Something to think about for the New Year (it’s not resolutions)
It’s a beautiful day here in the Northeast with a pale-yellow sun high in the sky and the temperature at a balmy 42 degrees. I’ve just returned from a long walk around the lake, where I spent time contemplating the end of a decade and the start of the New Year.
I like the sound of 2020, don’t you? It feels like a different kind of fresh, new beginning…
For the last few days I’ve made a point of relishing the darkness of the winter solstice. I’ve slept in, worked out later in the day, and enjoyed nine hours of solid sleep without waking up – a rare, delicious treat these days.
I’ve also been considering the same question I use at the beginning of every new year – one I’ve shared with you before.
What if the only resolution you made was to love yourself more?
It’s a simple idea that cuts through the overwhelm of setting goals, making promises, and worrying about staying on track with traditional resolutions. You simply consider this:
What do you need to do to love yourself more this year?
As I move into 2020, I know that to love myself more, I need to face the reality that spreading myself thin over too many social interactions, projects, and professional commitments leaves me skimming the surface of life rather than diving in deep. I want to be present for the people I’m with and I want the things I choose to do to feel meaningful, satisfying and fulfilling.
Less activity, more time spent on what really matters.
Here’s an example of what I mean:
I was driving to lunch with my friend, Bruce, someone I’ve known for nearly thirty years. We’ve been through so much together and I love him like a brother. While catching up, we talked about how busy life is and how much fun it would be to spend a week together just reading books and watching movies.
It was in that moment that I realized something important.
Bruce is a dear friend, someone I love very much, and someone I’d miss terribly if he were gone. Why don’t we spend more time together, I wondered out loud? Why does a week of hanging out reading and watching movies sound like some kind of unattainable fantasy? Because I forget that just like I have a limited amount of time to devote to work, my health, and family commitments, I also have a limited amount of time to spend with those I love and care about.
For some reason, in that moment, I suddenly thought about my relationships in a new way. I realized how important it is to carefully consider the time we spend with people in general – work colleagues, clients, potential customers, acquaintances, and so on.
Each hour spent with someone in your outer circle is time taken away from investing more deeply with those near and dear to your heart.
I don’t know about you, but I tend to fill my calendar with lunches, phone calls, and meetings – all with people I enjoy or am interested in – without considering that it costs me time with those in my inner circle.
I need to rethink my social commitments, I admitted to Bruce, so I’m connecting with the people who matter to me in more intimate and meaningful ways.
This is a hard concept to consider given the fact that our choices may disappoint others, hurt feelings, or even force us to have to reconsider or redefine friendships.
But that’s the tough business of good self-care.
Something for you to think about as we head into the New Year. Time here is finite. Our choices make all the difference. In the end, the people we love is what matters most.
Happy New Year!
Photo by Steve Halama on Unsplash