Follow up on resolutions

I came across this website–a New Years Resolution generator–and thought some of you might have fun with it too. What I like is that the resolutions are inspiring and encourage a better mindset and life–YOU can determine how to implement them. They aren’t the typical “lose 10 lbs” or “save $5,000” types of goals. Instead, they’re suggestions like “show gratitude” and “talk more, Tweet less.” I’m considering using the generator for a daily/weekly challenge.

In terms of my own implementation strategy, as a follow-up to my own New Year’s Resolution post, there are a couple specific things I’m going to start doing now to remind myself of this commitment to my values. Some of this comes from reading Wellbeing.

In Wellbeing, the authors talk about how people who spend their money on things tend to have a bit of instant gratification (which is possibly why some people shop when they’re upset) but that mood boost dissipates pretty quickly. Even though they may have the item for years to come, it gives them less satisfaction over time. On the other hand, those who spend their money on experiences tend to have higher levels of satisfaction and happiness over time. After all, the connection you have with the person you share that experience with and the memories of the event tend not to fade, right?

I’m a prime example of the one looking for instant gratification in a shopping mall. I love purchasing things at craft sales or stores, especially if it’s clothing or something for the house. My philosophy has been “if home is where the heart is, I want to see my heart reflected in the things in my house.” As a result, we have lots of cool artwork by local artists (awesome–especially when we get to meet those artists and get to know them!) but we also have our fair share of junk. In fact, I just donated 7 bags of clothes, shoes and bags to Goodwill, resold 2 large shopping bags of CDs and DVDs to the local record store and I’m about to drop off 3 large shopping bags of books to the local library for donation. Very few of these items actually held some significant memory or meaning.

As a result, I’ve decided that at least once month I’m going to have some kind of “significant experience” with someone and document it. (I’m being conservative with the number of “significant experiences” because most of my friends and all of my family live hours away.) This could include going to a concert with Evan, spending a weekend in Ithaca with friends or visiting my sister in Boston. Documenting it could entail writing a blog about it or taking photos–hopefully both. This new behavior allows me to strengthen my relationship with others and practice living in the moment more.

Wellbeing also talks about the importance of connecting with community. That obviously includes spending time with friends and family but it also entails connecting with your neighborhood or local community (such as going to church, participating in book groups or volunteering at the local soup kitchen). For me, that also includes connecting with blog friends. In order to be better at that, I promise to update my blogroll (which I use to follow my blogger friends) and comment on other blogger’s blogs at least weekly. This initiative will be in place by Monday morning.

Finally, thanks to the post-New Years rush at the gym, I’ve started incorporating more workouts in the morning (or during my lunch break at work). As a result, my evenings are freer and have less wasted time. (Oftentimes, with nighttime workouts, I’d have a half hour or 45-minute gap between getting home from work and going to the gym. For me, it’s challenging to really maximize that small little block of time.) On most days of the week, I vow to read at least 100 pages of a new book. That’s about 90 minutes to 2 hours of reading. And less time zoning out in front of the TV or surfing web pages. This correlates to my desire to be more intentional about my “me time” and also put more effort into increasing my knowledge and skill in my career (especially since some of the books, while not necessarily directly related to my work, do increase my professional competency). Monday night, I spent a couple hours reading and surpassed my goal of 100 pages–it felt really good and was more calming than watching yet another episode of House Hunters or a repeat of Good Eats. And Tuesday morning, had I not been distracted by my new discovery (the gorgeous sunrise at the gym), I could have easily read another 25-50 pages during my elliptical circuit.

So THAT is how I’m enhancing 2011 in small little ways.

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4 responses to “Follow up on resolutions

  1. I am the same with instant gratification, especially when it comes to things for my home. I couldnt possibly need anymore vases or candle holders, but I love pretty things!

  2. I love it! I haven’t read Wellbeing, but I couldn’t agree more! I think I posted on my About Me page many months ago that our “big screen tv” is actually a picture of us somewhere exotic. No boat, no flat screen, no lake house. Instead we choose Bosnia, Italy, Russia, etc. We try to go on one major international vacation every year and enjoy that so much more than something like a big tv (even though that would be something in our daily lives). I noticed long ago that it’s experiences and not things that matter (at least once you have the requisite number of things, think I’d rather have a couch to sit on and a bed to sleep in than a vacation, but assuming you have the basics!). And it’s not just experiences like big trips (though that is our favorite experience), it’s also concerts, going to live productions, road trips, dinner parties, etc. I think you’ll love the results of your efforts to focus on experiences. And it will be interesting reading for us readers too!

  3. Loved reading this post! I think those are great goals – kind of to be more mindful of what you are doing each day to make it better – cool!

    And I love to shop too – but I am a thrift store whore and don’t feel guilty spending my $20 each weekend 😀

    Happy New Year!

  4. I couldn’t agree with you more. I think that well-being is going to be one of my overarching goals for 2011. I’ve joined challenges that deal with it, and like the idea of making it a priority.

    One of my new year’s resolutions is to leave at least one comment a day on one of my blogroll blogs. I love receiving comments, so I’m trying to do my part to treat others as I want to be treated. Plus, it gets me reading great blogs like yours when I have a few minutes here and there every single day.

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