All posts tagged: New Year resolutions

Use Your New Year’s Resolutions to Give Up Stuff That Doesn’t Matter

This is the time of year when our thoughts turn to resolutions for the next twelve months.  This year I also considered what to give up for New Year’s. Two articles drove my thinking, the first being 13 Things You Should Give Up If You Want to be Successful. I realize that the title is designed to pull you in…and I took the (click) bait.  Nonetheless, there were some interesting suggestions (and corresponding quotes), including; Give up your perfectionism (“Shipping beats perfection.”) Give up your need to control everything (“Some things are up to us, and some things are not up to us.”) Give up the toxic people (“Stay away from negative people. They have a problem for every solution.”) Give up your need to be liked (“You can be the juiciest, ripest peach in the world, and there’s still going to be people who hate peaches.”) The second article was from Robert Glazer’s Friday Forward blog entitled Why You Need a Stop Doing List.  He notes that, “The most successful people and businesses know …

Farewell 2018, Hello 2019

It is that time of year, dear readers, when I look back over the past twelve months, assess progress (or lack thereof) against my goals, and think ahead for 2019.  Careful readers know that for several years I have worked with a set of life rules (rather than annual resolutions) for living the next third of my life.  This review is just one small part of an exercise to have an honest conversation with myself, so I’ll be able to have real conversations with the larger world.  We don’t do enough looking at our uncertainties and vulnerabilities, sometimes choosing as an alternative getting angry at others—which hinders real understanding.  Steve Almond, in the book Bad Stories, asserts that’s true because we take our grievances seriously but not our vulnerabilities.  In the 2017 essay “Facing the Furies” (found in the collection Call Them by Their True Names:  American Crises and Essays), Rebecca Solnit frames it this way: “. . . more often, lashing out is a way to avoid looking inward. A 2001 study by Jennifer …

Resolutions

Several years ago I stopped making New Years’ resolutions.  A recent New York Times article on making and keeping resolutions noted that one-third of our resolutions don’t make it to the end of January, while another Times article suggested that only 10% of resolutions are fully met by year’s end.  I’m proud to say I’ve kept my particular resolution since 2014! What I did in 2014 was to set seven rules for how I wanted to live for the next third of my life, and I recently added an eighth.  Because they are part of my computer wallpaper, I look at them every day.  The one that generates the most comment is the last one, which is basically “Don’t be a grumpy old man.”  That may be a hard one for setting metrics (laughs per day?) but I basically know when I’m following this rule or when my crotchety index is on the rise. Many of us make resolutions or set rules for our lives, counting on our willpower to reinforce good habits or to …

Farewell 2013; Hello 2014

It is the season for musing on the year that is rapidly passing away and making resolutions for the year ahead.  I tend to use this blog to reflect on items throughout the year (see – among many others – thoughts on the Presidential Inaugural Prayer Service, preseason baseball, wonderful European travel, fathers, live music set in the midst of the beautiful Shenandoah Valley, “stay-cations”, holiday weekends, our year in photos, and 21st birthday celebrations.) So I have only one additional reflection today…but I have several resolutions.  I’ve found that when I call out my resolutions publicly, I tend to keep them.  (Funny how that works!)  But first, let’s look back. I am a lucky man.  The picture above pretty much explains it all.  As Claire and Andrew have passed significant life milestones, I have often written about my wonderful children.  They aren’t perfect, but they do give me a great deal of pleasure (when they aren’t driving me crazy.  Have you seen those rooms!?!) However, I’ve been reminded over this holiday season how lucky …