So what about 2014 then?

I’ve kinda come full circle with regard to resolutions. I used to love them. Then I became jaded by them, and became one of those people who didn’t believe in resolutions. I think maybe the problem was that I was grabbing hold of them too tightly, seeing them as rules or yardsticks to judge myself.

Now I’ve come back around to liking them again. Anything that makes us stop and reflect, take stock of where are lives are up to, and the way we would like them to head, is a good thing, I think. The trick is to hold them lightly, I think. They don’t need to be something to beat ourselves up about if we fail. We can see them just as snapshots of a moment in an ongoing conversation we have inside about how we want to live our life.

I guess I’ve come to see life as a lot more of a continuum, too. Especially with regard to personal development goals. We rarely “succeed” or “fail” at those. We might look back and choose to see a failure or success there (usually the former – see negativity bias), but the truth is it’s an ongoing process with highs, lows and everything in between. And it’s not always easy to see, when we’re in the midst of it, if we just took a step forward or back. Some of it might only become clear years down the track.

So I guess a lot of things I’m interested in are less things to tick off or achieve, and more just things to be aware of and think about and work on.

So anyway, here are some of my goals for 2014. I’m sure I’ll add to and subtract from this list as the months go by. First the practical stuff:

  • Finish my novel
  • Write regularly (whatever I decide that means)
  • Write a few short stories and start sending the ones I have written out!
  • Write some poems
  • Write some music
  • Use my time more wisely.
  • Let go of the need to “keep up” with my culture intake; books, music, comics, tv etc. Focus on the things I enjoy and quality over quantity.
  • Start minimialising my collections of things, getting rid of clutter.
  • Prioritise getting enough sleep, and getting my sleeping patterns regular.
  • Watch my caffeine intake, esp coffee. Be more aware of the times it impacts negatively.
  • Let go of the need to keep up with social media, blogs. Enjoy it but let it go.
  • Try to balance mental activity like reading, internet surfing with physical activity, being present.
  • More generally, be present more in the here and now and less in my head.
  • Keep the house nice.
  • Do something (?) with the garden.
  • Value the time spent with people, be present with them.
  • Spend more time in the present, less in the future and past.
  • Eat good foods. Lose another 10kg maybe?
  • Meditate every day.

And a few more general, internal long-term goals. These are ongoing, so I will most certainly fail at them a lot. So I don’t want to hear any of you mofos saying “But Ben you said you were going to be calm this year!” A’ight?! Anyway, things to work on:

  • Tell the truth
  • Be kind
  • Be calm
  • Be quiet.
  • Don’t worry so much about what other people think.
  • Let go of my ego, sense of who “I” am, and who other people “are”.
  • Let go of praise and blame, pride and shame.
  • Be humble
  • Be generous
  • Be gentle
  • Soothe and comfort yourself.
  • Let go of expectations.
  • Forgive people
  • Go with the flow, don’t hold on to the way things are or should be. Be free-flowing.
  • Don’t gossip. Don’t criticise people.
  • Don’t compare myself to anybody else.
  • Look out for the ego.
  • Laugh at myself.
  • Let go of unhelpful, unproductive thoughts. Spend more time with positive, happy thoughts.

Well that’s about it, for me. Not much there to go on with, is there?

I figure even if I suck majorly at most of them, just having goals helps to orient us, keeps us facing the right direction.

How about you?

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