Obligatory Post about New Years Resolutions

Yes, I’m making some.  But I’m easing in and taking it slowly.  My theme for the year is “Peace”.  Peace in all it’s forms:  peace with myself, with those around me, with the world, with God.  Bringing peace to others and building a peaceful sanctuary in our home.

But that’s kind of the overarching goal.  To get there, I need some feet-on-the-ground strategies around the many day-to-day struggles that I face as I move into the next calendar decade, as well as a personal milestone:  turning 50 in July!

My main source of inspiration over the past week has been Gretchen Rubin’s The Happiness Project

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.  In particular, I like how she focuses on one area of her life each month in an effort to establish some positive habits and I”m going to copy her themes, at least for the first few months.

In January, she chose to focus on Boosting Energy.  Rightly, she argues that boosting her vitality level would help her with future months in her happiness projects, and that makes sense to me.  Like Gretchen, I hope to develop some habits around both physical and mental energy.

On the bodily energy side, I need to work on getting more sleep and more exercise.  I aim to get to bed by 10 pm each night, at least Sunday to Thursday.  With my recent blood pressure incident, I need to bump up my exercise level to a minimum of 30 minutes per day.  I have started with doubling Wilson’s daily walks from 15 to 30 minutes and keeping to a brisk pace.  My 70s music mix keeps me engaged and moving.  Today’s playlist included Stevie Wonder’s “Sir Duke

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“, Captain and Tenille “Love Will Keep Us Together

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“, and Ian Thomas “Painted Ladies”.   I’m also going to go back to Oprah’s advice (actually, Bob Greene’s advice I think) about not eating two hours before bedtime.  Now, I’ve been known to do a lot of mindless eating in the evenings, and so this is a good one for me.  So, no eating after 8 pm.

On mental energy:  I need to create a calm and organized home.  If I see order around me, my stress level goes down and I’m able to relax and enjoy my family much more.  I have a number of great resources on this front, but for the purposes of setting a resolution, I want to spend some time each day following suggestions made by one or more of The Clutter Diet, Home Sanctuary, or My Simpler Life.  I also pledge to keep a running To-Do list, or bucket, per Getting Things Done‘s “Collect” phase..  I think of this as a brain dump, a way to manage stress by getting all the free-floating to-dos out of my head and onto a list so that I don’t forget them, and spend my precious mental energy trying to remember stuff.

Finally, I commit to blogging every day.  I did it in November, and the first part of December, and loved it.

I’m using an iPhone app called Touch Goal to manage my goals, and am currently using the built-in iPhone To Do list (which isn’t very good).  It doesn’t let me assign a start date or due date to items, so it’s a bit lame.  But there are lots of apps for that.  I just need to sort through them.

It seems like a lot, as I write it all out, but many of these habits are already (or have already been) part of my life at one point or another.  To summarize:

Body:  no food after 8 pm, in bed by 10 pm, and exercise 30+ minutes per day.
Mind:  one declutter task per day, running to-do list, blog every day.

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