Why you should not start over in the New Year

“My best friend is the man who in wishing me well wishes it for my sake.”~Aristotle, Greek Philosopher

I have failed my New Year’s Resolution every year. It’s not even a specific task that can be quantified, like “I will lose 10 pounds” or “I will read a book every week” or “I will not drink caffeine.”

My resolution has been: Keep Up.

That always works through January, and then somewhere…**poof**

I believe it is a noble resolution, one that I intend to…well…keep up on my list. This year, however, I am adding two more elements that should help me keep that first one.

Diana’s 2015 New Year’s Resolutions

1–Keep Up

Let’s review that one. The plan here is to keep current with emails, voice mails, sympathy cards, emails, social media, organizing workspaces, birthday cards, emails, phone calls, membership renewals, blog sites, blog posts, emails….

You see the real theme here.

This two-word goal can be hard to maintain, and once you fall behind, it’s almost impossible to catch up. So no catch up. No starting over. That’s where the next resolution comes in:

2–Start from where you are

When I finally owned enough variety of scrapbook material, I wanted to scrapbook everything: my college days; my childhood trips; my pet parakeets; my dating experiences; my film project career; my wedding; my friends and everything else. No way I could do that because it’s too overwhelming. So I chose to start documenting from the place that made sense to me. My first official archival-safe scrapbook page was of me and my husband opening our wedding presents when we returned from our honeymoon. I can always go back and memorialize the other stuff later, but as any scrapbooker will say, you are “always behind” in the pictures you want to scrapbook.

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Encouraging idea at the theater where we saw The Hunger Games: Mockingjay–Part 1 today

This one may sound like starting over, but I’m not reinventing anything. I’m fine-tuning what I already have in place. I don’t need to start over with a new website; I need to flash it up moving forward. I don’t need to start writing something new; I have ideas and drafts to work on. This resolution element is an exercise in letting go. Do not focus on the past or on the past failures.

I have an aggressive posting schedule on my blog, one I can maintain, but some 2014 blog post drafts have not been published due to computer problems, WordPress app issues and human neglect. Bloggers suggest planning posts ahead of time when you are traveling. Sometimes I want that structure. Sometimes I want spontaneity. However, not keeping up has sabotaged best plans. I have perhaps 10 mostly-completed posts that were never finished for one reason or another. Those I will wrap up and publish. I will not create new past posts from scratch just to fill up the missed dates. Nope. I’m starting the new year where I am: today.

For me, emails are not something I can just wipe out. While I am quite certain that an unread email from 7 months ago may no longer be relevant, I need to confirm that. That’s where the third part of my resolution comes in:

3–Deal with it

This does not refer to the current TV show, although it is the only “reality” show I will watch. This aspect is about taking all those elements that I have started from and making sure I keep current.

See how they all relate to each other?

So…if I have three emails that I can’t instantly delete and require some attention, make the time to deal with them at that moment with a reply, research, whatever.

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High five: it’s a Yahtzee!

Conventional wisdom states that you will be more productive when you focus on only one thing at a time. I recall a few months ago that I opened my Facebook app every time a notification popped up on my phone. I found that this instant action was relaxing because the post was usually nothing important and I didn’t play catchup later. That was a good feeling. I want to feel that way again.

I realize that I will not always have time to immediately take care of everything. Some things can slip by, get missed, are purposefully ignored and just plain become annoying. As such, this also means that it’s okay to let go. If I don’t do everything–or sometimes even anything–perfect, just accept that, deal with it and move on. Whatever it takes to keep up and not catch up.

Perhaps if I keep repeating these mantras, I’ll be successful beyond the month of January. What are you doing for 2015?

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Today ends with a glorious southeastern Pennsylvania sunset

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