For the last 7 weeks I have been fixated on whether I should have goals or resolutions for 2013. In principle I don’t believe in resolutions but I do like having a theme. Last year was the theme of being fearless and this year I want to focus on balance.
But what does that really mean.
I didn’t think it was enough and read C’est Christine’s great post on her 2013 resolutions and thought okay I can do this but I procrastinated and by the time I read Everyday Bright’s post about goals being self inflicted wounds I started spinning out of control.
Does it really have to be this hard?
It doesn’t. Finally in a foggy moment I realized what I needed to do – create the list of unresolutions – 5 things I pledge to do without for 2013. These are things that have been just getting in my way and hindering balance.
“What is your second greatest barrier to working on purpose?”
When I asked myself this question there was an easy answer, there are definitely things I need to stop doing or need less of in my life.
I have never eaten a lot of meat. I love the taste of pork but I use it as a garnish or to enhance flavour, it is rare that meat is center stage unless I’m going somewhere special like the Whole Beast dinner. I will never be vegetarian but I watched the documentary Forks Over Knives and I really connected with the message.
A few years ago I decided to eat vegetarian one day a week for environmental reasons. This year I am stepping it up and pledging to eat vegan one day a week. I figure it will make me a better cook and it’s a bit of penance for all the meat I ate last year. I shared this with a friend last night and he told me he may need to revoke my domain name, that’s not going to happen.
Less time online
Before I was a blogger I was addicted to the Internet, now my smart phone is never more than a foot away from me. I am always connected. Last week I spent half an hour reading through tweets from someone who annoys me. What is up with that?
There is too much noise
It is definitely a problem and I can see that I have been burning out the last few months. I always feel like I’m trying to catch up on work. I seem to think if I spend more time online I will be more productive, thus more successful, thus money will come.
That hasn’t worked.
I also cannot remember the last book I finished despite being a self-professed book lover. So instead of continuing to be a bibliophile fraud I’m moving my reading offline, unsubscribing from every single newsletter and email notification and taking inspiration from The Future is Red’s reading list.
I’m also going to start keeping a weekly schedule of what needs to be worked on and which days I’m doing it. Then I’m getting offline. I’ve already changed the settings on my phone so it doesn’t beep every time I get a tweet, email, Facebook notification, Instagram like, foodspotting comment…you get the idea, it is ridiculous.
So far this year I only have one trip booked to go to Finland. Everyone keeps asking me where I’m going to travel and I have no desire to plan. I do know that I would like to go back to South America to recharge and the Canadian winter is starting to get to me so I may also go back to Maui but other than that I have no plans.
Last summer I really wanted to just stay in Toronto and hang out with friends. Instead I went to Portland, Seattle, New York and Montana. The worst thing about writing this is that I am actually complaining about travel. I need to get back to the place where traveling is exciting.
I want to take smaller weekend trips and I don’t want to spend the whole year traveling alone. Last night I looked at photos from when my mother visited me in Maui and it was a really amazing time. I want to share travel with people I care about.
Part of the reason I ended the nomadic lifestyle is that I was feeling really disconnected. I love meeting new people but I was tired of the same conversations and I just wanted to see friends on a regular basis. In the last year I made new friends and have been good about seeing my closest friends on a regular basis despite them getting married and having children. I like that we have a history.
But I have realized that traveling solo for so long made me the centre of my own universe and everything became about me. When I meet with them I find I’m always the one talking because I’m always going somewhere or have some dating disaster. It’s always about me and I really hate that about myself. So instead of hating it I’m just going to change it.
Less time on unproductive work
This is the first year I have really contemplated a business plan. Right now I have several projects up in the air that I spend too much time on and they aren’t contributing enough to my bank account.
I need to get back to my core skills. Without sounding over-confident, I was really good at my previous career and I miss marketing. Now I have new skills in social media and a greater understanding of travel and I need to focus on building freelance marketing work. If you know someone who needs help tell them to contact me.
This isn’t all to say that I have regretted any of the decisions I have made the last 3 years. I’ve realized no decision is final and life isn’t about setting concrete plans but evolving. These resolutions to live a life of less keeps me on the right track.
For me balance is about being authentic, inspired, quiet and focused. The year of less will help me get there.