So, by now you’ve received all of the Happy New Year texts – with of all the graphics and “2021” boldly flashing across the screen. You’re swearing to, and expecting, a life-changing year. Like most people: You spent December thinking about what your New Year’s resolutions would be, and you may have even decided to ring in the new year with some new habit. Some people will start a cleanse or purge of some sort that they think will give them an advantage for sustaining change in the new year.
But what will make this year any different than all of the rest? How about: A SPECIFIC PLAN??? Here are some PLANS that may assist with your intended growth . . .
- Review and remove contacts from your cellular phone. One common “New Year” intention is that folks will rid their life of pettiness and frivolity – which oftentimes is connected with specific people or groups. It could be an ex that keeps popping back up and whom YOU continue to ALLOW back into your life. It could be a rude acquaintance that has some good qualities, but whose influence you’ve decided, overall, is not very positive and something with which you don’t want to be associated. Most of us have been taught that denying our presence in other people’s lives – saying “No” – is rude. We’re taught that we have to give some sort of excuse for asserting ourselves and our RIGHT to live in peace, or else we’re being selfish. We say things like, “New phone, who ‘dis,” instead of hanging up or informing – NOT explaining that our season as anything is over. How about actually scrolling through each letter of the alphabet in your contacts and deleting contact information for people you: A. Do not have consistent positive contact with. These could be numbers you stored in your phone because you bumped into someone from your past (high school, old job, etc.) and politely took their number swearing to keep in touch, but did not. Remove these placeholder numbers. You could use the space for another important contact or memory. B. People you know you need to move on from: old flames that don’t return the affection; unrequited loves; people who you ALLOW to string you along. You get the picture: Define your criteria for necessary and healthy and keep only those numbers.
- Evaluate your social media presence. What is your purpose in having a social media presence? What is your purpose for viewing other people’s pages? Is your viewing of other people’s pages healthy? Do you find yourself comparing yourself to others? Do you provide too much information to others? Evaluating your social media presence may also include reviewing your list of followers and those YOU follow, to determine who should be removed. You may not even recognize some of the folks you follow and whom you have allowed to follow you.
- Write a reflective journal entry. You don’t have to be a prolific writer to produce a reflective journal entry. A journal entry does not even have to be written in complete sentences. It could be phrases, pictures or bulleted points. You don’t even have to write it. You could use your cell phone’s memo or notes application, or any other word processing app, to just jot down some reflections from the past year. You could also voice record yourself reflecting: What did you learn last year – about yourself; about other people; about life; about your capacity to survive the unexpected? How have those lessons shaped the standards to which you will hold yourself? Deep, right?
- Clean out your e-mail(s). Between work and other obligations, most of us maintain at least three e-mails. How about going through them in reverse chronological order and putting information and conversations into folders, or deleting e-mails altogether? Chances are: You or others forwarded information to you that you swore you would read later. Now the information is obsolete, or something you may come across again later. Just delete it and make a habit of reading e-mails by the end of the week or deleting it. Maybe this year you will choose an e-mail reading hour(s) and not let your inbox overflow.
And folks: It’s the little things: Sometimes small changes can provide the symbolism we need for reflective growth. It could be something as simple as changing the laundromat or supermarket you go to – or changing your route to work. You might wake up five minutes earlier – or try meditating for five minutes before going to bed. Maybe you will start reading the news in the morning before starting your day. Consistent small changes can be very powerful.
Most people fail at resolutions because they don’t think the whole thing through. They vainly think about the outcome but subconsciously plan to fail by not planning. Every aspect of your change has to be planned. What is your plan for March? For February? Where will you be in the summer and how could that impact your plan? Can you keep the same friends and remain in the same surroundings and accomplish your goal(s)? Every detail has to be planned.
#HappyNewYear #Happy2021 #BabySteps #theLittleThings