Most people that complete New Year’s resolutions decide and implement them on New Year’s Day. Not me. I have always completed this process on my birthday. I choose one. Just one. One thing that will make my life journey happier; easier; more joyful etc. The resolution may have multiple branches but the goal is a simple, single commitment to myself to tackle for 12 months.
In July of this year, I chose, “Live a Conscious Life.”
I started to notice that my days were turning into months without my being aware and everything was just flying by. I was not living my life, it was living me. I get caught up in “busy” and time just slips away.
Today, I am 90 days in to this resolution, and the change to my life has been profound. Overall, the goal is simple. Be in the moment. Be aware. Choose your actions, live in the moment- don’t just roll from one minute to the next. Some things have been more challenging than others for me to change.
1) I don’t jump in the car anymore and just rush to work. I stop, and acknowledge I am in the car, and drive. That’s it. No planning my day; no thinking of things I may be dreading, I just drive. I am very easily frustrated by traffic and bad drivers. I still slip once in a while 😉 but when I do, I try and catch myself and remember to enjoy these few minutes of peace that this ride provides me.
2) I consciously cut down on my multi-tasking. I turn off my phone, ignore email for 2 hours and focus only the job at hand. What have I noticed? The quality of my work has dramatically improved and the work takes less time. I am absorbing the information better, my creativity soars and I love learning about new things again.
3) I am trying to be more conscious that I not responsible for everyone. I don’t have to fix anyone else’s personal problems. I can listen, and leave it at the table. I don’t have to carry negativity away with me. So, I allow myself to get all wrapped up in it while I am in the conversation, provide 100% of my attention, but when I get up and walk away, I leave it at the table.
4) I am consciously protecting my personal time. I used to discover that I had a free hour and would instantly fill it with work. I now treat those hours like candy. Mine. Mine. Mine. When I plan for a project to take 5 hours and it takes 3, I do a little happy dance. I don’t create work that doesn’t exist.
All of this is still a work in progress, but the benefits to my mental and emotional well-being, have been pretty amazing. So far, this seems to be a great way to manage my work-alcoholic; multi-tasking; obsessive personality. I sleep better; I play better; I listen better and I work better. I notice I am calmer, happier and more tolerant. I am trying very hard to become aware of every single day that I live and end each one knowing that I actually lived it and didn’t just fill the time with “busy” but not quality hours. I find that I do slip but the benefits have been so effective, it is easy for me to get back on track.
I am eager for this effort evolve over the next 9 months and see what changes may come.
-Betsy McCloskey | Principal/Partner
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