Friday, January 1, 2010

New Year's 2010: Keepin' it simple

Update: A very helpful little bird informed me that my list of goals jumped from 2 to 4 with nary a 3. Sigh. See, I told you it was going to be "six changes, Sher's way." If I come up with another one, I'll add it. But for now, it's a nice, odd number: 5.

Ifound a concept I kinda like... six changes for the new year. The proponent, an author and blogger--Leo Babauta of Zen Habits--advocates taking on only six changes and acquiring them one at a time over the course of the year, with two months to make each change stick. Sounded somewhat reasonable to me--I like fewer things to focus on (see last year's list of just food/blog-related goals, it was too long). Makes for fewer distractions toward the goal, theoretically. My "issue" will be that I am probably going to want to bite them all off at once and that's not part of his approach. So we'll see how we go. Think of this as "6 changes, Sher's way."

1. Body. Just move it, every day. Mix it up. Make it different. Get outside, even in bad weather. Fresh air. In regards to food: Eat more fresh, less processed. Grow more of our own food and do a better job of preserving the harvest. Share with others if our crop overfloweth. 
2. Brain. Write daily. Blogging. Essays. Poetry. Journaling. Comments on other blogs. Be more selective in my information intake. Record the books I've read. Read what I've already bought instead of being such a new book hound. Take more photos, learn more about photography, especially food photography.
3. Soul. Be still. Don't always have to be plugged in. Pray more. Look at nature and just be. Pause. Reflect. Be grateful for the ability to do so. Keep quiet, even if I think I have some be-all solution to the world's problems. Work on judging less.
4. Wife and mother. Stop rushing around like a crazy woman. Listen. Really listen. Find ways every day for both of my guys to know that they are the most important things in my life, period.
5. Household. Tidy. Clean. Uncluttered. Simplify the stuff. 

See, when I look at the list above, there's no reason I can't do a bit of each of those things, all at once. There's no way I'm waiting until November to start being a better wife and mother! Or until May to be still more... so I think I will attempt a structure of sorts that accomplishes all five in baby steps each month.

Other items I have found helpful to consider as I head into 2010:
*Michael Pollan's new book, Food Rules. I am going to post some excerpts here next week. I think he has such a valuable voice relative to the food industry in the Western world.
*My cousin, Brent, has a great post regarding online/social media resolutions for the new year. I read it with interest and took many of the points to heart.
*Two books on writing that I am looking forward to reading in the new year: Creative Journal Writing and One Year to a Writing Life. I've browsed through both of them and am excited to dig in.
*A couple of books that have been contained a-ha moments for me in the past that I plan on rereading: The Four Agreements and Bird by Bird. Let's see if they are as transformative as I remember...
*I am half-way through 10 Conversations You Need To Have With Your Children by Rabbi Schmuley Boteach. I plan on rereading it with Seth. The whole question of "who do you want to be?" is invaluable at any age, I think.

OK, so now as I reread the post, I sound like some list-making self-improvement wonk. Sigh. No, no, no. Let's not forget the fun. I think 2010 HAS GOT to include more laughter. Lots and lot of laughter, even in times of stress and annoyance--maybe especially in times of stress and annoyment! If you have any ideas on that--what makes you laugh, what relieves your stress--I'd love to hear them. Meanwhile, I'll just keep watching my Jim Gaffigan clips on YouTube and having a chuckle.

Wish me luck. It's almost noon on Jan. 1 and I'm still in my jammies! But the Resolution Soup is on the stove (think healthy vegetable soup, just made on Jan. 1 with whatever veggies I had on hand, so of course it's Resolution Soup!), and the sun is shining. 2010 is off to a great start.


  1. Author Donald Miller has an alternative to New Year's Resolutions. He calls it living a good story. It's worth a look.

    Thanks for the link, and the mention of your soup/stew. We made it last year and I'd forgotten about it. It's excellent!

  2. Brent, I checked out Mr. Miller, and I do agree that goals in and of themselves without an overarching story accomplish very little. Good thoughts!

  3. These are good ones! ...Although I don't see anything about drinking more champagne.


Blogger Template By Designer Blogs