Actually, I don't "do" New Year's resolutions. Instead, I choose a theme that helps guide my choices and decision making over the course of the year. For example, last year my theme was Mindfulness and my goal was to become mindful of my thoughts, feelings, and actions. This year, my theme is Energy; that is finding a balanced and sustainable source for the physical, mental, emotional, and creative energy I need to achieve my personal goals.
I tend to use my energy like a cheetah--I either run flat out at 150 mph or I sit on the couch. When I'm productive, this tendency is great because I get lots accomplished. But, when I'm in couch mode, things pass me by until I have to get up and run again to get caught up.
While practicing mindfulness over the past year, I became more aware of this tendency and tried to moderate it. It worked for a while. I was particularly productive this past spring and summer, but at a sustainable pace. I got a lot done, without working too hard or resting too much. But, when life got busier in the fall, I fell into my old cheetah habit of doing too much and ended the year as a couch slug.
So, over the course of the year,I want to reestablish old habits and create new ones to enhance my personal energy. I also want to learn to practice moderation, rather than falling into the habit of overdoing or underdoing. To these ends, I have identified four areas of focus:
- Physical energy: eat fresh, unprocessed foods, exercise regularly, and make sure I get plenty of sleep.
- Emotional energy: journal daily, make sure to spend time with family and friends.
- Mental energy: maintain an updated calendar, keep an ongoing task list, establish a notecard system for goals.
- Creative energy: reorganize studio, build design wall, and finish UFOs.
I'm excited about this year. My cheetah tendency has been with me a long time. Even my second-grade teacher commented on my report card about my tendency to race through tasks to finish quickly. But the moderation I practiced over the past year taught me that it is possible to change. I'll let you know how it goes.