Did you set resolutions this year? I did, and I do every year. And every year I struggle to follow through with resolutions. I am a bit of a junkie for continuous improvement and life long education. My “book club” is always sighing when I bring my selections. Don’t you read anything but self help? Even my own mother is always begging me to just read something for fun. Or my colleagues, Oh let me guess this is from the latest and great business book right? And as I look at my own Amazon recommendations I am amused by the dryness. However it doesn’t feel dry to me, just writing this post has me buzzing. Or maybe that is because the Keurig has been working over time for me today. Caffeine aside, my progress over the last few months has me beaming with pride at my latest attempts to better myself. So I thought I would share some of what I have been up to in the coming weeks here on the blog.
I did more reflection this last December than I have ever done before. I participated in #reverb10, which was an online movement for reflecting on 2010 and projecting into 2011. I started with zeal and gusto. I was very excited to be blogging again. Each day you would receive a new prompt to journal about. However I noticed after a few days I was frustrated. I had to perfect opportunity to really reflect. I was on vacation in Arizona with Colt and had a very free schedule with lots of quiet time. I decided to switch and journal in private rather than online. This gave me a little more freedom to really study myself and my motivations. I could be painfully honest and be authentic to myself. It was a great exercise and I highly recommend participating this December.
After this intense process I decided to read something that sounded a little more light and cheerful. I had seen The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin being mentioned around twitter and on blogs. So I decided to check it out, which I did literally and forgot to return. After paying enough library fines to buy the book, I did finally just buy the book. I am the worst library patron, I swear they shouldn’t even let me leave the building with any books.
For one year Rubin decides to devote her year to researching happiness. The chapters are broken out into months and are very easy to read. Each month Rubin tests out different activities and tries to form new habits in hopes of being happier. So far I love the book and also I am immensely enjoying her blog as well. Most books of this nature seem very far from the world I live in and are very dry. This book is an absolute joy to read. Rubin is very likable and down to earth. Her struggles seem very familiar. In her book and her blog you will find thought provoking examples and exercises. I am having a lot of fun with the personal manifesto. Her article about that is here. I have included my personal manifesto on my about page. I have had it up about two weeks and I am constantly thinking of ways to refine what I am really trying to say. I have a few points that are not quite perfected yet but here it is,
1. Seek God
2. There are no spending limits at Goodwill.
3. Believe with all your heart your husband is the most romantic man in the world, your boss the smartest, and your mother-in-law the most sincere.
4. If you have to ask yourself if your dress too short, shirt too low, gift too cheap, one more glass too many… It most surely is.
5. The dumb girl trick works in many instances, but be smart enough you don’t need it.
6. Ride every horse you have as fast as they can go at least once.
7. Outsource as much housekeeping as you can afford. Unless you like it, then come to my house, you’re hired.
8. Be who you want to hang out with.
9. Before every acquisition ask yourself, is this helping me become who I want to be?
10. Be happy! It is your choice, and contagious.
11. Go out of your way to be goofy, unconventional and fun.
12. Guard your inner circle and “friends” like King Tut’s Tomb. You are who you hang out with so select carefully.
13. Never miss an opportunity to laugh or take pictures.
14. With the right shoes you can do anything!
15. Never let a man tell you; you have too many shoes or horses. Unless he is paying the feed bill, then get a job.
16. I’m sorry, I love you, a smile or a hug has power to change your world.
17. For everything that comes in, something else must go.
18. Have High Standards and Integrity, but lower your expectations.
19. Be open and on the lookout for possibilities.
20. Talk less, pray more!
So what would be on your manifesto? Have you ever wrote a personal manifesto or something similar? I really hope I can get my brother Brady and Colt convinced to do this exercise as well. I think they would have a much more entertaining list from all of their experiences.