Let me stipulate from the start that I’m not a big believer in New Year’s resolutions. It seems like one is setting oneself up for failure. And that’s not a good way to start a new year. I have lots of hopes for 2020. And consequently, I find myself a bit embarrassed to have actually made some resolutions for this year.
My family had the good fortune to take a trip to Antarctica. Normally such a trip would be way beyond our budget. However, a dear family friend left me a bequest that made it possible for us to make this once-in-a-lifetime trip. I know I should have paid down the mortgage, but this friend loved to travel and so I thought it more appropriate to honor her memory by creating some of our own memories. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it!
One of the unexpected pleasures of the trip was that we all disconnected from the internet for ten days. No news. No social media. No email. No podcasts. Suddenly we could be fully present both in our shared experience and for each other. What a joy it was! The news blackout was a particular gift. I suddenly realized how much bandwidth I allocate to following current events and how much it drags my mood down. So that brings me to my first resolution: take a Sabbath once a week from electronic devices (with the exception of my Kindle, for pleasure reading).
In the lead up to Christmas I participated in a 360 assessment at work. Fifteen of my colleagues anonymously filled out a 50-question survey providing feedback on my performance. It’s very brave to offer candid advice and assessment about the boss, even anonymously, and I’m very grateful to them for doing so.
It was with some trepidation that I met with the consultant to go over the results. Somewhat to my surprise I found the feedback very affirming. Not that there aren’t areas for me to work on. There are. However, there is close alignment between what my colleagues would like to see me do differently and what I’d like to do differently. Turns out I can sometimes be a micromanager. I’ll own that. That’s not my intention, of course, but I can certainly see how my focus on detail and irritation when things don’t go exactly as I want them to is experienced as micromanagement. So that brings me to my second resolution: try not to sweat the small stuff.
Finally, this blog is going to be my third resolution: try for once a month and see if that’s sustainable.
Happy 2020 everyone!