014. Another year, another set of New Year’s Resolutions. Instead of multiple ones, Chris Brogan says to choose three words that will define your focus for the year (follow link to see article). Since I’ve been a long-winded critter in the past, and had more than I could possibly attain, I decided to give his idea a shot.

I chose Freedom, Inner Peace & Wellness.

Inner peace: The goal is to feel more zen. It’s been a tough few months, with my father-in-law dying (he’s suffering from kidney almost-failure), a major and noisy renovation, and the resolution of some longstanding marital issues. My mind is like a squirrel, and now that I run my own business from my home, I have wayyyy more time to think. I’ve tried meditation, but it never stuck before. A meditation expert told me last year that active meditation is best for someone like me (read, someone too hyper), and gardening is a wondrous pursuit for this. However, in the frigid clime that is Saskatchewan in the winter, there is no gardening in sight, other than my glorious indoor azaleas. So I’m going to give guided meditation a shot. I’ve also started morning pages, recommended by The Artist’s Way author Julia Cameron. I write down what I’m grateful for at the end of every post.

To augment my inner peace journey, my intention is to have my beliefs = my words = my actions as much as possible. As Neil Young said in his autobiography, it’s too easy to be short with the ones you love. 

Freedom

I’ve always said my #1 value is freedom, but I don’t always live in sync with this. I’ve always been way too concerned with how my partner is doing – how he’s feeling, what he wants and doesn’t want, etc. I want to find a way to be empathetic, caring and giving, without giving my own self away. I also want to truly go to the sound of my own drummer, which means freeing myself from “should’s” on the career front. I hired a coach last year (Susan Siegmund MacCaul) to help me transition to running my own business after years as an executive. She cautioned against saying yes to things just because of capability and called it “the curse of competence”. I have said no to a number of offers, but I still feel pressure to perform on multiple fronts. An artist friend of mine wants to take me on a creativity retreat (writing and art), and I want to go, even though it won’t be about building the business. So freedom to explore other facets of myself is part of the focus for 2014.

Wellness

I’ve had weight loss as a New Year’s Resolution since 1993, when my baby was 4 months old. I would now kill to weigh what I did then. This year, I’m focusing on wellness instead. What makes my body feel good? Exercise. I am going to move my body every single day. In the winter, that means going to a gym. On days when I’m tired, I just walk on the treadmill for 1/2 an hour and read my book. I see a personal trainer (TORTURE!) twice a week. Other days, I go to a weight lifting class, yoga or Zumba. Even if I don’t do anything else but establish daily exercise as a practice, a non-negotiable habit, I will feel much more well. 

Wellness is also related to the freedom post above. I want to explore non-goal-driven aspects of myself. I want to revel in this luxury of no daily commitments. I’ve started reading more fiction and just finished Music and Silence by Rose Tremain. (Marvellous.)

Happy 2014 to you!