Historically, this is the time of year when people make resolutions about what they hope to improve in/about their lives. I just did a quick Google on "resolutions" and one of the first things that popped up was a Top Ten List (along with the comment that the majority of Americans will a) have at least one of these on their own list and b) probably won't keep it and will have it on their list again NEXT year).
Here are the Top Ten:
Spend more time with family and friends
Fit in fitness
Tame the bulge
Enjoy life more
Get out of debt
Learn something new
Any of these ring a little ding-a-ling?
Even I, who several years ago decided to stop making way too many resolutions and focus on just a few areas for potential improvement (that all tie in with my Master Plan), have to admit that I selected two such areas that are close to two on this list. And, after doing a brief poll on Facebook, I noticed that many of my Facebook friends have similar resolutions to these. More on that later.
So, what's this Master Plan of mine? Well, I'll tell you in a second, but WHY I came up with it is probably more germane to this whole resolution topic.
Like a lot of people, every year, I'd come up with this too long and probably unreasonable list of things to either improve about myself or my circumstances OR something to do. Less than half-way through the year, I'd find myself unfocused, torn, frustrated, confused; mostly because many of the items really didn't matter, were not specific enough, or, should have just been status quo.
Case in point, this whole "lose weight/get into shape/take care of my health" resolution. To me, this is not something a person should pay attention to once a year; rather, it should be a life style. Either you do it, or you don't. If you don't intend on making your health a priority every single day of your life, stop kidding yourself, leave it off your resolution list and focus on something else in whatever time you've got left.
For me personally, this is just an overarching requirement to my life. If I don't feel good, nothing else is going to matter.
So, anyway; to avoid the long laundry list of too many unreasonable and unrelated resolutions, I wrote my Master Plan. Actually, I got the idea from a very interesting book entitled "Conversations with God". Religion aside, the concept is simple. People need to have a plan, whatever it is, to which every single thing you do fits in with that plan. In the business world, we call this a strategic plan.
My plan is somewhat fluid, but with sufficient structure to provide guidance. Like any decent plan, I've had to tweak it a few times, too; but, at least it's a map. What's that saying? If you don't know where you're going, any road will get you there? I don't know about you, but, I'd sort of like to have some idea of where I'm heading (and why!)
Here it is:
Retire/Semi-Retire within Seven Years in Comfort and Ease with Sufficient Funds and Both of Us Active and Healthy.
Not really rocket science.
Since I'm already semi-retired, my primary focus is doing what is necessary to get Mr. B there!
For me to do this, I've got to be happy/healthy/motivated (and such there are many of my resolutions that fall into this category; 'cause if mama ain't happy, ain't NO ONE happy!)
Here are my 2010 picks:
1. Maintain a healthy lifestyle (that overarching thing; I guess I only put it down because I'm OCD).
2. Continue to contribute to our cash flow "somehow" (yes, purposefully vague; who knows what direction this may take?)
3. Wrap up a few personal projects (note I did not say ALL of them!)
4. Accept imperfection in self and others (this is important to me because I sometimes get bogged down in wanting everything PERFECT; which ends up putting me in stall mode)
5. Learn/do at lease one new thing (gotta keep growing; note, this was on the top ten list)
6. Keep an eye on the future but enjoy the "present" of today (also on the top ten list but definitely something I have to remember (this sort of goes hand and hand with #4))
Those of my Facebook friend who responded had:
Stop taking crap from people
Get organized (this was a popular one)
Take control of my life/stop talking about it and put plans into action
Stop cussing (hmmm...nah, maybe I'll try that one for Lent :-) )
Happy New Year, all. Make 2010 worth it!