The Obligatory New Year’s Resolution Post

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Happy new year everyone!

Well, we’re a few days into the new year, and it’s time for the obligatory resolutions post. I’ve been thinking about what I want from this year, and very simply, I want less: less busywork, less focus on results, less stuff.

Part of this is because it’s so easy to get caught up in a perpetual game of whack a mole, crushing whatever’s most urgent and losing track of what’s essential for longer term happiness and fulfillment.

My friend Deb describes her to do list as a quadrant where the axes are urgency and importance.

image via lateralaction.com

So what gets done? Anything that’s urgent, whether it’s important or not, and usually the brainless tasks that are neither urgent nor important. What’s left? Important goals that lack urgency (for example novels in progress or any sort of self care).

I like Deb’s goal for the year:

[blackbirdpie url=”https://twitter.com/#!/debcha/status/154577046696243200″]

It lines up pretty closely with the resolution I sent to the Working Writers blog for their resolutions post:

Every year I make resolutions such as “I’m going to finish (or finish revising) my novel” or “I will attend at least 2 writing conferences, 6 book groups, and 8 critique group meetings.” It’s easy to track progress with quantified goals! This year, my resolution is simple: to take my time. Whether revising a scene or completing an exercise, my goal is to focus on the moment I’m trying to capture and to inhabit it.

I read a blog called Zenhabits, which I love for its focus on simplicity, and my resolution is grounded in Steps 3 and 4 of their algorithm for change.

1. Start very small.
2. Do only one change at a time.
3. Be present and enjoy the activity (don’t focus on results).
4. Be grateful for every step you take.

So that’s my resolution for the year: to do less and to take my time with each thing that I do and to enjoy myself every step of the way, whether that means speaking with a parent who’s worried about college admissions or appreciating the slick feel of peanut butter in my hands when I make buckeyes or inhabiting my main character while revising a scene and experiencing the world through her senses, metaphors, and memories.

What are your new year’s goals and resolutions?

© 2016 Anindita Basu Sempere. 
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