This is the time of year when I make a hundred goals and resolutions for myself, and then I forget them all by February.
THAT’S OKAY. I’m going to make them all anyway. With a minor twist.
I’m utilizing my 2020 happiness project to make small resolutions throughout the year. But as far as my overall Official New Year’s Resolutions For The Year 2020, I will have two. Exactly two. No more, no less.
If I have two resolutions, then I will remember what they are.
And for my bigger goals (finish your novel, stop multitasking) and my smaller goals (better bedtime hygiene, less caffeine), I’ll use my happiness project to keep those resolutions front and center.
Ahem – presenting, my two new year’s resolutions:
- New photography habits.
- Think and plan ahead.
Just kidding. I am of course going to elaborate.
My first resolution is new photography habits. My digital photo life is a mess. I have thousands of photos. and I do almost nothing with them, other than the occasional social media post or text. The new habits I want to form are:
1) Deal with photos right away. Delete the ones that are blurry. Decide on the best one. You don’t need 19 pictures of Jonas with yogurt on his face that looks like a Santa beard; pick the best 1 (or 3) and delete the rest.
2) Set up an automated system for where you’re going to PUT the photos. Are you ordering prints? Are you making a baby book or a memory book? A calendar? Put them somewhere purposeful.
This resolution falls under the label of “simple but challenging.” I’m really hoping that I can form these new photo habits by setting this intention, but I know it will be difficult. I have friends who do this automatically, and it seems like magic: Picture taken. Album made. Photo shared with or texted to me (if the boys are in it) within hours of when it was taken. But those friends who do this are also way more organized than me in general, and tend to be better at adulting than me. I am accepting of the fact that I’m not uber organized about many things – but I would like to target this specific habit and try to handle it better.
My second resolution, which is related, is to think and plan ahead. This is another area that is not my strength, and I really want to work to improve this aspect of my life.
I don’t think ahead, and I’m not a huge planner. I’m not a completely fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants person; I used to be, more so than now, but I definitely plan more now that I’m a parent. I pack bags ahead of time, and I make packing lists and grocery lists. Honestly, though, I am HIGHLY motivated in that area, because if I forget to pack snacks, then it’s ME VERSUS TWO HANGRY TODDLERS OUT IN PUBLIC. That’s terrifying.
But, for non-terrifying circumstances, such as a friend’s birthday? I rarely think ahead. This is problematic to me for the following reasons:
- I would love to do small, meaningful things to celebrate others. However, I rarely think about other people’s birthdays or special occasions until the day of or the day before, which doesn’t give me much time to do something sweet or surprising for their special day. I can call – I can text – but I’d much prefer to think ahead and write a meaningful card that they get in the mail or via e-mail that day. If I plan ahead, I can be intentional about showing love and gratitude in meaningful ways.
- When I don’t think ahead, I’m pressed to do things in not ideal ways. For example – for my sister’s birthday this year (December 10), I didn’t really start thinking about a gift for her until the 6th or the 7th. I decided to get her some books, which is great. HOWEVER – my sister loves to shop locally, and tries not to support big companies like Amazon when possible. So it would have been way more meaningful for me to find her books in a local bookstore, or from a site like Thriftbooks, and mail them to her via USPS. But, I didn’t have time! So I used Amazon Prime. (Also, it was a cluster and didn’t get there in time, but that was user error.) If I thought ahead – like, in November – I could do something for her that was actually as thoughtful and intentional as I strive to be.
- If I don’t plan ahead, I sometimes miss out on things I might enjoy. I hate the feeling of a weekend day that sort of falls flat because we didn’t go out to do anything special. Don’t get me wrong – I love a rambling Do Nothing Saturday, when the boys just kind of play and frolic and we putter around enjoying that we don’t need to be anywhere. But I don’t like it when I realize we need an outing, and haven’t had the forethought to look into any special events in the neighborhood that we could enjoy.
- Not planning ahead gets equally difficult at work. There are things I’d love to do for the children and families I work for, but I get so consumed by the day-to-day that it’s challenging to think ahead. This will get better as I get more efficient in my job – I’ve only been there a year – but it’s definitely an area I want to improve.
- I’ve been getting so sick and exhausted by all the STUFF in my life and in the world. Ideally, when it comes to clothes and toys and gifts and household items, I’d like to buy them secondhand. That feels more sustainable and better for the world. However – that definitely requires thinking ahead. I bought Edgar a couple of Christmas shirts this year, and I really wished I’d started looking for them in secondhand shops back during the spring or summer. I’m sure I could have found a few things, and they would have been cheaper. And I would have felt way better about the purchase, because it would have supported a secondhand shop and a local business, and not contributed to the production of more STUFF in the world.
WHEW. That was a lot. But it shows pretty clearly what my motivation is, when I talk about planning and thinking ahead of time. I want to be able to be more intentional with my choices, and I want to maximize my enjoyment of my time and the world.
I’m really excited about these two resolutions, and I really want to stick with them. I really, really do. Help me out, Universe. Help to make my 2020 a year of awesomeness.