Saturday, December 31, 2016

Resolution Byway

Do you still make resolutions? Are you the kind of person who makes them and keeps them, or do you just let them die a natural death?  I quit making resolutions long ago. Or maybe it's just I make them every day: tomorrow I'm going to learn to plan out a menu for the next week; tomorrow I'm going to haul all that stuff I don't use any more to the thrift store; tomorrow I'm going to pick up that book I started a year ago and finish it by the end of the week. Either way, I do not keep resolutions, so I don't make them.

Last year, I decided to follow someone else's lead  and pick a word for the year. I decided on "Proactive", because one of my great faults is procrastination.  I believe one of the reasons I procrastinate is a fear of making the wrong decision, so I just let things happen and deal with the consequences. Or not. I thought if I could learn to be proactive, I might just overcome this vice.

It appears this is going to take more than a year to overcome, being as it was 64 years in the making.

So I'm keeping that word again this year, and adding a new one.

2016 brought a lot of changes in our world, both locally and globally. It's the year that I thought, when I got my first paycheck and saw Social Security withholdings, was a ridiculously long time away! It has been one of those years we look back on and say, "That was the year we _____."  I don't remember what was significant about 2013, or 2006, or 1997. They were just passing time kind of years, status quo kind of years. Fillers, as it were. I guess we all need those time-spans, months or years when nothing dramatic is happening, periods of time when we can catch our breath, heal from past events, or gather strength for new ones.

On the other hand, maybe things happened that passed me by. Maybe I was oblivious to what was going on around me, in others' lives, in others' worlds.  Maybe working nights and sleeping days blinded me to opportunities. Maybe I am self-centered.

"Mindfulness" and "living intentionally" sound too trendy, too fashionable, and over-used to the point they've lost their effectiveness (at least, to me).  I don't want it to be just another fad. I want to be aware of what is important to those I care about, to be aware of opportunities to help someone else.

 So, this year's word will be Attentive.

To me, this is twofold: being observant, then being thoughtful of others. How can you be thoughtful of others, if you haven't observed what is going on with them? And what is the use of just observing, if you don't follow through?

Having a plan is key to making this work. It's easy to be all gung-ho for a few days or weeks, until you realize what an effort it can be. After all, if it was easy, there would be no change involved. My plan is to find one day a week to be attentive to someone else's needs. In Feb., I will look for 2 days a week. April I will seek 3 days. June = 4, Aug = 5, Oct = 6, Nov = 7. And it can't be just for Jack each time. I am such a homebody, I need to make myself get out there and do something.

As for being Proactive, I plan to be proactive about something once a month. It could be proactive house maintenance, meal planning, walking for my health, buying Christmas gifts before December, finding a dentist in my new town.

I will blog about whatever I have been proactive about, but the attentiveness can sound too much like bragging, so I'll just post how many times a week I was able to follow through on it.

What about you? Want to choose a word for the year, and then blog about your efforts?

PS.  This is beginning to sound like a resolution, huh?

1 comment:

Alycia said...

Both of those are great words!! I understand them well. I am not so much of a resolution maker as I am a goal maker. And then a procrastinator too - ha ha!! I like your words though - its a great way to apply that vision to your decisions right?