I am a strong believer in taking time every now and again to take stock and set some goals for change and/or improvement. Usually at the beginning of the year think about making some new year's resolutions - sometimes I even write them down - but they last about as long as a new box of crayons in the hands of a kindergartener.
This year, though, I think I've had a bit of an apostrophe (10 points if you got the reference). I recently read "The Happiness Project" by Gretchen Rubin, and though it's not the most well-written book, and there's nothing necessarily unique or original about it, it really resonated with me. In a nutshell, Gretchen wanted to be happier, so she read a BUNCH of studies and the like dealing with happiness, then set about systematically putting all that stuff into practice - one month at a time. That was the lightning that struck my brain: Why try to have a resolution for an entire year? Why not do them monthly? So, that's what I've decided to do.
In the book she has resolutions for becoming happier each month, I'm going to take a slightly different tack, and just have resolutions each month that deal with some area of my life in which I feel I need improvement. The great thing about this, I think, is that it's on-going and I can always come back to a resolution category if I need to! (I suppose that's fairly self-evident...nonetheless...) Plus it gives me yet another outlet for my own creativity - which I love.
So, here we go! I found it highly convenient that I managed to read the book a couple of weeks before the new year. It gave me a chance to do some of that good old introspective stuff and figure out exactly what I want to do over the next year - or at least for the first few months - and make a plan for it.
For January I decided to start at what is - for me, at least - the core of everything: My spirituality. I've been feeling in a bit of a rut lately in that particular area. I do all the things I'm supposed to do as a good Mormon boy (well...most of the things anyway...), but I'm still feeling stuck, so I'm gonna go ahead and work on that stuff to get started and build a solid foundation for everything else. My resolutions for the month:
1 - AT LEAST a half hour of gospel-related study every day. I'm expanding my definition of "gospel-related" just a tad to include things beyond what you might find and your typical Deseret Book. I have a strong testimony of my faith, but I don't necessarily think we are the only receptacle of truth out there. I also think we Mormons tend to pigeon-hole ourselves a bit in that area, so I want to see what other people have to say about spirituality.
2 - 15 minutes of meditation every day. I've been intrigued by the idea of meditation for a while, and have read in several places how beneficial it is, so I'm gonna try it out for a month and see what happens.
3 - 4 times to the temple. I love the temple and since I only work weekends, and don't have 3 auditions every day, I figure that, for the month of January anyway, I can probably get to the temple once a week, even if it's just for a quick round of sealings or something.
4 - 100% HT - I am a TERRIBLE home teacher - fact. But, it's a new year, and I think this'll be a great way to start off.
So, I've got my resolutions for January all planned out and I'm feeling super motivated and ready to go. Feel free to share any thoughts, suggestions, experiences you have with resolutions, ideas etc. I'd love input!
Coming up: February - work, March - friends, April - family