I've spent so many years making huge, multi-page lists of goals, breaking them down all Franklin-Covey-ish into smaller goals, and those into smaller goals...and lasting the first few weeks keeping all those rules and regulations I've laid out for myself. And then I stop and feel the guilt, chastising myself to no end...that ends this year.
The one biggest goal for myself that has always rolled over each year is to publish. I have sold some short stories, a few craft patterns to magazines, etc., but with publishing the NICU knitting book I feel like I can relax. Not that I won't continue to write or knit, just that I can take the pressure off myself of that goal. It was a personal milestone and now I can continue on, creating and writing and dreaming new projects.
Between that and all the personal things I've learned this year, I decided to make up a much easier goal list this year, the kind of resolutions that will be no problem to accomplish and that will generally give me a little slack to be kinder to myself. I think that's the key. I've learned this year to be a little kinder to myself.
This is what I've learned in 2011:
Just because someone asks me to do something, I'm not obligated to to say "yes". A favor always has at least two answers: "yes" and "no" and variations in between. Saying "no" does not make me a bad person, nor is it a measure of my friendship or love. Saying "no" does not mean I have a bad attitude, am selfish, or that I'm not a "giving" person. However, on the heels of that, another thing I learned this year is that if I say No and the other person gets mad or demands to know why I can't/won't do the favor, that's a measure of THEIR friendship to me.
There are friends in my life that I get to spend relatively little time with due to family, jobs, distance, and life in general. It doesn't mean I love those friends less or that our friendship is any less strong because we're busy with the minutia of life. On the other hand, there are acquaintances who I think of as friends who are only around when they want something from me or I'm convenient for them. I have learned to trust my instincts. The heart knows the difference between the two.
I cannot take on the world or be all things to all people, nor can I fix anyone else's life, especially when I can hardly cope with my own sometimes. I have learned that when people talk to me about their problems what they mostly need is just someone supportive to listen, not someone to jump in and fix everything for them or to take on their problems. I no longer feel like Atlas. (No wonder I had back problems--the world is a heavy load!)
And the last thing I learned this year is that I really don't need to know everything bad about anybody. I don't even need to know everything at all about anybody. I've found that I really like relating to people at face value without gossip or negative thoughts rolling around in my head--it's so much more pleasant to assume everyone is nice and exactly what they appear to be, especially people whom I'm not particularly close to.
That's a lot of education that's been going on in my brain this year.
For 2012 my resolutions for my personal happiness are:
10) Take longer baths.
9) Smile at drama that plays out before me without becoming one of the cast.
8) Knit more things for myself.
7) Remember that two negatives only make a positive in multiplication.
6) Sleep in more, with no guilt.
5) Not give a crap at least twice/week about things that I have no control over.
4) Take more walks.
3) Share more time with family.
2) Curse more creatively.
and 1) Eat more bacon.