Thursday, January 9, 2014

Why I chose reflections not resolutions for 2014.

We do not learn from experience; we learn from reflecting on experience.

It’s that time of the year. The holidays are over and as we usher in the New Year, our intentions are to do better this year, get rid of old habits, exercise more, eat healthier, lose weight etc. Studies estimate that more than 50% of us will start making New Year’s resolutions or promises to improve ourselves in the first 10 days of January. How will we fare? The statistical success rate of these goals is only 8%.

With a rate that dismal, I am choosing not to make New Year’s resolutions but instead to make New Year reflections.

Reflecting on what’s working and not working in your life.

What are reflections? Resolutions are shame based. We look back at what we did not do; start feeling guilty and vow to change. I’ve stopped judging are started reflecting. 

Reflecting back is objectively observing what you did in the prior year and deciding on whether to continue down that path or chose a different way to go. For example, last year 70% of my work involved charity with only 30% focused on paying work. While I love volunteering and performing other acts of charity, this year I plan on flipping the number to 30% charity and 70% paid employment. I’ll still be giving back to others, but not at risk of missing a mortgage payment.

Here’s another. I used to think it was important to join a gym and pay fees for high tech equipment to stay fit. This year, there will be no gym membership and instead I will do yoga and walk more. These are things I can do at my convenience and cost nothing.

How are you reflecting back on 2013? Are you adjusting your sails or selling the boat completely?

Recharging your energies.

Take a breath and think about you. Practice self-care. This is the year to recharge your energies and follow your passion. If your job brings you bliss, that’s a blessing. (Mine does) If not, try a hobby that you’ve always wanted to do. Travel more. Smell the roses. Read a good book. Take “you” time when you can. You’ll come back to the world a happier, more content person.

Reconnecting with those who matter.

Have you ever wondered what happened to your best friend in third grade, your college roommate, your first boss? Facebook is a great way to find people that you’ve lost track of. Or to search for professionals, try LinkedIn. Travel down memory lane and see what they’re up to. Outside of social media, why not reconnect with a cousin who moved away or an Aunt who is widowed and would treasure a phone call. Reconnecting with those who matter refreshes you and changes your worldview.

Reflect on helping others.
Will 2014 be the year that you give back? We live in a time when you can give from the comfort of your living room on your iPad. Is there a charity that resonates with you? Can you volunteer a few hours a week to help the homeless or teach a child to read? Join me in making 2014 a year of positive reflections –not unfulfilled resolutions. 

Feels better, doesn’t it?

Nancy Burban 2014

Funeral fund

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