I've had two major influences this year for how I'm going to approach my resolutions. One comes from the Desire Map concept, originated by Danielle LaPorte. I'm intrigued by the concept of making plans based on How I Want To Feel, rather than what I want to accomplish. I want my life to feel good, not be a list of things to do or stuff to accumulate. I've been mulling over the last few weeks, thinking about what feelings I experience now that I want to keep experiencing, and what feelings I don't yet experience but want to. It's been in the back of my mind for a while now.
The other influence is Mavis Butterfield's 2014 project where she came up with a list of 12 things she wanted to accomplish in the new year, and then she posted weekly about her progress against that list. I like the idea of publishing my list, and reporting weekly on my progress. Not because I have anything to prove to anyone, but because getting into a regular practice of reviewing my resolutions will undoubtedly keep me more faithful to the list than if I just declare it in January and never return to it again. I like the idea of a regular check-in, and publishing it on the blog makes it more real and more official, somehow.
Right now I'm working on creating my list. Here's my process:
1. I created five categories: Self, Family, Home, Friends/Community, and Sweet Adelines. I wrote them all down on a sheet of paper, leaving lots of room for brainstorming under each category.
2. For each of those categories, I'm writing down how I want to feel this year within that category. For example, under the "Family" category, I want to feel Loved/Loving, Connected, Fun, Supportive. Under the "Sweet Adelines" category, I want to feel Artistic, Invigorated, Challenged, Creative, Fun. And so on, for each of the categories. There's no right or wrong answer here. There can be overlap between the categories - you'll see "fun" show up on almost all of my category lists.
3. Next, I'm brainstorming. I am listing what kinds of things I can do so that I can end up feeling the way I want to feel. This step is a true brainstorm - no judgment or evaluation of the ideas yet, just list anything that comes to mind that could contribute to the feelings I'm seeking. For example, under the Sweet Adelines category, if I want to feel Challenged, then I could take vocal lessons, try new kinds of music, take on a more active coaching role, etc. I'm making a big, long list of ideas, and really putting some "crazy" ideas down that will stretch me and put me a little bit out of my comfort zone.
4. Next, I'm rearranging, organizing, and prioritizing the list of things to do. This is the step I'm at right now. I've got way more ideas listed than I'll realistically be able to do, mainly due to time and money limitations. So I have to make some choices about which ones will be most likely to help me get to those feel-good feelings I'm looking for. What do I really want out of my 2015? What things will really help me get there? I'm paring down my list, choosing things that might cross categories, choosing things that will stretch me, or will most likely satisfy my wishes for feeling good.
5. Next, (when I'm done with step 4), I'll make my list of Resolutions, and publish them here. I'll do a weekly check-in here too. I'm committing to myself to not lose sight of my goals, to give myself the gift of follow-through. I'll have the weekly chance to evaluate and re-evaluate, and if things aren't working I'll be able to change things up to get back on track.
I'm in the middle of Step 3 and Step 4 right now. In the next day or two, I hope to have this process complete, and ready to publish.
This is by far the most thorough and involved New Year's Resolution activity I've ever completed. It sounds like over-kill maybe. Too structured? Too intense? I don't know. Maybe. But maybe it's just what I need right now. I'll give it a go, and check in later to see how it feels.
How about you? Are you making any resolutions for 2015? Or do you swear off resolutions? Are you doing something else to guide your path through the coming months? I'd love to hear about it. Please do drop a message in the comments, let's chat!
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