About Me

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Recent retiree--35 year's experience teaching reading, English, adult basic education and volunteer leadership skills. Started this blog to exchange ideas and commentary with friends and others having an interest in joining the discussions. Greatest life accomplishments include: 1.organized my 3rd grade class to check out library books for me to get around librarian's weekly limit--Amazon.com, the Mullins Elementary 3rd Grade Class of 1956 is still waiting for "thank you" notes; 2. volunteered in the Peace Corps, island of St. Kitts, West Indies; 3.taught adults to read, earn their GEDs., and speak English as a second language; 4. bought a border collie puppy for $6, got evicted rather than give him up, and began a life-long love affair with all things "Dog"; 5. joined a physical fitness boot camp in my mid-50s--don't mess with someone who's been doing regulation pushups in wet grass at 5:30 a.m.; 6. walked across Northern England with best friend Sally--over 80 miles from the Irish to North Seas; and 7. travelled to many foreign countries for pleasure and work.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

The Road Ahead

Any time you see a title like "The Road Ahead" be prepared for some lofty ponderings on the future, right? And, if the writing is done on January 1 that pretty much seals the deal. In this case, however, I just liked the photo and thought it set the stage for my take on the whole New Year's resolutions exercise.

The thing is, I don't make New Year's resolutions. For me, the word "resolution" carries a lot of negative energy. I think angry, gritting your teeth determination to fix some aspect of your life that you feel is lacking or wrong. Or, resolutions can be a list of half-baked "shoulds" that we think will make us happy--but don't because they're not linked to our life priorities.

So, here's what I like to do in the last weeks of the old year: reconnect with my personal priorities. The practice of reconnecting with whatever helps you live a balanced, happy, and meaningful life is more powerful than thrashing out a whole list of hit and miss resolutions.

Here's the five personal priorities that I've had since 2003. They get taped in every new calendar and serve as the framework for my weekly goals and activities. (Forgive me, I know this all reads very whoo-whoo-oo, but it's just the old leadership trainer refusing to go lie down!) In 2008 I plan on:

1. being healthy, physically and mentally active;
2. connecting, caring, relating to others, having/being a good friend;
3. learning new things, being creative;
4. maintaining a simple, organized home; and,
5. having fun!

Which seems more doable--and enjoyable--to you? Punching out a bunch of resolutions for a few days or weeks before you give up? Or, reconnecting with your priorities and taking small baby steps every day to guarantee that you'll be in a better physical, mental and spiritual place in January '09? My Road Ahead will be the second option.


laurie said...

ah, who can argue with any of that? especially "having fun." glad to see that as a priority. many people forget its importance.

our goal in life: a belly laugh a day.

all else follows from that.

The Rotten Correspondent said...

I really like the way you do it. No mandates, no "must do" things, just straightforward get the best out of life approach.

I like it. A lot.

Babaloo said...

I prefer priorities to resolutions, too. I've had years of resolutions and rarely kept any of them. And once you give up, you feel like you failed. What's the point in feeling bad about it?!
I agree with Laurie, a belly laugh a day would be a good goal. I'm with you on that.

Lane said...

Quite agree with a laugh a day. And dogs can always help with that can't they:-)

KittyHawk said...

I like your approach and wish I could muster the gumption to do the same.