Saturday, January 1, 2011

Guidelines for planning a fabulous 2011 (Part 2)

Is Hazel the most serious baby ever or what?  That picture cracks me up--wouldn't it make a great greeting card?

Anyway, here is the continuation of Thursday's post.  Identify goals for each of the areas identified below and then write up a plan listing the concrete steps you need to take to make it happen.

Relationships/social.  The folks you hang with have a tremendous impact on your character and how you live. Now is a good time to take inventory of the people in your life. Write down the names of those who lift your spirits, motivate or inspire you, crack you up, or make you feel better about yourself. We all have friends who support you to no end--they're almost like fans.  How can you spend more time with them? Would any of them make a great fitness buddy? Make a plan to work on your health and fitness goal together.

On the other hand, you and I both know some "friends" can sap every friggin' ounce of your strength. Maybe they're perpetually negative, whiny, or can't get past their own personal "woe is me." If someone insists on using you as a sounding board for their neverending bitch-fests, do yourself a favor and ease away. Your time is valuable and is better spent elsewhere.

Maybe you'd like to expand your social circle. Go to MeetUp.com and browse through the groups in your area that match your interests. Commit to attending one of their meetings--that's a sure way to meet people with interests similar to yours. (BTW, I met Mike through the Henderson Writers Group.)

Is there a person at work you’ve been wanting to get to know better? Or maybe someone you don't really know, but have admired from afar? Ask him or her out to lunch or for a cup of coffee.

I think the very best way to meet new people is to go someplace by yourself. See a band, browse through Barnes and Noble, bring your laptop to Starbucks or Panera Bread... strike up a conversation with someone and you never know what will happen!

If you're lucky enough to have a partner in a love relationship, think of how you can strengthen your bond.  What can you do to surprise and delight him or her?  The element of surprise adds spice!  Plan for a long romantic weekend--and don't forget to put it on your calendar.

Spiritual.  What can you do for your soul in 2011? While you're making new friends in Barnes and Noble, look for books that might inspire you and feed your spirit. (What? You haven't read Bastard Husband yet? What the hell are you waiting for?)

Maybe this is the year you check out a church you've been curious about. Or why not work on mind and body together and sign up for a yoga class? 

Nothing feeds the spirit more than being of service to others. Maybe this is the year you commit to doing volunteer work.  Don't save the "surprise and delight" strategy for your romantic partner--think of simple things you can do to surprise and delight a special friend, elderly relative, or the stranger sitting across from you in the coffee shop.

Purchases and possessions.  Make a list of the purchases you need to make in the next year.  Mark your calendar for when you intend to buy them.  You should already have some plans on your calendar by now; are these purchases still feasible?  How important are they?

I live by one rule when it comes to buying stuff:  I buy only the things I truly need or that bring me joy.  That is so important!  Whenever you're ready to buy something, ask yourself, "Do I really need this?" and "Does it bring me joy?"  A yes answer to either question is a green light.  A no answer is a signal to walk away.

Think about what can you buy that will raise your standards.  It's important to raise your standards; when you do this, your overall energy is raised, including the way you think about yourself.  This affects how you present yourself to the world, which affects how the world treats you.  I'm off on a tangent now; this is a topic for another post.  But I will tell you my life has rocked out ever since I bought my new Scion and my iPhone.  That thing has changed my life!   So if you watch TV every day and TV is an important part of your life, buy yourself a good TV.  You may not need it, but it will bring you joy!

Financial.  Set some realistic financial goals and write down the steps you'll need to take to achieve them.  Are you willing to work toward a promotion or take a part-time job?  Watch every cent you spend; write down where your money goes, even if for just one week.

Look for places you can cut back.  Are you paying for things that don't bring you joy?  Are you paying a cell phone or car insurance bill for a kid out of college?  It's time for that little angel to freakin' grow up!  Ask for their contribution or tell them they're on their own.  Can you cut back or get rid of cable and subscribe to  Netflix instead?  Can you share an account with someone?

Remember Purgefest 2010 when I got rid of three quarters of the shit I owned?  I've never missed it!  You'll be surprised at what you're hanging on to for no good reason.  Getting rid of crap is liberating--mark your calendar for when you'll go through each room and closet.  Sell everything you don't need or that doesn't bring you joy on eBay or Craigslist.  If you can't sell it, give it to Goodwill or post it for free on Craigslist.  By doing this, you'll either make a few bucks or lift your spirit by helping someone in need.  If you're not using it and if it doesn't bring you joy, recycle it to the universe.

I have a lot more to say; this topic is way too big for two posts.  At any rate, I hope this gets you started.  Now get planning!

7 comments:

gayle said...

Great suggestions!! I will do most of these!!! Can't wait to read more! You have me excited for what 2011 brings!

Chocolate Covered Daydreams said...

Linda, all of those suggestions are so great. I love the one that talks about the friendships. I'm done kissing anyone's behind to make them "like" me. I have a boss that expects her employees to do just that. My new take on life is, "like me or don't like me"...plain and simple.

Please revisit this post in 6 months. I want to see whether I've stuck to all of it. :)

Sassy Sassy said...

Oh gosh. I am definitely in need of a purgefest! I have too much cr*p! :o(

Janet said...

I kept waiting for the punch line but these suggestions were very thoughtful. You are as wise as you are funny. We do the purgefest every year as a year end ritual. Love getting rid of the clutter!

Elizabeth Patch said...

wishing you a joyful joyful, happy, healthy prosperous (and of course, funny, sarcastic and witty!) New Year!

Julie said...

OMG, I love the picture of her. I didn't realize it was Hazel at first, I was just laughing at the serious little baby and then I was like "Wait! That's Hazel!" Too cute.

Love these tips. I will definitely put some to use!

Danica said...

I love these tips and do plan on putting many to good use!