One of the simplest and most powerful ways to chart a course of action for the coming year is to consider your habits – the things (good and bad) you do with consistency. I have to say that I don’t really subscribe to the idea of good and bad habits because they are both created and sustained the same way. We know that everything we do has an outcome that we perceive as good or bad, but ultimately, the actions themselves could be considered neutral. We have thoughts, those thoughts lead to feelings, those feelings inform actions, and those actions yield results. So, there’s the idea that as we think about what we should start doing (New Year’s resolutions, goals, etc), we should also give thought to what we want to stop doing.
I decided to create a Start/Stop list and I think you should too. To inspire you, I’m sharing my list. (Don’t judge me.)
1. Checking Twitter hourly.
::sigh:: So I’m not into Facebook like most people, but I love Twitter and check it way too much. As a recovering information junkie, I’m trying to slow my consumption down. In spite of this being item #1, I’m not making any promises.
2. Responding to emails in real time.
I know I’m not the only one guilty of this, but I’m pretty bad about incessantly checking my email. Most of the time, if a long response isn’t required, I’ll respond right away. So I end up looking like a giddy girl snapchatting instead of a bawse making things happen. And in case you’re wondering, I am the latter…most of the time.
3. Brooding over the past.
In spite of being a generally optimistic person, I occasionally drift into wishful thinking about the past. This isn’t useful so I want to work on being more present and honoring the many blessings that surround me.
4. Buying nail polish.
Ok, so I have 72 nail polishes. Please don’t question why I need that many. Yes, they are all different. Let’s just move on…
5. Receiving paper bills.
I’m gonna take my eco-friendliness to the next level and stop my paper bills in favor of email notifications. You should too.
1. Sleeping for 7+ hours…consistently.
I have finally accepted that I work better and faster after a full night’s rest. I can pull an all-nighter and be cool, but 2-3 nights in a row of 4-5 hours of sleep and I turn into the Devil who wears Prada. I’m going to work on going to bed earlier as part of this initiative so…yeah. Fingers crossed.
2. Celebrating accomplishments.
I rarely celebrate things that concern work. I just set a goal, work my face off, and hope it all works out. When it does, I nod in approval and move on to the next thing. I want to start including confetti, dancing, and alcohol in these celebrations.
3. A new hobby.
What do you do when your drinking partner gets pregnant? Find a new hobby, of course. In the past, I’ve flown planes, painted, and took trapeze lessons in my free time. I think I want to try something different in 2014. Stay tuned.
4. Being (even more) protective of my time.
This one is tough. I love helping people and meeting new people so I take a significant number of calls and meetings unrelated to my core businesses. Few things are more irritating to me than people being late – especially if they don’t bother to offer a heads up. Unfortunately, there was a lot of “time abuse” in 2013 so I’m cutting back on these appointments in general and not tolerating chronic tardiness.
5. Writing sabbaticals.
I’m going to return to my previous practice of taking quarterly writing sabbaticals to crank stuff out. Mind you, sabbaticals can be taken for a host of reasons so even if you’re not a writer, I recommend taking at least one sabbatical each year.
So in other words, my 2014 will be a special blend of awesome and productive.