A few weeks ago, I left my required reading book on the wrong side of the baby gate. Knowing that if I hopped over and back I would distract my toddler from his contented, independent play and thus lose my chance to read ANYTHING, I took a taste of the forbidden fruit that is Every Book On The Planet That Is Not My Required Reading; I read the introduction to Zen Habits’s Leo Babauta’s 2009 book, The Power of Less.
To succeed and thrive, Babauta says, you must focus all of your attention on one goal at a time.
To Google, I said, “Does Leo Babauta have a stay-at-home wife?” Why yes, he does. It must be nice to have someone to take care of the rest of your life while you focus all of your attention on One Goal.
It’s New Year’s Resolution season, which I love. The entire Internet blooms with writing about goal-setting and time management and habit-change, which are some of my favorite things to read and write about! But when it comes to my own resolutions, I am still… mmm… making peace with the process. My angst is well documented.
Okay, so I do have a tendency to make too many Resolutions. Shut up, Babauta. There’s a time and a place for making a series of sweeping life changes, but with its proximity to the holidays, notoriously nasty weather in the parts of the US I tend to hang out in, and hangovers, I don’t think January 1 is really an ideal date for changing your entire life immediately.
But even if I did have a stay-at-home-wife of my own to help maintain my household while I tackled One Goal, is a New Year’s Resolution an appropriate place to apply such laser-sharp focus? A year is a long time to focus on one task without getting bored or distracted. A year is a long time to let other priorities slide; giving up on, say, exercise or healthful eating while you focus on other goals just seems dumb.
I hope my first New Year’s Resolution will help me tamp down my desire to make 100 changes all at once by helping me apply a little One-Goal-ish focus throughout the year. My first resolution for 2018 is to Live (and Plan) Seasonally. Instead of a plan for the year, I’ll plan for the season. The rhythms of the weather, temperature, and amount of daylight will help me determine which goals and habits to focus on and when.
So yes, for my first resolution, I resolve to make more resolutions.
In considering my various NYR successes and failures, I think I’ve decided that for me, the best resolutions are fun resolutions. Resolutions that don’t involve your major life goals or core competencies, because if you start to fail those, then the guilt settles in for the rest of the year. Resolutions that aren’t punishing or restrictive (unless, of course, you find restricting yourself strangely fun? Any abstainers in the room?) Resolutions that don’t involve your weight. So my second resolution for 2018 is to Play Twelve New Board Games with my spouse. We have been Aspiring Boardgamers ever since my sister’s boyfriend entered our lives at the North Carolina Beach House in 2014. That summer, we played Pandemic, Ticket to Ride, 7 Wonders, and more. Three years later, my sister’s boyfriend is my sister’s husband, and my husband and I ready to be Actual Boardgamers.
We are hoping this resolution will also help us acquire some Actual Boardgamer Friends, since most games are more fun with at least 3 people. This is not, however, stopping us from playing through an entire legacy campaign of Charterstone as a twosome. We are only on game 3, so we will have to play a little resolution catch up at some point. Oh darn.
My final resolution is really more of a project, but one that will last all year so I’m going ahead and calling it an NYR. My third resolution for 2018 is to Beautify My Home, One Room at a Time. I’ve been in this place for a year and a half now, and while we’ve made some purchases and improvements, I’m ready to go all in.
(Or at least as all in as you can go with a rental, a toddler, a minuscule budget, and a mediocre track record with resolution-keeping…)
It’s really killing me not to throw on ten more resolutions to this list. I want to read 100 books this year, but I *always* want to read 100 books *every* year! I always want to eat better, work out more, feel healthier, get more sleep, write more and write better, etc. My human hamster-wheel of desires will certain spin on, all year long. And I’ll probably tell you all about it.