If I polled most southerners, New Year resolutions might include things like avoiding too much fried food, taking less sugar in sweet tea (this will never happen), and applying more SPF while outdoors.They might also include rooting for teams outside the SEC, but I think that's a hallucination, not a resolution - LOL! I'm just happy we southerners have a great sense of humor.
Resolutions are an important part of life. The Babylonians, 4,000 years ago thought so, as did ancient Rome. It can mean one has finally come to a decision, or managed a conflict. It is an earnest proclamation to, typically, solve a problem.
What if, while our resolutions are a sincere grasp toward improvement, but finances change, we experience a loss, our time is claimed away to focus on something that supersedes our resolutions? What then?
Well, this is the part that derails most of us. We lose focus, become discouraged, feel as though we have failed and, then, we give up. Or it that just me?
While thinking about resolutions prior to the New Year, I contemplated what was, and what was NOT, happening in the past year, maybe the past two years.
First and foremost, I haven't taken care of myself. Secondly, I always seem out of time and physical space. Lastly, I feel constantly rushed, which affects my focus, health, business and, frankly, my overall outlook.
Prior to the New Year, I went deep and realized it wasn't a single word, nor a resolution I needed to define. It is the answer to this question:
What do I want to get out of 2024?
For me, I want to be healthier overall. That's the first thing I want out of the next twelve months.
As a caregiver to my mother who is in assisted living five minutes from my home, (she moved here in November of 2021), my 2021 was full-time caregiving, with my brother, in Pennsylvania, my 2022 was getting her settled in a new state, new home, new physicians, lots of administrative tasks which consumed a great deal of time, and 2023 she spent three straight months in rehab where I made myself available to her daily, in-person while I managed meetings, PT observation, external doctor appointments, errands and every detail from supplies to finances.
I enjoy my mother more than mere words could ever express, I always have, and I am so blessed to have her, still, in my lfe - she makes me laugh, she is my biggest cheerleader and confidante. But, the side effects of caregiving are that I side-lined my business twice (which is fine), and ignored my own medical appointments, which is not. If my mother knew that, she would be crushed. While the schedule can be somewhat grueling, it's the mental and emotional roller coaster that accompanies caregiving that leaves one without energy, sometimes enthusiasm, and splits focus away from any number of routine, and extraordinary, tasks.
Here she is, ready for her holiday party and looking like a snow queen!
Improved Health and Well-Being.
Notice I didn't write "lose 20 pounds," or "eat more protein." I already know what I need to do, but by stating that I want to experience better health, I'm commiting myself to making good, or better, decisions every single day.I don't get caught up in a calorie count, or seven vs.eight hours of sleep, or how much I'm exercising. That means I can focus on the over-arching goal instead of punishing myself over the minutia.
This is a much more proactive and positive springboard, for me, because I can adjust my behavior as I go. After all, a resolution isn't supposed to be a punishment. The Babylonians used their resolutions as a sacrifice to their gods, but I see them more as being the aspiration to being the fully functioning person God made me.
I have a couple other answers to the big question about 2024, but they have more to do with changes in my environment and business approach. As for time and space, I cannot manufacture more time, but since this is part of how I function both personally, and professionally, I can seek methods that help me manage my time more efficiently - that may mean more boundaries, using timers, scheduling, even, small tasks.
My husband has a habit of scheduling business trips, and other activities, which I do not hear about until the last minute. Up to this point, I have not always handled these pronoucements with grace. I can attempt to keep a joint calendar, but in order to accomplish that, he would need to change a decades-old habit and I cannot control that outcome. I can only control my response to it - and that's just as important.
As far as not having enough space - it's time to manage my environment more consciously, to de-clutter, remove, improve and maintain.
All of these things, including improved time and space management, support my No. 1 goal of being healthier over the next 12 months than I was last year. Because I'm committing a daily practice of living consciously through my choices, and not pinning my success to a number, I feel more confident that I will maintain the overall mission without becoming discouraged. We'll see!
How would you answer to What do YOU want to get out of 2024?
Peace of mind? More income or better finance management? Intellectual stimulation through coursework or more reading? They say that if you practice one thing daily for 21 to 66 days consecutively, it will become a new habit. Do that - let that be the resolve that gets you what you need out of the new year - I know that's what I'll be doing.
Sending you all good wishes, health, happiness, peace and prosperity in this new year! Thank you for sharing some of it here on the front porch with Magnolia Blue! Happy New Year!