I've already talked about some of my "resolutions" for the coming year, as have many others all across the blogosphere, and I think we can all agree that regardless of the specific resolution, the overall goal we all share is to be happier. Sure, it may be though being more mindful, or healthier, or more organized, but in general we want these things because we think they will bring us happiness and contentment. I doubt anyone is really thinking "I resolve to go the the gym more because I hate working out and I'd really like to be more miserable this year."
To that end, all of my resolutions can be summed up in one way - I resolve to fill my life with a little more follow through. I always think of things I'd like to do, and sure, more often than not these things are impractical or not REALLY something I'd want to do (run a marathon, anyone?). But more important, I pretty much never even try to do them. I rarely get past the planning stage, if I even get beyond thinking "huh, it might be cool to do that."
Almost ten years ago I packed up my apartment in Chicago, loaded up my car, and moved to Steamboat. I knew one person (who maybe wasn't THRILLED I was coming, ahem, Brett), I had no job or place to live, and I had less than $2000 in my checking account to live on while I found those things. But I had dreams of living there and being some kind of rugged mountain woman; skiing, hiking, camping - taking full advantage of everything that area has to offer and living this amazing healthy lifestyle communing with nature. Now, in the end I clearly ended up living a much different, more... indoor, type lifestyle, but that was not for lack of trying. I DID do each of those things several times. It just turns out I hate stuff like that, and no amount of wishing I was into the outdoor life is going to change that. And I'm okay with that, because the fact is I tried it, and I learned something about myself in the process. We can all aspire to be whatever we want, and the choice can come to adapt or accept your true nature.
Which brings me back to my resolutions. On the surface they seems simple - clean more, exercise, eat healthy. All very achievable, all extremely easy to let slide. I am lazy. This is no secret. I don't like to work, it doesn't matter on what, and I will ignore almost any chore in favor of sitting on my couch reading. But the fact is that procrastination and task avoidance also causes me a lot of unnecessary anxiety. So much energy goes into feeling guilty, or justifying my laziness to myself, and I spend a lot of time feeling bad. And then I get the job done and I feel so good and proud of myself (probably a little TOO proud of myself given the basic everyday nature of most things I "accomplish"), and the weight of knowing there are things I need to do is lifted off my shoulders. So I'm going to try and treat myself to that feeling as much as I can. And at the end of it all, I won't just be left with a cleaner house or stronger arms; I'll be left with a real sense of contentment and self-sastisfaction.
In other words, I'll be happier.
How do you plan to be happier in 2012? Share your ideas in the comments, or go to BlogHer.com and leave a comment to be entered to win a Kindle Fire and $50 Amazon gift certificate