Choose how you spend your time

Desk calendar for 01/01 on the counter of Barista

A few years ago I was introduced to the idea of replacing New Year’s resolutions with a theme for the year. Rather than tying your success for the new year to specific goal, you pick an area to focus on instead. It’s easier to feel accomplishment if you have several, changeable ways to reach your goals.

The first year I chose Make more things’. It was fun and exciting, we made beer and sourdough. A major renovation took over the whole top floor of the house. My wife and I had a bake-off to see if I would finish the bedroom before she finished the new baby. (I won, but it was a moot point as no one was going to sleep much for a bit).

The next year the theme was Finish more things’. The irony was not lost on anyone around me. It turns out, a theme without a plan leaves you adrift. After a few iterations, I’ve found that having some idea of how I want my theme to play out helps me get what I need out of it. Being gentle with myself and letting things change lets me stick with it.

For this year my theme is Choose how I spend my time’. As always, it’s a little loose, but it fits with several ideas that have kept resurfacing this fall and winter. I’ll know I’m succeeding in 2019 if I am choosing to:

  • Short circuit self-doubt and second thoughts by paying attention to myself, spend 20 minutes a day meditating.
  • Look at my phone when I get to work, put my phone down when I walk in the door at night. If the kids are awake my phone doesn’t have to be. I have an Apple Watch, I’ll know if someone needs to get ahold of me.
  • Spend time with friends and extended family. Share lunch, play games, write letters, and make phone calls.
  • Write more. I started this blog as a challenge and an opportunity. I’ve also been enjoying the community very much and will continue to contribute there.
  • Run run run. The last two years I’ve run the Foot Traffic Flat half-marathon. This year I’m going to try to run my first marathon.

2018 was long and tough, 2019 will be too, but I’m optimistic.