Tuesday, January 1, 2013 | By: HiDee

Resolution Frame of Mind

January 1.

Does the date strike fear in your heart? Does it induce a feeling of relief? Maybe it conjures up something different for you.

The New Year signals many of us to leave behind our negative attitudes and refocus on the positives in our lives. It’s a time to reflect on the good and the bad of the past year, to determine how to start over and do things differently; a time to hope for a different outcome than before. 

We could do this at any time during the calendar year, but for some reason, a New Year motivates us to make changes we otherwise might struggle to make. Why? I wish I knew. Maybe taking down the old calendar and putting up a new one signals our minds that it’s time to start over. Look at all those fresh, blank, new days we can fill! Look at the opportunities we have!

It doesn’t seem to take long, however, for us to lose whatever motivates us and get caught up in the spin cycle that was our life last year. Our good intentions fall by the wayside. We feel like failures for not being able to keep going on the new paths we’ve chosen. Our goals may still be clearly visible, but our fervor to reach them has wilted. Were our goals too lofty? Were they wishful thinking? Did we not realize what we REALLY wanted?

For 2013, I’ve decided to take a different approach.  Rather than make resolutions I know I won’t keep, I plan to adopt a new frame of mind based on resolutions.

Reorganize: My life is full, but sometimes unorganized. I waste plenty of time, so I want to come up with a plan that will allow me to accomplish the things I WANT to do. There is space for them to fit in around the things I NEED to do. I’m a visual person, so my plan is to utilize a calendar and a list (oh all right, multiple lists) to prioritize and keep track of all those “things” that fill my life. 

Exercise: This is definitely a struggle for me. I’m happy to walk or hike outside when the weather permits, but going to the gym just doesn’t work for me. By day, I’m an office assistant so I spend 99% of my time sitting. Hubby is currently Mr. Mom so when I get home I don’t have to clean the house or do the dishes, and therefore I find myself curled up in a chair writing or reading or wasting time online. I know I should get out my chair and do something, but when it’s cold outside, I just don’t want to. And yes, I would like some cheese with my whine, thank you very much! My goal for 2013 is to spend less time in my chair and more time on my feet, one way or another. I’m thinking about strapping on my pedometer and taking my mini-recorder on walks. I can talk through my plots and not lose any thoughts. Exercise for my brain and my body!

Start something new: I have lots of ideas bouncing around in my head. The New Year is as good a time as any to start new projects. I can put them on my lists or on my calendar and make them a priority. Starting something new often rekindles my passion for writing. It allows me to escape from the bog I might be in on my current project. It allows me to think in a different direction. Sometimes that’s all I need to free my mind to be creative again.

Open your mind: It’s very easy to be set in our ways, and very hard to be open to alternative points of view. Instead of defending your position on a topic, listen - really listen - to the other side. It’s a chance to learn why others are just as passionate but with a different outlook. Be open to new paths. Do you live in town? Go for a drive in the country. Do you only walk in the gym? Go to a county or state park and take a trail instead. Do you only read romance? Pick up an autobiography and give it a try. Open yourself up to new possibilities. You never know what you might discover.

Love what you are doing: I’m one of the lucky ones - I love my job. It makes getting up and going to work every day easy. I also love writing. I love playing with words, rearranging them until they convey my thoughts. I love the challenge of creating characters, settings, and plots and working to make them be books readers will not want to put down. I want to write books that encourage others to love reading as much as I do.

Unplug: This is probably the most difficult. I’m not as plugged in as many people I know. I have a pay-as-you-go cell phone without Internet capabilities, and I have a computer at home, along with a Kindle Fire. I’m not disconnected. But like many others, I struggle to escape the need to check email just one more time, to check Facebook because I might be missing something, or to answer text messages just because I can. The only time I successfully unplug is when we go on vacation. I have my cell phone in case of emergency and I check it each night, but during the day it’s off. I don’t take a computer with me, although this year I might take the Kindle Fire instead of tossing in a few paperbacks. Unplugging does me a world of good. My brain needs the down time. I need to enjoy the simpler things in life, and I don’t need to know what the rest of the world is doing every waking minute. I’m always reluctant to return from vacation, knowing I’m headed back to the frantic pace we live in today. And yet I relish being plugged back in. Go figure.

Try: Try something new just for the fun of it, like a new food. Try different approaches to solve a problem. Try writing your scene from a different point of view.  Put effort into what you want to accomplish. Apply yourself; don’t just talk about it. And don’t give up. Keep trying until you reach your goal, whatever it is.

Indulge yourself: Curl up with a good book by a favorite author. Have a glass of something you don’t normally drink. Light a scented candle. Indulge your chocolate craving. Get a manicure or a massage. Meet a friend for lunch. Go to a movie, laugh and cry - release those pent up emotions. It’s good for your soul. We all need to treat ourselves now and then. I regularly curl up with a good book and chocolate is my main food group, but I occasionally treat myself to the other things. They make me feel good because they don’t happen every day. We all need a treat now and then.

Opportunities: They’re everywhere! Open yourself to the possibilities. Do you want to learn a foreign language? Take a class at your local community college. Want to learn more about your new digital camera? Sign up for the class being offered by your local newspaper photographers. Want to expand your writing horizons? Start a blog or check into writing a weekly column for a local paper. Opportunities won’t always fall in your lap. Sometimes you have to go in search of them. 

No! Just say no!: I lied. Saying no is the most difficult thing to do. We feel obligated to live up to the expectations of others, which puts pressure on us to ignore the things we want to accomplish. I’m not saying you should always say no to others; I think you need to pick and choose based on what is important to you. A word of warning: saying no can be extremely empowering!

Start now! The New Year is here. Take advantage of the mindsets prevalent at this time of year. Break out the bubbly - the New Year is yours to fill with success!



RT Wolfe said...

Exercise, reorganize, indulge...okay. Unplug???!!! Eek! LOL Great post! Thank you, as always.
-R.T. Wolfe

HiDee said...

Glad you enjoyed it, R.T. Thanks for stopping by!

Anonymous said...

Very insightful as always, HiDee. All very good ideas... now how am I going to put them into practice??? Have to work on that one.

Happy new year!


HiDee said...

I'm with you, Ramona. That's why I suggested a frame of mind instead of actual resolutions! Thanks for stopping by.

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Jaxson Corey said...

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