Valentine and my favorite color, Resolutions and Mistakes

Seeing Red
Just a little reminder to wear red tomorrow, and notice how nice everyone (men) treat you when you do! It’s astounding really, how much “help” you get and how many new “friends” a woman can make with a red dress or red lipstick :-)

Today is my third consecutive day following my NYR exercise plan. I’m stoked. It’s 13 days into February and I’ve finally worked in what I’ve been wanting to do, according to plan. I think people give up way too soon on their NYRs, and so making resolutions gets a bad rap. The point is, if change were easy you wouldn’t need to resolve to do different. To successfully change, you must be tenacious and persistent in incorporating change, for AS LONG AS IT TAKES. I’ve had some items on my NYR list for three years or more. Those things inform me of that my priorities and limitations are, and that’s okay too. But it feels really good achieving 75% of what I set out to do. Solid “C”, heh. For “Change.”

The older I get the more I understand the growth process of trial and error, and learn to have patience with my and others’ process. I’m nearly 34 and the universe is still telling me to “Slow Down,” a lifelong challenge for a Fire Aries I’m sure. Hit the racquetball easier. Finesse those backboard shots. Think before you speak and choose the right words. Look around you. Take time for small details. Ask questions.


More To Do Items

Guess my Resolutions List is still growing!

Hot Air Balloon ride in ABQ
Visit Hawaii
Visit Norway, England, Scotland, Greece, Italy, Germany, France, Ireland
Study Astrology
Study history (particulary colonization/decolonization)
Eat out once a week at a new restaurant
Go out with friends twice a week
Hot springs, ocean/bay, or nature hike monthly
Weekend stay at coastal town every other month
Clothes shopping monthly
Attend Fashion shows 4/year
Go out dancing weekly
Take more photos!
Read a new book weekly
Volunteer weekly

Goal Achievement: Don’t let Perfect be the Enemy of the Good

I’ve found that most people scoff at New Year’s resolutions. They set a few goals, make a couple days’ or weeks’ progress on a rigid schedule, then fall off the horse, only never to get back on, reporting a “failed” resolution. They resolve never to set such goals again, from the experience that goal-setting inevitably leads to failure. What such people are lacking is not resolution; rather people often fail to be flexible and adaptable with their resolutions when obstacles are presented. Many iterations are needed to make a change in lifestyle. It is rare that a goal will be implemented perfectly as planned, because you cannot possibly anticipate all the consequences (good and bad) of your new behaviors.I have been making detailed New Year’s resolutions for 3 or 4 years now, and I have made significant changes in my lifestyle as a result. The tips I will share do not have to apply just to New Year’s, of course. The process I use can be applied to any new decision to reach a goal.

First, I take my list and sort my resolutions into things I want to accomplish daily, weekly, monthly, and within the year.

I post these resolutions in a place I will see them every day (for me that is as an image on my computer desktop).

I then take specific actions right away on each item to set me up for success. This is a framework, if you will, that makes it more possible to achieve a goal. For example, I may have to “schedule” time to do the items. In the case of wanting to read a chapter a day from a book, I had to physically put a book in my backpack so I would be more likely to read while on public transportation.

I wanted to study Chinese every day for 15 minutes, so I set up an arbitrary recurring appointment time at 8pm to do that. I see it every day on my Blackberry or my Google Calendar so I am reminded to do it daily. I try it for a couple of weeks. I realize that I am busy most nights at 8pm so that isn’t really working out very well. I end up studying right before bed, or at random times, or some days not at all. So I don’t give up and call it a failure, I just think about it for a few days and figure out how I can better incorporate this into my schedule. I find that my schedule itself is not as structured as I had imagined it to be in the first place. It may take more time and data to actually plan a time to study. So in the meantime, on days when I have more time, I study longer to sort of make up for the days I missed, and don’t stress if I miss a day here and there. This is PROGRESS! If my schedule becomes more regular, it will be much easier, but in the meantime, I must remain flexible as well, and go with the flow!

I had a goal to do Yoga poses and meditation daily, so I set an alarm for 7am daily to do this. Keep in mind that I had this goal last year, didn’t put it on my calendar, and ended up doing it only about 2-3 times a month. So, I find after 4 weeks that I don’t really feel like doing my yoga poses daily. My sleep schedule is still too varied, my exercise schedule makes me feel more active on some days and like totally resting on others. I naturally end up doing it every 2-3 days, and that feels good. I end up meditating at random times every other day or so. So did I fail at my resolution? NO! I made a significant progress toward a goal, and the extent of my change is working for me, for now. SUCCESS!

I think people just put too hard a WIN/LOSE on goal achievement, and as a result, miss out on a lot of real progress in the direction they want their lives to go. Never give up on your goals! It may take several iterations in lifestyle (and sometimes a couple years!) to get yourself there, and at the WORST, you will find that your specific (and often arbitrary) goal itself wasn’t truly in your best interest and that a modified goal is actually better for you. Patience and flexibility in COMBINATION with discipline and smart perseverance will get you the results you want in life.

Resolutions – 1st Draft

Send birthday cards on time!
Send Christmas cards
Call my parents at least 3 times/week
Call my sister at least 2 times/week
Daily meditation and hatha yoga 30 minutes
Read books – 1 chapter daily minimum
Study foreign language – 15 minutes daily minimum
Print & Hang pictures of family & friends somewhere I can see them daily
65m hammer throw and/or 55m discus throw (1-2 hours training daily)
Get certified in personal training & CPR
Travel internationally
Go with the flow – slow down and recognize when ego is trumping collective good
Take voice lessons & perform vocally
Learn to DJ and create a mix
Take vitamins & fish oil daily
Schedule exercise and social time
Schedule time with niece/nephew and parents (visit Bozeman, Idaho)
Schedule time with aunts/uncles (Missoula – Connie & Mike, Germany – Linda/Bob) & call and visit cousins (Alisa, Margaret, Tim, Aaron)
Back walkover, progressing toward a back handspring
Write blog/poem daily
Finances/Budgeting 3 times/week for 15 minutes
Weekly strategy sessions for track & field – 1 hour
Dinner party 1/month

Time to Redesign

What kind of body do I want?
What kind of housing do I want?
What kind of partner do I want?
What kind of friends do I want?
What kind of successes do I want?
What kinds of experiences do I want?

New Year’s Resolutions are coming early this year…

Resolutions 2010

I reviewed last year’s resolutions and updated a new list for this year. I’ve found it useful to make one long list of everything you want your life to look like, then break it into manageable chunks like those below. You may not do them all, but this list has helped me make major changes year-to-year. I hang it in a place I can see it daily (work, home, and computer desktop).
  • Read 1 new book per month
  • Plan business paperwork time & monthly analysis time
  • Monthly conference calls & outings 6 per year with tenants
  • Monthly massage
  • Save money & not take it out of savings
  • Meet up with local friend once per month
  • Talk with distant friend once per month
  • One yoga class per month

  • Swim one day per week minimum
  • Lift weights 2-3x/week
  • Go grocery shopping regularly every week
  • Volunteer 2 hours/week
  • Do laundry regularly
  • Massage or teach yoga to someone

  • Hatha yoga & meditate (or read spiritual texts) twice daily
  • Prepare meals for next day in advance
  • Eat salad 3x/week minimum
  • Get up 2 hours before I have to leave the house
  • 1 hour of exercise
  • Minimum one blog entry daily – personal
  • Minimum one blog entry daily – coaching
  • Daily vitamins
Annual (within 2010):
  • Learn to do a back handspring
  • Continue formal education in track & field, yoga, and massage by taking at least 1 workshop of each
  • Become certified in personal training & CPR
  • Sign up for a college class or study Chinese regularly
  • Keep hair looking nice
  • Go to 4 concerts minimum
  • Take surf lesson
  • Visit Bozeman
  • Visit Mom & Dad
  • Visit Ryan
  • Visit NYC or travel internationally
  • Join & go to church regularly
Qualities I wish to embody:
  • Respond, not react