Ten Things I CAN Do

Twenty hours ago a New Year was born: 2012.  I am grateful for the restart a new set of twelve months allows me.   Resolutions made at a year’s start have never been something I succeeded well at.  It has occurred to me that was likely because I chose the wrong things.  Instead of choosing what I want to do, my choice became what I thought I should do.  Without fail, when my “Want” does battle with my “Should”, what I truly want wins out in the long run.     

What could be on my “should-do” list this year?   Lose weight gained when I quit smoking.  Exercise every morning.  Get at least eight hours of sleep every night. ……Blah blah blah yadda yadda yadda.  Bore-ring!

If I make a choice to losing a particular amount of weight by a certain date, exercising every day or getting a specific amount of sleep each night, all it takes is one little slip-up and I have failed.  That’s what has happened too often in the past.  Goals were too narrow and with a failure or two the goal is abandoned.

This year I am making it simpler in a manner that adds some “elbow room” by making my self-made goals less specific.  Examples are “loss some weight”, exercise more often, eat more healthfully and increase how much I sleep.  These are things I know I can improve.   

To all of you die-hard goal setter’s who feel goals must be always be qualified and quantified; foey on you. Such thinking does not work particularily well in my personal life. 

I know the world of business is different.  One way or another, professional endeavors usually entail a certain amount of something by a certain date.  Expectations not delivered are met with reactions ranging from disapproval to termination.   I have lived my business life with goals, goals, goals… and succeeded.  

I have yet to successfully manage my personal life as do my professional life.  On my own time it’s the pride of accomplishing broad goals, a little at a time that pushes me forward.  Through a thousands small acts my life is made better in a collectively big way.  That’s probably why I have been attracted to hobbies that demand proficiency, yet can never be mastered (flying, photography, etc).  It is the doing my best consistently that makes me better at whatever I apply my heart and mind to.     

In 2012 I will lose weight, exercise more, eat better and sleep more.  However, my strategy to accomplish those things is indirect.  Improvement will come as a by-product of being more of the person I want to be.  In thinking about what I could do that would make me more true to myself, it didn’t take long to come up with the list below of “Ten Things I CAN Do”.   

  1. Love people more.
  2. Spend more time outside.
  3. Eat slower and chew more.
  4. Make photographs.
  5. Read more, watch TV less.
  6. Call friends more, send less email.
  7. Be more positive.
  8. Talk to old people more.
  9. Laugh more.
  10. Worry less.

I don’t have to be a rocket scientist to see that being outside more and making more photographs with my old fashioned view-camera will cause me to get more exercise.  Eating slower and chewing more will, without a doubt, cause me to lose weight. Sleeping more will be easier with less worry, being more positive and laughing more.   The remaining four items on my “Ten Things I CAN Do” list bring their own rewards echoing back from the doing of them (love people, call friends more/less emails, talk to old people, read more/watch less TV).

Just thirty-eight words split into an easy to read to-do list; one that I can put on my bathroom mirror and see each morning.  A simple list of ten things I can scan every day and set myself into the world to do them the best I can.  No doubt I will fail in some ways on a daily basis.  Yet, within every week the majority of list will get done.  And through the doing, my life will improve. 

What will “living a good life” get me?  A good life! 

When we have practiced good actions awhile they become easy;
When they are easy we take pleasure in them;
When they please us we do them frequently;
And then, by frequency of act they grow into habit.

“When we have practiced good actions….” was the focus of a blog on October 25, 2011 https://goodmorninggratitude.com/2011/10/25/when-we-have-practiced-good-actions/

4 thoughts on “Ten Things I CAN Do

  1. Fabulous list! I think it’s an honorable direction to lead the way into 2012. I may adopt it as my own. Blessings for a wonderful and expansive New Year. New beginnings are important to me. Debra

  2. Love people more.
    Spend more time outside.
    Eat slower and chew more.
    Make photographs.
    Read more, watch TV less.
    Call friends more, send less email.
    Be more positive.
    Talk to old people more.
    Laugh more.
    Worry less.

    Amen to those Listed as my 2012 roll in… We all have coulda – shoulda- woulda syndrome but my goal is to drop that and be grateful that you read my blog and inspire me as this year of “good morning Gratitude” continues on. Bless you James for your daily inspiration and writing. ~Jackie Paulson~

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