Resolutions, Bucket Lists, Hopes And Dreams

I’m already two weeks behind in my resolution to make some New Year’s resolutions.

This is exactly why I shouldn’t make New Year’s resolutions.

running out of time for resolutionsIt seems that I’m not alone. Yes, we all have goals and dream to be the best version of ourselves. But one grand statement of action, commencing on January 1st and likely cast aside by January 18th may not be the best way to inspire ourselves.

The brilliant and hilarious Lin Brehmer from WXRT radio in Chicago summed it up best in a “Lin’s Bin” piece about New Year’s resolutions.

Lin’s advice?

One should always wait at least a week before implementing new year’s resolutions because by that time, the impulse will have passed and we can all continue with our lives unencumbered by the sort of promises so ridiculous that we can only make them to ourselves.

Check out Lin’s entire essay here.

So what to do, then?

Yesterday in yoga class (by the way, returning to yoga class would have been one of my resolutions for the year – Yay for me!), a gal mentioned that rather than one big resolution for the year, she breaks it down into monthly plans.

Keep it simple, she advised, but keep it up so that the resolution becomes a habit and one builds upon the next. Theoretically, by the end of the year, she will be practicing 12 new behaviors which she feels will mark improvements in her life.

Not a bad idea.

In the blog world we hear a lot about picking a word which will act as inspiration for the year.

One of the best I’ve read so far comes from my friend Dana at Kiss My List.

Dana’s word of the year:

Embrace

As in, embrace yourself – flaws and all, embrace your friends and family with warm hugs and, yes, even embrace the challenges that might come your way this year.

As I told Dana, any word that means both “a hug” and “to accept” is pretty powerful.

Here’s to a 2016 with more hugs and more acceptance!

Then there is the whole concept of a bucket list. A compilation of all the outlandish things that you’d love to do but the successful completion of which is unlikely or nearly impossible.

Another blog pal, Eli from Coach Daddy, introduced me to the concept of a reverse bucket list. (Giving credit where credit is due, Eli learned about the reverse bucket list from Tessa of Nothing Was Said.)

A reverse bucket list is made up of all the things you have already done that are pretty darn amazing. Sort of an itemized list of your accomplishments to remind you how great/lucky/blessed your life has been thus far.

I’m definitely going to create a reverse bucket list and will refer to it whenever I need a little boost.

My very favorite notion in the personal goal setting genre, however, is one I learned about from my daughter, Annie. Again, giving appropriate snaps to the original source, Annie got this idea from her dear friend Heather.

Heather created a list: 30 by 30. Thirty things she wanted to accomplish before turning 30. She crossed off the last item as she spent her 30th birthday on Machu Picchu. Pretty impressive, eh?

Annie wanted to give herself a little more time, what with having a full-time job and a one year old, so she made her list 35 by 35. Many are things she wants to do as a family with her husband and son. None involve a trip to South America.

I like this idea of putting pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard), recording a list of all those things I’ve said, “someday I/we should do this”.

Nothing crazy. I’m going to treat my list not as a high-bar challenge but rather as a reminder of experiences I’d like to add to the story of my life.

My next big birthday is coming too soon to have that as my target date. Accomplishing 60 tasks in 21 months seems a bit ambitious and might cause me to temper my dreams.

So I’m going to make mine 65 by 65.

I’ve decided to break my list into categories. I will set my sights on things to do, things to see, things to learn, things to try, things to taste, places to go and people to meet.

I will let you know when I’ve come up with the entire list and keep you posted on my progress.

Of course, this entire conversation will be moot if I win the billion dollar powerball jackpot. Just sayin’…

How about you? Did you make resolutions? Choose of word for the year? Any suggestions for my 65 by 65 list?

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