Happy New Year! Though I have been doing it for decades, I still eagerly look forward to the beginning of each New Year. It is slightly disappointing that our electronic calendars have eliminated both the tactile and visual excitement of turning a physical calendar page – not to mention the fun of shopping for just the right calendar! But, it is a fleeting disappointment that is quickly replaced by the anticipation of impending change. So, what will those changes be for 2017?
Like many people, I used to make specific resolutions but this strategy became counterproductive. The overwhelming majority of people fail to keep their resolutions and I was no exception. It seemed that there was almost more focus on beating myself up for failure than there was on achieving success. I wanted to turn this around and simplify my self-improvement strategies. Several years ago, I abandoned the specific resolutions in favor of slogans or themes. These are easier to keep in mind and that makes it easier to succeed. They provide for some wiggle room and allow for adjustments while keeping the focus on achieving success.
This practice began one year when I was particularly frustrated because I was plenty busy but not feeling very effective. That New Year, my slogan was simply “Do Less”. It was easy to remember and prompted me to back off on the number of obligations I made in favor of doing a better job on those that mattered most to me. I liked the result so slogans and themes have become my New Year’s resolution strategy ever since.
In 2014, I decided I wanted to live to be 100 and live independently as many years as possible. I entered my 100th birthday on my electronic calendar so I can look forward to my “party”. Making it to the party is going to depend on healthy lifestyle habits and serious financial planning.
My 2017 theme is “Move and Save”. This will keep my focus on being physically active and saving money for retirement. Yes, I guess if I am going to live to be 100 – I have to retire at some point. I’ll be writing more about these themes throughout the year because they will certainly be on my mind.