When I read Gretchen Rubin’s book, The Happiness Project, it was over a year ago and I was entranced. I had so often thought of things I wanted to do (uhh, like, blog) but never did. Maybe because I wasn’t super motivated, but more likely because I didn’t hold myself accountable, and got stuck under, “I’ll do it soon.”
And for a while I kept it in the back of my mind, kept a “think of resolutions” note in my to do lists, but nothing came of it. Then, a few months ago I started listing resolutions that I would have, if I ever did this. I thought of realistic, specific, attainable, important to me ones. I phrased them like Gretchen would. And I thought about them, and that helped.
Then I brought in technology. I found a habit tracker app. Something about that motivation, about getting the reminder pop ups and being asked “did you do this yesterday?” worked.
My current three resolutions are:
1. Clean one thing. (counted as anything other than the dishes and making the bed. I often get overwhelmed with cleaning our apartment, but also get noticeably anxious when the apartment is a mess. And I’ve found that in allowing myself to just clean one thing, I usually actually end up doing more than one.)
- Move your body. (which has coincided with me returning to yoga, which I am so glad about. Power yoga with a wonderful teacher is incredible for my body, the amount I sweat is amazing, the strength I’m gaining is wonderful, and the mood change in me is good for my soul. But, this counts as hiking, yoga, gym, a walk. My mind and emotional state is so much calmer when I’ve moved my body. Also, check out the book Spark.)
Keep in touch. (this is the hardest one. I am an introvert by nature, which means that even though I feel perfectly okay with going longer periods of time without checking in with friends, I do, very much realize, that my friends don’t feel the same way — and their extroverted selves aren’t satisfied with that. So, it’s a give-and-take. Plus, I realize that I have gotten very black-and-white about this — like, either I had to go out every night and have long phone conversations each day, or nothing. But I’m giving myself a middle ground. So, Keep in Touch means that I send a text, an email, g-chat, see a friend, make plans, or have a phone conversation with a friend. I give myself permission to not do this every day, but the knowledge that it’s one of my resolutions keeps me doing it more than I might otherwise. And it’s meeting loved ones halfway. Which they deserve, and so do I.)
And…it’s going well so far. And I don’t feel internal pressure to do it like Gretchen did, where I change my resolutions each month or devote my entire month to them. Just having them in the back of my mind keeps me cognizant that they’re there — and let’s be honest, meeting them feels really, really good. Because ultimately, they’re all about self-care, and that’s the whole point, right?