want to do better? A habit you want to add to your daily routine? Try adopting tiny habits, a program started by social scientist and part-time Stanford professor BJ Fogg. This is the thinking behind Fogg’s Tiny Habits program:
Instead of large, sweeping goals, consider how adopting small habits over time can result in lasting, automatic behavioral changes. The beauty of habits is that they are automatic and creating more automatic behaviors makes change effortless. Read more
There’s something about the first day of a new year that seems so full of promise. A new beginning.
Some people like to set New Year’s resolutions, and others prefer to have a personal theme. One of my friends has a word or phrase she picks to be her guide for the year. A touchstone that inspires her to live the life she intends. I talked to her yesterday to find out if she’d decided on her 2013 theme. She said she’s spent too much time over the past 10 years “waiting.” This is the year she takes action instead of waiting for the so-called right moment. Her 2013 theme: “There’s no time like now.” Read more
I was intrigued this week when I saw a twitter feed about three-word memoirs. People were reflecting on 2011 and summing it up in three words. It made me think about what I would write for my own miniature memoir.
That, in turn, reminded me of my personal theme for 2011 — one that I chose last year for myself to represent progress and to reinforce my pursuit of learning and creativity.
As it happens in life, I experienced some fairly negative and toxic events in 2010. I thought about my response and decided I could build a more creative legacy of what I aim to accomplish as a writer, friend, daughter, and spouse if I focused on the positive. Read more
I don’t do New Year’s resolutions anymore. I guess I’m at the age where I see each day as an opportunity to flex my resolve. But I do find the beginning of the year a great time to reflect back on all I achieved in the preceding year and set new goals for the next one. I do this in all areas of my life and in different phases. Phase I of my New Year’s plan is to start a gratitude list.
For ten to twenty minutes, I write a list (in a sparkly new journal) of things I’m grateful for. The beginning of my list looks something like this:
I’m grateful for:
1. My family who not only loves and encourages me but also helps others in the world;
2. My writing partner, Carly, for pushing me to stretch my comfort zone and believe in myself;
3. My friend J.M. for making me use my brain and heart in ways I never knew I could; Read more