January 3, 2014

To 2014 and All That It Holds

I suck at resolutions, goal-setting and follow through, and while I really do love the idea, picking one word to rule the year has never really panned out for me either. I know one of the only ways to find success when striving for change is to set out specific and attainable goals, so I know that I might just be setting myself up for failure here by taking a more general aim at change. I’m going to go ahead and give it a whirl anyway. Instead of one word, I’m going to pick a phrase--a label, if you will--for 2014:


Vague enough? Let me elaborate a little bit. There are so many things about the way I’ve been living my life that make me want to shake myself, kick my own arse, throw myself a look of haughty derision. I’ve become uninspired, unmotivated, undisciplined…just un-everything. Not cool, Jaime. Not cool. In short, I’m disappointed with the slug I’ve allowed myself to become. So, here’s what I mean by “doing things differently” (and by “differently”, I’m allowing that any  and all  change for the better counts):

STOP
…wasting time on things that don’t matter (i.e. watching lame TV shows, checking and re-checking all of my social media accounts a gazillion times a day, worrying all the frigging time about things completely out of my control). 
…letting stupid things annoy the heck out of me. (Related to the first point, sure, but it deserves its own mention because it’s a massive pitfall for me.) 
…allowing toxic relationships to drag me down. (Limit the time I spend with certain people or steer clear of them and their negativity/bullying/passive aggression/whatever altogether. Maybe even stand up for myself now and then.)  
…waiting for things to change and instead do things to make  them change. (“The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step” or some such.) 
…being passive and/or lazy about so many things.

START
…actively seeking balance in my life by allotting larger chunks of time to the things that matter and relegating the crud that doesn’t to much, much smaller time slots. (Watching lame TV vs. writing. Not really a hard decision, right?)
…making healthier food choices. (This would not take much right now. Any upward movement in this area would be considerable progress. Seriously.) 
…working exercise into my daily schedule (before my health gets any worse, before my knees completely give out from all the sitting I’ve been doing, before I’m down to only stretchy pants...eek).
...being a better wife, friend, sister, daughter. (I too often drop the ball here, which is completely inexcusable.) 
...getting comfortable with the word "no". (It's okay to say "no" to things I don't have time for/don't want to do.) 
…pushing harder toward what I want out of life. (I’d like to be published, to become better at the instruments I play, to become more fluent in second languages that I already have some degree of proficiency in, to take up photography and any number of other things I want to learn…)
Here's to being sillier.


I turned 35 this past summer, and while that makes me groan (because ugh) and at the same time feel fortunate to be given even that many years, it’s a reminder that I’m not getting any younger. Life is too darn brief to sit idly by while it speeds past. Above all, next year at this time, I'd like to look back on 2014 with minimal regrets and an overall feeling of satisfaction with all that the year held.


So here’s to 2014, THE YEAR OF DOING THINGS DIFFERENTLY.


27 comments:

  1. Good for you, Jaime! I think everyone can do with giving their priorities a shake like this--me included. Spending less time on things that don't matter, and more on things that do is one of those goals that seem so obvious, and yet we're so easily sucked into the lame and pointless. We need to constantly ask ourselves: does this matter? Whether it's a project, a TV show, or an argument... :) We need to ask: how is this making me, or anyone else, a better person, or helping me do what I think I need to be doing with my fleeting time on earth?

    I hope this works for you, Jaime, and you have a stellar 2014 as a result. :)

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    1. You're so right, Colin. I think asking "Does this matter?" is a great place to start. It's shocking just how much time and energy we give to things that, in the broad scheme of things, don't matter one iota. I think I pretty much gift-wrapped and handed over 2013 to so many things that weren't worth it. What does matter is learning from those mistakes and making change. I hope 2014 is a great year for you, too! :-)

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  2. Here's to you having a wonderful 2014, Jaime! :D

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  3. Good luck! This is kinda my plan too.

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  4. I really like this! And all of those things you want to START doing should be on my list too :-) Hope your 2014 will be amazing and that you experience many fulfilling & happy moments! Hugs!

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    1. We'll see how it goes, anyway. :-) I really hope I can make some of these changes, because I feel like 2013 was not my best year. Here's hoping 2014 is much, much better!

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  5. What a great post! I really need to take some of your advice, too (and, since even my coach, who is really diplomatic about these things, mentioned I should lose a few pounds, the eating better advice, especially. I just spent all vacation in stretchy pants*)

    I think it will be a great 2014!

    *But we're writers! That's our uniform. So wear the stretchy pants with pride!

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    1. I can't believe your coach said that! Eek. I refuse to give up food I like, but I know I need to limit most of the stuff that's bad for me and introduce healthier food options into my diet. This should be fun. Not. And I have to agree that the writing uniform does consist mainly of stretch fabrics and I'm okay with that. ;-)

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  6. They are all great goals. Good luck with them.
    I'm trying to be more mindful this year and really think about what I want, how I spend my time , what I think about. I also want to connect more with people I have a really hard time opening up.
    If you find a magic trick to stop the worrying let me know :D
    Happy New Year, hope it's a magical one for you!

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    1. Thanks, Alexa! I think the way we spend our time is a big thing. I'm ashamed of how much time I wasted in 2013. I could have been doing so many other things! As for the worrying thing, that will definitely be a challenge. Happy 2014!

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  7. I'm so bad about time management, especially when it comes to the Internet. I'm trying to limit my email/blog/social media checking to only two or three times a day instead of whenever I feel like it b/c I spend so much time just sorta surfing around instead of really doing anything.

    Good luck in 2014!

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    1. Ugh. Me too. I think limiting the times you check social media to an actual number is a great idea. I'll have to follow suit. It's terrible just how many minutes in the day get sucked up by checking these things over and over again.

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    1. Thanks, Juliana! I hope 2014 is a great year for you. :-)

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  9. I like this idea of doing things differently, Jaime. I'm taking a similar attitude as far as what I'm focusing on (important things that I CAN control) and even though we're only three days into 2014, it feels good. I'm hoping for great things for you in 2014, and I'm so excited for you to find your writing mojo again. You can do it, friend!

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    1. I suppose it's kind of broad, but I think it's just important for me to put it out there that 2013 kind of sucked and a lot of that was my own fault. By publicly declaring that I want to change some things even a little bit, I think it makes it more of a challenge for me, something I'm more likely to do. This focusing on things we can control thing will be tough, but so worthwhile if we succeed! I'm pretty excited about writing again, I have to say. I'm hoping this will be the week that I start! :-)

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  10. I love your phrase for the year, I too need to do things differently this year. Fingers crossed we both manage it. Hope you have a great year xx

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    1. Thanks, Joss! It's kind of broad, but I mostly just want to acknowledge how crummy my 2013 was because of things that I did and didn't do, and how I want to change some of those things even a little bit. Here's hoping it works! I hope 2014 is good to you, too!

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  11. Excellent post, Jamie! I think a lot of us could look at your "Start" list and take notes. I've been trying to be better at saying no to people, as well. It's so difficult to no to others, but we know ourselves and our time better than anyone else. Happy 2014 and all the best this year!

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  12. Thanks for this honest and inspiring post, Jaime! I'm sorry that 2013 wasn't the greatest, but it seems like you have a great attitude toward the fresh new year. I'm going to be borrowing a lot of your "stops" and "starts" this year. Here's to doing things differently!

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  13. Best of luck with your 2014 goals, Jaime! I hope you have a wonderful year. <3

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  14. I'm sorry 2013 wasn't what you hoped. I hope 2014 is a million times better! I love your lists - there are definitely things on the "Start" list I need to do. I lost steam in my writing during the second half of next year so I hope to dive back in with more enthusiasm this year. I'd also love to exercise more.

    Good luck with everything, Jaime!

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  15. Oh man, I hear you on learning to say "No" more. I got better at it in 2013 but I really need to keep working on that one...

    Good luck with 2014, and I hope it's much better than 2013 for you. :)

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  16. This is such a beautiful post. I really need to up my exercise too, I feel so much brighter when I do. I hope this year is fabulous for you, Jaime!

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  17. I loved this post. Most of what you said applies to me as well except I labeled my goal as living intentionally.

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