Day 363: Areas to work on

Yes, dear readers, it’s that time of year where people think about, create, avoid, debate about, embrace, get pissed off about, and otherwise engage in …..

New Year’s Resolutions.

I usually say, “I refuse to do New Year’s Resolutions!” That’s my usual stance.

It’s time to take a break in this post, already, for a confession. I don’t know the correct way to punctuate that phrase. I usually write it the way I did, above, but — in my mind — it might also be:

  1. New Years Resolutions
  2. New Years’ Resolutions
  3. New Years’s Resolutions

Let me check Google, now, to see if anybody else gets confused, like that.

Apparently not.

Has anybody, besides me, noticed that I’m stalling, at this point?

I guess that speaks to my point:  I really don’t like New Year’s Resolutions.  Why? Maybe it’s the friggin’ title.   I can really get stuck on titles, that’s for sure.

So why don’t I like the title “New Year’s Resolutions”?  (I DO like the fact that I can spell that with confidence, now.)

Actually, I don’t like New Year’s, period.  (Eeeeek!  I’m not sure how to punctuate “New Year’s” either. Hold on, while I check Google ….. Aha!  Apparently there IS some confusion about THAT.)

I’m still stalling, aren’t I?

So, yes, in the past, I have been known to say, “I hate New Years Eve.” I don’t like new year’s day.” “New Year’s Eve and Day are my least favorite time of the year.” And,  “I love my birthday. I save my fears and dread about the passage of time and my own mortality for the new year.”

Yes, I have been known to say all those things. And, I’m pretty sure I wrote something similar, at some point, in my blog this year.*

But I want to tell you this, right now: This year, I have NOT been dreading the approach of New Years.  I’m not knowing exactly why that’s true,  but  — as always — I can guess. This year:

  1. I’m letting go of assumptions about what New Year’s should be (including how to punctuate it).
  2. I’m expressing my thoughts and feelings, every day, to people I feel connected to.

And those two things help, a lot.

In the past, I have resisted New Year’s Resolutions, because they have spoken to me of this:  The Potential for Failure.

It’s difficult for me to let go of that connection with New Year’s Resolutions — The Potential for Failure —  especially since I first heard about them when I was a little kid. If we attach meaning — or decide about something — when we’re children, that belief can feel quite stuck, even if it’s not helping us now. Letting go of it, changing that belief, is really hard to do.

Therefore, I ‘d like to create a new name, in place of  New Year’s Resolutions. I believe that would help.

Here would be my wishes for that new name:

  1. It would focus on making my life better, while also letting go of judgment about how I’ve done, so far.
  2. It would be a phrase that’s new(er); that is, something I did not hear as a child.
  3. It would not evoke the Possibility of Failure, but would rather promote hope.
  4. It would be easy to punctuate (and spell, too).

Hence, the title of this blog post: “Areas to work on.”

That phrase is definitely better, but I can’t say that I love it, yet.  It reminds me, a little too much, of reviews I’ve gotten at work.  And, like many people, I have had performance-review-related anxieties.

However, my work-related reviews, for the most part,  have turned out well, even if the few negative parts of any review have stuck — felt “bigger” than the positive ones.

Hmmmm. You know what I’m realizing now?  Those “negative parts” of which I speak?  They  usually are in THAT place in the review: “Areas to work on.”

And — of course —  that IS where they’d be, right?  Because “Areas to work on” is the place, in every review of past performance, where the focus is on What I Could Do Better (which, to a person with perfectionist tendencies, might sound like “You’re not doing enough.”)

Well, although I could have done better with this post (I suppose), at least I’ve made my way back to the title.  And you know what? That title IS good enough, for my requirements.**

Okay, here we go!

Areas to Work On

in 2014 (and beyond)

by Ann

  1. My mind’s a blank.
  2. Remember that my mind will blank out and wander, but it will come back.
  3. Remember to eat and drink what I need, in the moment.
  4. Sleep when I am able to, letting go of fears about whether I’m doing that right.
  5. Forgive myself, as best I can, for actions (or non-actions) from my past.
  6. Remember that warnings and alerts — both external and internal — are usually not a matter of life and death.
  7. Allow for the possibility that you don’t have to keep proving your credibility to people, over and over again.
  8. Geesh!  Isn’t that enough?

Well, it’s my blog post, so I say it IS enough. Except, as usual, I’d like to include some imagery here, too.

Here are some Google Images for “New Year’s Resolutions” (which, at least, speak to my previous points about punctuation possibilities):

images (24)***

New_Years_Resolutions****

new-years-resolutions*****

resolutions-2011******

And one final Google Image, for “Areas to work on,”  that I really like:

voahi4b_gray (1)*******

Ta-Da!

Thanks to  everybody who helped make this post possible, to New Year’s Resolutioneers everywhere, and to you — of course! — for reading today.


* I assume so, but I can’t seem to find anything right now. You’re just going to have to take my word for it.

** Although it DOES have a dangling participle, if you care about such things.

*** I couldn’t find the home, for that image.

**** I found that image here, but if you click on that link, you might have some trouble getting back to this post.

***** I found that image here.

****** I found that image here.

******* I found that image here.

Categories: humor, inspiration, personal growth | Tags: , , , , , , , | 44 Comments

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44 thoughts on “Day 363: Areas to work on

  1. Ah, the New Year’s confusion. It goes beyond punctuation into pronunciation for me. When the clock strikes midnight, I kiss my dear wife Karen and declare Happy New Year. Others I’ve heard in my oh-so-many years may say Happy New Year’s. Is one correct, or is it just preference? Does it matter? About that title. To me, it would be helpful to call these lists of resolve: Things I Want to Remember Every Day. Thanks, Ann, and Happy New Year!

    • You’re most welcome, Mark. I appreciate all your thoughts, even though I have trouble spelling “pronunciation.” I’m glad you named what would be helpful for you. I find that helpful, also. All your good wishes, back at you!

  2. Hey what do you think of: Opportunities for Growth? Just sayin…

  3. Pseu

    How about My ‘New Year’ Resolutions?
    (They don’t belong to the year, they belong to you!)

    I usually make New Year Resolutions in September, at the start of the academic year instead…:)

  4. Ann, I had never made a single New Years Resolution in my life until the one I made in 2013 – to workout every single day of this year. No one is more amazed than me that I’ve stuck to it – and am nearing the end of this crazy ride. So… maybe this usually-super-cynical 47 year old might not thing New Years Resolutions aren’t so bad after all. 😉

  5. I too, have issue with traditional New Year’s Resolutions because they tend to be things that we eventually fail at and make me feel like a failure. And I am not a person who sits down and writes out my goals. But recently, I’ve been thinking that I could decide to make some things priority in my life. Things to work on that I will move to the front of the line, if they’re not already there. And the big one for me that I am going to work on in 2014 (I’ve actually been working on it already) is letting go of anger towards two people I grew up with who treated me badly along the way. I want to move through layer and layers of anger and resentment and victim mentality and be able to get to a place of peace in my heart about it all. I’ve been able to visit that place for a while, but I want to really pack up all my stuff and move there.

    • Thank you, so much, for this comment. What a great image: of you packing up all your stuff, and moving to that place of peace in your heart. All my best wishes to you, as you make that move.

  6. #3 is deadly for me. The moment certainly is there. What I need, is everything in front of me.

  7. #3 is complicated, isn’t it? Thanks so much for visiting and commenting, David.

  8. LoL, really enjoyed your post! Hope you can laugh about NYrs resolutions – dont know how to spell either hehe xox

  9. It’s always great to see you here. I’m so glad you laughed and enjoyed the post. And, yes, I definitely can laugh about resolutions … and about spelling, too. xox back at you!

  10. I found myself chuckling over this post too. I’ve never really caught the resolutions bug, but maybe that’s because I’m so date unaware that New Year doesn’t seem a big deal to me. I get more of a new year/new start feel in the autumn when the academic year begins, or maybe that’s because my birthday is around that time. Or maybe it’s just that I make resolutions all the time, some I keep and some just fade away (Oh… when did I last practise the piano). I think it’s good to keep having ideas and see which ones work out.

    • I appreciated what you said here, a lot. I agree, too, that it’s good to keep having ideas and to see which ones work out. Thanks so much for visiting and commenting.

  11. I have just remembered a resolution I make regularly – to shut down my computer by 11 pm – it remains an area to work on. Goodnight.

  12. Thanks for the guffaw!

  13. I’m glad I’m not the only one with a dislike of New Years– though mine is simply because I’ve only ever had terrible experiences on that hateful Eve/Day *sigh* But I haven’t happily anticipated a year so much as 2014 so that has to count for something! I like what you said about learning to forgive yourself (gah, that’s SUCH a huge one) and letting go of that desire to continuously establish your credibility. I think I could think about that one for a while… I love reading your stuff, you really do always give me something to go “hmmm” about 🙂

    • It makes me so happy to read this comment, Aussa. Thanks so much. I just noticed you’ve got a new post, and I’m eagerly heading over to your place to read what you’ve got for us today. I may very well go “hmmmm” when I read that; I KNOW I’ll go “WOW!” … because I always do.

  14. I have always made resolutions and never consciously wanted to label myself a ‘failure’, most of my resolutions, like many of my classes in college, were ‘Incomplete’. As for spelling; Mark Twain once wrote that he could never trust a man that could only spell a word one way. I am a very trustworthy individual.

    • Love this comment, for so many reasons. Thanks for the gifts of “incomplete,” Mark Twain, and your trustworthiness.

      I’m so glad our paths have crossed here. I appreciate the the visit and hope to see you again soon.

  15. Pingback: The obligatory “2013 in review” post | After the kids leave

  16. I don’t set New Year’s Resolutions. I set goals for myself for the coming year that may or may not take a lot of time. And I don’t beat myself up if I don’t achieve them, I just move them to the vision board for the following year.
    Thanks for stopping by and following my blog. I appreciate that very much. 🙂

    • I’m trying not to beat myself up for missing this comment for so long, and have it hang around in WordPress Comment Purgatory. Eeeek! I’m so glad I found it today, so I could approve it and express appreciation for it, for you, and for your blog.

  17. Thanks for the reminder……..I think.

  18. Love your List of 8… Sending you Well Wishes for 2014 Ann… Happy New Year xx Sue

  19. Pingback: Letting it Go | Dr. Sherry E. Showalter - "Keepin It Real"

  20. Wishing you peace and health, Ann

  21. Pingback: New Year Quotes: 30 New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day Quotes | End Times Prophecy Report

  22. Pingback: Day 718: Cool cats | The Year(s) of Living Non-Judgmentally

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