I admit, I’m the type of person who feels compelled to come up with a sizable list of New Year’s resolutions every year. I write them out, set my intentions, and start out strong.
Life gets in the way or I’m too tired or something throws me off track and it takes too long to get back on board or I realize I can’t survive on bowls of kale in January and somehow a pint of Ben & Jerry’s appears in my freezer.
And my mouthy inner critic starts her monologue –Why do you even bother? This always happens? Loser. Can’t you finish anything you start?
But I love the idea of clean slates, do-overs, self-improvement. I see myself as an endless work-in-progress with so much to accomplish and so little time. I really do want to write more, read more, travel, have more fun, lose weight, gain upper body strength, volunteer, make new friends, take art classes, get another dog, drive cross country. And a part of me wants to turn each of those desires into an itemized list that I can check off. Write five pages a day – read a book a week – go to Ireland in the spring and Japan in the summer….
I do believe in the power of lists, and checking items off a to-do list is so incredibly satisfying. However I’m going to resist that temptation.
This year I’m going to simplify.
I resolve to find as much joy as possible in each day.
Today I filled my gas tank for under $50!!! while the sun shone warmly on my face. I brought my dog to the dog park where he romped joyfully for an hour. I cleaned out my closet while listening to an excellent audiobook. I took a late afternoon nap. I went for an evening walk through the neighborhood enjoying the holiday lights and the unusual – for southern California – chill in the air. And as soon as I’m done with this post, I’m going to make myself a cup of hot chocolate with a dash of peppermint.
And you know what? I’m thinking that maybe this is a resolution I can keep.
It’s pretty simple, after all….