Tag Archive: new year

An Uncommon Resolution


Photo courtesy of DarrenHardy.Sucess.com.

I’ve been given some excellent advice over the last few days.

New Year’s Eve is my favorite holiday, because as a textbook overachiever I love the chance to set goals, cross things off lists, dress up and get drunk, and generally put behind me everything that didn’t go my way.

A few hours before midnight, I spoke to a friend of mine that I respect and admire deeply, and she told me that she occasionally goes “off the grid.” Meaning that when she gets into work mode, it is completely possible, not to mention preferable, for her to completely ignore you and whatever crisis you have managed to put yourself in at the moment.

I struggled to understand how someone could be so desensitized to the needs of other people, even determining that some of them must have taken advantage of her so egregiously that she had hardened herself to the world. And then I realized.

It’s impossible to feel sympathy for someone if you never get the call.

I’m not saying to abandon people. But how many of us treat ourselves the way we do our friends? Do you drop everything when you’re upset? Do you spend more than you have trying to impress yourself? Do you offer to do nice things for yourself that you really didn’t want to do, just to be nice?

Yeah, I didn’t think so.

It’s often said that for many of us, if we spoke to others the way we spoke to ourselves, we’d have a lot less friends. I think that the vast majority of us could afford to cull the crop a bit. Why should we reserve something for others that we don’t afford to ourselves? Many of our friends deserve our time, but many of them don’t, and usually the difference is clear. The resources that we dump into draining people could be used to bolster ourselves.

Think about most of the people that you do get that emergency call from. Are they real friends who would do the same for you? Or do they just know that you won’t say no?

My resolution this year was to be a little bit more selfish. I’m beginning a new phase in my life, since I’m taking on a variety of freelance and work-from-home positions and greater responsibility for my time. Since my output has a direct impact on my paycheck, not to mention my sanity, it’s crucial that I stay productive and happy. If I was truly invested in my work and my sanity, respecting my time and boundaries the way that most of us are forced to at a job, how would I even know that an acquaintance needed help?

In our over-saturated, contact-driven world, most of us have begun to lose our sense of boundaries. Everyone is a friend, as long as they request you first. Developing close relationships means prioritizing contact with certain people, and not edifying your News Feed.

Are there relationships that you need to cull this year?


Five Guidelines for the New Year

Happy 2012!!!!

So, I wanted to kick off this year on a high note by chronicling some of the best advice I’ve ever gotten.

1. Know thyself.

Uttered by the famed sage Socrates as the definition of wisdom, knowing oneself is the key to why we are all here.  Life is a game in which you first figure out who you are, and then launch yourself into the equally daunting task of figuring out who you’re meant to be.   There is nothing to be gained in forcing yourself to be who you think you should be if you’re really not.  It seems like it would be an easy thing, but truth be told, there are some voices that are louder than our own, and tuning them out is not easy.

2. Good ideas are fleeting- start on them as soon as possible.

Paraphrased from the John C. Maxwell book in my bathroom, it bears notice that most good ideas never come to fruition simply because people never get around to following through on them.  It happened to da Vinci, it happened to Clinton, and it has happened to me.  If you have a great idea, take the first step immediately or plan a time to do it.  It may change your life, or someone else’s.

3. If it can be done in less than one minute, do it now.

This one is a real game changer when put into practice.  It is at least fifty percent of the literature available on time management.  This simple idea will revolutionize your home, organizational skills, relationships, finances—no kidding.  Try it.  It’s one of the best things I’ve EVER heard—I really can’t over-sell this one.

4. You can do anything for fifteen minutes/You can do anything fifteen minutes at a time.

Some people will not notice the difference between these two ideas.  The first one means that anything in this world that is not fatal can be tolerated for a set amount of time.  The second is more poignant.  Anything in this world can be broken up and managed in fifteen minute intervals.  You want to find the secret to anything you want in life?  Anything impossible or overwhelming is insultingly easy once broken into fifteen minute bites.

5.  Don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good.

This one is near and dear to my heart—as a perfectionist, I have actually sacrificed getting things done at all for the sake of doing them perfectly.  I have accomplished a fraction of what I deserve or could have achieved because of fear and timing—which is all perfectionism really is.  But I recognize that at this point in my life, bigger and bigger opportunities are slipping away because I am afraid of not pursing them the right way.  The fact is, in life, the only way to pursue anything is by laying it all out there—by not being afraid to look stupid and embracing the fact that you could completely fudge it all up.

These are the things that I’m keeping in mind as I launch into my 2012.  I am going to take chances, make changes, stop being perfect, fuck stuff up, be a little irresponsible, and basically, enjoy what it is to be twenty-two in New York City.  I’ve always loved the fact that people saw me as responsible—and I am.  I know that there’s only so far from that I will go.  But I want to start enjoying my life and stop trying to be everything to everyone.  I want to let my hair down and take chances, and most of all, stop giving a crap what everyone thinks of me.  And you know what?  I think that in doing so, I would actually be happier and ultimately more likeable.

So this year, I chase my own dreams, and my own happiness.  Even if I make a little mess along the way.

Photo courtesy of MusicThinkTank.com.

New Year’s Day

It’s the New Year, and everyone has taken that beautiful, first refreshing breath of 2011. The New Year is a time to reinvent yourself!

In the spirit of doing something new and reinventing myself, here is a New Year’s haiku.

To everyone who made a resolution this year:

Lose baggage, not weight.
How you feel inside matters
More than how you look.