The holidays make me do a lot of things too much.
Too much wine. Too much vodka. Too many foods from the forbidden list. Too much time traveling to Christmas past and too much missing those who have moved to the other side – which results in too many tears which then leads to exhaustion and too much time recuperating on the couch.
For a reason I have yet to pinpoint all of that too much not so good for me stuff has made me acutely aware of what I have not been doing enough of this year that is good for me.
So rather than offer a list of what I will do less of – I offer what I will do more of in 2016.
This is not a resolution list. Those are doomed to fail and I do not want to fail.
This is not a desire list. My desire list is yet to be written – that list is for what I want to create.
This is not a digital detox list – although some items do strive for a better balance between online and offline.
It’s simply I list of what I will be doing more of in the coming year.
Read. I want to read more. I’m not talking more articles online or Facebook posts. I’m talking books. Real books. Fiction and Non-Fiction. Good old-fashioned printed books. I miss them. Even more so I miss the experience of holding a book in my hands and turning the pages which for some reason does not hurt my thumbs the way holding my iPad does. I miss being able to see how many pages I have left by the thickness of what’s left. I miss the reminder that I am reading something because it is sitting on my coffee table and not forgetting about it because I closed the Kindle app.
Pause. I am pretty good about consciously pausing and being in the moment. But this December I felt as if I had pushed the continuous play button and forgotten how to press stop. When my ninety-three year old mother arrived on the Wednesday before Christmas I was acutely reminded of the power of the pause. Moments with her are now fleeting and to be cherished. They’re also a reminder of how quickly time goes and if I don’t remember to pause, I’ve missed what’s most important in life.
Look up from my cellphone. I love my iPhone. I love that it allows me to do business wherever I go, that I can FaceTime my friend in London and order up a Via to take me downtown on the spot. But I’ve hit the wall with cellphone rudeness. The growing inability for people to walk down the street without talking or texting as well as their general oblivion that they might be disturbing other people with their self involvement has reaching a tipping point for me. So I will be looking up more – not just for my general safety so the person coming in my direction fixated on his texting conversation doesn’t knock me over – but also to take notice of the trees, the color of the sky and notice how the air feels against my skin.
Be kind. Even amidst the spirit of a season rooted in love, joy and magic, I could still feel the enormous amount of hate and anger on this planet, being fueled by an imposter posing as a presidential candidate. While it would be easy to push back with more hate and spew some of his own venom in his direction – I’ll reach for kindness instead. It feels better, is healthier for the soul, and in the end it is more powerful than a semi-automatic.
Speak my truth. I’m pretty honest as a rule. I don’t hold back a lot – but I am aware I do hold back in my writing. Especially when it comes to political conversations. My business is about marketing and personal branding and not about politics so it’s been easy to stay away from. But I am not sure that will be possible if said imposter does not withdraw from the race soon. So I will speak my truth more freely – no matter the subject – when I feel it necessary.
Getting quiet. One of the best ways I’ve discovered to find my truth is to get quiet. Sometimes it’s meditation, something I never thought I could do when trapped in my corporate routine. Sometimes its tapping which technically is not quiet, but does quiet my inner noise and gets me clear and focused. Both fuel my work, ground me and is often when my best ideas come to me. But I notice when a month like December rolls around I can too caught up in the push and forget to prioritize the quiet time. I want to change that and get quiet more.
Write more. I need to write every day. Without fail. I know that. It doesn’t matter what it is – a new blog, a few pages in the book I want to write next or an entry in my journal. It fuels my soul which then fuels my work. It helps me to make sense of the world. But I have not been as disciplined with that as I need to be – at least for me. So I want to write more. Every day. Starting now.
Now it’s your turn. What will you be doing more of this year? Let me know in the comments section.