Zen Habits in 2013: The NEW version of the New Year’s resolution

12 Feb

It’ll be no surprise to anyone that I’m big on self-improvement.  I like resolutions.  I like identifying things that aren’t quite working and tweaking them so that they work better (I’m seeing more and more why this whole OD career thing might be a good fit for me.)  I guess I’m a process improvement manager…of 1.  But with last year being so busy and exciting (going back to school being the biggest change out of many), the list of things I had in my arsenal to resolve in 2012 just…didn’t get done. And instead of kicking myself all over the place like most people do when their resolutions fail, I decided to try something new.

I follow Leo Babauta, author of the world’s most minimal blog, Zen Habits.  I’ve been following him for years, but like most things, sometimes it takes a while before it really sinks in.  He posted something recently and a light went off in my head: 52 changes for 2013.  It’s an ebook that I purchased and the whole gist is instead of having resolutions that are either too general (lose weight!) or without guidelines (run a 5k!), why not instead build habits?  Try taking on new ones, or let go of bad ones, slowly but surely, over one year.  For most of us over-achievers, this seems near impossible: “A year?  But I want to do it ALL RIGHT NOW.” And yet it spoke to me.  I’m working a full-time job, I’ve got two part-time jobs, and I’m taking two graduate classes.  My schedule is a little nutty.  But since I don’t see it getting any LESS nutty in the near future, I needed to simplify my life somewhat, or at least make it flow better.  I needed to align all the things I’m doing with all the things I WANT to be doing, and often they’re not the same.  So I’ve decided to try this little experiment, and I have to tell you…thus far (I’m only on habit 5, but that’s something!) it’s been kind of revolutionary.  My list is slightly different from Leo’s–I’m not adding a new habit on each week until I feel like I’m on my way to mastering the previous habit.  And while I think his 52 habits are awesome and they’re a great inspiration, I’m choosing mine based on what I feel really called to do…or to STOP doing.

Huh…there’s something to this slow and steady thing.  Who would’ve guessed?

So habit #1…show yourself!


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