Why do we do the things we do? What guides our decision making? How much of a decision is truly you and how much is the influence of the world and people around you? Impossible to say, cause you are part of that world around you. Separating you from it is not possible. Where one ends and the other begins doesn’t matter cause it’s all you.
Sometimes I find myself living too much in the future. Once the whole house is refurbished. Once we’ve fixed the electricity in the garage. Once all the windows have been renovated. Then we can relax. Then we’re all set and can get on with other things.
But there are so many other things that I want to do besides renovating. My kids have reached an age where they have lived at home about half the time that they will. Ten years already. Only ten more years until they move out. I need to spend time with them now. They can’t wait for me to finish something else. They are here now. They have time now. Not later on. Not ten years from now.
Building a great family is my number one priority. And it has to happen every day. It cannot wait.
There are other things that I want to do as well. Such as reading, writing, being creative. Pursue an idea that comes to mind.
The start of a new year forces us to look at what we’re doing and make changes where needed. Although we could do this any time of the year, for some reason it’s easier at new years. A fresh start. A clean slate.
What are your hopes and dreams for this year? What do you want to accomplish? What good things that you started last year could you build upon to make them even greater?
Here are some of my resolutions for this year. By putting them out there I am holding myself accountable. Hopefully, they can be an inspiration for you to make some changes to your own life.
I’ve decided to give running another go. The simplicity of it is appealing. Put on your shoes and just go. Instead of measuring distance or running in timed intervals, I’ve decided to listen to my body. I’ll start with a short warm-up walk and then run/walk for a total of 20 minutes. When I feel that my breath is heavy and I need a break, I will simply switch to walking for a while. After a little while of walking, I’ll start running again. You get the idea.
On good days, when my body feels strong, there will be more running than walking. On the not so good days, it’ll be the other way around. But that’s ok, as long as I’m moving.
As the kids are getting older, this is also an activity that I can share with them. I want them to understand how important it is to keep active. How being active also is essential to your brain and your creativity.
I use Headspace for guided meditation and that’s something that I will continue doing. It has helped me tremendously. I do it first thing in the morning. Before the kids are up. I don’t do it every morning but on average 5-6 times per week.
When I’ve had periods of doing less meditation, I feel more stressed and unfocused. With regular meditation, I’ve become much better at choosing how to react to external things that happen around me. Often it’s the response that you choose to make that is the problem, not the actual thing that happened. If your grandmother’s crystal vase broke or if a colleague at work made some not so smart remark, you can choose how to react. Although it’s sad that the vase broke, being bitter about it will not undo the damage. Likewise, you are not responsible for what your colleague does or doesn’t do.
I do encourage everyone to try meditation. If you’re a beginner, using a guided meditation such as Headspace or some other can be a helpful start.
Spend more time with loved ones
What can be more important than to spend time with the ones you love? There is no such thing as quality time, there is merely quantity.
Also, spending time with your loved ones doing things that they like is important. If the only time you spend with your children is when you are helping them with homework or some other activity that is non-optional for them, then you might want to think about adding some time where you do things that they like doing.
Therefore, my new year’s resolution is to spend more time with my kids doing things that they want to. This will mean more regular visits to the world of Minecraft, building carton houses for stuffed pets and whatever else they choose to do.
I listened to James Altucher interviewing Gretchen Rubin the other day. She’s the author of “The happiness project”. She has 12 commandments of happiness, the first one is “Be Gretchen”. For me, that would be “Be Anna”. Be you. Not some version of you that someone else decides.
This is not so easy. It’s actually really difficult to know who you truly are. I am still struggling. But like peeling an onion, I’m getting there, layer by layer until what is left is only me.
I like that, it’ll be my motto for this year. And maybe when the year has come to an end, I’ll know myself a little bit better.
What are your plans for this new year? What do you hope to accomplish?