How many times have you been approached in the new year and asked “What are your New Year’s resolutions? “I’ve been asked that question most of my adult life.
I normally answer with things like: I’ll wear my seat belt even if it’s just around the block. I’m going to drink less wine. I’m not watching TV for a month. Or, I’m getting rid of clothes from a decade ago. But this year I’ve decided to make my new year’s resolution around decisions to Not do something. Approaching the new year with this twist helped me see commitments and myself in a different light.
This year I am not going to judge people. We are instinctively hard-wired for survival and our first reaction when someone doesn’t agree with us is to criticize or find fault with their behavior. “Be more mindful” I’m going to tell myself. Pause. I can’t get words back. So even if I can’t understand where a person is coming from, I will turn my thoughts in to a positive one, or at least a neutral one.
This year I am not going to answer the phone every time it rings. This is going to be a challenging one. I will not answer the phone when I am in the middle of something, when I am meeting with someone, or especially when I am having dinner or a conversation with my children or my husband. Chances are it is a robocall, a salesperson who doesn’t even know my name or a recording telling me to collect my “reward” after answering a few, short questions. I’ve realized over the years that the phone rules our time and our lives. Time is precious. I’m making the phone my enemy, not a friend.
This year I will not put things off. Procrastination, NEVER! Rather, I am taking the “Just Do It Now” approach. If I just take those unsavory tasks and address them, rather than spending a bogus amount of time planning for when I’ll do them, I’ll have them done and out of the way. Ahh productivity. Feels good!
This year I will not stop challenging myself. I want no regrets in life. Therefore, I need to live the life I want. By challenging myself regularly and decisively, I’m continuing to step outside my comfort zone and enter undiscovered territory. By contrast, if I never challenge myself outside the familiar, I’ll never know what skills, resourcefulness, creativity and all-around awesomeness I might be!
Move over New Year’s resolutions. Meet the new approach to Not doing things.
Cathy Drzal for the Align Team