Happy New Year! I hope everyone had a happy and healthy holiday season.
By now we all are officially back into the swing of things and it’s the time of year for hopeful resolutions (although some of us may have already forgotten our 2020 resolutions). I’m usually pretty good at mine. I tend to stay focused on my resolutions throughout the year. I may not achieve them all, but when I can keep them in sight, I get close.
In 2019, I had two big resolutions: lose weight (thanks Orange Theory) and read one book every month (I actually completed 14 this year). Truth be told, I know I had some others, but by now I have forgotten what they were, and therein lies a problem. What did I agree to do? Where did I put that piece of paper last year? I said I would do what?? I must have had a few too many glasses of sparkling cider.
But in all seriousness, why do we try to conquer the world at the start of every New Year? Listing all the things you resolve to do isn’t a bad thing, but the reality of accomplishing them all is slim.
Put your resolutions under the microscope
This year I am trying something new — “micro-resolutions.” I’ll develop bite-sized resolutions for each quarter throughout the year. I’ll track my progress and share my results with you, as well as my new resolutions for each quarter. Some may carry over quarter to quarter and that’s ok. It will help me manage what’s important as the year progresses.
My first quarter micro-resolutions
- Keep a gratitude journal. Research says that documenting what you are grateful for every day helps keep you happy, and fights off anxiety and depression. In even appears to show a positive physical effect on the body. I gave my whole family gratitude journals for Christmas. (Clearly their first entries will express how grateful they are for me getting them journals.)
- Reduce my processed sugar intake. This started with a challenge I saw in the New York Times: a “7 day Sugar Challenge.” I registered for it, and it is helping me build awareness and reduce my processed sugars. Actually, it’s just reinforcing what my wife has said for years, but I can’t admit that to her so NYT gets the credit on this one.
- Listen better. Last year I focused on emotional control and I saw a lot of improvement. This year, I’m focusing on listening, in all aspects of my life. This is really challenging for me as I am a talker by nature. I like to get into the details and ask questions — but I can sense that sometimes stifles people and may seem rude in certain instances (that’s never my intent, but a reality all the same). I need to be better, so this is a big focus for me in 2020.
- Get a micro-certification in something. As a constant learner I’m always looking to better myself. In 2020, I’m focused on learning new skills through online education platforms like EdX. Last summer I completed a “Happiness and Empathy” course and it was so enlightening and empowering to be able to do that on my own time. I’m not sure what I plan to do this quarter, but I will be learning something new and sharing it in a future post. I’m really intrigued by psychology and there are so many different areas of exploration there, so that may be an area I pursue. Stay tuned.
What are your micro-resolutions?
As is always the case when I begin a new year, I am inspired by possibility. I am truly committed to my four micro-resolutions for Q1. Even though the first three may run longer into the year, I am hopeful I’ll be successful in turning them into habit-forming behaviors during Q1. For the fourth one — I am challenging myself to begin and end that by March 31. I will report back in April on how I did and what is next.
Who is up for joining me in micro-resolutions? Let’s inspire each other. What do you want to focus on for the first few months of a great new year?